Photos taken in August 2011
Blair Castle stands in its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire in Scotland. It is the home of the Clan Murray family, who hold the title of Duke of Atholl, though the current (11th) Duke, John Murray, (born 1929) lives in South Africa.
The Castle is said to have been started in 1269 by John I Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, a northern neighbour of the Earl of Atholl, who started building on the Earl's land while he was away on crusade. Upon his return, the Earl complained about the interloper to King Alexander III, won back his land and incorporated the tower that had been built into his own Castle.
It commands a strategic position on the main route through the Central Scottish Highlands. Lowland Clan Agnew held Blair Castle, seat of the Duke of Atholl, against the Jacobites who laid siege to the castle during the Jacobite uprising of 1745-1746. They were besieged to near starvation until the Jacobite forces withdrew to fight the British Government forces at the Battle of Culloden.
The Castle, one of Scotland's major stately homes, is open for visitors on a daily basis. Its many rooms feature important collections of weapons, hunting trophies, souvenirs of the Murray clan, ethnographica, paintings, furniture, needlework etc, collected by the Murray family over many generations.
The castle also provides the garrison for the Atholl Highlanders, the private army of the Duke of Atholl, noted as the only legal private army in Europe. The Castle and the Atholl Estates were used in the 2008 reality television series Conquer the Castle.
Diana’s Grove Grand Fir in the grounds of the castle, which has been measured at 62.7 metres (206 ft) is the third tallest tree in the United Kingdom.
On the night of 10 March 2011, a fire broke out at the clock tower of the castle, causing the tower's roof and second floor collapse into the first floor.
Text from Wikipedia
People and Places