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Accommodation in Perthshire
Perth & Kinross Highland Perthshire

Elcho Castle, Perthshire

Location: PH2 8QQ (map and directions)

The 16th century fortified mansion known as Elcho Castle is a remarkably well-preserved tower house located above the south bank of the River Tay just four miles southeast of Perth.

Elcho Castle, Perthshire copyright Rob Burke
Elcho Castle © Rob Burke

History of Elcho Castle

Elcho Castle was built in 1560 by a member of the Wemyss family, who, in 1628 became Lord Wemyss of Elcho, and Earl of Wemyss in 1633. There is mention of a fortified structure on the spot where Elcho Castle stands as far back as the 13th century, but the first record of the lands of Elcho date from 1429. In this year Sir David Wemyss and Hugh Fraser agreed a compact at ‘Elthok’, which, along with ‘Elchok’ are thought to be names of an earlier structure on the land.

The castle itself was a fine country house for the Wemyss family whose main residence was at Wemyss Castle in Fife throughout the 17th century. However by the 18th century Elcho was no longer a royal residence at all and when the 8th Earl of Wemyss repaired it in 1830, he did so purely in an attempt to preserve a building of historical significance. In 1929 the 11th Earl passed ownership of the castle into state care, and the castle is now managed by Historic Scotland.

Elcho Castle, Perthshire copyright Otter
Elcho Castle © Otter

Elcho Castle is considered a primary example of the transition from fortified defensive castle to mansion building which occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries in Scotland. The castle combines an imposing exterior with a comfortable and private country interior. The castle itself remains relatively unchanged from when it was built, with the exception of a new roof and new window glazing which took place during the repairs in 1830. Elcho Castle remains a large tower house with smaller towers projecting from it with a courtyard enclosed by an outer wall to the south and gardens and grounds surrounding the castle.

Map and directions

Visitors to the castle have access to much of the property, from the Main Hall and bedrooms to one (of two, the second in ruins) upper floor. Elcho Castle is open from 1 April to 30 September seven days a week from 9:30-5:30pm and is closed during the winter.

View Elcho Castle in a larger map

Other castles in Perthshire

Bullet Point Ashintully Castle
Bullet Point Balhousie Castle
Bullet Point Balloch Castle
Bullet Point Balvaird Castle
Bullet Point Blair Castle
Bullet Point Burleigh Castle
Bullet Point Drummond Castle
Bullet Point Elcho Castle
Bullet Point Fingask Castle
Bullet Point Finlarig Castle
Bullet Point Huntingtower Castle
Bullet Point Castle Huntly
Bullet Point Kincardine Castle
Bullet Point Kinfauns Castle
Bullet Point Lochleven Castle
Bullet Point Meggernie Castle
Bullet Point Methven Castle
Bullet Point Scone Palace
Bullet Point Taymouth Castle

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