Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Balgonie Castle - Fife

Balgonie Castle
Balgonie Castle - undergoing restoration

The Tower, the oldest complete intact keep in Fife, was built for Sir Thomas Sibbald of Balgonie and is regarded as one of the finest 14th century towers in Scotland.

Built in Ashlar of the hardest of sandstone, it rises approximately 75 feet to the parapets. The walls on the ground floor are 10.5 feet thick reducing to 6 feet at the top.

The Great Hall is the only room that was never remodelled by the later Lairds and so still retains its original window seats. The Laird's Hall, on the floor above, was remodeled in the 17th century and lost its window seats when the windows were enlarged.

The North Range was built in 1496 for Sir Robert Lundin of Balgonie, leaving a defensive 10 foot gap between this and the Tower. This range is a Hall House in its own right and incorporates an earlier corner tower. This date is so precise as King James IV visited on the 20th of August 1496. He was so impressed by the mason's work that he gave them a gift of 20 shillings.

On the ground floor is the Chapel, complete with furniture saved from redundant churches. Both this and the preceding room are illuminated only by candlelight, creating a tremendously medieval ambience.

The gap between the Tower and Hall House was filled in by a Scale and Platt Tower in 1666. This 'great' stair was built by John Mylne of Balfarg, 7th generation Hereditary King's Master Mason. Vandals destroyed the stone staircase in the 1960s and it later had to be restored in timber.

The Barmkin Wall is over 20 feet high and of two distinct periods. The South Wall is probably sixteenth century, whilst the West Wall is probably fifteenth century. The latter wall also houses the Gatehouse and Prison.

The first recorded Lairds were the Sibbald family. The Sibbalds probably descended from Sybaldi, who flourished in the middle of the 12th century. Sir Duncan Sibbald was living in Balgonie before 1246 (he is later mentioned in a Papal Bull of 1250). The Great Tower was built for Sir Thomas Sibbald of Balgonie, King's Treasurer, around 1360.

In recent years Balgonie Castle has been undergoing a slow but detailed restoration to return it to its former glory, with great effort being made to preserve its unique atmosphere.

A Castle, a Home and a Business

Balgonie Chapel
Balgonie Chapel

Balgonie Castle is a private home and can not offer accommodation. A list of Hotels and Guesthouses is available on request.

Balgonie's Great Hall is the ideal setting for weddings, banquets and receptions, corporate events and parties. In fact the whole Castle is the perfect backdrop for photographs of those unforgettable moments.

Balgonie Castle is within easy travelling distance of the major Scottish cities, less than an hour's drive from Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth and Dundee.

The Castle is also licenced for Civil Weddings. To contact us and to get more information about the history of Balgonie, visit our website (link below). Oh, and did we mention Balgonie Castle has its fair share of resident ghosts

Balgonie Castle is perfect for...

  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Banquets
  • Parties

Added: 27 Feb 2010 Updated: 21 May 2019
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