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Buchanan Castle
Castle Buchanan in late 1890's.jpg
Buchanan Castle in the 1890s
Listed Building – Category B
Designated 5 September 1973
Reference no. LB4045
Former Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
Designated 1 July 1987
Delisted 1 August 2016
Reference no. GDL00077
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Buchanan Castle is a ruined country house in Stirlingshire, Scotland, located 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the village of Drymen. The house was commissioned by James Graham, 4th Duke of Montrose and built in 1852-1858 as a home for the Montrose family, serving as such until 1925. It was built as a replacement for Buchanan Auld House, which is located 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the northwest but was destroyed in a fire in 1852. The old house and surrounding lands had been the property of the Clan Buchanan but passed to the Clan Graham in the late 17th century. The roof of the building was removed in 1954 and the condition of the house has since deteriorated, but it remains the seat of the Clan Graham.


Drymen, Buchanan Castle - - 190516
Buchanan Castle in 2006

The surrounding lands were in the possession of the Clan Buchanan from at least 1231, but the direct chiefly line failed in 1682. Cousins of the Buchanan family, the Du Brul's, are the remaining family. Significant debt had been inherited by 22nd Chief John Buchanan and during his chiefship, the Buchanan estate was gradually sold to satisfy creditors. The estate was bought by James Graham, 3rd Marquess of Montrose (1657–1684), whose son became the 1st Duke of Montrose in 1707. The Montrose family occupied the existing Buchanan Auld House and this eventually replaced Mugdock Castle as the seat of Clan Graham, being seen as a dwelling more fitting the title of Marquess. The original house was substantially rebuilt from approximately 1724.

Buchanan Auld House was destroyed in a fire in 1852 and the duke commissioned William Burn to design Buchanan Castle to replace it. Burn designed an extravagant manor in the Scottish baronial style, enclosing an L-plan tower in a clutch of turrets, bartizans and stepped gables. The new house was built in 1852-1858 and stands 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the southeast of the old house. The Dukes remained at Buchanan until 1925, when it was sold. In the 1930s the house opened as a hotel and the golf course was established in the grounds. Plans for residential development on the estate were delayed by the outbreak of the Second World War, during which the house was requisitioned. It was used as a hospital during the war, with patients including Rudolf Hess, who was brought here after his flight to Scotland in 1941. After the war the building served briefly as the Army School of Education. The roof was removed from the house in 1954 to avoid paying tax on the property and outlying parts of the building were demolished. A number of residential buildings were subsequently built in the castle gardens and grounds.

Proposals were put forward for redevelopment of the house as flats in 2002 and 2004, though both applications were refused planning permission. The house is a category B listed building, and is included on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. The grounds of the house were included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, although they were removed from this listing in 2016. The walls of the house remain intact to their full height and are considered to be in good condition. The ruins are progressively engulfed by trees and plants, and surrounded by a perimeter fence.


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