Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Earlshall Castle Leuchars North Fife 2008

Earlshall Castle as depicted in this 19th century engaving.

This is from the roadside, through well designed gates to the gatehouse completed in 1901 with symbolic protection of the cannon and guard house.
Earlshall Castle, now privately owned, is the home of the Baron and Baroness of Earlshall.
"Baron & Baroness" in Scotland is not a hereditory title, like an Earl or a Baronet etc. It is in England, where a baron can call himself Lord (whatever), but not in Scotland, where Baron refers to a property that was "erected into a free barony by crown charter". So you are a baron in Scotland if you own a barony, and the title goes with the property. So if the current owners of Earlshall sell, and you buy the property, you will be Baron of Earlshall!

Earlshall was built in 1546 by royal counsellor Sir William Bruce as a tower house. Although it remained in the hands of the Bruce family, the house had been uninhabited for 70 years when it was sold in 1891 to Robert Mackenzie, an eccentric with a passion for textiles. The buildings were in a parlous state and all that remained of the garden were the walls that had enclosed a four-acre pleasance.Sir Robert Lorimer. Lorimer's deep love of art, nature and the Scottish vernacular provided inspiration for all his work - but particularly his gardens. Lorimer won the commission to restore the buildings and make a new garden, primarily because Mackenzie liked the way his family had sympathetically restored the 17th-century Kellie Castle by using skilled craftsmen and local materials. In an age of Victorian eclecticism and baronial remodelling, this was unprecedented. The garden is well known for its topiary chessmen and other shear crafted arts.


Anonymous said...

I am clearing out old family photographs and have come across a small sepia photograph of Earlshall from the lawn and rather than destroy this would like to pass it on to someone interested.

My aunt Effie Buchanan was in service there - I should imagine in the early 1900's and she must have sent it home to her mother in Benbecula to show where she was working.

Please let me know if anyone would like this - with an address to send it to if so.

Many thanks.

Margaret Timms (Mrs.)


Tel 01481-263165.

Anonymous said...

Robert Mackenzie was my great great uncle. I only have visited Earlshall once in the mid 80s with my father when there was a sale of many of the objects in the house.

I seem to remember them all beimng prohibitively expensive.

I am very happy that Earlshll is being recognised as a significvant chapter in Lorimer's evolution as one of the stars of Scottish architecture and the Scottis Arts and Crafs movement. It makes me very proud to know that my family played a small part in that.

David Mackenzie

Blimpy said...

Hi Peter,

I don't suppose you've got any photographs of the ceiling of the long gallery at Earlshall?

I'm looking to find out if there are any musical instruments depicted, it;s a shame it;s no longer open to the public.

Many thanks