Will the real Weetshill mansion please stand up?

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Weetshill mansion…

and here’s the photographic evidence of its existence.

From the first time I saw this derelict mansion in October 1993, I was head over heels in love with it. I mean, just look at it. Despite the fact that there are no windows, floors, no roof and there are good sized trees growing within the confines of the stone walls, you can easily see what it would have looked like in the past.

This beautiful, yet haunting pile, is located in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Whether it’s inhabited by ghosts or not, the image conjures up all sorts of tales (leastways I think so).

And quite like my heroine, Sarah Shand, in A Shadow in the Past, I’m drawn to this place. Perhaps that’s why she says someday I’m going to live there.

This photo was taken from a different angle in 1997 and with a better camera lens. You can really see how much nature has reclaimed since the  photo above taken in 1993.


And before you ask… it IS visible from the stone circle at Gordonsfield farm!

While I envision a different outcome for this grand place (I always thought B&B or hotel), it will live again. The mansion proper – at last word – will be converted to luxury flats. But then that’s economy permitting.


As you can see from this photo taken in 2013, the work has begun. The trees growing up within the walls have been removed, although it appears that they’re growing back. Pesky things.

While I’ve never had the ability to purchase said mansion, I hope I’ve let it live on in some way by including it in my novels… yup, it appears in the second book in the series, working title Shadows From Her Past.

Do you use actual locations, buildings and such in your writing? Please share in the comments.




11 thoughts on “Will the real Weetshill mansion please stand up?”

  1. great photos and nice background on why it’s featured in your novel. I sure hope they can save the old place!

  2. Hi Dorothy, I’m hoping the place will be brought back to its original splendour, too. With only the walls confining my imagination, it was great fun making up the layout of the place and then ‘shopping’ at various online antique websites to furnish it.

  3. I love the post, Melanie. I think real settings add so much to our fiction. I did that with my YA, “Victoria and the Ghost.” The ghost town & legend is real. Thanks for sharing your pics of this old mansion. Beautiful. I can see why it haunts your dreams. Glad to hear it will be featured in the sequel. Looking forward to that.

  4. I love real settings. In my YA, “Victoria and the Ghost,” I used a real Texas ghost town & a legend from there. I think it adds a deeper level to our fiction. Love the pics, Melanie. Glad to hear it will be featured in the sequel. I can’t wait for that one.

  5. The thought of standing before something that is right out of my novel would give me goosebumps, almost like a mingling of realities.:-) I’m glad they are restoring it. Maybe you could rent a flat there someday while working on a book.:-)

  6. Hi Janet! Thanks for stopping by. I agree that real settings at a whole new layer to our writing – whether as themselves or under a different name (to protect the innocent… or should that be guilty?) Looking forward to your upcoming novel “A Ghost for Shelley”. 🙂

  7. What a lovely, lovely place. I’m glad they’re restoring it and look forward to learning more about it in your story.
    Many of my books have actual places in them. The lighthouse in my pirate story is still standing, though it was disabled during the Civil War. Folly Island is real. The house my characters live in in my historical novel exists and is a tourist attraction in Vicksburg, MS. Old places have stories to tell.

  8. Great photos and I love the building, Melanie. I haven’t seen that one, though I’ve seen other ruins of castles and mansions around the country. No wonder it fired your imagination!

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Beverly. I agree that old places have stories to tell. They’ve got a history and maybe even a ghost or two to liven things up. I can’t wait until we go back to Scotland so I can see how much progress they’ve made with the restoration/conversion.

  10. Hi Rosemary! *waves* There isn’t any shortage of ruins of castles and mansions throughout Scotland. I’m not sure if it’s been fixed up since, but there is another one not too far from this one where part of the place was pristine (and people living in it!) and the rest was derelict.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.