Crathes Castle is a 16th-century castle near Banchory in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. This harled castle was built by the Burnetts of Leys and was held in that family for almost 400 years. The castle and grounds are presently owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland and are open to the public.
The castle contains a significant collection of portraits, and intriguing original Scottish renaissance painted ceilings survive in several Jacobean rooms: the Chamber of the Muses, the Chamber of Nine Worthies and the Green Lady's Room. The last of these is said to be haunted by a green lady. A green smoke or mist is said to have been seen by visitors. The ancient jewelled ivory residing in the great hall above the fireplace, was given to the Burnetts by the king along with the castle grounds in 1323.
Garden and Grounds:
The castle estate contains 530 acres (2.1 km²) of woodlands and fields, including nearly four acres (16,000 m²) of walled garden. Within the walled garden are gravel paths with surrounding specimen plants mostly in herbaceous borders. Many of the plants are labelled with taxonomic descriptions. There is also a grass croquet court at a higher terraced level within the walled garden. Ancient topiary hedges of Irish yew dating from 1702 separate the gardens into eight themed areas. Crathes and its grounds are open to tourists throughout the year. A visitors centre provides information about the castle and its surroundings. There is a tea shop on site and a car park for any size of car.