Drummond Castle is known for its gardens, described by Historic Environment Scotland as the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland. The castle comprises a tower house built in the late 15th century, and a 17th-century mansion, both of which were rebuilt in Victorian times. The gardens date to the 1630s, although they too were restructured in the 19th century.

The lands of Drummond were the property of the Drummond family from the 14th century, and the original tower house was built over several years by John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond of Cargill, from about 1490. In 1605 the 4th Lord Drummond was created Earl of Perth, and added to the castle.

The castle was sacked by the army of Oliver Cromwell in 1653, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The 4th Earl of Perth was Lord Chancellor of Scotland under King James VII. He began the mansion house in 1689, before being imprisoned following the deposition of King James by William of Orange. He later fled to the exiled Jacobite court in France. The Drummonds continued to support the Jacobite cause in the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. The family retained control of the estate until 1750 when the Drummond properties were declared forfeit and seized by the state. The estate was managed by the Commissioners for Forfeited Estates until 1784, when it was sold to Captain James Drummond (later created 1st Baron Perth). He began a number of improvements that were continued by his daughter Sarah and her husband, The 22nd Baron Willoughby de Eresby (1782–1865). These included the formal gardens and terraces in the 1830s. Queen Victoria visited the gardens in 1842.

The upper stories of the tower house were rebuilt and heightened in pseudo-medieval style in 1842–53. The mansion was renovated in 1878, to designs by George Turnbull Ewing. The castle is now the seat of The Rt Hon. The 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, the daughter and heir of The 3rd Lord Ancaster.

The castle is set on part of a prominent spine of rock known as the Gask Ridge, a geographical feature that stretches several kilometres across Perthshire, but is particularly prominent and steep-sided at the site of the castle. The tower house, or keep, is no longer used as a dwelling. It is adjoined by a later, but better preserved, gatehouse (built 1629–30). Stretching between the tower house and the edge of the ridge, it was originally intended to control access to the courtyard behind, which has a fine view over the formal gardens. To the south of the castle on its rocky outcrop are the formal gardens.

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Address

Muthill, United Kingdom
See all sites in Muthill

Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

casey carback (2 months ago)
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS. So many plants & flowers to look at. Bring a friend & a picnic for a lovely afternoon!!
Emily Duckworth (7 months ago)
One of the world's most incredible gardens! - The formal part nearest the house contrasts tree shapes and colors in patterns that are infinitely nourishing to look at. Then there's a wild forest in the back with wood-hewn sculptures at intervals. In between runs a stream and a wall with espaliered pears and apples. The front section also has white statues encircled by green hedges. I continue to look at photos of this place because the order of the front section, the beauty of colors set together gives such serenity for the soul. Thank you to all the gardeners who work so hard to make this gorgeous place.
Ricky Mak (13 months ago)
Autumn colours. Wasn't really expecting to see the garden in such beauty. Was thinking spring or summer is a better time, but I was wrong. Once arrived suddenly remembered reading an art column about how the colour of autumn is more vibrant. I guess they were right.
Amanda Rogers (14 months ago)
Beautiful and peaceful. Lovely woodland walk with carvings along the way. Some really old trees which were stunning. Garden is just unbelievable and must take so much time and effort to look after. Would definitely recommend.
Maria Mccann (16 months ago)
Excellent place to visit. Formal gardens at their best. Most complex creative and interesting sundial you will EVER see it is so unique, a must see! Superb collection of flowers with some very old varieties of Rose with beautiful scents and colours. Topiary, ancient trees and lush green grass on which to walk around and admire the gardens. Short woodland walk, take a picnic..there ain't no cafe. Nearby Crieff has lots to see and do.
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