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Burleigh Castle

Burleigh Castle Scotland

Burleigh Castle Photographs

This ancient seat of the Balfours, built in the fifteenth century, stands near the village of Milnathort, just north of Loch Leven. While it was formerly a quadrangular enclosure, all is now gone except the keep and the gate and gatehouse of the courtyard. These are loopholed for both guns and musketry in a curious manner, and are exceedingly picturesque. History tells us little about the castle. The most famous owner was Lord Balfour of Burleigh, ambassador of James VI to the Duke of Tuscany and the Duke of Lorraine. He was general of the Scottish forces in 1644 and was defeated by the Marquis of Montrose near Aberdeen. He was also one of the commanders of the parliamentary army which lost the bloody battle of Kilsyth because of the dissensions of its leaders.

Burleigh Castle Scotland

"About a mile north of Lochleven, in this neighbourhood, are several remarkable hollows, which, from their shape, have been denominated the Ships of Burleigh. One of these is distinguished by the designation of Lady Burleigh's Jointure, and tradition thus relates its story. A Lord Burleigh, it seems, had obtained in marriage a lady less enamoured than provident. Her applications for an ample settlement becoming somewhat teasing, his lordship, in rather an angry mood, desired her to attend him early next day, when he would take her to a field not half a mile distant from the castle, and there settle upon her all the lands within her view. Avarice is often credulous, and it was so in this instance. The lady walked forth with elated expectations; but when, from a level road, descending a gentle slope, she was told to look round her, she beheld, with disappointed emotion, only a verdant circle of about fifty yards in diameter, finely horizoned with a lofty cope of azure.


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