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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 13/04/1971


  • Local Authority: Highland
  • Planning Authority: Highland
  • Parish: Canisbay

National Grid Reference

  • NGRND 29032 73889
  • Coordinates329032, 973889


Probably 1566-72, with various 17th, 18th, 19th and mid

20th century additions and alterations. 3-storey and attic.

3-bay centre block with 16th century projecting 5-storey

square tower at SE, and 2-storey, wide single bay crenellated

dining room wing at west gable with angle bartizans.

(c. 1954). SE tower with angle bartizans, crenellated

with modern glazing. 2 wings project at rear forming narrow

wallhead and regular later single bay fenestration in south

elevation. 1819 (William Burn, architect) Baronial porch,

with round-arched detailing, and entrance hall fill SW

with round-headed entrance with flanking round-headed

windows and double leaf doors, in projecting canted porch;

5-light arcaded window above entrance. 2-storey wing

projects at rear, forming with main castle elevation, 2

sides of high walled rear court, with round-headed entrance

under crenellated wallhead.

Piended dormers rise through wallhead; sash and case

window with multi-pane glazing; gun loops in south elevation

of centre block and in tower; coped end and ridge stacks;

slate roofs.

Statement of Special Interest

Property of H.M. The Queen Mother. Built by George, 4th

Earl of Caithness, and passed to his 2nd son, William, who

founded the line of Sinclair of Mey Name subsequently

changed to Barrogill Castle, but reverted to Castle of

Mey when purchased by H.M. The Queen Mother, c. 1953.

William Burn addition of 1819 largely removed during 195

alterations. Crest of H.M. The Queen Mother (carved by

Hew Lorimer, circa 1954) over 1st

floor dining room window at west.




(1911) pp. 9-11. p1. IV, fig. 3, (plan). IMPERIAL GAZETTEER

OF SCOTLAND, i, 240. Donald Omand, (ed.) THE CAITHNESS BOOK

(1972) P. 160, p1. 27.


ARCHITECTS 1600-1840 (1978) p. 162. National Monuments

Record of Scotland.

H Fenwick, Castle of Mey, SCOTTISH TATLER July/Aug. 1979.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at