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Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle / one

Picture ref DNT1

Dunnottar has the most impressive location of any castle in Scotland. Surrounded on three sides by sheer cliffs , the castle was virtually impregnable . The tower house was built at the end of the 14th century by Sir William Keith , Great Marischal of Scotland. Other buildings were added later on by the fifth Earl Marischal, including a retainers' barracks, a chapel, priest's house , stables and a graveyard .
Wallace captured the castle during the Wars of Independence. It fell to Edward III and then Sir Andrew Moray retook it . In 1650 the Earl entertained Charles II and a year later the Honours of Scotland - the crown , orb , sceptres and sword-of-state - were hidden here to protect them from Cromwell's army . General Lambert laid siege to the castle . The Reverend James Grainger and his wife decided that the Honours had to be taken out of the castle . Mrs Grainger went to the castle on the pretext of visiting the wife of George Ogilvy , the lieutenant-governor of Dunnottar . She smuggled the crown out by hiding it up her skirt and wrapped the orb and sceptres in lint and had a servant carry them . The Honours were then hidden under the Graingers' box-bed and later beneath the pulpit of the church . The Graingers were rewarded with 2,000 merks for their initiative , Ogilvy was made a baronet and Sir John Keith , who had accepted the Honours for safe keeping but had escaped the siege early on , was made the Earl of Kintore .
Entrance to the castle is £3.50 . It is about 2 miles from Stonehaven .

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The castle is a short walk from the car park at the top of the hill . A 35mm lens is sufficient to photograph the castle and cliffs . A 28mm lens enables you to include the shoreline on either side of the castle .

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