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Megginch Castle and Garden Structures

A Category A Listed Building in Errol, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.4076 / 56°24'27"N

Longitude: -3.23 / 3°13'47"W

OS Eastings: 324195

OS Northings: 724605

OS Grid: NO241246

Mapcode National: GBR 27.06UV

Mapcode Global: WH6QG.C64Q

Entry Name: Megginch Castle and Garden Structures

Listing Date: 5 October 1974

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 343517

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB10963

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Errol

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Carse of Gowrie

Parish: Errol

Traditional County: Perthshire

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1575 incorporating circa 1460 tower and fortalice. Altered 1680s; SW bow fronted castellated addition R and J Adam circa 1790; work to E unfinished, completed 1820 with NE wing and N porch by W M Mackenzie, architect; porch, corridor and internal alterations 1928 by Mills & Shepherd; original condition partly re-instated 1969-70 after fire. Random, snecked and squared rubble with ashlar and concrete margins, some raised. Dividing course, mutuled eaves cornice and battlements. Corbels; chamfered arrises.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrically fenestrated 3-storey, 6-bay block with large windows to 1st floor and relief carved armorial stone dated '1820' to 2nd floor centre. Squat 2-storey circular entrance tower to outer right with broad moulded doorpiece, cornice and stepped pediment.

W (GARDEN) ELEVATION: early set-back bay to outer left with large 1st floor window and small openings above giving way to timpany gable and corbelled conically-roofed turret at left angle. Remaining bays crenellated. Broad bay to centre with variety of asymmetrically-disposed small windows, low rounded stair bay in re-entrant angle to left with door and 1st floor window. Bow fronted 1790 bay to outer right with window to each floor, that to 1st floor larger and converted to glazed door with cantilevered balcony.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: altered elevation with asymmetrical fenestration. 1928 porch with round-headed door to centre, 1820 piended wing behind with centre stack and further set-back early bays, tower with finialled crowstepped and corbelled caphouse to centre, conically-roofed corbelled turrets to outer angles.

E ELEVATION: variety of elements to altered elevation including projecting single storey bay to left, large multi-pane stair window to recessed centre and advanced wing to right with 2nd floor window to return with carved (eroded) pedimented windowhead (see Notes); further advanced lower polygonal bay with cantilevered balcony to 1st floor.

Largely small-paned glazing patterns in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks, diamond-aligned to E, with cans. Ashlar-coped skews.

INTERIOR: some fine decorative schemes in place. Original moulded ashlar doorway leading to brick-vaulted, scale-and-platt staircase with guilloche moulded cornicing. Top-lit square stair hall (the armoury) with fine decorative cast-iron balusters (see Notes) to cantilevered staircase and dome. Notable drawing room with fine ceiling (replaced after 1960 fire) and white marble chimney piece, large dividing doors to library with panelled ceiling and grey and white marble chimney piece (see Notes). Dining room with 1575 linenfold panelling (imported), fine plasterwork and maroon marble chimney piece.

GARDEN STRUCTURES: designed landscape with terrace garden to W of castle with variety of stone structures including Greek 'temple' of paired fluted columns with plain frieze and cornice; diminutive statue of Baroness Strange as young child; and sundial on carved pedestal with square cope and octagonal base. Gold and green yews forming crown celebrating Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee 1887 and Golden Wedding of John and Frances Drummond in 1885; c1895 topiary yew figures. Planting includes 4 yews thought to be over 1000 years old; holly avenue (probably before 1600) leading to Chapel; 18th century oak and lime avenues; 1830 parterre altered to incorporate 2 fountains; 3 birch tress of 1921 and Wellingtonia grown with seed collected from Canada by Mr Matthew of Gourdiehill, Errol.

Statement of Interest

Megginch, the 'Beautiful Island', was built by the Kinninmont family and sold in 1480 to Peter Hay, who died in 1496. An eroded windowhead (to the east elevation) originally read 'Petrus Hay, oedificium extruxit, AD 1575'. Sir George Hay sold to John Drummond in 1664 and the castle remains in the same family today (2000). Among notable Drummonds, the third Baron was first member for Perthshire after the Union, he was a keen designer and made many changes with 'Mr Strachan'. His successor, Adam Drummond, planted many of the fine avenues of trees. By the 1770s the building was uninhabited and when John Drummond succeeded there were "doos in all the rooms". The stable courtyard of 1807 and bottom kitchen garden (both listed separately) were built by Captain Robert Drummond. Little change occurred during the 19th century apart from the erection of a small dairy. In 1969 a serious fire destroyed part of the S wing, including the Adam ceiling. However this was reconstituted by Cramb and the stairhall returned to its former glory. Salvaged balusters were used as templates to replace those destroyed in the fire. The principal room chimneypieces were replaced by imports from nearby Pitfour Castle and that to the dining room from the Bullock Museum. Megginch Castle estate includes Chapel, Gothic Arch, Icehouse, Kennels Cottage, Kingdom Farmhouse, North Lodges, Stables (with Dovecot), Walled Gardens, Wardheads and West Lodge all listed separately.

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