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Cowden Castle

The remains of a 14th Century castle, Cowden Castle lies just to the north of the A 91 trunk road, 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Dollar in NE Clackmannanshire. A 16th Century archway survives.

The castle was once owned by the Bishops of St. Andrews. A later mansion on the site was the home of the Christie family, but was demolished in 1952. However the remains of fine 1.6 ha (4 acre) Japanese garden, called Shah-rak-uen or "place of pleasure and delight" can still be seen. This was laid out by explorer and travel writer Isabella Christie between 1907 and 1930. It was described as "the best Japanese garden in the western world" and visited by Queen Mary in the late 1930s. However it was all but destroyed by vandals in the 1960s and, while maintained, has not been restored to its former glory.

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