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Guthrie Castle

A stately edifice of E Central Angus, Guthrie Castle lies immediately to the west of the village of Guthrie, 2 miles (3 km) west of Friockheim and 2½ miles (4 km) northeast of Letham. Built in 1468, under a warrant issued by King James III (1452 - 88) to Sir David Guthrie (1435 - 1500), who was Lord Treasurer and Lord Justice-General of Scotland, the castle originally consisted of a square keep of three storeys and a garret, with walls 2.5-m (8-foot) thick. A modern house was built adjacent around 1760. In 1848, this was linked to the old tower via a panelled Great Hall by the architect David Bryce (1803-76), who extended the conjoined buildings to form a pleasing country house. The old keep retains much of its original form, although the entrance directly into the first floor, in the middle of the south front, was removed and the cap-house and fortified parapet are Victorian recreations by Bryce. The tower now incorporates the library, snooker room and principal bedrooms.

The grounds of the castle extend to 63 ha (156 acres) and include a loch, a horseshoe-shaped walled garden dating from 1614, a 9-hole golf course and a 160 year-old yew hedge shaped as a Celtic Cross.

The Guthries had their lands confiscated for a time at the end of the 16th century on the orders of James VI, following a feud with the Gardynes. However, they were later recovered and Guthrie Castle remained their home until 1984 when it was sold to the American entrepreneur and the motivational guru Daniel S. Pena. Pena completed a grand scheme of restoration in 2003. The castle remains a private residence, but also serves as the headquarters of Pena's business activities and is available as an exclusive golfing retreat and conference centre.

Guthrie Castle is said to be haunted.


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