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Huntingtower pays tribute to a great Jacobite leader

30 September 2010

The life and times of Jacobite commander Lord George Murray will be celebrated at his birthplace – the delightful Huntingtower Castle, just outside Perth - on Sunday 10th October.  

Historical re-enactors in period costume will be sharing tales of the exploits of Murray, a fascinating character who was born in 1694 and is most noted for his 1745 campaign under Bonnie Prince Charlie.  In addition to gaining an insight into Murray’s life, visitors will be able to see demonstrations of the weaponry of the period.

                Re-enactors at Huntingtower Castle

Monument manager Emily Copland says: “Murray was a fervent supporter of the Jacobite cause; at the age of 21 he defied his father’s wishes to join the Jacobite rebels under the Earl of Mar, and he went on to become an important commander of the Jacobite forces.  

“He was a brilliant campaign and battle strategist but his proposals were not always appreciated or accepted by Prince Charles Stuart.  Following the Rebellion’s failure, some commentators of the time noted that if the Prince had given Murray free rein and allowed him to fulfil his plans, Charles Stuart would have been successful in his efforts to win the crown of Great Britain.

“When the Prince abandoned his cause, he dismissed Murray from his service and later refused to meet his loyal supporter when Murray travelled to Paris to see him in 1747.  Murray lived on the continent for the rest of his before he died in Holland in 1760.”

The 10th October look at Murray’s life takes place at Huntingtower Castle from 11am to 4pm and is included in the cost of admission to the attraction (Adult £4.20, Child £2.50, Concession £3.40 and free to Historic Scotland members).

On the same day, activities for the nationwide Big Draw art initiative will be taking place in the castle’s Education Room, and visitors of all ages will be invited to get creative, drawing pictures of Jacobites and scenes from the life of Lord George Murray.


  • Huntingtower Castle is situated just west of Perth, off the A85 to Crieff.  Postcode PH1 3JL. Tel: 01738 627231.

  • Huntingtower Castle was a lordly residence for 300 years, from the 15th to the 18th century. It is associated with two noble families: the Ruthvens (later earls of Gowrie) and, following their downfall in 1600, the Murrays (earls of Tullibardine and later dukes of Atholl). Prior to 1600, Huntingtower was known as the Place of Ruthven. The castle has hosted some famous visitors and been associated with some dramatic events.  Mary Queen of Scots stayed here in 1565, during her honeymoon with Lord Darnley.  In 1582, Mary’s son, James VI, was held here against his will by the 1st Earl of Gowrie, in a famous episode known as the ‘Ruthven Raid’. With the downfall of the 3rd Earl in 1600, in an equally bizarre episode called the ‘Gowrie Conspiracy’, the Ruthvens were disinherited and their forfeited castle was renamed Huntingtower.  

  • Huntingtower comprises two fine and complete tower houses.  Despite alterations in the later 17th century, the castle retains real treasures from its medieval past. These include one of the oldest painted ceilings surviving in Scotland, and exquisite fragments of wall frescoes.

  • Huntingtower Castle is just one of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757