Culcreuch Castle is a fine imposing former fortalice located in an impressive setting in the Campsie Fells near Stirling in Central Scotland. Overlooking the larger of its private lochs, surrounded by parkland grounds and exotic trees and with the steeply wooded hillside behind, it has stood for the first four centuries of its life as the ancestral home of the Clan Galbraith. For the last three centuries it has been a prestigious family home prior to being converted into a country house hotel in 1984/5.
The main part of the Castle comprises a Mediaeval Tower with a Georgian wing added later.
The earliest parts date from the time of Maurice Galbraith (circa 1320), the Tower being completed by James Galbraith (10th Chief) by 1460. The walls are over 5' 6" thick in places.
The old Tower is rectangular in plan, 41ft. 2ins. by 28ft. 6ins. It contains three storeys and an attic, and its height to the top is 42ft. 6ins.
It is built of loopy limestone quarried on the Estate, with dressed quoins. The walls are topped by a parapet and a chequered corbel course under a slate roof.
The front wing was built in the first half of the 18th century and rises to the same height as the Tower with four storeys. Built of stone under a slate roof it exactly matches the original Tower.
Internally Culcreuch Castle has many fine features including a remarkable Bottle Dungeon, so called as the bottle shape meant a prisoner could not lie down, an Aumbry (normally only seen in ancient monasteries) and in the Chinese Bird Room hand painted oriental wall paper that dates from 1723.
There are also a number of magnificent fire places as well as superb panelling in The Oak Room.
The basement (on ground level) contains two barrel vaulted cellars, originally lit by window-slits, now converted to form the cosy Dungeon Bar/Diner.
At the entrance to the Dungeon Restaurant (the original entrance to the old Tower) is what remains of an old wheel staircase climbing to the height of the first floor - the stairs to the upper floors having being removed when the Tower was extended.
The first floor of the old Tower is one large space - the original Laird's Hall now used as a breakfast room, for meetings, and as a private dining room.
The front wing containing the Main Entrance, together with the impressive wide newel staircase which climbs all four floors, was added in the 18th century.
Two rear wings – one abutting the rear of the Tower and the other which includes a pepper-pot tower - were later additions.
The second floor of the old Tower consists of two bedrooms, one being the Chinese Bird Room, as does the third floor attic which has another two bedrooms.