Castle Leod is a stunning imposing early 17th century tower house set manicured lawns backed by ancient trees. It is located not far from the road along a formal tree lined driveway. The entrance is flanked by gun loops in the newer part of the tower.
The site is very ancient as the mound upon which the castle was built was a pictish fort, which was later replaced by the Norse Earls with a stone keep by Leod or his kinsman, Jarl Olaf.
~ History ~
1500 ~ The keep is held by Clan Mackenzie.
1610 ~ The keep is demolished, and a new tower house is built by Sir Roderick Mackenzie.
1703 ~ George, Sir Roderick's grandson, is created Viscount Tarbat, then Earl of Cromartie, before becoming Lord Advocate for Scotland and then Secretary of State.
1746 ~ George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl, is forfeited of his estates for his part in the Jacobite Rising. The Mackenzies had fought at the Battle of Falkirk, but the Earl and his son were surprised and captured at Dunrobin Castle the same year.
The Earl is imprisoned in the Tower of London and sentenced to death. He does however get a remission three years later, before dying in poverty.
The castle and estate are eventually recovered by his son.
1854 ~ A wing is added to the castle, and the title is later recovered seven years later when Anne Hay Mackenzie is made Countess of Cromartie in her own right.