Huntingtower Castle, nr Perth
Huntingtower Castle was built in stages from the 15th century by the Clan Ruthven family and was known for several hundred years as the 'House (or 'Place') of Ruthven'.
Mary Queen of Scots visited the castle from 25 to 27 June 1565, and again with her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, from 16 to 17 September 1565 while on their honeymoon.
In the summer of 1582, the castle was occupied by the 4th Lord Ruthven, who was also the 1st Earl of Gowrie, and his family. Gowrie was involved in a plot to kidnap the young King James VI, son of Mary, Queen of Scots. During 1582 Gowrie and his associates seized the young king and held him prisoner for 10 months. This kidnapping is known as the 'Raid of Ruthven' and the Protestant conspirators behind it hoped to gain power through controlling the king. James eventually escaped and actually forgave Gowrie, but after a second abortive attempt by Gowrie and others to overthrow him, Gowrie was finally executed and his property (including Huntingtower) was forfeited to the crown.
The Castle and lands were restored to the Ruthven family in 1586. However in 1600, the brothers John and Alexander Ruthven were implicated in another plot to kill King James VI and were executed. This time, the king was less merciful: as well as seizing the estates, he abolished the name of Ruthven and decreed that any successors would be ineligible to hold titles or lands. Thus the House of Ruthven ceased to exist and by royal proclamation the castle was renamed Huntingtower. The Castle remained in the possession of the crown until 1643 when it was given to the family of Murray of Tullibardine (from whom the Dukes of Atholl and Mansfield are descended).
John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl resided in the Castle, where his wife Lady Mary Ross bore a son 7 February 1717. The Castle began to be neglected and after Lady Mary died in 1767, it was abandoned as a place of residence except by farm labourers.