Dunnottar Castle is a truly breath taking ancient monument steeped in history. In the 5th century the rock of Dunnottar became the home of one of St. Ninian's many churches. Between the 9th and 17th centuries the castle was fought over many times. For three centuries it was held by the Keith family who were Grand Marischals of Scotland.
Sir William Keith fortified the castle rock and brought Papal wrath on his head for violating hallowed ground. His excommunication from the church however was later revoked. In 1297 William Wallace burned alive an English Plantaganet garrison which was holding the castle. In 1562 and 1564, Mary Queen of Scots visited Dunnottar. The Scottish crown regalia which had been sent to Dunnottar for safekeeping, were smuggled out during a siege by Cromwell's Roundheads in 1650 and held safe further south at Kinneff Church, hidden under the crypt.
In 1685, over 167 Covenanters were imprisoned in terrible conditions. The Whigs vault where these men and women were kept can be seen today as it was then. After the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and 1745, the property was fortified but later fell into disrepair.