Maiden’s Leap – a Clan Ruthven Legend

Huntingtower also known as Ruthven Castle has a romantic tale to tell. The daughter of the first Earl of Gowrie called Dorothea is said to have leapt between the tops of the two towers of the castle, a staggering distance of 9 feet 4 inches. This was to stop her mother catching her in her lover’s chamber.

Her Mother had been sure that her daughter had disobeyed her and gone to his chamber, but was reassured to find her daughter in her own bed that night, and her lover alone in his, but was probably less impressed when the couple eloped the next day. To this day the gap between the towers is know as “The Maiden’s Leap”.


The Maidens Leap

The Maidens Leap


About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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2 thoughts on “Maiden’s Leap – a Clan Ruthven Legend

  1. Diane Eagan

    Hi Amanda, I had read this tale before, but enjoyed doing so again. My grandmother’s name was Ann Ruthven. Her father, Edward Ruthven, emigrated from Selkirk to the US, settling in Chicago in the late 1800s. I have been researching my Ancestry on and appreciate all the good records kept in Scotland. I am now back to the 1500’s, although I am still trying to verify what I have found to be sure I have the right family history. Fun, confusing, time-consuming, but exciting! My husband and I are coming to Scotland in July. Unfortunately, we will only have a week, as we are also going to other family heritage places (Bornholm, Denmark, northern Germany/Poland (previously Pomerania/Prussia). I heard back from one distant cousin I wrote to, who lives in the Borders, and he said we would have a “clan gathering”! Sounds like a lot of fun. (Not sure which clan…I think our common ancestor was a Tait woman who married a Ruthven long ago.) Anyway, that will be super fun, if it works out. Would love hearing from you if you get this and have time. I am trying to work out an itinerary…way too little time, but we will try to make the best of it! All the best to you, Diane

  2. dorothy clarke

    I am interested. My grandfather was William Ruthven from RHU scotland… he had three sisters and 6 brothers… I knew Charles and Alexander… Maggie. They lived in stuckendorf cottage there… I was wondering if there’s any relation. what is the story of Maiden’s leap… never heard that. I have cousin Karen ruthven and Tommy ruthven in canada… third cousins barbara and jody ruthven also… write back when you have a chance with ruthven in the subject.


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