drum castle

Drum Castle: Scotland’s Time-Honored Architectural Wonder

Scotland is renowned for its stunning landscapes and rich history, and Drum Castle is no exception. This magnificent castle has stood for centuries, with a history dating back to the 13th century. Its unique architectural features, enchanting gardens, and significant role in Scottish history make it a must-visit for any traveler to the region.

Key Takeaways:

  • Drum Castle is a remarkable architectural wonder in Scotland
  • The castle has a rich history dating back to the 13th century
  • Drum Castle boasts unique architectural features that make it stand out
  • The castle’s gardens are meticulously maintained and contribute to its allure
  • Drum Castle has played a significant role in Scottish history

History of Drum Castle

Drum Castle’s history is a long and fascinating one, dating back over 700 years. Built in the 13th century by the Irvine family, the castle has endured periods of attack, occupation, and renovation throughout the centuries. The powerful Clan Drummond were responsible for expanding the castle in the 16th century, adding imposing towers and fortifications, as well as a chapel and great hall. The castle remained in their possession until the mid-18th century, whereupon it was sold to Alexander Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly.

The Gordon family owned the castle for over 400 years, making significant alterations and modernizations over the centuries. One of the most notable additions was the Jacobean mansion located within the castle walls, which was constructed in the early 17th century. The Gordons were heavily involved in Scottish politics and military affairs, with several family members serving as high-ranking officials and generals. The castle was used as a strategic stronghold during the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century, with the Gordons supporting the Hanoverian government.

Notable Events

Drum Castle has been the site of many significant events throughout Scottish history. Most notably, it was the location of the signing of the Treaty of Aberdeen in 1852, which ended the Crimean War. The treaty was signed in the castle’s picturesque library, which features an impressive collection of antique books and furniture. The castle has also seen its fair share of drama and tragedy, with stories of battles, ghost sightings, and family feuds passed down through the generations.

Today, Drum Castle stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Scottish pride and heritage. Visitors can explore its rich history through guided tours and exhibitions, which showcase the castle’s impressive architectural features and historic artifacts.

Architectural Features of Drum Castle

Drum Castle is a masterpiece of architecture, carefully constructed to evoke a sense of timeless grandeur. The castle’s unique features are a testament to the skill and vision of the architects and builders.

The castle is composed of three distinct parts, each reflecting a different era in its history. The oldest section, the 13th-century tower, is an imposing structure built to withstand the harsh Scottish climate and the perils of war. The tower’s thick stone walls, narrow windows, and spiral staircase are quintessential medieval features that transport visitors back in time.

The Jacobean mansion, added in the 17th century, features a more refined style of architecture, with ornate ceilings, grand fireplaces, and intricate woodwork. The mansion’s design was a nod to the changing tastes of the time, with a focus on comfort and luxury.

Architectural Details

Drum Castle’s architectural features are not limited to its basic structure, but can be seen in the smallest details as well. The castle’s chimneys, for example, are a marvel of design, with intricately carved stones arranged in a variety of patterns. The castle’s windows are equally impressive, with each one uniquely shaped and positioned to maximize natural light and ventilation.

Feature Description
Tower – Thick stone walls

– Narrow windows

– Spiral staircase

– Medieval style

Jacobean Mansion – Ornate ceilings

– Grand fireplaces

– Intricate woodwork

– Comfort and luxury

Chimneys – Intricately carved stones

– Variety of patterns

– Design marvels

Windows – Uniquely shaped

– Maximize natural light and ventilation

– Impressive

The castle also features many unique interior design elements, including a medieval vaulted chamber, a Jacobean drawing room with a ceiling painted in vivid colors, and a Victorian library with a fireplace made of Italian marble.

Overall, Drum Castle’s architectural features are a true wonder to behold, with each detail carefully crafted to create a sense of grandeur and elegance. Visitors to the castle are sure to be impressed by its beauty and rich history.

Drum Castle Gardens

Surrounding the magnificent Drum Castle, visitors will discover a series of enchanting gardens that are just as stunning as the castle itself. The gardens are meticulously maintained, representing a variety of styles and flora that contribute to the castle’s allure.

The enchanting rose garden, in particular, is a highlight of the gardens, featuring a variety of species ranging from classic rose types to modern hybrids. Visitors can also explore the woodland garden that boasts a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

The walled garden, built in the 18th century, is another must-see attraction, featuring a selection of fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. The garden is believed to have supplied produce to the castle’s residents for generations.

Finally, visitors can take a stroll through the charming arboretum, which houses a collection of rare and exotic trees from around the world. The peaceful garden paths, stunning vistas and beautiful floral displays make Drum Castle Gardens a true feast for the senses.

If you’re visiting Scotland, a visit to the Drum Castle Gardens should be at the top of your list. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply looking for a picturesque setting for a picnic, the gardens are sure to delight.

Legends and Folklore of Drum Castle

Drum Castle’s rich history has given rise to a range of intriguing legends and folklore, adding to its mystique and allure. From ghost stories to ancient tales, the castle is steeped in fascinating lore that has captured the imaginations of visitors for centuries.

One of the most enduring legends of Drum Castle is the story of the Green Lady. Said to be a former resident of the castle, the Green Lady is said to haunt the halls to this day. Visitors have reported sightings of a ghostly figure dressed in green, often appearing in the Chapel.

Another famous legend associated with the castle involves the presence of a hidden room. According to the tale, a secret chamber exists within the castle walls, undiscovered for centuries. Some say that the room contains treasures and artifacts of great historical significance, while others claim it is the site of a long-forgotten royal marriage ceremony.

Drum Castle is also associated with a number of ancient Scottish tales. One such tale involves the castle’s connection to the legendary warrior Fingal, who is said to have used the castle as a stronghold during his battles against rival clans. Other stories involve the castle’s role in magical and supernatural events, with tales of witches and warlocks casting spells and performing rituals within its walls.

Despite their eerie nature, these legends and folklore only add to the enchanting atmosphere of Drum Castle. Whether it is the Green Lady or the hidden chamber, visitors are sure to be captivated by the castle’s rich history and mystical allure.

Drum Castle’s Role in Scottish History

Drum Castle has played an important role in Scottish history, serving as a stronghold for various clans and families throughout the centuries.

The first recorded mention of the castle dates back to the mid-14th century when it was owned by the Cheyne family. During the Wars of Scottish Independence, the castle was captured by English forces and later recaptured by Andrew Moray and William Wallace.

Over the years, Drum Castle was owned by several prominent Scottish families, including the Burnetts, Irvines, and Grants. It was the home of the Forbes family from the 16th century until the mid-20th century, when it was donated to the National Trust for Scotland.

During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Drum Castle was used as a hiding place for Jacobite soldiers. Following the rebellion’s defeat, the castle’s occupants were ordered to pay a hefty fine, which resulted in the sale of many of the family’s prized possessions.

Drum Castle as a Cultural Hub

Aside from its significance in Scottish history, Drum Castle has also played a role in the region’s cultural heritage. The castle’s owners were known for their patronage of the arts, and the castle served as a hub for social gatherings and events.

The castle’s library was renowned for its extensive collection of books and manuscripts, and it was frequented by scholars and writers. In the late 19th century, the castle’s then-owner, Sir Alexander Forbes, commissioned the construction of a grand ballroom, which became a popular venue for dances and other social functions.

Drum Castle’s Contributions to Scottish Architecture

As one of Scotland’s most significant architectural wonders, Drum Castle has contributed to Scotland’s rich architectural history. The castle’s design features a unique blend of styles, including medieval, Jacobean, and Victorian, providing insight into the architectural trends of the time.

Drum Castle’s distinctive tower, which stands more than 70 feet tall, is one of the castle’s most recognizable features. The tower’s thick walls and narrow staircases served as a defensive measure during times of attack.

The Future of Drum Castle

Today, Drum Castle continues to attract visitors from around the world, who come to explore its rich history, admire its stunning architecture, and wander through its enchanting gardens.

The National Trust for Scotland, which now owns and cares for Drum Castle, has launched several restoration and preservation efforts to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy this architectural gem. These efforts have included repairs to the castle’s roof, restoration of the ballroom’s ornate plasterwork, and conservation of the castle’s gardens.

As a symbol of Scotland’s rich history and cultural heritage, Drum Castle remains a beloved landmark and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Scottish people.

Restoration and Preservation Efforts

Drum Castle’s age and historical significance present unique challenges when it comes to maintenance and preservation. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated professionals and volunteers, the castle has been able to maintain its grandeur and allure for generations to come.

One of the most significant restoration efforts took place in the early 20th century when Drum Castle was extensively renovated to repair damage sustained during years of neglect. This effort involved the replacement of roofs, masonry work, and plastering of walls.

Since then, ongoing maintenance and restoration efforts have been undertaken to ensure the castle remains structurally sound and visually appealing. This includes regular cleaning and repairs to stonework, windows, and roofs.

Another major effort is the preservation of the castle’s interior furnishings and artifacts. Careful attention is paid to ensure these items are stored in suitable conditions and protected from damage due to light, humidity, or temperature changes.

Additionally, the castle’s gardens and grounds have also been meticulously maintained over the years. This effort involves the careful planting, pruning, and watering of a vast array of flora and fauna that contribute to the castle’s charm and allure.

Volunteer Efforts

Drum Castle’s restoration and preservation efforts would not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers. These individuals give their time and expertise to help with everything from gardening to conservation efforts.

One noteworthy initiative is the volunteer-led “Friends of Drum Castle” group. This organization is dedicated to supporting the castle’s preservation and educational efforts by providing fundraising, event support, and advocacy.

Overall, the restoration and preservation of Drum Castle is an ongoing effort that requires dedication and resources. Thanks to the hard work of many individuals and organizations, this architectural wonder will continue to be a beloved destination for generations to come.

Events and Activities at Drum Castle:

Drum Castle offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. From cultural festivals to educational programs, there’s always something happening at Scotland’s iconic castle.

Guided tours are available for visitors, providing an opportunity to learn about the castle’s rich history and unique architectural features. The knowledgeable guides offer insights into the lives of the families who lived in the castle and the important role it played in Scottish history.

For those interested in art and literature, Drum Castle hosts a range of events exploring the creative world. From poetry readings to art exhibitions, visitors can indulge in the cultural delights of Scotland’s vibrant arts scene.

In addition, Drum Castle hosts an array of family-friendly activities, including nature walks, treasure hunts, and workshops. These programs are designed to provide fun and educational experiences for children, encouraging them to explore and learn about the natural world.

During the summer season, Drum Castle offers live music performances and outdoor concerts, providing a unique and unforgettable experience for music lovers. With its picturesque surroundings and beautiful gardens, Drum Castle’s open-air concerts are a must-see attraction.

Visitors can check the castle’s website for the latest information on upcoming events and activities. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or the arts, there’s something for everyone at Drum Castle.

Visiting Drum Castle

Drum Castle is open to visitors from April to October, with limited opening hours during the winter months. The castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm.

Admission fees vary depending on age and group size. Adult tickets cost $12, while children and senior tickets are priced at $8. Family tickets, which cover two adults and up to three children, can be purchased for $30. Group discounts are also available for parties of 10 or more.

To make the most of your visit to Drum Castle, it’s recommended to join one of the guided tours. These tours run regularly throughout the day and provide a fascinating insight into the castle’s rich history and architectural features.

While exploring the castle, be sure to also visit the charming gardens, which are open to the public all year round. Here, you can admire the stunning seasonal displays and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

Tips for Visiting Drum Castle

  • Wear comfortable shoes, as there are some steep staircases and cobbled paths.
  • Check the weather forecast before visiting, as parts of the castle and gardens may be closed in adverse conditions.
  • Bring a camera to capture the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Plan to spend at least a few hours at Drum Castle to fully appreciate its beauty and significance.

Located just a few miles from the bustling city of Aberdeen, Drum Castle is easily accessible by car or public transport. There is ample parking on site, as well as a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts to remember your visit.

Drum Castle Souvenirs and Gifts

Before leaving Drum Castle, be sure to stop by the gift shop for a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts that capture the castle’s rich history and unique character. From traditional Scottish crafts to castle-themed memorabilia, there is something for everyone.

Item Description Price
Scottish Tartan Scarf Warm and cozy scarf made with traditional Scottish tartan pattern. $25
Drum Castle Mug High-quality ceramic mug featuring the iconic Drum Castle crest. $15
Scottish Shortbread Cookies Delicious and buttery shortbread cookies made with authentic Scottish recipe. $10
Castle Keychain Stylish keychain with an intricate miniature replica of Drum Castle. $8

Other popular items include tartan blankets, castle-themed stationery, and Scottish jewelry featuring traditional designs. These make great gifts for friends and family, or as a treat for yourself to remember your visit to this timeless architectural wonder.

Be sure to also check out the selection of books on Scottish history and culture, including those specific to Drum Castle. These offer insights and fascinating stories behind the castle’s past and its role in Scottish history.

Drum Castle in Popular Culture

Drum Castle has captured the imaginations of writers, filmmakers, and artists alike, inspiring creative works across various mediums. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and mystical legends make it a prime setting for fictional storytelling.


In literature, Drum Castle has been featured in various novels and poems, including Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, “Marmion,” and the romantic poem, “The Bonnets o’ Bonnie Dundee,” by Robert Burns. The castle’s dark history and legends have also been a source of inspiration for horror and mystery writers, such as James Robertson and Gregor Lamb.

Film and Television

Drum Castle has made appearances in several films and television shows, including the 2015 historical drama, “Outlander,” and the 1986 science-fiction film, “Highlander.” The castle’s stunning architecture and picturesque surroundings have made it a popular filming location for production companies.


The castle’s beauty has also inspired musicians and composers, with many incorporating its imagery and history into their music. The Scottish folk band, Old Blind Dogs, included a song titled “Drum Castle” on their 1997 album, “The World’s Room,” paying homage to the castle’s timeless grandeur.

Overall, Drum Castle’s influence on popular culture is a testament to its enduring legacy as a timeless architectural wonder and a cultural icon of Scotland.


Drum Castle is an architectural masterpiece that has stood the test of time. From its rich history to its unique design, the castle has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries. Its enchanting gardens and mystical legends only add to its allure.

The castle has played an important role in Scottish history, and its preservation and restoration efforts ensure that it will continue to do so for generations to come. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities and events throughout the year, and take home a piece of the castle with a souvenir or gift from the on-site shop.

Drum Castle’s enduring legacy is a testament to the dedication of those who have worked to maintain its grandeur over the years. As we reflect on its timeless beauty, it is clear that Drum Castle will continue to inspire and captivate visitors for years to come.


Q: What is the history of Drum Castle?

A: Drum Castle has a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. It has been home to various prominent families and witnessed significant events throughout the centuries.

Q: What are the unique architectural features of Drum Castle?

A: Drum Castle is known for its distinctive tower house design, with a medieval keep and later additions. It showcases unique details such as stone carvings, intricate ceilings, and a fortified defensive structure.

Q: How are the gardens at Drum Castle maintained?

A: The gardens at Drum Castle are meticulously maintained by a dedicated team of gardeners. They ensure that the landscapes are vibrant, featuring a diverse range of plants and flowers throughout the year.

Q: Are there any legends or folklore associated with Drum Castle?

A: Yes, Drum Castle is surrounded by intriguing legends and folklore. Tales of ghosts, hidden treasure, and ancient mystical beings add an enchanting element to its history.

Q: What role has Drum Castle played in Scottish history?

A: Drum Castle has played a significant role in Scottish history. It has been involved in various events, including battles and political developments, shaping the region’s cultural heritage.

Q: How has Drum Castle been restored and preserved?

A: Drum Castle has undergone dedicated restoration and preservation efforts to maintain its grandeur. Skilled craftsmen and experts have worked tirelessly to ensure that the castle’s historic features are preserved for future generations.

Q: What events and activities take place at Drum Castle?

A: Drum Castle hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, cultural festivals, and special exhibitions, offering a chance to immerse themselves in the castle’s history.

Q: What practical information should I know before visiting Drum Castle?

A: When planning a visit to Drum Castle, it’s important to note the opening hours, admission fees, and any specific guidelines or restrictions. Additionally, nearby attractions and amenities are worth considering for a complete experience.

Q: Can I purchase souvenirs and gifts at Drum Castle?

A: Yes, Drum Castle has a gift shop where visitors can find a range of souvenirs and gifts. From traditional Scottish crafts to castle-themed memorabilia, there are plenty of options to bring home a piece of Drum Castle.

Q: Has Drum Castle made appearances in popular culture?

A: Yes, Drum Castle has made appearances in popular culture, including films, literature, and television. Its majestic presence and historical significance have captivated the creative world and inspired various artistic works.

Q: What is the conclusion regarding Drum Castle’s legacy?

A: In conclusion, Drum Castle stands as a timeless architectural wonder in Scotland. Its rich history, unique features, and captivating legends contribute to its enduring legacy as a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.