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Cawdor Castle Highland Scotland

Cawdor Castle Highland Scotland (Known places)

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Cawdor Castle is a tower house set amid magnificent gardens in the parish of Cawdor, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Inverness and 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Nairn in Scotland, United Kingdom. It belonged to the Clan Calder. It still serves as home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of Colin Robert Vaughan Campbell, 7th (and present) Earl Cawdor and 25th Thane of Cawdor. The castle is perhaps best known for its literary connection to William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, the title character of which was made Thane of Cawdor. However, the story is highly fictionalised, and the castle itself was built many years after the events of the play.

History

The earliest documented date for the castle is 1454 (565 years ago), the date a building license was granted to William, Thane of Cawdor (or Calder, as the name was sometimes spelled). However, some portions of the castle may precede that date. Architectural historians have dated the style of stonework in the oldest portion of the castle to approximately 1380 (639 years ago).

One curious feature of the castle is that it was built around a small, living holly tree, the remains of which may still be seen in the lowest level of the tower. Modern scientific testing has shown that the tree died in approximately 1372 (647 years ago) (lending credence to the earlier date of the castle's first construction).

Originally consisting only of the large tower (or keep), the castle was expanded numerous times in the succeeding centuries, with significant additions made in the 17th century and 19th century. The iron yett here was brought from nearby Lochindorb Castle around 1455 (564 years ago) when the Scottish Privy Council instructed the Thane of Cawdor to dismantle Lochindorb after it had been forfeited by the Earl of Moray.


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