Admiring the Universe - a fine-art photographer based in Perthshire, Scotland, with interests in landscape, nature and astrophotography

Balvaird Castle

Balvaird Castle
Balvaird Castle is a late medieval Scottish tower house located in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, in the Ochil Hills around 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Abernethy. The name Balvaird originates from the Gaelic"Baile a' Bhàird", "township of the bard".

Built around 1495, Balvaird Castle was commissioned by Sir Andrew Murray, a younger son of the Murray of Tullibardine family, upon his marriage to Margaret Barclay, the heiress of the wealthy Barclay family of Kippo. It is believed that the castle was constructed on the site of an earlier Barclay family castle. Balvaird is first mentioned in historical records in 1498 as "the place of Balward" in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland.

Throughout its history, Balvaird Castle has undergone several additions and alterations. In 1567, a gatehouse was added to the castle. The Murray family continued to reside at Balvaird until they were elevated to the Viscountcy of Stormont in 1658 and moved to Scone Palace near Perth. The castle was then inhabited by farmworkers. In 1887, MacGibbon & Ross noted the presence of a recumbent statue lying in the castle, possibly that of Lady Margaret Barclay, who married the first Sir Andrew Murray in 1495. Balvaird Castle is a scheduled monument and is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. It is currently owned an American entrepreneur.
The castle is notable for its refined architectural detail, including corbels, an elaborate aumbry, and a cap-house, as well as its unusual inclusion of a kitchen on the ground floor and inverted keyhole gun-holes that date its construction to the late 1400s.

It's been a few years since I last visited Balvaird Castle, but I'm pleased to see little has changed apart from the trees growing a bit more.


Camera: DJI FC8282 ISO: 160
Focal Length: 6.7mm (24mm-e) Aperture: f/1.7
Shutter Speed: 0.0005s


GPS location: 56.288295, -3.342401