Methven Castle and Estate papers

Scope and Content

Legal papers 1891-c 1930; Financial papers 1921-1932; Reports 1928-c 1930; Catalogues 1912-1953; Press cuttings [20th century]; Ephemera 1920-[20th century]; Publications [early 20th century -1953]; Plans [20th century].

Administrative / Biographical History

The estate was granted in the 12th century to the Mowbrays, one of whom was Governor of Stirling Castle in the English interest and surrendered to the Scots on the day after Bannockburn. After this capitulation the estates of the Governor were confiscated, and Bruce bestowed Methven on his son-in-law Walter, Lord High Steward, whose son became Robert II of Scotland. In the 16th century the castle was the residence of Margaret, widow of James IV. She died there in 1541 and was interred in the Carthusian Monastery at Perth. In 1664 Patrick Smythe of Braco purchased the estate from Charles II, who received it as heir to the Duke of Lennox, the previous owner. Patrick Smythe's grandson, David, assumed the title of Lord Methven on his elevation to the Bench. His grandson, Col Smythe, succeeded in 1892.

Methven Castle and 1,000 acres of the estate were sold by Colonel David Smythe to J Ernest Cox in 1922. The portion acquired by JE Cox consisted of the mansion-house, policies, and woodlands of Methven Castle, the home farm, and the farms of Easter Busby, Loanleven, Easter Powside, Middle Powside, and Wester Powside. The castle, estate and farms were sold off by the trustees of the late JE Cox between 1953 and 1954.


Records are arranged chronologically within series.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

The records were deposited by the Cox family in 1996 (AccM/324).

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list and database.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.


None expected.

Related Material

MS 66/II Sidlaw Industries: Cox Brothers Ltd