The palace, or "Great Lodging", was constructed between 1597 and 1611 by Sir George Bruce, the Laird of Carnock. Bruce was a successful merchant who had a flourishing trade with other Forth ports, the Low Countries and the Baltic countries. He had interests in coal mining and salt production, and is credited with sinking the world's first coal mine to extend under the sea.
Many of the materials used in the construction of the palace were obtained during the course of Bruce's foreign trade. Baltic pine, red pantiles, and Dutch floor tiles and glass were all used. The exterior boasts the use of crow-stepped gables, including a statue of a veiled woman posing on the gable step. The palace features fine interiors, with decorative mural and ceiling painting, 17th and 18th century furniture and a fine collection of Staffordshire and Scottish pottery.
Although never a royal residence, James VI visited the Palace in 1617. The palace is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland who have restored a model 17th-century garden, complete with raised beds, a covered walkway and crushed shell paths. The herbs, vegetables and fruit trees planted in the garden are those that would have been found in the early 17th century.
- "Listed Building Report". Historic Scotland. 1972-01-12. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- Culross Palace - official site at National Trust for Scotland