Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle frontside

Cawdor is a very fine castle with an ancient keep built around 1380 at its core and is surrounded by lesser wings and three courtyards.

Cawdor Castle History

Cawdor Castle-Drawbridge

The vaulted ground floor of the tower still has the remains of a holly tree that grew on the site, and tradition says this is where the builder’s donkey lay down to rest, thus choosing the tower’s location. The keep rises to four main stories, with crenelated parapet and corner turrets.

Entry to the Cawdor Castle is made across a drawbridge. The drawing room (great hall) has a minstrel gallery and many family portraits. The Tapestry Room has fine Flemish tapestries dated 1682. They depict Noah and his family.

The Yellow, Woodcock, and Pink Rooms follow, all sumptuously furnished. The Tartan Passage contains old needlework and a model of the sailing ship Victory.

Off the vaulted Thorn Room is the old dungeon which, when it was discovered in 1979, contained nine tons of rubble. The gate came from Lochindorb Castle. The front stair leads to the dining room and its heraldic fireplace of 1510.

When the stone for this was being brought across the drawbridge it collapsed, injuring 24 men. In this room is preserved a bronze bell of the 9th century, found at Barevan Church.

Cawdor Castle Heraldic Panel

A modern kitchen of 1971 is followed by the original vaulted kitchen, complete with a large well and copper utensils. The former larder has an unusual tricycle, fire engine, and other relics, many of them from the Victorian period.

In the courtyard, there is a well-stocked bookshop. To the south of the castle are the flowers and wild gardens, and to the north the old walled garden, with a modern maze.

The Calders, Thanes of that Ilk held the lands of “Calder”, until 1510 when they passed by marriage of the then heiress, Muriel, to Sir John Campbell.

The Campbells still own the estate and were created Earls of Cawdor in 1827.

Cawdor Castle Location

Address: Cawdor Castle, Nairn, IV12 5RD, United Kingdom. Get help with directions using the map provided below:

Cawdor Castle Map

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