I was beginning to think that we must have taken a wrong turning when we were trying to find Elcho Castle, but eventually we reached this ancient dovecote or doocot as we say in Scotland. The doocot would have been used for pigeons to nest in in the castle’s heyday, an important source of meat for the inhabitants.
I said in my earlier Elcho post here that you have to drive through a working farmyard to reach the castle and it’s just by the doocot, this sort of millpond is just across the road and as you can see there’s a barn in the background. There are a few wee cottages there too, it looks an idyllic place to live but it’s incredibly isolated and I think they must be cut off in bad winters.
But to have a burn running through my garden like this one I wouldn’t mind living in a doocot, not that anyone does live in this one but I’m sure you could get some light into the place somehow nowadays. It’s like something out of a fairy tale, it would be almost as good as living in a lighthouse – something which I’ve always fancied!
We’ve been having fab weather recently and as we were travelling to Perthshire again to visit our youngest son we thought we would set off early and squeeze in a visit to Elcho Castle on the way. I must admit that I had never even heard of Elcho until recently. It’s very far off the beaten track, unlike many castles which you can see clearly from roads. Elcho is a 16th century tower house, one of the best preserved in Scotland. It’s a combination of a keep and a mansion house, it was built for defence but by the time it was finished there was not much fear of it being attacked.
Elcho is miles down a narrow road and you think you’re never going to get to it, you even have to drive through a farmyard, but when you get there it’s definitely worth it as you can see.
Elcho Castle still has its roof on although some of the internal floors are no longer in existence you still get a feeling of how it must have been in its heyday.
The photo above is of the main staircase which is quite a bit wider than in most castles of this age. There are a lot of much narrower spiral staircases all around the castle, those ones were meant to be used by the staff who weren’t supposed to use these ones.
That wider staircase leads to the room above which is the grandest room, it’s full of light on a bright day anyway, it must have been lovely when it was all furnished, panelled and hung with tapestries.
And below is a view of the River Tay from the top of the castle. As you can see it’s a great location. The castle has always been accessed by river and road but given that the road nowadays is very twisty turny and narrow I think that most people and ‘stuff’ would have been taken to and from the castle via boat.
I have lots more photos to show you but I’ll leave that for tomorrow. If you’re interested in the architectural details of this building you can read more here.