Tulliallan Castle

A castellated Tudor-Gothic mansion, Tulliallan Castle lies a quarter-mile (0.4 km) northeast of Kincardine in W Fife. Now the home of the Scottish Police College and the ceremonial and corporate headquarters for Police Scotland, the castle was built 1817-20 on the site of an earlier house for Admiral Lord Keith (1746 - 1823) by English architect William Atkinson (1774 - 1839), who had previously constructed Scone Palace for the Earl of Mansfield. The castle comprises a three-storey main block, with slender octagonal turrets at each corner and two-storey wings set back to the rear. The entrance is at the rear through a fine porte-cochère. Keith bought the estate in 1798, having spent much of his career fighting Napoleon. It is said that French prisoners of war were used amongst the workforce. The grounds were landscaped in the style of the Palace of Versailles by Keith's eldest daughter and once contained numerous specimen trees, shrub borders and Rhododendrons, together with fountains, statuary and an Italian-style Knot Garden. In 1901 the estate was acquired by Sir James Sivewright who added to the gardens and buildings, including the Arts & Crafts-style lodge and grand entrance gates. In 1923, the castle was sold to Colonel Alexander Mitchell of Luscar (1871 - 1934). During World War II, Tulliallan became the Scottish Headquarters of the Free Polish Army. Trees were planted in the grounds by Polish President Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz (1885 - 1947) and Prime Minister Wladyslaw Sikorski (1881 - 1943), and Polish symbols remain prominent in the house.

Tulliallan was purchased in 1950 from Sir Harold Mitchell, a politician and 1st Baronet Mitchell of Tulliallan, by the Scottish Home Department for £9100. The building was extended, modernised and restored to become the Scottish Police College. Following a further refurbishment, it became the headquarters for the newly-established Police Scotland in 2013.

Inside, the castle is well maintained and features rib-vaulted plaster ceilings in several rooms, together with fine oak and marble chimney-pieces. Several classroom and accommodation blocks were constructed in the grounds, unfortunately destroying parts of the fine gardens. A 1-ha (2.5-acre) walled garden, which appears on William Roy's map of 1750 and thus predates the current castle, partially remains in use for the cultivation of flowers, bedding plants and salad crops, with the remainder surfaced as a car park. A further 18th-century remnant is the lectern doo-cot. The mid-19th century stables were converted to form a driving school in 1964.

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