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Pitcaple Castle

Pitcaple Castle LUMSDEN CLAN,---.jpg
Pitcaple Castle, Aberdeenshire - An ancient seat of the Leslies, passed by marriage to the Lumsdens in the 1700s. Inherited by Hary Lumsden in 1780, the descendants of this family have lived here to the present day. Pitcaple Castle was restored by William Burn in 1830. Over the centuries the castle has been visited by King James IV, Mary, Queen of Scots and King Charles II.

Pitcaple Castle is a much extended 'Z' plan tower house that dates back to the 15th century.  It was restored during the 1830's and sits in 70 acres of private parkland. 


King James II grants the lands of Pitcaple to David Leslie. In order to secure his lands, Leslie constructs the tower.


Alexander Leslie, 4th Laird of Pitcaple, kills George Leith, starting a fued between the families.



Both King James IV, and later, Mary, Queen of Scots visit Pitcaple castle.



Covenater Alexander Jaffray seizes control of Pitcaple from its Royalist Laird.


The Marquis of Montrose is imprisoned in the castle on his way to face trial for treason in Edinburgh. Whilst imprisoned in the castle Lady Pitcaple, being his cousin, shows him a way to escape down the latrine. The Marquis replies 'rather than go down to be smothered in that hole, I'll take my chances in Edinburgh'.

He is taken for trial at Edinburgh where he is executed.

King Charles II visits the castle later in the same year.



Lieutenant-colonel John Leslie, 7th Laird of Pitcaple, is killed at the Battle of Worcester fighting for King Charles II.



When Sir James Leslie dies without an heir, the castle passes through marriage to the Lumsdens.

Time Line


In 1457 the Leslie clan received the Pitcaple lands. In the later 15th century, possibly around 1470, the clan built a tower house there , which is the nucleus of today's manor house. In 1562 Queen Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Pitcaple Castle. Corner tours were added in the early 17th century . The Marquess of Huntly established his headquarters in Pitcaple Castle in 1639. The future King Charles II stayed in the Tower House in 1644. The present mansion was built after a substantial expansion of the Tower House in 1830. The Scottish architect William Burn designed the buildingresponsible. In the course of the work, changes were also made to the Tower House. Duncan MacMillan was entrusted with the additions from 1870 . [1] [2]
Pitcaple Castle is isolated around 600 m northeast of Pitcaple between the A96 and the River Urie . The original four-story Tower House was given a Z-shaped floor plan through the addition of the five-story corner tourelles. Its entrance was then at the foot of the southwest stair tower. The extension from the 1830s consists of a two-story complex of asymmetrical construction. In the course of the work, the openings on the first floor of the Tower House were closed and a new entrance area was set up on the new building. With the addition of the economic wing in 1870, the hall was also decorated with Corinthian columns made of red granite . [1] [2]
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