Books, Characters, Highland Menage, Highland Menage (16th century Scotland), Historical Reference, Location, Research, Scotland

King’s Pawn castles: Claypotts and Calltuin

Claypotts Castle, by Viv Morston, Lilliput Lane TM

Claypotts Castle, by Viv Morston, Lilliput Lane TM

Isabel Graham is determined to marry anyone other than Roderick Graham, the arrogant son of her distant uncle and guardian, Laird Graham of Duchray Castle.

She’s been told she has nothing to her name and, as the ward of King James VI, is a mere pawn of the king.

She cannot understand why Roderick wishes to marry her until he informs her she will inherit her beloved Calltuin Castle and the hazel groves surrounding it.

Of course, once she is married her husband will take ownership of Calltuin and her body.

When Tearlach and Rory MacDougal show up she takes her future in her own hands and seduces them…

Back view, showing the Z-plan layout, many windows, and two overhanging garrets

Back view, showing the Z-plan layout and many windows and overhanging garrets to the north and south

I moved the very real Claypotts Castle from Dundee to the Trossach Hills as Isabel needed to be in a place far from casual travelers.

Calltuin is far different than the MacDougal’s Duncladach Castle, seventy miles away on the west coast. It could fit inside Duncladach’s curtain wall.

Finished in 1588, Calltuin was built as a home rather than a fortress. As the floor plans show, it has many fireplaces, lots of windows, and few defenses. It also has one of the first private toilets in Scotland — a cupboard with a chamber pot.

Floor plan of Claypotts/ Calltuin Castle

Floor plan of Claypotts/ Calltuin Castle

There is a wealth of information on Claypotts and the people who lived there. John Strachan’s will, dated 1594, mentions Janet Wilkie, who’d been with the family for some time. The names of the plowmen and shepherd are also real.

For more information on Claypotts Castle visit Historic Scotland’s excellent site and this document (remove the extra spaces to link) www. historic-scotland. gov. uk/ investigating-claypotts-castle .pdf

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