Passing between the colunms, immediately on your right is the 'Lodge'
(I have spent many happy and enjoyable holidays here over the years
and Mrs Maclaren always makes me feel at home). Continuing down the
drive (there is a row of trees on both sides) you come to the
Gatehouse which is built over the River Ardle.
Above the archway is a small house, currently occupied, Built in a mock Gothic/Scottish Baronial style. As you go under the archway there is other features to look for, such as the garderobe, or privy, stalactites growing down from the lintels of the window apertures and stalagmites up from the sills. Good views up and down the river can be seen from the 'windows'. The unique design and quality of the stonework merits its designation as a Class 'A' listed building.
The gatehouse was built about 1856 by Patrick Alan Fraser, who also extended and modernized the ancient tower house (the castle) which you can see by taking the road to the left just beyond the bridge (the right turning takes you to the foresters cottages up the hillside).
The stonework of the additions to the castle is distinct from that of the old tower but a good 'match', and the whole edifice is very impressive as you can see from the photo (below).
The coat of arms on the east gable may be that of the Maxwells who were in possession in 1550.
Blackcraig Castle was the seat of the Barony of Balmachreuchie
The castle has its own gardens with pathways which meander down to the riverside.
We have always been warmly welcomed by, the now owner, Mrs MacLaren.