UK Travel Guide


Castle Menzies

Description: Castle Menzies is a fine altered and extended 16th-century Scottish tower house, consisting of a main block and two taller square towers, projecting at opposite corners. Many turrets crown the building. From the 14th century the lands around Weem belonged to the Chiefs of Clan Menzies. After the Menzie stronghold, Comrie Castle, was destroyed by fire in 1488, Sir Robert Menzies built a new mansion, the "Place of Weem". However in 1502 this new mansion was pillaged and burned by Neil Stewart of Garth. It is not known when construction started on the new castle, or whether the same site was used but the older parts of the existing castle are certainly from this time. Alterations to the upper storey and roof were made in 1577. This included the addition of dormers with their elaborate pediments. We can be certain about the date because it is carved on one of the dormers and records also exist in the "Chronicle of Fortingall". These works completed the castle and it is considered an excellent example of an early mature Z-plan building representing the transition between the older type of fortified tower-house and the later mansion designed for domestic rather than military purposes. There is little doubt, however that the castle was the first constructed chiefly with an eye to defence, as might be expected after the fate of its predecessor and also from its strategic situation on the level lands below the rick of Weem commanding the east-west highway of Strath Tay and the road to Rannoch.
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Notes: It has been owned by the Menzies Clan Society since 1957 and is open to the public. The opening hours are April or Easter to 17 October, Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 5.00pm, Sunday 2.00 to 5.00pm. Further information can be obtained by telephoning 01887 820982.