Guthrie Castle

Guthrie Castle Overview
A stately edifice of E Central Angus, Guthrie Castle lies immediately to the west of the village of Guthrie, 2 miles (3 km) west of Friockheim and 2½ miles (4 km) northeast of Letham. Built in 1468, under a warrant issued by King James III (1452 – 88) to Sir David Guthrie (1435 – 1500), who was Lord Treasurer and Lord Justice-General of Scotland, the castle originally consisted of a square keep of three storeys and a garret, with walls 2.5-m (8-foot) thick. A modern house was built adjacent around 1760. In 1848, this was linked to the old tower via a panelled Great Hall by the architect David Bryce (1803-76), who extended the conjoined buildings to form a pleasing country house. The old keep retains much of its original form, although the entrance directly into the first floor, in the middle of the south front, was removed and the cap-house and fortified parapet are Victorian recreations by Bryce. The tower now incorporates the library, snooker room and principal bedrooms.
The grounds of the castle extend to 63 ha (156 acres) and include a loch, a horseshoe-shaped walled garden dating from 1614, a 9-hole golf course and a 160 year-old yew hedge shaped as a Celtic Cross.
The Guthries had their lands confiscated for a time at the end of the 16th century on the orders of James VI, following a feud with the Gardynes. However, they were later recovered and Guthrie Castle remained their home until 1984 when it was sold to the American entrepreneur and the motivational guru Daniel S. Pena. Pena completed a grand scheme of restoration in 2003. The castle remains a private residence, but also serves as the headquarters of Pena’s business activities and is available as an exclusive golfing retreat and conference centre.
Guthrie Castle is said to be haunted.
Guthrie Castle-Pt 2
The castle as described in the Guthrie Castle Brochure which was published ca. 1980……
As built originally by Sir David in 1468 consisted of the square tower only. It is believed that the family gave up living in the Tower and built a house close by in about 1760. In 1848 the present Chieftainess’s great grandfather Jhohn Guthrie of Guthrie, connected the Tower to the house, resulting in the finely panelled hall with the oak staircase leading to the bedrooms above and the well proportioned Drawing Room and Dining Room. The Yett or iron gate which was the original entrance to the Castle now hangs at the entry to the wild flower garden. In the Panelled Hall with its large fireplace the portrait of William Wallace although painted after his death is interesting; and also the finely carved candle. Portraits of various members of the Guthrie family dating from 1732 hang yp on the oak staircase, on the first flight of which is a carved chair known as “King James Chair” which has been in the Castle for many years.
The Library, part of the old Castle, contains some fine paintings by Augustus John, O.M., a portrait by Laslo, and a very attractive Guardi of the late Italian School. The bosses with the Guthrie Crest (one also on the staircase) are interesting, being charming examples of late 15th century Scottish wood carving. They bear traces of the original colour decoration, patches of red and black being clearly discernible in the mouldings. They were removed from the Guthrie “Aisle” where the members of the family are buried. On the bookcase rest various examples of Guthrie China originally glazed in China. The thickness of the Tower walls can be clearly seen at the door and the windows. Of the Library there are doors leading to the Drawing Room and on the left in the alcove the start of the stairway leading to the Tower.
The Drawing Room built in 1848 possesses a very beautiful ceiling and fine proportions. Above the carved marble fireplace hangs a good example of Orpen’s work-a stud of his wife.
The Ghost Room….At the top of the staircase you walk straight into the original West bedroom with its dressing room. This room has a reputation of being haunted. It is reported that when the Bishop of St. Andres was staying at the Castle many years ago, he woke up to see a lady dressed in black with a bunch of keys round her waist walk into the bedroom and sit down on the bed. He described the ghost next morning. It is thought to be one of the Guthrie Ladies, who, following a very extravagant Mrs. Guthrie went round the Castle every night locking everything up. The ghost was last seen by one of the present members of the family when she was a small girl.
The Tower Room…From there you walk up the original staircase to the Tower Rooms which in ancient days was used as the dining hall. This room is similar to its original state and contains the finest fragments of ancient 15th century mural painting in Scotland and are the surviving example. These fragments were removed fromhte Guthrie “Aisle” for the sake of preservation. The mural was once part of the old Church. When the Church was rebuilt after the Reformation it was placed in the Guthrie “Aisle” on the ceiling. It is known as a “Doom” painting and depicts the Last Judgement.
The Guthrie Bell….There is also a painting of the Guthrie Bell which is now in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburg. This bell was in the Guthrie family from a very early date and remained at Guthrie Castle until it was handed over to the Museum in 1922. The bell itself is probably the relic of some important Saint whose fame was handed down until late in the mediaeval period. It may well date from before the 8th century. Above the Tower Room is a squash court which was once an old bedroom. Thom here one can walk round the battlements and obtain a fine view of the surrounding countryside and the Castle gardens.
The Castle Gardens….There are two gardens adjacent to each other-the walled garden and the wild garden. Both the gardens face south and are close in proximity to the Castle. No one appears to know the date of the walled garden which is beautifully built and is in a horseshoe shape, the wall on the North side of the garden being of great height. It is possible it was built at the same time as the Castle or it was built round about the 16th century. The Monks, who were renowned builders, may have had a hand in its construction. The notable features of the garden are the Yew Hedges, which are approximately 130 years old, and the Terraces which are flanked on the East side by a Herbaceous Border, and on the West side by Floribunda Roses. The garden also contains many species of roses and other flowers, the Lilies being prominent. Leaving the walled garden by the West gate you walk into the wild garden. As you enter the wild garden you will notice a very attractive stone arch dated 1601, where the original Iron Yett now rests. Strangely enough the Yett fits the arch to perfection. The wild garden was laid out in 1925 and was formerly a wood. There are many fine shrubs in the garden; in particular the Azaleas and Maples are very beautiful. Early in the year the ground is covered by many bulbs, followed by Meconopsis and Primulas. The garden draws many visitors in May when it is at its best.
(Please note: the garden and the castle are no longer owned by a Guthrie and are not a part of any tour. The Guthrie Castle, Forfarshire, Angus, Scotland now owned outside the family is a private home and business with accommodation for those who book for the Dan Pena Seminars.)
{source} The Princess of Greater Scythia, and from the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

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