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 (1533-1582). 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
Past Seat / Home of: George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness, 16th century. Captain F. B. Imbert-Terry, 20th century. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Windsor), Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust