Doune Castle in winter
Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scots, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert's stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and the whole castle was traditionally thought of as the result of a single period of construction at this time. The castle passed to the crown in 1425, when Albany's son was executed and was used as a royal hunting lodge and dower house. In the later 16th century, Doune became the property of the Earls of Moray. The castle saw military action during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and Glencairn's rising in the mid-17th century and during the Jacobite risings of the late 17th century and 18th century. By 1800 the castle was ruined, but restoration works were carried out in the 1880s, prior to its passing into state care in the 20th century. It is now maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.
The castle was used as a location in MGM's 1952 historical film Ivanhoe, which featured Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. The BBC adaptation of Ivanhoe in 1996 also featured Doune as a location. The castle was used as a set for Winterfell in the first season of the TV series Game of Thrones (2011–2019), an adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R. R. Martin.
The castle depicted the fictional "Castle Leoch" in the TV adaptation of the Outlander series of novels.
The castle was also used as a location in Outlaw King, a 2018 historical action drama film about Robert the Bruce, the 14th-century Scottish king who launched a guerrilla war against the larger English army.
The British comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail – a parody of the legends of King Arthur by the Monty Python team – was filmed there in 1974.
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