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Drummond Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Drummond Castle, the Scottish seat of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, in Muthill parish, Perthshire, on a picturesque rocky site, 3¼ miles SSW of Crieff, and 3¾ WNW of Muthill station. It was founded in 1491 by the first Lord Drummond, on his removal from Stobhall; and was the seat of that nobleman's descendants, the Earls of Perth. The founder of the Drummond family is said to have been one Maurice, a Hungarian noble, who in 1067 arrived with Eadgar ætheling and St Margaret at the court of Malcolm Ceannmor, and who from that king received the lands of Drymen or Drummond in Stirlingshire. His sixth descendant, Sir Malcolm Drummond, was rewarded by Bruce with lands in Perthshire for services done at Bannockburn (1314), where he advised the use of caltrops against the enemy's horse-advice referred to in the family motto, 'Gang warily.' Annabella Drummond (1340-1401), his greatgrand-daughter, was queen to Robert III., and so the ancestress of Queen Victoria; and Sir John Drummond (1446-1519), twelfth in descent from the founder, was father to fair Mistress Margret, the wife but not queen of James IV., who, with her sisters Euphemia and Sybilla, was poisoned at Drummond Castle in 1502. The same Sir John was created Lord Drummond in 1487; and James, fourth Lord Drummond, was created Earl of Perth in 1605. James, fourth Earl (1648-1716), was, like his predecessors, a zealous Royalist, and followed James II. into exile, from him receiving the title of Duke of Perth. His grandson, James, third titular Duke of Perth (1713-46), played a prominent part in The '45, commanding at Prestonpans, Carlisle, Falkirk, and Culloden. The- Drummond estates, forfeited to the Crown, were conferred by George III. in 1784 on Captain James Drummond, who claimed to be heir-male of Lord John Drummond, this third Duke's brother, and who in 1797 was created Baron Perth and Drummond of Stobhall. At his death in 1800 they passed to his daughter, Clementina-Sarah, who in 1807 married the Hon. Peter Burrell, afterwards nineteenth Baron Willoughby de Eresby; and their daughter, Clementina Elizabeth Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby (b. 1809), widow of Lord Aveland, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, and Joint Hereditary Chamberlain of England, in 1870 succeeded her brother in the Drummond estates, which from 1868 to 1871 were unsuccessfully claimed by George Drummond, Earl of Perth and Melfort, as nearest heirmale of the third Duke. Her Ladyship owns in Perthshire 76,837 acres, valued at £28,955 per annum.

Drummond Castle is twofold, old and modern. The old edifice was visited often by James IV., and twice by Queen Mary in July and the Christmas week of 1566. It suffered great damage from the troops of Cromwell, and fell into neglect and dilapidation after the Revolution of 1688; but was strengthened and garrisoned by the royal troops in 1715, and, that this might not happen again, was mostly levelled to the foundation by the Jacobite Duchess of Perth in 1745. Partially rebuilt about 1822, it was put into good habitable condition, preparatory to a visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Sept. 1842; and now is partly fitted up as an armoury, well stored with Celtic claymores, battle-axes, and targets. The modern edifice, standing a little E of the old, forms two sides of a quadrangle, facing N and W; and is of plain construction, comparatively poor in architectural character; but contains some interesting portraits of the Stuarts. A temporary wooden pavilion, within the quadrangle, served as a banqueting hall during the visit of the Queen and Prince Albert; and an apartment in which Prince Charles Edward had slept, served as Prince Albert's dressing-room. A beautiful garden, often pronounced the finest in Great Britain, lies in three successive terraces, on a steep slope, under the S side of the castle rock; comprises about 10 acres; and exhibits the three great styles of European horticulture-the Italian, the Dutch, and the French. A noblywooded park * about 2 miles in diameter, with many a feature of both natural beauty and artificial embellishment, spreads all round the castle, as from a centre. Within it are the conical hill of Torlum (1291 feet), 1¾ mile to the WNW; and the Pond of Drummond (5 x 2½ furl.), ½ mile to the ENE. The exquisite scenery of Strathearn lies under the eye and away to the E; and a sublime sweep of the Grampians fills all the view to the N.—Ord. Sur., sh. 47,1869. See Beauties of Upper Strathearn (3d ed., Crieff, 1870).

* The Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society for 1880-81 give the dimensions of twelve magnificent beeches here and seven oaks, according to which the tallest of the beeches is 101 feet high and 15 feet in girth at 1 foot from the ground. the thickest being 29 feet in girth and 71 feet high; whilst of the oaks the largest is 70 feet high and 19½ in girth.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer


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