Elcho Castle is located a short distance above the south bank of the River Tay. It consists of a Z-plan tower house, with fragments of a surrounding wall with corner towers. The fastle was built on the site of an older structure about 1560, and is one of the best surviving examples of its date in Scotland. A large portion of the Castle is accessible, although floors in some rooms have fallen, and much of the building can be walked through. The wall-walk is accessible at two points.
The property is still owned by the family of the original builders, the Wemyss family (the style of the heir to the Earl of Wemyss is Lord Elcho), though it has not been inhabited for some 200 years. It has nevertheless been kept in good repair - one of the earliest examples in Scotland of a building being preserved purely for its historical interest. It is managed by Historic Environment Scotland as a scheduled monument.
The castle is open to visitors throughout the summer. There is an entrance charge.
An apple- and pear-tree orchard adjoining the castle has been replanted in recent years, and a 16th-century 'beehive' doo'cot (Scots for dovecote) survives nearby.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.