Myres Castle history is interleaved with that of nearby Falkland Palace with present-day castle construction dating to 1530. The castle and magnificent Scottish garden are now operated as a private conference centre with lodging.
Its history is intertwined with the nearby Falkland Palace, since Myres was the hereditary home of the Macers, or Sergeants of Arms, of Falkland. The word myres is associated with a boggy place; in fact, Myres Castle is located within fields and policies with marginal drainage. Further drainage improvements to the fields were made as late as the 1970s. There exists an attractive pond in front of the Castle, which also serves to collect runoff. The lands of the present Myres estate originally part of the extensive properties of the Earl of Fife, the Myres portion being conveyed by marriage to Robert, Duke of Albany. In the year 1425, Murdoch, the son of Robert, forfeited the holding to the crown. From that time until the 16th century, the tenant farmers rents are recording in the rolls of the Royal Exchequer, indicating continuing ownership of the king.
The castle itself originated circa 1530 as a Z-plan fortress, perhaps designed by its owner John Scrimgeour, and has an ochre harled exterior with some exposed grey ashlar stonework on its square tower added in 1616. The tower is adorned with garland stonework, heraldic relief with carved initials and a parapet. The basement course appears to be an older, possibly 14th-century piece, due to its Romanesque barrel-vaulted construction, and clear architecture of a medieval kitchen. Further modifications took place in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1872 the building was repaired and slightly remodelled, Scots Baronial touches being added by James Campbell Walker.
At the property entrance there is a detached Victorian stone gatehouse, which was inhabited as a residence up to at least 1997. The prize of Myres is a spectacular walled garden featuring gigantic topiary yew trees, elaborate herbaceous borders and a small fishpond. The garden walls exceed three metres in height and are probably of 17th-century origin.
Myres is set amongst 18ha of gardens, farmlands and policies. The Fairlie family has been associated with Myres for some time. There are Fairlie memorabilia at Myres including shooting diaries as far back as 1903. A recording is noted in the year 1915 that James Ogilvy Reginald Fairlie, Chamberlain to His Majesty, resident of Myres was killed in action in World War I. His brother was the distinguished Scot architect Reginald Fairlie. The castle was the home of the Fairlie family up until 1997; moreover, the policies, or wooded perimeter, were augmented with the prudent planting by Captain Reginald Fairlie in the early 1980s. At present Myres serves as an exclusive let and wedding venue.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.