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Meggernie Castle

An ample whitewashed pile in Glen Lyon (Perth and Kinross), Meggernie Castle lies on the left bank of the River Lyon 8 miles (13 km) north of Killin and 13 miles (21 km) west of Kenmore. A tower-house was built here c.1585 by Colin Campbell of Glenlyon but this has subsequently been extended into a sizeable mansion. Located at the southwest corner of the present house, the original square tower has substantial walls, some 1.5m (5 feet) in thickness, a high-peaked roof, and square bartizans at each corner.

The lands here were once the property of the MacGregor clan and they built a keep here probably in the 14th century. By the end of Robert II's reign in 1390, the MacGregors were dispossessed and the lands had been split between the Campbells and the Stewarts of Cardney. The same 'Mad' Colin Campbell who had built the tower-house then held the Countess of Errol here for a time trying to force her to become his wife. In 1689, Captain Robert Campbell of Glen Lyon sold the property to the Atholl Murrays in an attempt to pay off his debts shortly before he led the Massacre of Glen Coe. The castle later passed to the Menzies of Culdares, one of whom became jealous of his wife, a celebrated beauty much younger than himself. He murdered her and then cut her body into two pieces in an attempt to dispose of the evidence. The wife is still said to haunt the castle; her upper half haunts the upper floors, occasionally waking visitors by kissing them, while her lower half haunts the ground floor and has been seen close to the nearby burial ground where that part of her body lies buried. The Menzies were Jacobites during the rising of 1715 and hid Jacobite soldiers here during the '45.

In 1883 Meggernie and its large surrounding estate were bought by John Bullough (1837-91), an English industrialist whose son built Kinloch Castle on Rum. It was sold again by the 1920s, this time to Sir Ernest Salter Wills (1869 - 1958), the tobacco merchant and cigarette manufacturer.


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