Explore the exhibition dedicated to the founding of Nova Scotia.
Examine the curious shape, scale and details of the building.
Stroll around the former mill town of Menstrie.
At the foot of the Ochil hills, Menstrie has all the markings of a classic Scottish fortress, with its miniature turrets and solid stone walls. However, this castle was actually a cosy mansion house, built by the Alexander family in 1560 as much for comfort as defence.
Inside Menstrie Castle, you’ll find a museum dedicated to the founding of Nova Scotia in Canada by Sir William Alexander, who was born here in 1577. Sir William was one of a host of aristocratic owners in the castle’s history, and was Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to James VI.
Despite standing only three storeys tall, Menstrie Castle is very imposing. Before entering, take time to read the interpretation board outside, which gives a good account of the story of the castle and its owners. These include the 1st Earl of Stirling and military commander Sir Ralph Abercromby.
The ground floor houses a fascinating slice of Scottish-Canadian history in a museum dedicated to the founding of Nova Scotia by Sir William Alexander, who was born here. Only the ground floor is open to the public – the upper floors are private tenement flats.
Children’s quiz sheets are available at the property.
Take time to explore the surrounding village of Menstrie, which has a selection of eating places and shops.
Even though, strictly speaking, it’s a crenelated manor house rather than a fortified tower, Menstrie Castle is part of the Clackmannanshire Tower Trail. This also includes Alloa Tower, Clackmannan Tower, Castle Campbell and Sauchie Tower.
Parking is available in front of the property.
Group visits are welcome by prior arrangement. Contact 01259 211701 (Alloa Tower) for more information.
There are two steps into the castle.
Menstrie Castle is in Menstrie, 5 miles NE of Stirling.