Kellie Castle, a charming visitor site close to Scotland's Fife Coast
This evening, I am posting information on Kellie Castle and its gardens.
The castle is located about three miles from Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife (east of Scotland) and thus fits nicely with the Fife Coast ‘tourist trail’ between Edinburgh and St. Andrews which includes St. Monans and Crail.
Parts of the Castle (north tower) date from 1360 but the substance of the structure dates from the 16th century. There is an inscription on the south-facing wall dated 1573 which refers to the time when Margaret Hay was assigned the estate at Kellie as a dower by her husband Lawrence, the fourth Lord Oliphant.
The Castle today is a legacy of Professor James Lorimer who, together with his family, embarked on a project in 1878 to restore the roofless and ruinous building which he succeeded in achieving. Relapse into another ruinous period was narrowly avoided in 1936 when the garden-loving Mary MacLeod Wylie and her sculptor husband, Hew Lorimer took control.After Mary’s death in 1970 ownership passed to the National Trust for Scotland, a heritage organisation.
The garden has been maintained in the Scottish Arts and Crafts style identified with Robert Lorimer (son of Prof. James) all within the 400 year old walls. There is a main central path, two small corner gardens ( Robin’s Garden and the Secret Garden) and a stone garden house.
Today, the garden comprises a blend of formal structure and informal planting. the Trust maintains the late Victorian rose collection whilst elsewhere there are vegetable beds producing organically grown crops. There are even a few chickens scratching around.
When the sun shines it is possible to sit out in the garden for tea and refreshments.
The Castles exudes a ‘lived in’ feel and provides a pleasant refuge from the busier tourist sites in this part of Scotland.
The castle is open from late March through to late October but prospective visitors should first check website for details.