See inside Callendar House, the 14th-century Scottish mansion where 'Outlander' was filmed


The exterior of Callendar House in Falkirk, Scotland.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderCallendar House in Falkirk, Scotland, was a filming location for 'Outlander' season two.The mansion dates back to the 14th century and was home to the powerful Livingston family.Callendar House is now a free tourist attraction and wedding venue, showcasing its rich history.Fans of "Outlander" can visit an ancient Scottish mansion where part of the series was filmed — and it won't cost a penny.Callendar House in Falkirk, Scotland, was used as a filming location in season two of the historical drama series.But the building's cultural and historical significance stretches beyond the TV show. Dating back to the 14th century, Callendar House was once home to the Livingston family, one of the most powerful noble families in Scotland.Alexander, the 5th Lord Livingston, was appointed guardian of Mary, Queen of Scots, after her birth in 1542. The royal visited Callendar House on many occasions, and she was close friends with Alexander's daughter, also named Mary.These days, Callendar House is a free tourist attraction and private event venue. I took a tour and was amazed by the building's beauty.I spent a day exploring Callendar House, a 14th-century stately home known for its connection to Mary, Queen of Scots and "Outlander."The author pictured outside Callendar House.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe mansion was built near the site of the Antonoine Wall in Callendar Park, which the Romans constructed in the 2nd century AD.Callendar House.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe wall stretches 36.5 miles across Scotland and was built mostly out of layers of turf. According to an exhibition I viewed at Callendar House, around 9,000 Roman soldiers were involved with the construction.Though traces of the wall are visible in other parts of the country, it wasn't clearly visible at Callendar Park. The mansion was home to the Livingston family from the 14th century until the 18th century.Callendar House.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderCallendar House was built by William de Livingston in the 14th century, according to an exhibition I viewed during my visit.Though initially built as a tower house for defense purposes, it was also home to the Livingston family for four centuries. The building is free to visit. Upon entering, you will find a gift shop with postcards, books, and children's toys.The entrance and gift shop.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThere were several "Outlander" inspired gifts, including books about the making of the show. Books about "Outlander" in the gift shop.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe mansion has more than 15 rooms across three floors. The main hallway and staircase leading to the first floor.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderSome rooms aren't open to the public as they are used as offices or for private event hire.The building was previously used as a wedding venue. After my visit, a spokesperson for Callendar House informed me that the venue only currently allows weekday ceremonies and that it no longer has a wedding coordinator. Life-size replicas of the Livingston family can be found in a permanent exhibition about the mansion's origins on the first floor.Statues of the Livingston family.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderAlexander, the 5th Lord Livingston, and his wife — whose name is unknown – were close with Mary, Queen of Scots, the exhibition said.They hosted her at Callendar House on numerous occasions, as Alexander was a guardian to Mary following the death of her father, James V.Like most of society during the 16th century, the Livingston family was Protestant. According to the exhibition, they were "loyal supporters" of Mary, who was Catholic. A replica of a dress worn by Mary, Queen of Scots.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderCatholicism was outlawed in Scotland after the Reformation in 1560. The religion was formally and legally reintroduced in the 19th century with The Emancipation Act of 1829, which "approved civil and political liberty to Catholics in Scotland," according to the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust.The mansion's Georgian kitchen was used as a filming location for "Outlander" in 2015.The Georgian kitchen where "Outlander" was filmed.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe Georgian kitchen was used to portray the Duke of Sandringham's house in the 11th episode of season two, titled "Vengeance is Mine."Behind-the-scenes photos of the set were on display.Photos from the set of "Outlander."Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderCallendar House is around a 30-minute drive to Wardpark Film Studios in Glasgow, where most of the season is filmed.The mansion's second and third floors are used for various exhibitions. One exhibition is "Live it Paint it" by Falkirk-based artist Lys Hansen. An art exhibition.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderHansen is a contemporary painter who uses art to portray her thoughts on motherhood, sex, and politics.Many of the paintings I viewed had nudity in them. Hansen spoke of her decision to paint naked bodies in a video shown at the exhibition."We hide things away. We cover up, and we think more about our imperfections than our beauty," she said in the video."It's the thing you live in, breathe in… it's the only thing we ever own."The exhibition is on display until August 24.I was blown away by the mansion's colorful decor.A mural on the ceiling.Mikhaila Friel/Business Insider This mural on the ceiling above the staircase was one of my favorite pieces of decor.After completing the tour, I sat down in the tea room on the first floor.The tearoom at Callendar House.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe tea room overlooks the leafy Callendar Park. The menu included a selection of teas, sandwiches, and cakes.I noticed the tea room was busier than other parts of Callendar House, and I wondered if some locals had visited solely for the food since entry was free.I opted for a cup of English breakfast tea and a banana-and-chocolate scone.Tea and scones in the tearoom.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderThe scone was delicious, and the total price came to just over £5, or around $6.40, which I thought was reasonable.Whether you are a history buff or an "Outlander" fan, I recommend visiting Callendar House.Callendar House in Scotland.Mikhaila Friel/Business InsiderI thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Callendar House and was stunned by its beauty and history.I learned so much about the local history and was thrilled that entry to the visitor attraction was $0.I'd definitely recommend it to royal fanatics or "Outlander" fans — or to those looking for a fun, free day out.Read the original article on Business Insider

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