The oldest part of the castle is the late 15th century Stirling tower house. From its name it is believed that this part of the castle was built by the Stirling family. The castle is credited to have been built by Sir David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, the head of the notorious and often lawless Clan Lindsay and Crawford.
It was partially remodelled in the 16th century, when the courtyard and flanking buildings were added. Mary, Queen of Scots, held a Privy Council at Edzell in August 1562, after the Battle of Corrich. Edzell's most striking feature is its magnificent formal walled garden. An inscription dated 1604 signifies the peaceful times anticipated when the Crown of Scotland and England were united. It was in Edzell (and not Dunnottar) that many claim the Scottish crown jewels were hidden from Cromwell during his invasion of Scotland. Legend has it that Anne of Lindsay removed them from nearby Dunnottar, in the midst of Cromwell's siege of that fortress.
The square tower remains, but the most notable feature is the walled Renaissance garden. Known as "The Pleasance", the garden contains the fleur de lys, shamrock, rose and thistle - symbols for France, Ireland, England and Scotland and contained within its walls are stone carvings of the "cardinal virtues."
The wall itself is heavily decorated on three sides with elaborate carved panels. The castle is the ancestral home of the Lindsay family, who owned the castle until 1715, when the estate was sold to Lord Panmure; but it was confiscated as a consequence of his support of the Jacobite cause. Afterwards, the Campbells of Argyle made it their base as they cleared the district of Jacobite supporters.
Many of the homes in the nearby village of Edzell were built using many of the stones from the ruins of the castle.
This photograph won an Honorable Mention at the 1992 Annual Scottish Art Invitational.