Drummond and Monzie

Drummond Gardens

The garden at Drummond Castle in Perthshire is said to be one of the finest formal gardens in Europe according to its website (source not provided!) First laid out in the 17th century, it was restructured in Victorian times and again in the 20th century. Queen Victoria herself visited in 1842 and expressed approval.

The original castle was built around 1490 by John, 1st Lord Drummond. The keep still stands, but the rest of the castle was remodelled in 1890. It’s not possible to visit either part, but you get excellent and varied views from the gardens.

The free map provided at the entrance details all the plants, many of which were not yet in bloom (our previous visit was at a later time of year when the roses were beautiful). I could have done with a guide to the statuary as my knowledge of mythology is not up to identifying the various gods and goddesses on show. Perhaps you had to shell out for the guide book to get that.

As well as the formal gardens, there is also a Woodland Walk which leads through the trees and criss-crosses the central avenue which is graced by the chap below.

The walk is enlivened by a dozen chain-saw carvings.

I wouldn’t say the carver was the best-ever. Just look at the poor wooden deer compared to the real one we spotted! Even allowing for its broken antlers, the carving is a bit weird looking.

Drummond is just south of the small town of Crieff, so when we’d exhausted the garden we headed there for lunch. New since our last visit were these “leafy” Highland cattle installed in 2018 by community group Crieff in Leaf. They celebrate Crieff’s history as the cattle-droving crossroads of Scotland.

After lunch we headed for the most important visit of the day. Monzie Castle is only open for a few weeks each year – 18th May to 16th June in 2019, so my tardiness in writing this post means you’ve missed it!

Monzie Castle

Monzie (pronounced Mun-ee) is a Gaelic word meaning field of corn. The oldest part of the castle is a 17th century tower house which was incorporated into a large, castellated mansion in the late 18th century. Owned by Grahams then Campbells, in 1856 it was bought by the Crichton family, who still live there today. In 1908 there was a serious fire which destroyed the interior leaving only the outside walls, after which it was restored by the leading Scottish architect of the day, Sir Robert Lorimer. He even furnished it.

We were given a tour by the elder Mrs Crichton, including to her private sitting room in the old part of the house, which was surprisingly cosy. At one time, you had to exit the main house and walk all the way round the back to get into the tower house, thus it fell into disuse: these days, there is a passage knocked through to the much more formal “new” house. No photography was allowed inside, but we were free to wander round the outside and the gardens.

Mrs Crichton’s son and his family also live on Monzie estate which, as well as the castle, includes holiday cottages, a B&B, a farm and a joinery business, all powered by their own hydro electric plant. Having never visited before, it’s now somewhere I’d seriously consider staying on holiday.

Finally, on our way home we stopped in the small village of Muthill which we had driven through many times but never explored. We visited the ruins of the Old Church (1400s) and Tower (1100s) as well as two present day churches (exterior only).

This is another place I would love to stay – Muthill boasts a fine-sounding “restaurant with rooms”, the Barley Bree. Some day! In the meantime, we had had an absolutely fabulous day out.

66 thoughts on “Drummond and Monzie

  1. Dr Sock August 21, 2019 / 19:21

    The chain saw carvings provide an interesting contrast with the other formal statuary.

    Jude

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  2. Eunice July 22, 2019 / 15:19

    I love that first shot, the formal garden looks fabulous 🙂

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  3. Joanne Sisco July 21, 2019 / 09:36

    I would be in heaven having all these castles to visit. It always makes me sad though when photography indoors isn’t allowed.

    From the photo of the Drummond gardens, I would have thought it was in France and their love of meticulously symmetrical landscaping.

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  4. Birgit July 19, 2019 / 17:39

    i am late here but wow are the gardens beautiful! The one with the helmet is Hermes-gift for communication etc. I think the guy in the fountain is Poseidon and the goddess might be Athena…might be. I would have loved to see the interior of that castle and the other one you could go into. The town looks so sweet to just walk around in.

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  5. shazza July 18, 2019 / 17:42

    Goodness, whoever said Drummond Castle Gardens were the best wasn’t kidding. They look truly decadent with all those amazing statues and topiary. Did you go there for a birthday treat? Looks a lovely day out to both castles. Also love those Highland cows. And is that a real deer? Great pic. X

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  6. wanderessence1025 July 18, 2019 / 12:22

    What a wonderful garden and castle. I especially love the leafy highland cattle!

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  7. restlessjo July 17, 2019 / 22:38

    Amazing what you can do in a day, Anabel. 🙂 🙂 So many diversions!

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  8. Laura (PA Pict) July 17, 2019 / 17:56

    What a fabulous, jam-packed day out. I love those coo sculptures.

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  9. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) July 17, 2019 / 17:40

    No, they’re not the best carvings, but I think that’s their whole appeal! The poor derpy deer made me laugh anyway. And I love the sweet Highland coos.

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