- We are currently closed for the winter season and will re-open on 28th March 2024
Over 19 generations the Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl have been adventurers and politicians, Jacobites and Royalists, entrepreneurs and agriculturists, soldiers and scholars. They have made fortunate marriages and have almost all in one way or another made their mark on Blair Castle.
The paintings, furniture and other contents of the rooms in Blair Castle reflect the lives, history and interests of the dukes of Atholl. Few of them went on the grand tour around Europe, so popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and those who did seemed to have little inclination or perhaps no means by which to send home foreign treasures. One might think more’s the pity, but the story built up by the furnishings and paintings, collected over the years, gives today’s visitor a rather more personal insight into castle life.
In 1872, The 7th Duke commissioned the Scottish architect, David Bryce, to design a Baronial entrance hall. This was part of the Duke’s scheme to convert the Georgian mansion back to a castle.
The weapon display includes targes (shields) and muskets which were used at the Battle of Culloden.
The Dining Room was converted from the 16th century Great Hall by the second Duke as he turned the old castle into a Georgian mansion house. Thomas Clayton’s plasterwork can be seen here and throughout much of the castle.
The Drawing Room ceiling is one of the finest in Scotland.
The furniture includes Louis XVI gilt chairs and settees by Chipchase with embroidered covers by the 3rd Duchess and her family. The Bulloch cabinets are made from estate larch.
The Mortlake Tapestries that line this room belonged to King Charles I and were sold by Cromwell after the King’s execution. Discovered in Paris and purchased by the 1st Duke, they were brought to Blair Castle.
The great William and Mary State Bed is hung with fine silks made by the Huguenot silk dressers of Spitalfields. It was brought to Blair Castle from Holyrood Palace by the 1st Duke who had an apartment there as Lord Privy Seal to the Scottish Parliament, until he was sent home under house arrest for opposing the Act of Union.
Commissioned by the 7th Duke, the Ballroom was designed by David Bryce for the Atholl Highlanders. The celebrated fiddler, Niel Gow was closely associated with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dukes and his portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn, his chair and fiddle are displayed on the stage.
The Ballroom hosts many Highland balls, wedding receptions, corporate hospitality and private dinners, as well as the Atholl Highlanders’ annual ball.