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The Chatelaine's Scottish Castles

Claypotts Castle

near Dundee

Claypotts Castle is located close to houses right in the suburbs 1 mile north-west of Broughty Ferry, near Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. The building is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland and is no longer open to the public. It can be viewed from the exterior though.

This is a peculiar-looking building, but a good example of a Z-plan tower house - a rectangular block with round towers at two of the diagonally opposite corners. Claypotts was not so much built as a defensive structure but a dwelling as it has only a few defensive features. Two turnpike stairs - one for the family, one for the staff - can be seen in the angles created by the towers. The domestic stair runs right from ground level to the attic, quite an unusual arrangement. The towers are fairly plain until they reach the square garret chambers perched at the top. They bear the dates 1569-88 which is presumably when they were constructed. The arms and initials of the owner, John Strachan, are also represented.

In 1601, the Strachan family moved out and sold the castle to Sir William Graham of Ballunie who owned land in the region. His son David was possibly the last owner to actually live at the castle. After the battle of Killicrankie, the castle and land reverted to the State and were granted to James, second Marquis of Douglas in whose family it remained for centuries, passing into the Homes family by marriage.

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