The History Of Dunimarle Castle

Centuries of History

Dunimarle Castle occupies a spectacular setting in a highly elevated position overlooking the Firth of Forth. The original dwelling was a medieval Castle belonging to the MacDuffs who were the Thanes, or Royal representatives, of Fife. It was built to take advantage of this defensive, coastal site. The small 18th century mansion house ‘Castlehill’ was built further east to exploit the site's picturesque qualities. The Blaw family owned the estate from the 16th century until 1830, when it was sold to Lady Margaret Keith of Tulliallan. Shortly afterwards the small mansion was incorporated into a grander, castle-like villa for Magdalene Sharpe Erskine (1787-1872), sister and heir to local nobleman Sir John Drummond Erskine of Torrie (1776-1836).

Victorian Era

Victorian Era

Magdalene Sharpe Erskine (24/02/1787 - 1872) Dunimarle, or Castlehill as it was originally known, was a fortified castle built in the medieval period. A small 18th century mansion house was then built to the east. The estate was owned by the Blaw family from the 16th century until 1830 when it was bought by Lady Margaret Keith of Tulliallan. The small mansion was soon incorporated into a much grander Gothic house by Magdalene Sharpe Erskine. She reinstated its name to Dunimarle and transformed the property into the atmospheric Scottish Castle we have the pleasure of seeing today. Mrs Sharpe Erskine was an enthusiastic collector of china, glass, painted glass and lace and she inherited a collection of paintings from her brothers. On her death in 1872 she endowed Dunimarle as a museum of art to display her collection of 850 works. These works of art remained at the museum, which was open to the public until the 1950s. In 1995 the National Galleries of Scotland transferred the works to form the basis of a collection at Duff House in Banff, Aberdeenshire, where you can still admire it today.