Ardblair Castle

Ardblair Castle Details

Ardblair Castle, a privately occupied tower house and courtyard of the Blairs dating to the 16th century

  • Closest To: Blairgowrie
  • Access: No Access
  • Grid Reference: NO163445

Ardblair Castle is a privately occupied tower house and courtyard just outside Blairgowrie. Dating to the 16th century, Ardblair was built for the Blair family of Balthayock, who were involved in many local feuds at the time.

The castle sits on an area of slightly higher land which jutted out into a loch in the medieval period, but is now marshland, known as the Moss of Ardblair. It may have replaced an earlier castle on a mound a short distance to the east; if so this was also a Blair foundation; the family owned a substantial portion of the parish of Blairgowrie. The old tower of Ardblair sits at the north-western corner of the courtyard, and is therefore on the main frontage. Made up of two offset blocks, this part of the castle is 16th century, and ranges of buildings of later date can be found on all four sides of the courtyard – even hiding (flat-roofed) behind the 1668 gateway. An ornate niche above the entrance doorway now contains no armorial panel, and the doorway itself is also richly carved. The castle was extended to the south-east first, in the 17th century, and probably remodelled in the 1660s with new extensions, and perhaps the new courtyard gateway also dates to this time.

The Blairs of Ardblair continued in the male line until 1769, when James Blair left two daughters to succeed him. The first died childless and was succeeded by her niece in 1804. The heiress, Christian, was married to Laurence Oliphant of Gask, and their descendants remain living in the house to this day. It is not open to the public.

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