Our History



Welcome to Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

Situated at the entrance to the Cairngorms National Park and surrounded by a magnificent backdrop of hills and forests, Blair Castle dates back to the 13th Century. Unique amongst Scottish castles, the story told here will take you from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War, and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden, following Bonnie Prince Charlie's stay in the castle. Learn how the castle has transformed from its cold medieval beginnings to become a fine Georgian mansion, and how a visit from Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe's only remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

To commemorate the centenary of WWI and Scotland's Year of Homecoming, an exciting new exhibition demonstrating the involvement of the Duke of Atholl and his family in the war has been added to the castle tour.

Discover how the Duke's 3 sons were sent off to battle, how his daughters helped with the war effort and how the ballroom was transformed into a Red Cross Hospital. The exhibition includes letters, photos and documents belonging to the Duke's sons; a section on the ballroom as a hospital; and information about the fundraising effort for the National War Memorial.

One of the first private homes to open to the public in Scotland, Blair welcomes more visitors than any other. We hope you will enjoy this web site and that you will find the opportunity to come and discover for yourself the castle, its extensive collections and the beautiful grounds.