This includes over 15 historic houses, 10 castles, a palace, and many more properties relating to the industry, commerce and agriculture of Scotland's history. Below is an introduction and links to some of our most interesting properties.
CastlesScotland has a rich diversity of impressive historic castles, many of which are in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
Perhaps the most impressive is the outstanding Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, which lies facing the sea and surrounded by its nearly 600 acres of country park. The castle was transformed from a modest tower house into a neoclassical mansion as the final masterpiece of the famous 18th century Scottish architect Robert Adam.
Brodie Castle, east of Inverness is a 16th century tower house with 17th and 19th century additions. The castle contains unusual plaster ceilings, as well as a major art collection, porcelain and fine furniture.
16 miles west of Aberdeen, is Castle Fraser, one of the grandest Castles of Mar and the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland. This magnificent building was completed in 1636 by two master mason families, and contains a wealth of delights including an evocative Great Hall, fine furniture and paintings.
HousesThe Trust cares for many houses across Scotland ranging from the large and elegant Pollok House in Greater Glasgow down to the modest vernacular cruck frame cottage of Moirlanich Longhouse. The wooden cruck frame of the cottage was once a common alternative in Scotland because of the availability of local timber. The cottage survives as a very rare example of the Scottish longhouse, a type of building in which a family and their livestock lived under one roof.
One of Scotland’s most famous houses is Holmwood House in Glasgow. This small yet exquisite architectural gem is the work of Glasgow’s greatest Victorian architect, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. Built as a villa for a local mill owner in the mid-19th century, visitors can see the restoration work on Thomson’s rich neo-classical ornamentation and decoration as well as admire the beautiful and highly experimental architecture of its age. To read a detailed case study about the history of Holmwood House, and its restoration, click here to download Caring for Scotland’s heritage – Holmwood House (PDF).
Industry, Agriculture and CommerceAs well as castles and houses, the Trust cares for a number of properties that represent a broad cross-section of Scotland’s heritage. The Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot near North Berwick are a collection of attractive stone buildings dating back from the 18th century including a water-driven meal mill that has existed there for four centuries. Visitors can see the working mechanisms of the mill and discover about the people who lived and worked in the mill.
Near Glamis is the Angus Folk Museum set in a restored 19th century ‘Glenisla’ hearse that contains one of Scotland’s finest folk collections of over 500 artefacts. The buildings and the fascinating exhibits provide a vivid insight into the lives of a typical Scottish rural workforce in the 19th century.
For a complete list of the Trust's properties or to plan a visit, click here.