Distilleries & Castles

There are four castles around Pitlochry, importantly there is only Black Castle that is truly in Pitlochry.

Black Castle is a ruin today. Built in 1326 on an island, or crannog, in a loch. The castle was torched in 1512, due to a fear of plague, and fell into ruins. The loch was drained in 1720. You can walk around the castle, alas there is not much to see. If you want to walk past it, look at the Pitlochry Walks Leaflet Route 1 – Black Spout Wood and Moulin route.

A number of Pitlochry hotels are referred to as Pitlochry castles. Fonab Castle Hotel was built in 1892, as a home by the Sandeman family the port and sherry merchant fame. Many tourist refer to the Atholl Palace Hotel as the Atholl Castle Pitlochry. It was towers of Pitlochry as you drive in from the south. Built as a Victorian Scotch Baronial Hydropathic hotel in 1878, with luxurious accommodation, Turkish baths and treatment rooms.

Castles near Pitlochry

There are three true castles near Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross.

1. Blair Castle is 6 miles north up the A9 from Pitliochry at Blair Atholl. Home to Europe’s only private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

2. Castle Menzies at Weem, by Aberfeldy is 16 miles about 30mins drive away. Home to the Menzies clan chiefs. An outstanding example of a 16th century Z plan fortified house. The Castle was the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 500 years. Today it is run by the Menzies clan society and is open to the public.

3. Taymouth Castle is regarded as the most important Scottish castle in private ownership. It stands on the site of the much older Balloch Castle, at Kenmore on Loch Tay. Built in 1552, as the seat of the Campbell’s of Breadalbane. Taymouth Castle is a private residence

Castle Menzies

Castle Menzies its history in brief - On the death in 1910 of the 8th Baronet Sir Neil Menzies, the extensive Menzies estates were divided and auctioned by his trustees. With the divided estates were also sold the Castle and its contents, including many Clan Menzies relics.

The castle suffered from lack of love and maintenance before its sale, after it was sold it had various owners and tenants, none of whom were able to maintain it properly.

In 1957 the Menzies Clan Society bought Castle Menzies as a ruin. Huge amounts of work has gone in to restoring the castle to its present condition, by generations of Society membersClan Menzies crest figures with the support of Historic Buildings Council for Scotland (now Historic Scotland) to what it is today.

It is an outstanding example of a C16th "Z" plan fortified house. Once the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies. The Castle has a turbulent history linked to its location in the highlands. Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here for two nights on his way to the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Castle Menzies has 30 rooms on view to the public, all have been restored back to their original 16 century condition. You can also see the Menzies Claymore (sword) used by the Chief at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Castle Ghosts

As you would expect with a castle of Castle Menzies's age it has its own resident ghosts.Castle Menzies candles to Santas Grotto Ghost hunts are available through the year.

Castle Menzies is available for weddings, functions and concerts.