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Cateran Ecomuseum

Maggie’s Tree or Old Maggie

Belmont Castle was formerly the home of Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman. Liberal Prime Minister from 1905 to 1908. He is buried in Meigle Kirkyard. It was Sir Henry who gave the name ‘Old Maggie’ to the fine copper beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘pupurea’), which stands on the lawn to the front of Belmont Castle. The tree was a particular favourite of his and it is said that he used to sit under its dark and sombre shade to think and discuss affairs of state. The beech tree is indeed a fine, open-grown specimen which forms a striking focal point on the lawn. The short, squat trunk supports a full, spreading crown, and foliage is of a particular dark and uniform purple. The trunk measures 5 metres in girth and the canopy reaches 25 metres, although it crown is now a little sickly.

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