Castle Menzies

Magnificent Sixteenth Century Castle

Restored by the Menzies Clan Society, now a museum with every room and tower open to welcome thousands of visitors from around the world each year. It stands north of the River Tay at Weem on the B846, one and half miles from Aberfeldy. Seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years and importantly situated in the Tay Valley, the Castle was involved in the turbulant history of the Highlands.

It was here Bonnie Prince Charlie rested on his way to Culloden in 1746. Architecturally fascinating, it is a splendid example of the transition between an earlier rugged fortress and a later mansion house. At the beginning of the 20th century all the family had died out and in fact the castle had already begun its difficult time. It had been rented out and not lived in by the family who had moved to Farleyer, a smaller mansion to the west .

From its first passing from the family, the castle had various owners and tenants until in 1957 it was bought by The Menzies Clan Society. This decision was made at their first meeting of a re-forming from an older Society first started in 1892. Unfortunately it had to stop activities during both World Wars. The Castle was purchased very much in faith and hope as there was very little money or means to do anything with it.

The Restoration

It was thought important for the newly resuscitated Society to have this very appropriate historical base. Thus the Members have replaced the Family in a unique situation for a Clan Castle and a very enviable one. Other clans have lost their castles into complete ruins or the old residences have been sold out of their clans to others and only a few are still owned by their Chief.

A grant was obtained from Historic Buildings Council for Scotland (now Historic Scotland) and renovation work commenced in September 1972. It was undertaken by Dr A D Dewar (Bill) and his late wife Ann who spent a great deal of time and effort into researching what was needed, raising funds and often hard physical graft in a very hands-on style.

The restoration of the Victorian or West wing began in 1990. This work allowed a tearoom to be opened on the ground floor and the first floor room known as the ballroom was fully restored. It has now been renamed the Dewar room to mark the work done by Dr & Mrs Dewar. The first Society dinner was held in this room in 1995. There is a library on the second floor with donated books and copies of family trees for Society members. There is scope for further restoration of this floor and the top one above. The Dewar room is now being increasingly hired out for weddings and other special celebrations and concerts.

 

To visit or for further information on Castle Menzies, go to: www.castlemenzies.org