Tributes to Lady Balgonie

Margaret Stuart, Lady Balgonie
Margaret Stuart, Lady Balgonie

Tributes have been paid to Margaret Morris, Lady Balgonie and Eddergol, who passed away suddenly on August 1 following a short illness.

Margaret will be best known in the region as a member of the family that took over the ownership of Balgonie Castle in 1985, whereby she was intrumental in the slow restoration of a respected piece of Scotland’s architectural heritage.

Margaret Newton Stuart was born in Crombie in Fife, on February 10, 1938, the only child of James C.B. Stuart and his wife Mary, nee Couper.

As a child she attended Milesmark Primary School and later Queen Ann High School,at that time taking up dance classes which began a life long passion for the theatre.

She later qualified to teach Scottish country dancing and was a member of the Dunfermline Light Opera.

After school, Margaret attended agricultural school, near Comrie, and from there she went to East of Scotland College of Agriculture, part of Edinburgh University, to study horticulture.

It was here that she was to meet her future husband, Raymond Morris, who was studying agriculture at the college, sometimes attending the same classes.

Margaret went on to work in the local nursery as a rose grower before going on to work at the Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline.

Margaret and Raymond were married at St Andrews Church, Dunfermline in 1961.

In 1965 their son, Stuart, was born, with Raymond helping with the delivery due to the doctor being late.

After spells living in Monikie in Angus, Acharn on the south shore of Loch Tay and Cupar, the family settled in Balgonie Castle where they continue to live to this day.

An active member of the Scottish Womens Rural Institute (SWRI) from her earliest student days she became president of the Milton of Balgonie branch having already held the position for the SWRI’s Kenmore and District branch.

She was also a renowned baker having won the British Sugar Council’s Silver Spoon award for her tablet.

Margaret enjoyed the many weddings that took place at the restored castle chapel and it was poignant that her funeral took place on the 25th anniversary of the first wedding at Balgonie.

Son Stuart described his mother as the backbone of the family, quiet, dignified and helpful.

She was proud of her family and was delighted to finally be able to stand in front of the Memorial to the victims of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster and be able to point to her great great grandmother, Elizabeth Mann, the disaster’s oldest victim, and Elizabeth’s granddaughter Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brown.

She is survived by her husband Raymond, son Stuart, daughter-in-law Kelly, and step grandchildren Robbie, Katy, Jennifer, Chandra, Derrik, Logan, Lexie, Anthony, Jace, Olivia and Rowan.