Drummond Gardens and Castle

Drummonds Gardens

The Origins of Drummond Gardens

Drummond Castle was built on a rocky outcrop by John, 1st Lord Drummond around 1490. The 2nd Earl, a Privy Councillor to James VI and Charles I, succeeded in 1612 and is credited with transforming both the gardens and the castle between 1630-1636. The keep still stands but the rest of the castle was restored and largely remodelled by the 1st Earl of Ancaster in 1890.

From the east gateway on the Crieff Muthill road, visitors drive up the long beech avenue to the car park and then walk to the outer castle court. On passing into the inner courtyard and attaining the top of the terracing the full extent and majesty of the garden is suddenly revealed. The dominant feature of the parterre design is a St Andrew's Cross with the multiplex 17th century sundial at its centre.

A strong north-south axis runs through the garden, down the impressive flight of steps to the sundial, through the classical archway and kitchen garden beyond, cutting a swathe through woodland before rising to the top of the opposing hillside. This idea of drawing the countryside into the garden is essentially French; however, Drummond is an eclectic garden and also rooted firmly in the Italian style with its fountains, terracing, urns and statuary.

Early records mention Lord Drummond sending cherries to James IV in 1508, when the monarch was hunting in nearby Glen Artney Forest. The 2nd Earl must have owned a significant garden and the presence of the sundial (installed in 1630) goes some way to confirming this.

Towards the end of the 17th century the 4th Earl was credited with planning and beginning an avenue of four rows of trees from the castle to Perth, some 20 miles away! One of the gardeners employed at the time was John Reid, who later wrote The Scots Gard'ner, the first Scottish gardening book published in 1683.

How to get there

Approaching from the south on the A9. After leaving the Dunblane roundabout on the A9, folllowing the signs for Perth you will see a large BROWN TOURIST SIGNPOST. This includes information about Drummond Gardens and the sign will direct you off the A9 at Greenloaning. Stay on this road (it's a very picturesque drive) until you have entered the small village of Muthill. Keep on the main road and as you leave the village more brown signs mark the entrance to the gardens on your left.

If you are arriving by coach you will see signs directing coaches to a special entrance. The first sign is visible near the turning for Muthill Golf Club.
Click Map to see where Drummond Gardens and Castle are located.

Information Summary

Parking: There is ample parking for all types of vehicles. See Access below for wheel chair visitors.
Walk Time: Unlimited
Access: The gardens are built into the side of a steep hillside and several flights of steep steps provide the main access for visitors. It is therefore important that anyone with limited mobility is aware of this fact. We have given serious consideration on the best way to provide access to the gardens for visitors who need to use a wheelchair. On arrival in your car, please drive to the castle courtyard (signposted for wheelchair user parking) and ticket office. Your driver will be able to purchase tickets and obtain advice on how to get into the gardens from the potting shed access drive, where there is also a dedicated parking area. They will be given a garden map showing the best route around the garden for a wheelchair or buggy user. Please note that the gravel paths require a strong pusher and our suggested route is along firmer, grass paths. There is also a garden viewing area near the ticket office, which can be accessed upon request.
OS Map: Explorer 368: Crieff, Comrie & Glen Artney
Admission:Adults: £5.00, Superadults £4.00 Children £2.00
10% discount for groups of 20 or more
Opening Times:Gardens only: Easter Weekend (four days) then daily May to 31st October, 1 - 6 pm (last admission 5 pm).

THE CASTLE IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, however the Gardens afford marvellous views of the buildings and surrounding countryside.

     Last updated 20/03/2015

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