Torosay Castle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Torosay Castle

Torosay Castle is a large house situated ​1 12 miles south of Craignure on the Isle of Mull, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.

John Campbell of Possil, son of Colonel Alexander Campbell of Possil, commissioned David Bryce to build Torosay Castle for the Campbell of Possil family.

It was designed by architect David Bryce for John Campbell of Possil (see Carter-Campbell of Possil) in the Scottish Baronial style, and completed in 1858. Torosay is surrounded by 12 acres (4.9 ha) of spectacular gardens including formal terraces laid out at the turn of the 20th century and attributed to Sir Robert Lorimer. The castle and gardens used to be open to the public, being linked to the Craignure ferry terminal by the Isle of Mull Railway.

The garden's Statue Walk is made up of 19 statues in the style of Italian sculptor Antonio Bonazza. The statues were acquired by then-owner Walter Murray Guthrie from a derelict garden near Milan and shipped to Scotland for next to nothing as ballast in a cargo ship.

John Campbell of Possil sold the castle and the estate to Arburthnot Charles Guthrie, a wealthy London businessman, in 1865. It served as his "getaway"; the castle has over 60 rooms and is surrounded by an estate of over 12 acres (0.049 km2). Following the sale of Guthrie Castle out of the Guthrie family, Torosay was generally acknowledged as the seat for Clan Guthrie. Torosay was sold in 2012 to the McLean Fund and closed for renovations, and opened in December 2013 with a private family. Christopher Guthrie-James, former Laird of the Estate said "it was with a sense of relief, rather than regret, that we sold the family home at Torosay." Kenneth Donald McLean sixth Laird has spent more than £1 million renovating the castle and gardens. The castle is permanently closed to the public. The gardens are open on the first Sunday in the month - April to October.[1]

The Campbell of Possil coat of arms on the south elevation of Torosay Castle incorporates three bugles (horns). These were taken from the armorial bearings of John Campbell's third wife, Elizabeth Williamson, daughter of Donald Horne, but were never matriculated by the Lord Lyon of Scotland.

The novelist Angela du Maurier, older sister of Dame Daphne du Maurier, is said to have spent some time residing at Torosay with her close companion Olive Guthrie (great grandmother of the present owner).[2] Angela dedicated her book Weep No More (1940) to "Olive Guthrie of Torosay." Other visitors during the 1930s included Winston Churchill (Olive Guthrie was his aunt by marriage) and King George of Greece.

Champagne find[edit]

In July 2008 the then oldest bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne was discovered inside a sideboard in Torosay Castle. The 1893 bottle was in mint condition. It is believed to have been locked inside the dark sideboard since at least 1897. The champagne is now on display at the Veuve Clicquot visitor centre in Reims, France, and regarded as "priceless".[3]


  1. ^ Kerr, Moira (2 October 2012). "Torosay Castle sold after 147 years with one family". The Times.
  2. ^ Jane Dunn, Daphne du Maurier and Her Sisters: The Hidden Lives of Piffy, Bird and Bing, Harper Press, 2013.
  3. ^ "Priceless champagne discovered". BBC News. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-26.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°27′18″N 5°41′14″W / 56.45500°N 5.68722°W / 56.45500; -5.68722