16th C courtyard castle in excellent condition and worth visiting. Provately occupied but the gardens are open and it is possible to visit by small tour. Near RAF Leuchars.  The Garden designed by Sir Robert Lorimer with topiary lawn, for which Earlshall is renowned, rose terrace, croquet lawn with herbaceous borders, shrub border, box garden, orchard, kitchen and herb garden. 

The castle was built 1546 by Sir William Bruce who had surived the Battle of Flodden Field i 1513. Mary Queen of Scots visited in 1561. The family sided with Charles II and one of the family was killed at the Battle of Worcester. Another was known as Bloody Bruce for his behavviour to Covenanters after Airds Moss where he beheaded and de-handed Richard cameron, a noted Covenanter. It said that the ghost of bloody Bruce can still be seen on the stairs.

Later the castle was abandoned before restoration started in 1892 under the eye of Sir Robert Lorimer who was also responsible for the exceptional gardens.

 

 

Bruce Fraser
Leuchars
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Sunday, 17 February 2013 5 Print