A house in the countryElcho Castle is one of Scotland’s best-preserved 16th-century tower houses. It was built around the time of the Protestant Reformation in 1560 by a member of the family of Wemyss of that Ilk. The family could trace their lineage back to the 12th century. A descendant of the builder of Elcho was created Lord Wemyss of Elcho in 1628 and Earl of Wemyss in 1633.
The Family of Wemyss of that IlkElcho Castle was built by the family of Wemyss of that Ilk (‘of that Place’). The family took its surname from the barony of Wemyss, on the Fife coast, characterised by its numerous caves; the name Wemyss derives from ‘weem’ (Gaelic uamh) meaning ‘cave’.
A fine country residenceElcho is of particular interest as showing the transition from castle to mansion building in Scotland. The castle manages to combine an imposing exterior with an interior that provided the noble occupants and their guests with considerable comfort and privacy.
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