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Publication Account

Date 1987

Event ID 1016848

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1016848

The ruin of this 16th century fortified house comprises an oblong tower-house, formerly of three storeys. There is a courtyard to the west, open to the north and walled to the south. There are two-storey buildings on the west side of the courtyard, the corner tower of which has a conical roof. The courtyard buildings are now occupied as a house known as Feather Cottage.

The castle was deliberately ruined after the completion of Mountquhanie (or Mountquhannie) House in the 1830s. A small single-storey 'Gothic' laundry was constructed to the east of the tower-house. Feather Cottage was used for estate workers' housing and the upper portion of the circular tower was converted to a dovecote. The vaulted ground-floor chambers were converted to an estate slaughterhouse and butcher shop. The slaughterhouse occupied the east chamber and had a large tree trunk built into the walls to support it just under the vault. This was used to hoist the carcases during the slaughtering process. The west chamber contained the butcher shop and two of the blocked window recesses were converted to smoke kilns for the curing of meat.

The cattle were driven from Balquhidder to Mountquhanie each Martinmas and a butcher was brought from Cupar to slaughter the animals and cure the meat This practice continued into the fIrst half of this century when the slaughterhouse was abandoned.

There is also a small domestic icehouse a little to the west of the farm buildings.

To complete the romantic image the ruin was planted with ivy. Its position on the brow of a hill helped to achieve its utilitarian function of disguising these estate buildings and screening the farmstead from the mansion house.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

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