OUTLANDER Links, Part V: Castles and Palaces

One of the things that fascinates me about the OUTLANDER books is the detailed descriptions of places that I have never seen in real life. Here is a collection of links featuring famous places described in the books. Except for Versailles (which I saw on a trip to France almost 25 years ago), I have never seen any of these places myself. I'm still hoping to be able to visit Scotland some day!

1) Castle Leod - This castle, which belongs to the MacKenzie clan, is the one described in the OUTLANDISH COMPANION:

Among the scenes of Highland beauty and massed MacKenzies were several photographs of the clan seat--Castle Leod.

"You're kidding!" I said, seeing this. "You mean there is a place called Leod?"

They were surprised at this, having assumed that I not only knew about Castle Leod, but had seen it, since the description in Outlander matched the reality so well.

"Well, I have seen it," I said. "But not in a photograph."

(From The Outlandish Companion, by Diana Gabaldon, p. 343. Copyright© 1999 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

2) Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC - Built by Governor William Tryon of North Carolina as the colonial governor's residence; evacuated by Governor Josiah Martin in 1775.

They'd finished the place, and very nicely, too. William Tryon, the previous governor, had built the Governor's Palace, but had been sent to New York before construction had been finished. Now the enormous brick edifice with its graceful spreading wings was complete, even to the lawns and ivy beds that lined the drive, though the stately trees that would eventually surround it were mere saplings.

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 92 ("Amanuensis"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

3) Beauly Priory - The priory attached to Beaufort Castle, where Claire meets Maisri the seer.

There was a small chapel in Beaufort Castle, to serve the devotional uses of the Earl and his family, but Beauly Priory, ruined as it was, remained the burying place of the Lovats, and the floor of the open-roofed chancel was paved thick with the flat tombstones of those who lay under them.

(From Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 41 ("The Seer's Curse"). Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

4) Beaufort Castle - Ancestral home of the Frasers of Lovat

We rode unchallenged into the courtyard of Beaufort Castle, a small edifice as castles went, but sufficiently imposing, for all that, built of the native stone. Not so heavily fortified as some of the castles I had seen to the south, it looked still capable of withstanding a certain amount of abrasion. Wide-mouthed gun-holes gaped at intervals along the base of the outer walls, and the keep still boasted a stable opening onto the courtyard.

(From Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 40 ("The Fox's Lair"). Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

5) Rose Hall, Jamaica - All right, this isn't precisely a castle or a palace, but I couldn't resist including this link, because it refers to the legend of the White Witch.
6) Holyrood Palace - This is the palace where Jamie and Claire lived for a few weeks during Charles Stuart's return to Edinburgh in the fall of 1745. It's also the place where Colum MacKenzie died.

The long, high-ceilinged room with its two vast fireplaces and towering windows had been the scene of frequent balls and parties since Charles's triumphant entry into Edinburgh in September. Now, crowded with the luminaries of Edinburgh's upper class, all anxious to do honor to their Prince--once it appeared that he might actually win--the room positively glittered.

(From Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 37 ("Holyrood"). Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

7) And of course we can't forget Versailles
8) Finally, to put all these places in their proper context, take a look at Jari Backman's GoogleEarth OUTLANDER page, where you can download a file that lets you view the various places mentioned in the books in their proper locations around the world. Great job, Jari!

If you find these links interesting, check out my previous "OUTLANDER Links" blog entries:

OUTLANDER Links, Part 14: 18th Century Clothing
OUTLANDER Links, Part 13: Plants and Herbs
OUTLANDER Links, Part 12: Standing Stones
OUTLANDER Links, Part 11: Science and Technology
OUTLANDER Links, Part 10: Weaponry
OUTLANDER Links, Part 9: Historical Events
OUTLANDER Links, Part 8: 18th Century Medicine
OUTLANDER Links, Part VII: Gemstones
OUTLANDER Links, Part VI: Wildlife
OUTLANDER Links, Part IV: Native Americans
OUTLANDER Links, Part III: All Things Scottish
OUTLANDER Links, Part II: Colonial North Carolina
OUTLANDER Links, Part I: Culloden
What Do These Things Look Like?


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Thanks for these links (I posted in one of your earlier links, not realizing I wasn't posting in this one!) I love being able to see what these places all look like from the books. I wish there was an overhead view of Castle Leod (like the one of Beaufort) to really get an idea of the size and scope of the castle. Someday, I'll see if for myself... someday.

Karen Henry said...

Hi Julie!

I'm glad you like these links. If anybody else out there has a better view of Castle Leod, please feel free to post the link here.

That's what I keep telling myself, too. Someday.


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Kristina said...


Thanks for the virtual tour!

Ah -- someday with my own two feet... :)


Karen Henry said...

Jari, the link on the sidebar to your site should work now. Sorry about that!


Jari Backman said...

Dear Karen,

No problem and thank you for adding it. It is an honor.

Your sequel of Outlander links starts to be quite impressive and this might just be a start.

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