The secluded valley of Monzie has been inhabited since pre-historic times. ‘Monzie’, pronounced without the “z” is a Gaelic word meaning ‘field of corn’. Evidence of early settlement exists in the form of a standing stone, a stone circle, a packhorse bridge, and various Iron age fortifications.
In the medieval period, Monzie was an important business centre with the St Lawrence fair being held in August each year. Farmers and crofters would come down from the hills to sell their cattle and to buy supplies for the year ahead.
In the 17th and 18th century Monzie was a weaving village with a population of 200 and a fine school with two schoolmasters. In 1939 Monzie held the Rover Scout Moot, a week long camp for Scouts worldwide. It was attended by 3,500 scouts from 45 countries, and the BBC broadcast worldwide from the campfire.
The estate is managed by David Crichton and his wife Alexandra who took over in 2014 and, alongside award winning Farm Manager Wilson Peters who manages the farm with his dedicated team, have established a successful accommodation business. David also manages the famed Monzie Joinery who specialise in bespoke fitted furniture, such as kitchens, boot rooms, wardrobes and bookcases.
The couple are also behind the restoration of Largo Estate alongside Horticultural Manager Kathryn Beckett and her team who are restoring two walled gardens for vegetable and flower production.
David and Alexandra have a vigorous plan to revitalise the estate with ambitious plans to restore buildings and make the estate sustainable. All profits are ploughed into a range of exciting projects and buildings. Do ask them for more information.
The oldest part of the castle dates from 1634. The main part was completed in 1795 by Robert Paterson, previously clerk of works to the celebrated Robert Adam.
In 1908 a serious fire took hold of the castle with only the outside walls remaining. The leading Scottish architect of the day, Sir Robert Lorimer was instructed to restore the castle. His lifelong affinity with traditional Scottish architecture saw him encourage and develop a number of Edinburgh craftsmen and workshops, whose work is on display as part of a harmonious piece of design.
To learn more about clan Crichton, its history, tartan, and more, visit clancrichton.org.