Mackays Hotel

Mackays Hotel

Luxury Hotel Accommodation in the centre of Wick, Caithness

The Castle of Mey

Posted: June 28th, 2017 | Posted in: General News

If there is one thing that we are not short of here in Scotland, it is beautiful castles. Here in Caithness we are incredibly proud of all the historic buildings that we call our own, in particular the Castle of Mey.  The most northerly inhabited castle on the British mainland.

A much loved link to the Royal Family, there is something truly captivating and special about the Castle of Mey, which is why it remains a fantastic place for people to visit, or even to get married.

The history

The Castle of Mey was built by George, who was the 4th Earl of Caithness. He built it for his second son, William, as a place for him to call his own. However, William never got to live in the Castle, as he was murdered by his own brother John, who then in turn went to murder their father.

This meant that the castle was then passed down to the 3rd son in the family, George Sinclair. George changed the name to Barrogill Castle and it was then passed down throughout the many Earls of Caithness for over one hundred years.

The 12th Earl, in 1819, decided to make some alterations to the castle, and contacted William Burn, an architect to tackle them. Whilst these changes were rather grand, they were completed and created an elaborate dining room and entrance hall.

After the 15th Earl died and had no-one to pass the castle too, it was left to a friend, before being sold on. This is when it eventually fell into Royal hands.

Royal Connections

The Castle of Mey is most famously known for being the home to the much-loved Queen Mother, her escape from the rest of the world. She came across the castle in 1952. At this time, it was known as Barrogill Castle and was left empty and abandoned.

It was said that the Queen Mother fell for the isolated nature and natural charm of the building, and seeing as this was a period of time when she was mourning the loss of her husband, it seemed to speak to her.

She acquired the building and made it her own. Lovingly renovating and restoring it. Not only inside, but also creating the beautiful gardens too. The castle became her go to place during the summer, and it is known that she spent many happy times in its many rooms.

The gardens

One of the most captivating and beautiful parts of the castle, has to be the vibrant gardens. The gardens are open to visitors, and are a fantastic place to take a walk and take in some of the stunning native flowers that grow so well in Scottish soil.

Fancy seeing The Castle of Mey for yourself? Why not arrange to travel to take a glimpse of this special castle? Whilst we may not be as grand as the castle, we do have a fantastic place for you to stay, and we are sure to give you a very royal welcome!

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