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Loch Leven Castle

From Academic Kids

Loch Leven Castle is a castle on an island at in Loch Leven in the Perth and Kinross region of Scotland.

Constructed in the 13th century by the invading English, the original small stone keep had a strategically important position between the towns of Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth. It was captured by the Scots before the century ended, possibly by the forces of William Wallace. English forces laid siege to the castle in 1301. The castle was saved in the same year when the siege was broken by John Comyn. King Robert the Bruce is known to have visited it in 1313 and again in 1323. Following Bruce's death, it was besieged once more in 1335, this time by English forces in support of Edward Balliol. It was successfully defended by Alan de Cipont.

The castle was fortified in the mid 14th century by King David II, who added a tower house. A larger square keep of five storeys was added at the start of the 15th century. The castle was granted to the Douglas family in 1372 by King Robert II. In 1675 it was bought from the Douglas family by Sir William Bruce who built nearby Kinross House. Loch Leven Castle fell into ruin in the 18th century.

The castle has served as a royal gaol on several occasions. Most famously, Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned within the Glassin Tower from the summer of 1567 by Sir William Douglas. She escaped on May 2 1568 with the help of his youngest son, but only after miscarrying her twin sons and signing abdication papers. Other prisoners include Robert Stewart, the future King Robert II, in 1369, Archibald the 5th Earl in the first half of the 15th century and Patrick Graham the Archbishop of St. Andrews in the second half.

Today, it can be reached by a ferry operated from Kinross by Historic Scotland during the summer months.

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