Huntingtower Castle originally Ruthven House

Home of the Ruthven family it was originally two towers, seperated by 3 meters of 'curtain wall' was designed thus because William Ruthven had two sons who inherited ( 1480) and both required noble accomodation. It became a single building in the 17th century by the then holders of the castle the Murray's


Why the change of name?

TheRuthven Raid

In August 1582 Patrick Gowrie (1st Earl of Gowrie) and few other nobles decided to try to exert pressure on the young King James to keep him out of the influence of the 'papish' ways of the likes of Esme and James Stewart. The king was "persuaded to accompany Gowrie and the other nobles to Ruthven House. That night Gowrie's co conspirators gathered in force and in the morning accused many of the King's friends of atrocities against those of the Protestant faith, the King listened polity and then tried to leave, and eventually burst into tears. He was held against his will for nearly a year, escaping finally in July 1583. Gowrie was triad for treason and executed in 1584.

The Gowrie Conspiracy

However the estate was restored to his son, in 1600 John ( third Earl) and his brother died in mysterious circumstances. According to the official report, the King had been lured to Ruthven House by a stranger with a pot of gold. This time he was rescued immediately and in the ensuing struggle both the Gowrie brothers died. The revenge of the King did not stop there. The bodies were taken to Edinburgh and tried for high treason, their names, memory and dignity were to be stricken from the Book of Arms and their lands forfeit to the crown. It was further decreed that ...

" ordained the baronie and the place of Ruthven to be changit and callit in all tyme coming the place and baronie of Huntingtower"



This is one of the few castles I have ever been on the roof of, I am the one holding desperately to the brick work, I am scared of hieghts. We had climbed up there to see for ourselves "The Maiden's Leap" A friend of our has claimed he louped this as a laddie

It is said that Dorothea, daughter of the first Earl of Gowrie had set her cap at a quite unsuitable gentleman (aka a commoner). While her family would not hear of a marriage between the two they were not against him visiting. At night she stid (stayed, slept)in one tower and he stid in the other. There was no way for the lovers to meet, no communicating passages or doors between the towers without going all the way down stairs and outside.

Never under estimate the power of love.

Three meters apart, and having seen them with my own two eyes, at slightly different levels Dorothea met with her lover. As the clasped each other to their bosoms ( aren't you glad we just cuddle?) a heavy footfall was heard on the stairs of the very tower they stood on. Dorothea was trapped, there was no where to hide, she would be disgraced !!

Dorothea louped the 3 mtr distance, avoiding a 60ft drop and was in her ain bed when her mither got to the top of the tower and had to go all the way down and up the stairs of the other tower to check on Dorothea's where abouts.

Dorothea and the young man eloped the next day and were married. History has failed to record if they lived happily ever after


My old guest buik

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