The Voyager

Historic Brechin Castle up for sale

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Lord and Lady Dalhousie have taken the decision to put the famous landmark Brechin Castle up for sale. Brechin castle and Gardens will be placed on the market with Lord and Lady Dalhousie moving to a smaller property on the remaining estate.

Sale Details

High running costs with significant overheads for the property have forced the difficult decision on the family.

The remaining estate at Brechin, Edzell and Invermark, and all the family businesses – including Brechin Castle Garden Centre, Peggy Scott’s and also significant farming, forestry, game and property letting will continue unaffected at present.

Brechin Castle stands proud on a massive bluff of rocks above the River Southesk on the site of a much older fortress

The present house was last reconstructed in the early 1700′s and incorporates parts of the original Castle dating back to the 13th century. The building has evolved from a defensive role to its present great house style.

The Castle is an early 18th-century country house, home of the Earls of Dalhousie for over 250 years. The castle is built to an irregular rectangular plan, with a turreted central block overlooking a central courtyard. It stands on a formerly moated site above the River Southesk. The interiors feature richly panelled rooms with an extensive collection of fine art and furniture.

Beside the house is the walled garden (open by arrangement) which features an array of unusual plants of particular interest to avid gardeners. The gardens cover 40 acres, including the famous walled garden, and feature woodland paths lined with colourful azalea and rhododendrons. As for the walled garden, it has been called ‘one of the finest private gardens in Scotland’. It covers 13 acres and is at its best in Spring, when peonies, clematis, and cyprus are lush.

The original castle dates back to at least the 13th century. In 1296 Edward I received the homage of John Baliol here. Baliol was murdered shortly after, and a few years later Edward was back at the head of an invading army. The defenders under Sir Thomas Maule held out for 3 weeks but were forced to surrender when Maule died.

The Castle circa 1880 – from Scotia Depicta by James Fittler

In 1643 the 1st Earl of Panmure bought the castle from the Earl of Mar. The 4th Earl of Panmure rebuilt Brechin, giving it its current layout. A few years later the Earl joined the Old Pretender, James Stuart, in the abortive 1715 uprising. When the rising failed, the Earl fled overseas. The crown seized the estate, but the Earl’s son, Henry, eventually managed to buy it back.

Of the early medieval building little evidence remains. The oldest part of the current castle is the kitchen block, where can be seen a stone bearing the date 1703, but in 1711 major renovations were made which gave the building its current form.

The Dalhousie Estate covers a staggering 55,000 acres, stretching from the vale of Strathmore to the Grampian mountains.


Robert Harding 10×8 Print of Edzell Castle dating from the 17th century, with a late medieval tower house.
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