Castle Leod

Castle Leod, the home of the Earl of Cromartie, Caberfeidh Chief of Clan Mackenzie, is open to the public several times a year.

It is the oldest intact castle in Britain, built on the site of a very ancient Pictish fort in about the 12th Century. This magnificent, compact, L-Plan tower house was the result of the extending and remodelling of the earlier castle, the work being carried out around 1606 by Sir Roderick Mackenzie, the 17th century family founder of the Earls of Cromarty (later Cromartie).

An additional section was later added to accommodate a larger staircase and extra bedrooms. A single-storey addition to the east and low wing to the north were added in 1851, with a two-storey west wing being added to the latter in 1874. Some rebuilding of these wings took place in 1904, with a further extension added in 1912. This Victorian and Edwardian part of Castle Leod is occupied by the present Earl of Cromartie, his wife and family.

Castle Leod boasts effective defensive measures such as walls seven to eight feet thick, iron grilles still remaining on some lower windows, and a copious supply of splayed gun loops and arrow-slit windows.

The grounds have some magnificent trees.