Thursday, June 24, 2010

Exploring Scotland 1 Castle at a Time, Part 12, Crathes Castle

We arrived at Crathes on May 30th too late to go inside, but we still took pictures of the castle and the gardens. There were several late visitors enjoying the gardens and walking their dogs. That’s something I was really pleased about in Scotland. People take their dogs everywhere with them. And I never saw one that wasn’t well behaved. I really missed mine while I was there.

Alexander Burnard the founder of the Burnetts was one of a group of Norman Knights who followed King David I from England and settled in the Aberdeen area in 1107. He was a supporter of Robert the Bruce and was awarded the lands where Crathes Castle now stands by the Bruce.

The founder lived in a Crannog (a loch dwelling) on the Loch of Leys.  I've always been facinated by the Crannogs and wish we'd had time to visit one and see exactly how it was constructed. I borrowed this image from Wikipedia so you could see what one looked like.

His successor several generations later started building Crathes in 1553. It took over 40 years to construct. The outer courtyard wall and outbuildings that would have surrounded the castle are gone, replaced by gardens that stay open to the public year round.

Crathes never faced any military action though the Burnetts did produce many soldiers. The castle was “captured” by the Marquis of Montrose in 1644. Thomas Burnett and he sat down and ate dinner together in the dining room afterward, and the Marquis moved on the next day. Nothing ever came of the capture, and Thomas remained at Crathes helm  throughout the Civil War.

The next Sir Thomas Burnett married in 1680 and he and his wife Margaret produced 21 children. They built an entire wing on the castle to accommodate their brood that burnt in 1966, it was replaced by a two story structure that’s there now.

The last Burnett heir, the 13th Baronet, a resident of Australia, signed Crathes over to the National Trust of Scotland in 1951.

The castle is 6 stories tall and the gardens cover more than 3 acres of property.

I have inservice today. If anyone leaves a comment, I'll read them when I return home this afternoon.
Tomorrow I'll be talking about the most dynamic castle in Scotland and my number 1 favorite. I have so many stories buzzing in my head  because of it.
Write on,
Teresa R.


Anita Clenney said...

Gorgeous pictures. Are those landscaped bushes? I thought they were rocks at first. These stories and pictures are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Jody said...

One of my fondest memories of Scotland was walking into a pub in Prestonpans near Edinburgh and stepping over all the dogs that littered the floor. I loved that dogs were taken everywhere from pubs to golf courses. My husband golfed his way thru Scotland the last trip and he golfed at Musselburgh which is racecourse (horses) surrounded by a golf course owned by the local residents. And when they came to golf they brought their dogs with them and the dogs we welcome on the course. Would never happen here.

Thanks for these wonderful posts, I have been to Scotland three times and your posts are showing places I have never been but will add to my list for future visits.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Gorgeous. Twenty-one children? It is beyond words to think of having so many in those days when life wasn't as easy as it is today. Thanks again for your blog.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for being such faithful readers and commenting on my efforts each day. I'm so glad you're enjoying the blogs.
Teresa R.

Mary Ricksen said...

Wonderful pictures. This is as close as I will ever get to Scotland. Thanks for posting them!

Teresa Reasor said...

Don't give up hope of going. I saved for 5 years to go.
It's never too late to live your dreams.
Teresa R.

Gretchen said...

Fabulous photos Teresa. What is the purpose for the circular holes on the wall? Decoration?

This really was a spectacular trip wasn't it?

I'm so jealous. I forwarded your blog to my friend that I travelled to Scotland with so we can plan our second trip. :)

Gretchen said...

One other thing, did you find a preponderance of taxidermied pets displayed? That was one of the oddest parts about our trip. I know there were a couple of dogs at Alnwick and a cat at the whisky heritage museum in Edinburgh.

Teresa Reasor said...

Yes. Just about every castle we went to had stuffed critters. One even had a bear in the gallery hall. And lots and lots of deer antlers.


Teresa Reasor said...

I'm assuming you're talking about the circular holes at Dunnottar. They are bore holes through which to fire a gun through. If an apposing army were to be able to break through the door, they would immediately be faced with those guns.
I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog.