24 September 2017 (2pm to 5pm)
Menstrie Castle was built c1560 as a manor house by the Alexander family. It was the birthplace of Sir William Alexander, who had an illustrious career during the reign of James VI and I. In 1621 he began to establish a new colony called Nova Scotia, but the scheme failed and he lost money. Nonetheless, he improved Menstrie Castle and his town house in Stirling (Argyll's Lodging) in 1633, when he was invested 1st Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada. In 1640, however, he died a bankrupt and broken man in London.
The house was damaged during the Civil War. James Holburne acquired it in 1648 and his grandson sold it to Alexander Abercromby of Tullibody in 1719. Sir Ralph Abercromby, the famous military commander, was born there in 1734. The Abercromby family sold the estate in 1924.
By 1951 the building was derelict, but was saved from destruction by a campaign led by the actor, broadcaster and conservationist Moultrie Kelsall. The restoration was completed in 1964. Most of the Castle was converted into flats, but two ground-floor rooms were restored as a display area. These are now owned by Clackmannanshire Council and are managed by the National Trust for Scotland.
Building Date: c1560