Cawdor Castle is steeped in intrigue and history.
Cawdor Castle dates from the late 14th century, built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. An ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree.
The early Thanes of Calder – an old spelling of the place name – were appointed Sheriffs and Hereditary Constables of the royal castle of Nairn. This fortification, founded by William the Lion in 1179 was sited to command the ford over the river Nairn near the sea.
That castle has since vanished without trace. The family had another residence at Old Calder which, according to the Exchequer accounts, was last repaired in 1398. Again, not much remains of that building apart from faint crop-marks.
It was at this time that the building of the present Cawdor Castle began.
A new, more efficient site was chosen. The imposing, rectangular tower-house consisted of four storeys and a garret with one entrance to the outside world. Positioned on the upper first floor level; the perfect design to keep out unwelcome visitors. Look out for the original position of the Keep, walled up now and originally reached by wooden stairs.
Still home to the Cawdor family to this day and lovingly filled with beautiful furniture, fine portraits, intriguing objects and amazing tapestries the Castle has evolved for over 600 years.
We believe Cawdor Castle is a truly extraordinary place. Whether you are exploring one of the three gardens, adventuring in Cawdor Big Wood or putting on our nine-hole golf course, we hope Cawdor Castle will fill you with happy memories.