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Myres Castle

Armorial Panel (17th Century), Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Myres Castle

Classification Armorial Panel (17th Century), Castle (Medieval)

Canmore ID 30292

Site Number NO21SW 15

NGR NO 24170 10978

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Auchtermuchty
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO21SW 15.00 24170 10978.

NO21SW 15.01 NO 24110 10980 Walled Garden; Sundial; Statue

NO21SW 15.02 NO 2416 1101 House at Offices

NO21SW 15.03 NO 24259 11008 East Lodge; Gate Piers

NO21SW 15.04 NO 2420 1091 Curling Pond

NO21SW 15.05 NO 24128 11000 Sundial and Statue

(NO 2418 1098) Myres Castle (NR)

OS 6"map, Fife, 2nd ed., (1920)

Myres Castle, mainly modern, was originally a small 16th century house of three storeys and an attic which forms the SE corner of the modern building. The original building comprised an oblong main block, measuring externally 32 by 24ft, with two towers projecting from opposite corners and a corbelled-out turret at the NE angle. The wing immediately to the west may be contemporary or slightly later. There is a panel on the west side of the parapet dated '1612' or '1616'.

RCAHMS 1933; Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1984.

The upper part of the tower was constructed in 1616, on an existing building.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

The north wing of Myres Castle was added c. 1700, and the west wing c. 1822 (Information from J O Fairlie, Myres Castle, Authtermuchty).

Visited by OS (D S) 26 October 1956.

Myres Castle is as described by the RCAHMS.

Visited by OS (D S) 26 October 1956.

No change.

Visited by OS (R D) 31 March 1967.

Architecture Notes




Alteration to Myres Castle. Note of payments amounting to ?1560.15.10. Letter from John Cook to A Hamilton Bruce.

27 November 1873

GD 150/35/2/Bundle 17/3

Alteration to Myres Castle. Letter from J C Walker*, Architect, to Major Wood. He apologies for the delay in sending plans and specifications and explains that as something has required to be done in every room and place in the house he has had to write separate specifications.

19 September 1872

GD 152/52/2/Bundle 17/1

*J C Walker [1822-1888]

Present condition of Myres House (Castle) and nature of the proposed repairs and improvements. Floors are rotten, joists are weak, walls require to be lathed and ceilings and window frames must be renewed. It is proposed to add two storeys above the servants' hall, and to build a new washing house, laundry and byre, a porch at the front door and carry up the oriel of the dining room so as to enlarge the bedroom above. Internal arrangements are to be altered a new stair built and a turret added to the SE corner.


GD 152/52/12/Bundle 17/2

Delay in completion of building work at Myres Castle. John Swinton (D.1853) [Architect and Contractor] blamed. 'The building had been at a stand since Friday for want of a very slight degree of attention ... that of sending to his foreman a drawing of the little corner excrescences he means for the two ends of the house ...'

Letter J Pillans at Myres to William Waddel.

20 June 1825

GD 152/218/5/3

Myres House. Estimates for repairs from Mason, Carpenter and Plasterer. They amount to ?35.3.6. Included in a letter from F Howden, Factor.

3 January 1837

GD 152/53/2/Bundle 15/2

Ashlar work on the south and east fronts of Myres Castle.

Estimate: Thomas Crombie. ?28.17.0.


GD 152/53/7/Bundle 25

Alterations to Myres Castle. Letter from John Cook to Col. Bruce. Repair work is judged a permanent improvement to the estate sums for the work are to be paid once they are approved by Mr J Dick Peddie, Architect, but the arrangement is not in anyway to interfere with Mr Walker's superintendence.

25 March 1873

GD 152/53/3/Bundle 17/3

*John Dick Peddie [1824-1891] *James C Walker [1822-1888]


Field Visit (4 May 1928)

Myres Castle.

The mansion house of Myres stands on low-lying and level ground within 600 yards of Auchtermuchty, close to the railway station. Mainly modern, it has grown from the small 16th-century house of three storeys and an attic, which now forms its southeast corner. This consists of an oblong main block, measuring externally 32 by 24 feet, with a stair-tower projecting from the north-west angle, a second tower projecting from the angle diametrically opposite, and a small turret, probably intended to contain a service stair, corbelled out at the north-east angle. Whether the wing immediately adjoining on the west, now partly screened by a porch and otherwise modernised, was part of the original house, is not certain. It may possibly be a slightly later addition. It measures some 18 ½ feet by 21 feet externally and has a circled tower projecting from the north-west angle.

Presumably the entrance lay near the foot of the main staircase, where it would be covered by the oval gun-loop still visible in the west wall of the main block. The lower part of the southeast tower contains two tiers of gun-loops, the lower oval, the upper rectangular. There is another gun-loop, circular and probably ornamental, beneath the sill of a window in the upper part.

The masonry is of harled rubble. Two unaltered windows looking south at basement level have heavily chamfered margins. The windows immediately above these have been widened and have their margins back-set and rounded. On the western side the first-floor window has also been widened and its margins are back-set; the window above it; as well as those in the remaining walls, has a roll-and-hollow moulding of early 17th-century date such as is frequently found in Fife. The crowsteps of the west gable indicate the original level and show that the wall-head has been raised. On the south side it bears a moulded eaves-course and fascia of the later 17th century. The south-east tower is corbelled out to the square at second-floor level to support an upperpart which is constructed in ashlar and is an addition. It terminates in a parapeted look-out reached from a turret-stair on the western side, the stair emerging from a cap-house crowned with a stone spire. Two moulded off-set courses, the upper of which has borne small cannon-shaped spouts, now represented by a single survivor, divide it horizontally. On the south-east face of the embattled parapet are two panels bearing shields within garlands. The dexter shield, which is accompanied by the initials S.P. and E.M. bears: A fess between three mullets (?) in chief and three pelicans (?) feeding their young in base, for Paterson. The sinister shield, associated with the initials E.M., bears: Within a bordure three garbs, for Mure.* On the western side of the parapet, a garland on a panel encloses a monogram S.P.E.M. with the date 1612 or 1616. The initials are those of Stephen Paterson and his wife Elizabeth Mure (2).

Internally the house has been modernised, except on the basement floor of the main block. This is vaulted and contains two chambers with a passage on the northern side. The inner or eastern chamber opens into the south-east tower, which is likewise vaulted; the upper tiers of loops in this tower have been reached from a timber floor or staging. The lower flight of the wheel-stair has been reversed to give access from the entrance hall, which is situated in the western wing, to the first floor of the main block.

HISTORICAL NOTE. Early in the 16th century the lands of Myres were in possession of a family named Scrymgeour, of whom John Scrymgeour the younger was ‘master of the King's works or buildings’ and was employed in the erection and repair of the palaces of Falkland and Holyrood (1). But by 1611 these lands had been resigned by James Scrymgeour of Myres and transferred to Stephen Paterson, notary public and sheriff-clerk of Fife, and his wife Elizabeth Mure (2).

RCAHMS 1933, visited 4 May 1928.

(1) Reg. Mag. Sig., 1530/1, No. 992 and 1541/2, No. 2568. (2) Ibid., s.a., No. 488. Cf. Nos. 75, 399, &c. Cf. also Cast. and Dom. Arch., v, p. 330.

*Mure of Rowallan quartered the Comyn garbs with Mure mullets.


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