Elcho Castle

Elcho Castle, Perthshire

~ History ~

1429 ~ Sir David Wemyss is recorded as being in possession of 'Elthok'

1448 ~ Sir David's son John is confirmed as being the owner of Easter Elcho by King James II.

1513 ~ Sir David's grandson, also named David, is killed at the Battle of Flodden alongside King James IV of Scotland fighting the English.

1550's ~ Sir John Wemyss builds Elcho Castle.

1570 ~ Sir John has spent years providing finacial support to the local Cistercian nuns, upon the death of the Prioress, the nunnery is closed and all the extensive lands now owned by the Wemyss family.

1571 ~ Sir John dies suddenly at Elcho Castle before he has chance to make a will. Documents are hastily drawn up bequeathing lands and properties of the estate. He is succeeded by his eldest son David.

1589 ~ Sir David is involved in the wedding arrangements for King James to Anna of Denmark, and their subsequent honeymoon in Scotland.

1603 ~ Following the Union of the two Crowns, Sir John Wemyss accompanies Queen Anna south to London to join her husband.

1622 ~ Sir John does and he is succeeded by his son also named John.

1625 ~ John is created a Baronet of Nova Scotia.

1628 ~ John is awarded a peerage, taking the title Lord Wemyss of Elcho.

1633 ~ King Charles I makes John an Earl.

1634 ~ Despite King Charles awarding John the title of Earl, he rejects the King's attempts to re-establish bishops in teh church of Scotland and upon Civil War being declared, he takes the side of Parliament.

1649 ~ John dies the same year King Charles is beheaded. He is succeeded by his son David, who without a male heir passes the estates to his youngest daughter Margaret. She in turn marries her kinsman, Sir James Wemyss.

1715 ~ Margaret's son Earl David Wemyss is appointed Lord High Admiral under Queen Anna, and a Privy Councillor. He is one of the Commissioners who drafts the Treaty of Union for Scotland with England.

Elcho Castle is later abandoned.

1745 ~ Earl David's son James plays a prominent role in the Jacobite Rising. He serves as Bonnie Prince Charles Colonel of the Prince's Horse Guards.

1746 ~ Following the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden, James escapes to France. As a result he is stripped of all titles and rights. However Elcho and its lands remain with the Wemyss family.

1773 ~ During the 'great famine' the castle is used by a local farmer to store grain for export to England and France, where higher prices and profits could be made. A mob march from Edinburgh to Elcho as a result and it takes the intervention of soldiers to prevent a full scale riot.

The grain is sold on the open market in Perth the very next day.

1830 ~ The neglected castle is re-roofed with new windows installed.


East of Tarsappie


Off Rhynd Road, off A912



Echo Castle is one of Scotland's best preserved early Tower Houses. A walk round of this magnificent Tower House has you looking up at the ever changing varying architecture.

The castle can also be explored inside through to a wall walk on the roof, so plenty to see.

If you want to explore a Scottish Tower House still in great condition, then Elcho should be on your list to visit.

Access is very easy with a small fee to pay and plenty of parking with guidebooks available to purchase.