Standing on an island in a picturesque loch, Lochleven Castle consists of a small ruinous 15th century keep, rectangular in plan, standing at one corner of a 14th century courtyard.
The castle used to occupy most of the island, but the level of the loch has been lowered. Lochleven was a royal castle from 1257, and was stormed by William Wallace after being captured by the English.
The English besieged the castle in 1301, but it was relieved by Sir John Comyn before it could be captured. It was visited by Robert the Bruce. The castle was held against Edward Balliol and the English in 1335. By the end of the 14th century, it had passed to the Douglases of Lochleven when Robert II granted it to Sir Henry Douglas, the husband of his niece, Marjory. The Douglases already had an association with the castle for Henry's father, Sir John Douglas, had been among the garrison during the 1335 siege. the Douglases remained lords of the island stronghold up to the seventeenth century.
I visited the castle last week, making the 10 minute boat crossing with an Historic Scotland guide as my ferryman.
You can view a short video
of my visit, or read more
about the castle.
The Douglas lairds of Lochleven
John Douglas of Dalkeith d bef 1356
Henry, dc 1392, married Marjory Stewart
William, c 1392-1421
Henry, 1421-c 1469
Robert, c 1469-1513
Robert, 1513-c 1540
(Thomas, d bef 1540)
Robert, c 1540-1547
William, 1547-1606, who became 6th Earl of Morton
(Robert, dc 1600)
William. 7th Earl of Morton, 1606-1648
Robert, 8th Earl of Morton, 1648-1649
William, 9th Earl of Morton, 1649-1681, who sold Lochleven Castle in 1672