Rental Details for Taymouth Castle

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Taymouth Castle
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In October 2016, an Open Day was held at the castle, to promote it further as a wedding venue for 2017.
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Taymouth Castle
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  • Taymouth Castle's eastern façade
  • Taymouth Castle, Kenmore Gate entrance.
  • Taymouth Castle painted in 1733 by James Norie, showing William Adam's improvements to the house and gardens
  • Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy (1545-1631)
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Taymouth Castle is situated to the north-east of the village of Kenmore, Perth and Kinross in the Highlands of Scotland, in an estate which encompasses 450 acres.[citation needed] It lies on the south bank of the River Tay, about a mile from Loch Tay, in the heartland of the Grampian Mountains. Taymouth is bordered on two sides by mountain ranges, by Loch Tay on the third and by the confluence of the rivers Lyon and Tay on the fourth.

Taymouth Castle stands on the site of the much older Balloch Castle, which was built in 1552, as the seat of the Campbell clan. In the early 19th century, Balloch Castle was demolished by the Campbells of Breadalbane, so that the new, much larger castle could be rebuilt on the site. The new castle's blue-grey stone was taken from the quarry at Bolfracks.

Built in a neo-Gothic style and on a lavish scale, Taymouth Castle is regarded as the most important Scottish castle in private ownership. Its public rooms are outstanding examples of the workmanship of the finest craftsmen of the 19th century. No expense was spared on the castle's interior, which was decorated with extravagant carvings, plasterwork and murals. Panels of medieval stained glass and Renaissance woodwork were incorporated into the scheme. Much of this decor still survives.

Francis Bernasconi, acknowledged as the greatest designer of fine plasterwork of the era, created the magnificent central staircase, that connects all four storeys of the central tower. Many of the ceilings were painted by Cornelius Dixon.

The castle is a Category A listed building, and the grounds, which include parklands and woodlands, are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, the national listing of significant gardens. Historic Environment Scotland have graded the castle as 'outstanding' in all of the following categories; 'Work of Art', 'Historical', 'Architectural' and 'Scenic'. They also acknowledged that due to the remnants of its pinetum and the outstanding size of its remaining trees, it also has horticultural value. It is said that some of the first larches brought to Scotland from the Tyrol were planted on the estate.

Twelve of Taymouth Castle's buildings/structures are currently recorded on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. Due to its severely deteriorating condition, Taymouth Castle has been empty since approximately 1982. However, its new owners are currently restoring and redeveloping the castle, as a luxury hotel resort.

The castle and golf course are currently closed until further notice, whilst it is being restored and re-modelled.

Among the landmarks that still survive on the 450 acre estate are:

All of the above structures are listed with Historic Environment Scotland.[citation needed]

Taymouth Castle has its own 18-hole golf course, operated by the Taymouth Castle Golf Club. The course was laid over the castle's former deer park and designed by the renowned golfer, James Braid in 1925. As of April 2017[update], the course is closed whilst it is being extended and re-modelled. At 6,066 yards, it was regarded as too small for modern championship golf courses and so is being increased to 7,039 yards. Also, much of Braid's original features disappeared over the last 90 years. These are being restored, with views of the River Tay also being introduced into the course.

In 1839, the deer park was said to contain 700 fallow deer, 100 red deer, some black deer and some moose deer. There were also some wild Indian buffaloes, taken from the 'rocky mountains of the New World'.

The castle offers some of Scotland's finest fishing, with two and a half miles of salmon fishing through the estate, on the River Tay. The Tay is the longest river in Scotland and is one of the best rivers in the United Kingdom and Europe for Atlantic Salmon. The estate also has fishing rights on Loch Tay, which contains pike, perch, roach and trout.

The first twelve owners of the Balloch/Taymouth Castle estate, who held the lands throughout its period of private ownership between 1550 and 1922, were all Campbells of the Clan Campbell and members of the Peerage of Scotland. In the usual way, the ownership of the estate (and the various titles) were generally passed from father to son, excepting when there were no male heirs. This particular branch of the Campbell family were given the titles of Breadalbane, an area in the Highlands of Scotland; and Glenorchy, a glen in Argyll and Bute.

A number of the Campbells were Earls of Breadalbane and Holland. The family were given the lands of Breadalbane and Lawers in the 15th century by King James III, for Sir Colin Campbell's help in capturing Thomas Chalmer, one of the assassins of King James I. The title of Holland refers to an area of Lincolnshire, England. The 1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland married the 1st Earl of Holland's daughter, Lady Mary Rich. He therefore acquired the English title of Holland, through his wife. The 1st Earl of Holland was executed in London in 1649 for treason. He was beheaded.

Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, who built Balloch Castle in 1552, was a knight, the lowest rank of all of the owners of Balloch and Taymouth Castle. As time went on, his descendants' rank gradually increased, until the last Campbell listed, Sir Gavin Campbell, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane until 1922, achieved the high rank of Marquess.

The male ranking hierarchy in Scotland, from lowest to highest is as follows; Knight, Baronet, Baron, Lord of Parliament, Viscount, Earl, Marquess and Duke.

The Campbells of Breadalbane were incredibly powerful and influential, due to the vast amounts of land that they owned in Scotland. They were also involved in many of the violent events and battles during Scotland's historical clan feuds. They were thus, highly feared by the other clans, for their determination to both increase their power and influence and to defend their estates at all costs, throughout this bloody period in Scotland's history. There was also a long-running feud between the Campbells and the Gregors, who later went on to become known as the MacGregors, for whom the famous Rob Roy MacGregor belonged. More information about these events are detailed in the history sections below.

In 1855, the 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane allowed historical papers from the Breadlabane Charter Room to be published in printed form in a book called The Black Book of Taymouth. This book had in fact largely been written and compiled between 1598 and 1648 by William Bowie, although Cosmo Innes also contributed to the 1855 publication, which includes entries up to 1703. The book concentrates more on the history of the Central Highlands than that of the Breadalbane family, although this is referred to in the book.[citation needed]

The book is written in Scots, with William Bowie dedicating his version of the book to Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Baronet Campbell, otherwise known as 'Black Duncan'. Bowie was both the tutor to Duncan's children and the family scribe. The book has been reprinted a number of times, including in 2015.[citation needed]

There have been at least three ships with the name Taymouth Castle. The first was a sailing vessel, built in 1851 by Scott & Sons.[citation needed] The second was a three-masted 'fully rigged' sailing vessel, built in 1865, by Charles Connell & Company. This was wrecked two years later, with the loss of all 19 crew and passengers on board, off the coast of Torr Head, Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1867. There was also the Royal Mail steam ship Taymouth Castle, built in 1877 by Messrs Barclay Curle & Co. Despite having steam engines and a screw propeller, it also had two masts, giving it an early hybrid power source.

There is an old tale surrounding a blue sapphire stone which is set into a ring belonging to the Grahams of Inchbrakie, Perthshire. Some time in the 17th centu