The house from a circa 1920 postcard
Built / Designed For: George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness
House & Family History: Barrogill Castle (later called the Castle of Mey) was built on a Z-plan between 1566 and 1572 by George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness (1533-82). The Sinclair family enlarged the castle in the 18th century and again in 1819, when William Burn added the porch and Scottish Baronial architectural elements. As currently configured, the castle contains approximately 38 rooms, including 15 bedrooms, three reception rooms, the library, and the billiards room. A fine double staircase leads from the entrance hall to the principal rooms on the second floor. A trap door in the floor of the dining room leads to a dungeon. The Castle of Mey was the principal Scottish residence of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In 1952, after the death of her husband, King George VI, the Queen Mother purchased the castle from Captain F.B. Imbert-Terry. The house she acquired was in need of much work, having been neglected for years; Her Majesty restored the house and added heating and electricity. In 1996, the Queen Mother created a charitable trust, which took over the ownership of the castle and the estate to secure their future.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Queen Mother maintained a prize-winning herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle on the 2,000-acre estate.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Listed as a Garden & Designed Landscape
Past Seat / Home of: George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness, until 1582. Captain F.B. Imbert-Terry, until 1952. Elizabeth Windsor (Bowes-Lyon), Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, 1952-2002.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Accommodation is avilable in the Granary Lodge. Owned by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, part of the Prince's Foundation.