© Peter Giovannini/imageBROKER/Corbis
Erika Owen
June 16, 2015

Winterfell is much more than just the home of House Bolton from Game of Thrones. Doune Castle—the real fortress located in central Scotland near the Stirling district where the Winterfell scenes are filmed—brings in more than 25,000 visitors every year for a few other reasons that don’t involve Jon Snow. Read on for five things you (probably) didn’t know about this 14th-century-castle-turned-Hollywood-scene:

On the Search for the Holy Grail

Doune was the primary filming location for the 1975 cult classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The crew intended to use a number of castles to film various parts of the film until filming permission was withdrawn from the National Trust. With no time to find new location replacements, the team depended on the different rooms and features of Doune to use as a different settings to keep filming on-track.

Monty Python Day

Super fans: the castle has been known to host an annual Monty Python Day.

The Never-Ending Lease

Ownership of this castle has shifted a number of times since it was constructed in the 13th century. Currently, Doune is owned by Historic Scotland under a 999-year lease.

In the Details: Original Stonework

The stunning views are one thing, but make sure to take in the smaller details if you find yourself wandering its halls. Much of the castle’s stonework remains from a reconstruction in the 14th century after the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Famous Visitors: Elizabeth Taylor

Here’s another movie moment to add to this castle’s growing list: actress Elizabeth Taylor became very familiar with the locations while filming Ivanhoe with her husband and peer, actor Robert Taylor.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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