Despite a turbulent history, part of the 13th century structure of the Dirleton Castle Scotland remain. With beautiful gardens and a large fortress to explore, it is a fun castle to visit. Discover it in video and photos:
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Dirleton Castle Scotland - Video
Let's start with a short video showing you the exploration of Dirleton Castle Scotland :
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Dirleton Castle Scotland
Access to Dirleton Castle and Gardens
From the large parking you cannot miss the entrance.
Once inside, you can up the small watch tower for a good view of the garden. Then you walk through it, reach the pigeon house (from the 16th century) before approaching the ruins of the fortress.
On the way back you can continue de loop and discover another part of the park with beautiful trees.
Dirleton Castle History
Below are a few Dirleton Castle facts to give you some context:
- The oldest parts were built in the 13th century
- It was abandoned in the 17th century
- It was in the middle of many wars, taken and retaken... It served 3 noble families over 400 years: the Vaux, the Haliburtons and the Ruthvens
- The donjon is the most intact piece of the architecture from the 13th century. Most of the rest of the fortress is from later constructions
- The pigeon house (dovecot) date back to the 16th century and is just under 8m tall. With more than 1000 nesting boxes, it is a famous feature of the castle as it is one of the best preserved pigeon houses.
- The gardens were started in the 16th century and the wall built in the 19th. The current gardens and plantations are however more recent
Here is a drawing of what the castle would have looked like:
Dirleton Castle Facade
The main facade of the fortress is was remains in better shape. You can see how strong the building was. Plus I find it very photogenic 🙂 but I had to use my panorama fonction with the iPhone, since my normal lenses could not picture the whole thing!
Exploring Dirleton Castle Scotland
Entering the Dirleton Castle Scotland sets you in the mood, with the bridge, the arch and the stones.
There is a lot to explore, with explanatory signs in every area. Or you can just sit and relax, taking in the atmosphere.
Don't forge to go down in the prison and discover the underground tunnels
Part of the underground was the kitchen
Upper levels of Dirleton Castle Scotland
You can also climb a little bit (although not as much as in Tantallon Castle), to discover the upper levels.
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