Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Castle of Mey

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Castle of Mey, former home of the Queen Mother in Caithness, Scotland

Formerly known as Barrogill Castle, the Castle of Mey is a former home of the late Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth (mother of the current British monarch, Elizabeth II) who died in 2002 at the age of 101. She had purchased this castle during the time she was still mourning the death of her husband, King George VI, in 1952. When she saw it and heard it was going to be abandoned, she decided to purchase it and renovated and turned into a beautiful royal edifice. In 1996, unable to visit the castle as she was already 96, she turned it over to The Trust, later known as The Castle of Mey Trust, which was established (for charitable purposes especially for the benefit of the community) by a Deed of Trust in June 1996.

The castle has some grim past attached to its creation. Originally, it was built by the 4th Earl of Caithness for his second son, William Sinclair. Prior to that, the Earl imprisoned his other son, John, for six years in the castle and when he tried to escape, William reported it to their father. John murdered William. The castle went to the other brother named George, who established and founded the family of Sinclairs in Mey, he became the Earl of Caithness in 1789. When his descendant, the 15th Earl of Caithness, died without direct heirs, the castle went to a friend who also sold the castle later to Captain Imbert-Terry and in 1952 was purchased by the Queen Mother.

Castle of Mey's garden

Castle of Mey is located on the remote area of Caithness in Scotland and perched above the ground of 400 yards from the seashore overlooking the beautiful island of Orkney. The castle has a magnificent garden and already awarded of a 5-star quality assurance grading every year since 2007.When the Queen Mother was still alive, she made sure gardens and green plants would surround the castle, she cultivated flowers behind the great wall of Mey. Like his late grandmother, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales also loved the countryside and gardening, he suggested to create an E shaped rosebeds in the walled garden and now the castle is a picture of loveliness and tranquility with green plants and magnificent flowers abundantly grow behind.

The Prince of Wales was quoted saying : "Every year, in August, I am fortunate enough to be able to stay in the castle, the only home which my dearly beloved grandmother ever owned, and I have fallen in love with it and the local area" (Telegraph UK).

Now the castle is open for a public visit and tour from May 1 to September 30 except for July 28 to August 8. The castle is also accepting wedding bookings. For more information how to visit the Castle of Mey, CLICK HERE