It can best be described as a strategically important castle developed over four centuries between the 1200s and the 1600s, with an 1800s stately home wrapped around it. The castle began as a fortification in the 13th century and has additions made in 1544, 1588 and 1652 by the Hamiltons, who owned it from 1503. It was given to them by their cousin James IV along with the Earldom of Arran. Cromwell’s soldiers occupied the castle in 1648 during the Civil War and extended it further.
Today, the beautiful gardens and the country-park stretch from the shore to the highest peak on Arran. Its famous rhododendron collection is a riot of color in spring; and its walled garden dates to 1710. Several intriguing structures like the Bavarian Summer House with its exterior of tree roots and the interior decorated with fir cones, the Ice house with a turf roof are seen in the gardens. The country park rolls into wildflower meadows and its trails lead you through the woods to gushing waterfalls, gorges and ponds for local wildlife.
Overall, Brodick Castle offers visitors a remarkably complete example of a stately home to enjoy, plus some excellent gardens and a country park. It is no surprise to find it is one of the major visitor attractions on the Isle of Arran.
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