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A noble residenceEdzell Castle is enchanting. The red sandstone castle walls, set amid pleasing green parkland, conjure up an image of a noble bygone age. Medieval society was not all fighting and feuding. Everyday lordly life in late-medieval rural Scotland is more readily understood at Edzell than at most castles.
The ‘lichtsome’ LindsaysThe Lindsays were a gifted, turbulent and tragic noble family. They were known as the ‘lichtsome [carefree] Lindsays’. Their head became Earl of Crawford and one of the most powerful men in the realm. In the mid-1400s David, the 3rd Earl, made Edzell a separate inheritance for his younger son, Walter, and the castle remained with this junior branch for the rest of its days as a Lindsay residence.
The ‘great garden’The family’s greatest building achievement at Edzell was the wonderful walled garden. It was added by the 9th Earl’s son, David, Lord Edzell, in 1604. The present garden layout was recreated in the 1930s. However, the garden’s most arresting and original features are its four enclosing walls, which display a series of unique carved panels. These portray the Seven Cardinal Virtues, the Seven Liberal Arts and the Seven Planetary Deities. Sir David’s intention was clearly to provide a stimulus both for the mind and the senses. His garden is unique in Europe and gives the castle a distinctive place in the art history of the European Renaissance.