MHG2241 - Castle of Mey


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Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

(ND 2902 7390) Castle of Mey (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)
Castle of Mey, formerly known as Barrogill Castle, has reverted to its original name. It is basically LC16 Z-plan castle but its appearance has been much altered by 19th century crenellation and heightening.
The main block, with thick walls and gunloops, is 3 storeys and an attic in height and lies E-W with a square wing projecting at SW end and a smaller, square stair-tower to NE, each rising a storey higher than main building. An unusual feature is massive chimney-stack at E end. There is a curtain-walled courtyard, entered by a round-arched gateway, to N. Castle was built by Sinclairs 1567 and remained in their virtually unbroken possession until LC19 After a period of neglect it was bought and restored by HM Queen Mother c1960.
RCAHMS 1911; N Tranter 1962-70; F H Groome 1901; HBD No1

Castle architecturally as described above except orientation of some features is incorrect. 'square wing' is at SE corner and 'smaller square stair-tower' is in NW; latter feature is same height as main but original entrance was in N. Later additions extend from SW side and flank E and W sides of courtyard, which has date '1762' above arch leading into it.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J B) 4 April 1982.

East Caithness Local Plan, May 1987: P31/2.53.
J Aitken : 22/05/01.

Parent for:
ND27SE0023 Gate Lodge JHooper, 21/09/2001

NB: Name Barrogill may be derived from Norse borger a burg or stronghold - HAW 1/2003

Photographs of the castle and gardens taken asa condition on a planning application. <1>

Interior photographs were submitted in support of a planning application in 2012. <2>

House and Garden, House and Garden June 1954, p.31, June 1954, page 31 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3533.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG3611.

Groome, F H (ed.), 1901, Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland, 132 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2297.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 9-11, No. 31; plan (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Tranter, N, 1962-70, The fortified house in Scotland, Vol. 5, 95-6 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2893.

Moncrieffe, I, 1963, 'Castle of Mey', Scot Fld Vol. 110 Nov 1963, p.57-9, 61, 57-9, 61 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG416.

Miller, D B, 1979, 'Historic castles and families of the north. 10. The Castle of May- The Sinclairs of May, later earls of Caithness', Caithness Fld Club Bulletin Vol. 2 Oct 1979, p.176-80, 176-80 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG899.

Hamilton, A, 1996, Castle of Mey [newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG2952.

Castle of Hey, 1996, Trust to take over royal holiday home [Castle of Mey, newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG3082.

<1> Unknown, 2002-2006, Photographs of Castle of Mey and Gardens, Canisbay, Caithness (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG25871.

<2> The Queen Elizabeth Castle Of Mey Trust, Photographic Survey - Castle of Mey (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG26031.

Sources/Archives (11)



Grid reference Centred ND 2901 7390 (33m by 36m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND27SE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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