In 1952, HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother saw what was then known as Barrogill Castle while staying with Commander and Lady Doris Vyner at the House of the Northern Gate on Dunnet Head, a short distance to the west.
Despite its poor condition, Her Majesty purchased the castle that year and set about renovating and restoring both the castle and its gardens and parklands, which extended to about 30 acres. She also restored the castle's original name, changing Barrogill Castle back to The Castle of Mey.
Her Majesty opened the gardens in aid of Scotland's Gardens Scheme on three days each year, a tradition which the trustees have been pleased to continue.
A Royal Residence
The Queen Mother spent three weeks in August at the castle, returning for about ten days in October each year.
The Castle of Mey, when purchased in 1952, was surrounded by only 30 acres of parkland or, as they are sometimes called, policies. The castle, gardens and policies were all in a poor state and were renovated and restored by Her Majesty between 1953 and 1955.
In 1958, the nearby Longoe Farm came on the market and was purchased by Her Majesty.
A Royal Visitor
HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, has shown great commitment to furthering the Trust objectives and visits at least once each year, renting the castle for a few days each August.