Up in the county of Fife, Scotland, north of Edinburgh, in the ancient town of Auchtermuchty, lies a castle that is soon due to celebrate its 500th birthday. It’s also now on the market, searching for offers over $4 million USD, via Jamie McNab and Ele Robertson at Savills.
Myres Castle, as it’s known, was built around 1530 by John Scrymgeour, who oversaw the refurbishment of both Holyrood and Falkland Palaces. Falkland, which has been pictured in “Outlander,” was a favorite spot of Mary Queen of Scots and is close to Myres. Indeed, Mary herself is said to have planted the oldest tree at Myres, a Spanish chestnut.
In the past number of years, the enormous property, with 45 acres of land and a 14,300-square-foot manor house, has been used as both a venue for weddings as well as a private family home. The castle includes five ample reception rooms, along with ten bedrooms and ten bathrooms, while the gardens comprise a maze, a kitchen garden, a pond and tennis court, a shepherd’s hut and a helipad.
Being hundreds of years old, the estate has changed hands many times over the years. John Bruce, the King’s Printer for Scotland, bought Myres and Falkland Palace in 1820; Sir Walter Scott, who visited Falkland Palace during Bruce’s time, is thought to have suggested a change of name from Myres House, as it was known then, to the more baronial Myres Castle. In 1887 Myres was sold to someone who’d worked for three popes, and the walled garden that still exists was laid out in the style of one of the Vatican gardens.
More recently, in 1999, the owners refurbished the castle for a comfortable, modern lifestyle. They added en-suite bathrooms to each bedroom, rewired and re-plumbed, and installed a new fuel system. No worries about heating this huge house even in an energy crisis, as the biomass system doesn’t require fossil fuels.
It’s easy to see from the many whimsical personal touches that the current owners treasure the house as a real home, from the Elvis figurine on a mantel in the otherwise buttoned-up dining room to the eye-catching tangerine velvet sofa in the library to the bright kelly green walls of the billiards room. Arranged around a huge island, the kitchen is fully up to date, while a homey stone-floored breakfast room sports a cream-colored Aga range to keep the chill off. Of course, plenty of tartan is used in the decoration.
Outside, there are numerous outbuildings, including a semi-permanent marquee for events such as weddings and a wooden potting shed that has been adapted to use for ceremonies as well as a heated yoga studio. (P.S. The helipad makes for an OTT exit by the newlyweds.)
In addition to the castle’s two handfuls of bedrooms, additional guest and/or staff accommodations includes the courtyard cottage, with three bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen and bathroom; the gate lodge with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and sitting room; and the shepherds hut with a large bedroom, kitchen, sitting room with wood-burning stove, and bathroom.
Clearly, even if new owners prefer not to use the castle as a moneymaking operation, there will be plenty of room for their extended — very extended — family.