Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Exploring Scotland 1 Castle at a Time Part 10 Castle Fraser and Gight House

Aberdeenshire was our next destination and Gight House was the self-catering cottage that we stayed at. If--when I get to go back to Scotland, I think I'm going to do nothing but self-catering.  I'm going to pick about five.  One in Aberdeenshire probably the same one we stayed at this time bacause it was wonderful.
One in the Argyll area. One in the Midlothians (Edinburgh)  One in the Inverness area.  And one on Skye. Way- way out on the tip of the islands.  I'm going to use those places as my home base and just meander and explore.  We did that this time, but I think we were too intense in our efforts at times.  There were several places I didn't get to see this go round, and I'm going to next.  I thought I'd share some of the pictures I took of our Cottage and the neighboring areas. It was beautiful. Even in the rain.   
Everyone had gardens. If ever I decide to relocate to UK I'd open a garden center. It's a sure fire way to make a living.

I've  decided that I could never be a sheep farmer, which is how much of the Aberdeen area make their living. Sheep and cattle.  I have a tendancy to name my critters and there'd be no way I could eat them. Besides, sheep have that cute factor that makes you want to cuddle them. But I've heard they're really dumb.  They're very skittish, so I couldn't get close enough to find out.

On May 30th  we traveled to Fraser Castle. By the time we arrived the sky was clear and we got some great photos of the castle.

The castle in this metamorphosis was created in the 15th century around the original tower. The rectangular part of the castle you see at the very back of the photo. It is designed on a Z-plan which means that the cylindrical parts of the castle were added at each corner of the main rectangular structure then others built at each corner of the courtyard.  At one time a wall would have completely enclosed the castle but it doesn't any longer.
It does have a  spectacular tree lined road-way that leads up to it.

And a walled garden that is lovely. But I much prefered the one at Scone Palace and some of the other castles we visited after this one. 

We weren't allowed to take photos inside but I'll recap some of my favorite areas of the castle and you can go to the Undiscovered Scotland to see some photos that are wonderful of the interior.
I loved the Peacock Parlour because of the movement in the wallpaper and the circular table in the center of the room.
I admired the Worked Room because of the decorative woodworking over the doorway and the embrodery work in the canopy and bedspread of the bed.
The Red Turret room was spectacular and I loved the bowing of the wall where the turret curved.
And in Major Smile's room, Mitsi, my travel companion, and I both lusted after the Major's desk.  I even made a drawing of it on a piece of paper in case I should decide to build one like it.  I'd have transported the whole room home if I could have. Save for technology, it would have been the perfect writer's office.   

The  Frasers were real rebels and bad guys. They hung Robert the Bruce's sister in the courtyard of the castle for six months and she actually survived to tell about it. 
In 1644, Andrew Fraser opposed King Charles the Ist efforts to Catholicize the Church of Scotland. As a result the castle was sacked by Royalist forces.In the end, King Charles did lose his head over the controversy.  
And in 1715, Charles Fraser transfered the castle to  John Erskine, the 23rd Earl of Mar, to make the estate solvent,  but it put him in the position of having to support the Earl of Mar's Jacobite call.  Because of that, the Fraser clan took heavy losses on the Culloden Battle Field and Charles became an outlaw. He died in an accident while still on the run. 

One of the legends that intrigued me was about a princess who had come to visit and was murdered.  Her body was dragged down the stairs from the Green Room leaving a trail of blood across the stone. No matter how hard the servants scrubbed the stains could not be removed, so the stairs were covered by wood. She still stalks the castle halls. 

Here's one last peak at Fraser Castle through the canopy of trees that borders the drive.
Tomorrow I'll talk about Drum Castle and Crathes.

Write on,
Teresa R.   


Anita Clenney said...

Oh my gosh...I'm so jealous. This is just gorgeous. I want to go to Scotland so bad. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Beth Trissel said...

Beautiful pics and so interesting!

Teresa Reasor said...


Thanks for reading the blog. I never thought of myself as much of a photographer until I downloaded my photos from Scotland. It's easy to take beautiful photos when you have such wonderful material.

Teresa R.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

You are making me homesick for Scotland. I need to go back NOW! This castle is just gorgeous and so well maintained. Another thank you from me to you!

Teresa Reasor said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog and the pictures so much.
Get on a plane and go, gal.

Teresa R.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Great idea, Teresa. I would so love to jump on a plane and return to Scotland. When we were there and I was sitting in a boat on Loch Ness I started crying. My hubby was concerned and then I told him why - every Scottish gene I have must have surfaced because I'd felt like I had come home. I've never had that feeling before and I still feel like I belong there. It is weird, I know, but the land of my ancestors calls to me. I've heard so many people say this. Cannot explain it. I must stay with dreams with your travelog and enjoy Scotland through your eyes. If the economy would straighten out, I would be gone...

Thanks again for sharing with us.

Mary Ricksen said...

What wonderful pictures, and you must have picked up a lot of imagery from the local views and people.
It's like going to Scotland with you!

Delle Jacobs said...

Wonderful, Teresa! I wish I could go to Scotland but I'll have to be satisfied with vicarious tours because there are so many other must-sees on my list too.

Teresa Reasor said...

Mary and Delle:
Thanks for reading the blog. And I'm so glad you can travel along with me vicariously.

Teresa R.