Click for Bookshop

Fernie Castle

Fernie Castle Hotel
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Fernie Castle Hotel

A hotel occupying a fine old white-harled mansion in N Fife, Fernie Castle is surrounded by 6.9 ha (17 acres) of woodland, a half-mile (1 km) east northeast of Letham and 3¾ miles (6 km) west of Cupar. The mansion comprises a much-altered L-plan tower-house which was built c.1530. By the late 16th century, the tower had become T-plan, with the main block rising to four storeys, a massive crow-stepped five-storey jamb to the S containing the stair, and a round tower to the NW with a corbelled-out square cap-house, angled to the main block. To the east a three-storey extension was added in the early 18th C. A single-storey west wing was added c.1815, later doubled in height, and a porch added to the stair tower in the incongruous style of a toy-fort, decorated with crucifixes. The eastern extension was remodelled 1844-49 including the addition of another larger round tower in the Baronial style at the extreme corner and crow-steps to the gables.

There was probably a castle here in the 13th century, a property of the MacDuff Earls of Fife. The lands passed to the Balfours and then the Fernie family in the 15th C. Andrew Fernie obtained a charter in 1527 erecting Fernie into a barony. The castle was sold to the Arnots in 1586 but soon returned through marriage to the Balfour family but was forfeited by them after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. However, a son who had remained loyal to the Hanoverian government was able to recover the property five years later. The northwestern tower is said to be haunted by a green lady - the ghost of a girl who had run off with her lover, sought refuge in the castle but then fallen from the tower. The mansion became a hotel in the 1960s.

To the east northeast are classical stables and kennels dating from the early 19th C. while, to the northeast, is a lectern doo'cot dating from 1661. The Treehouse Suite lies a quarter-mile (0.4 km) from the castle and comprises multi-level tree-house accommodation suspended between six mature sycamore trees. A flight of stairs reaches a balcony which surrounds a solitary bedroom, linked to a round tower which contains a bathroom decorated with friezes of an enchanted forest.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better