Drummond Castle


Crieff PH7 4HZ


From the upper terraces of Drummond Castle there are spectacular views over Scotland’s finest formal garden. Laid out across nine acres is a giant parterre, made up of 11 miles of box hedging and punctuated by topiary cones made of holly and ewe.

The central part of the garden forms the shape of a St Andrew’s cross and in summer, red and yellow roses - Drummond’s heraldic colours - flourish in the geometric beds, crowding around the bases of the many statues that grace this space.

The garden that exists today is a 19th century recreation of a 17th century design, and its survival can be attributed to the Jacobite Uprising. Because of the Drummond family’s sympathies for the Stuart cause, their castle was annexed by the Crown for 40 years just as the fashion for romantic landscapes was sweeping the country and most other formal gardens were being grubbed up and replaced by parkland studded with trees.

While the gardens of many wealthy families were being transformed by artificial lakes and hahas, Drummond remained unchanged and in the early 1800s, when Clementina Drummond and her husband Peter Robert Burrell, later Baron Willoughby de Eresby, took up residence, there was still enough of the old garden left for them to be able to reinstate it.

They also set out broad terraces and filled the garden with the plants that were pouring into Britain from Asia and the New World, bringing a modern dimension that would have been unthinkable when the garden was first designed.

It was clearly a triumph because, when Queen Elizabeth came to visit, she wrote about it enthusiastically and set her seal of approval upon the garden by planting two copper birch trees.

As well as the parterre, Drummond also has a policy park and an avenue of beech trees that stretches from the castle to the main gate, over a mile away. There are several ponds and, hidden from sight behind high walls, are glasshouses and productive vegetable beds.

The garden is surrounded by the Perthshire hills and a broad ride of mown grass through 


Spectacular Sundial

The solstice is just a few days away and what better way to mark it than by visiting Drummond Castle and viewing the remarkable obelisk sundial that stands at the centre of the parterre.

This multifaceted sundial was carved by master mason John Mylne in 1630 for Lord Drummon, the 2nd Earl of Perth. It has 61 dials and 131 ways to tell the time and it is the earliest of Scotlands’ multi-faceted designs. It marked out its owner as a man of science and learning and soon other landowners were clamouring for similar designs. Today Scotland is home to a unique collection of these polyhedral dials as well as other remarkable solar timepieces. Find them at Greenbank Garn in Glasgow, Attadale Castle in Wester Ross, Mount Stuart on Bute as well as in many other gardens around the country.


Bird’s Eye View

The parterre has been designed to be viewed from the castle terrace and trees play an important part in its impact. Amongst more than a dozen kinds of maple are Acer cappadocicum and Acer platanoides ' while a pair of Sequoia sempervirens occupies the south east corner.

Taxus baccata "Fastigiata' and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana also play a part in creating the effect.

The season at Drummond runs from April until October, and once the gates close the gardeners begin the mammoth task of trimming the Box and shaping the topiary, work that takes all winter to complete. The statues are also scrubbed and covered with Goretex protectors to shield them from the elements.

Perthshire’s hills form a backdrop to the garden and a broad grass ride, carved through Daggan Wood, which rises to the south, carries the eye to the landscape beyond the walls.



The gardens are open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Tickets £10/£4

A designated route provides accessibility for wheelchair users and pushchairs.