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Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Duke

Drum­mond Ca s t l e feat u res promi­nently in VisitS­cot­land’s list of top cas­tles.

In a fit­ting fi­nale to the Year of His­tory, Her­itage and Archaeology 2017, the na­tional tourism board has been on the hunt for the best cas­tles in Scot­land.

It sin­gled out Drum­mond Cas­tle, El­cho Cas­tle, Cas­tle Men­zies and Hunt­ing­tower Cas­tle as its four favourites in Perthshire, with Drum­mond Cas­tle also in at num­ber five in the list of Scot­land’s fairy­tale cas­tles.

And, with over 50 oth­ers to choose from, VisitS­cot­land says ex­plor­ing Scot­land’s cas­tles is the per­fect way to learn more about the his­tory of an area.

Re­search by the or­gan­i­sa­tion shows 49 per cent of Brits have never vis­ited a Scot­tish cas­tle.

Jim Clark­son of VisitS­cot­land said: “Perthshire is well known for its his­tory and her­itage and cas­tles are one of the best ways to ex­plore its past.

“From grandiose at­trac­tions to at­mo­spheric ru­ins, there is some­thing unique and spe­cial about ev­ery sin­gle one and each has its own sig­nif­i­cant story to tell.”

He con­tin­ued: “Ev­ery­one should have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence a Scot­tish cas­tle in their life­time so we would en­cour­age ev­ery­one to make it their mis­sion to bag a Scot­tish cas­tle and a Munro on their visit here.”

Although Drum­mond Cas­tle near Muthill is not open to the pub­lic, its im­pres­sive gar­dens are. The for­mal gar­dens, first laid in the early 17th cen­tury, are said to be among the finest in Europe.

They of­fer views of the cas­tle and a chance to ex­plore an­cient yew hedges and cop­per beech trees, two of which were gifted by Queen Vic­to­ria dur­ing a visit to Strat­hearn. Drum­mond Cas­tle Gar­dens have also fea­tured in many films and ad­verts, in­clud­ing Rob Roy and more re­cently the hit se­ries Outlander.

The 16th cen­tury Cas­tle Men­zies near Aber­feldy was re­stored dur­ing the 20th cen­tury by the Men­zies Clan So­ci­ety.

For over 400 years it was the clan seat and played and im­por­tant role in High­land his­tory, in­clud­ing hous­ing Bon­nie Prince Char­lie dur­ing the sec­ond Ja­co­bite up­ris­ing.

Hunt­ing­tower Cas­tle on the edge of Perth was built in three stages dat­ing back to the 15th cen­tury, with spec­tac­u­lar painted ceil­ings.

It is prob­a­bly best known for be­ing the place where Mary, Queen of Scots and her hus­band Lord Darn­ley shel­tered dur­ing the Chaseabout Raid in 1565 - a re­bel­lion by her half-brother James Ste­wart over her new mar­riage.

El­cho Cas­tle in the Carse of Gowrie is a 16th cen­tury tur­reted build­ing on the banks of the Tay, com­plete with grand stair­cases, grilled win­dows, glo­ri­ous views and a spec­tac­u­lar orchard.

Jim Clark­son added: “In to­tal, Scot­land is thought to have around 3000 stand­ing cas­tles, ru­ins and doc­u­mented sites.

“Of these about 1050 are merely sites, in­clud­ing those where a house has been built on the site of a pre­vi­ous cas­tle and about 825 are stand­ing ru­ins. At the last count 660 were in use as a pri­vate house, ho­tel or wed­ding venue and around 469 were open to the pub­lic.”

Tops Drum­mond Cas­tle

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