This bold medieval keep may look forbidding but inside it's full of art and riches not to mention intriguing tales. The tower dates back to the 14th century and was built to guard a strategically important ferry crossing on the nearby River Forth.
It became the ancestral seat of the Erskine family, the Earls of Mar and Kellie. This family have played a pivotal part in Scotland's history through the centuries and were loyal supporters of the Stuart monarchs. Mary, Queen of Scots and her son, James VI, both spent part of their childhood here under the guardianship of the Erskine family. Alloa Tower was lavishly updated by John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, who created an 18th-century mansion within the ancient walls.
Take a whistle-stop tour through Scottish history at Scotland’s oldest keep. Alloa Tower retains many medieval features. Look out for the stone well on the first floor, built into the tower walls; the magnificent beamed ceiling in the Solar; and, for those on the trail of grislier history, the dungeon, which is thought to be even older than the tower. The marvellous Italianate staircase and art collection are highlights of the 18th-century remodelling.
During your visit, you’ll hear tales of curses, ghosts, fortunes and titles lost and regained, and the building’s ruin, rescue and restoration.