Braemar Castle

Today we went on a tour of Braemar Castle, an L-plan tower house built in 1628 by John Erskine. It has a colourful history having been a hunting lodge, an important garrison after the Jacobite rising, it was attacked and burned by John Farquharson in 1689 and then a century later bought by another John Farquharson, 9th Laird of Invercauld.

The current owner is Captain Alwyne Farquharson, the chief of clan Farquharson, the 16th Laird of Invercauld. He’s 102. In 2007 he leased the castle to the community for 50 years and the community runs the tours and overseas the maintenance of the castle.

At the end of August the castle will be closed for re-harling which is where they’ll strip away the rough-cast wall finish which was mistakenly done in concrete last century. Concrete doesn’t allow old buildings to breathe. When these castles were built they were harled in lime mortar and this is what they’ll replace the concrete with. They expect the work to take at least 12 months. The revamped castle will either be cream or pink – they haven’t yet decided on the colour. I hope they choose pink!

2 thoughts on “Braemar Castle”

  1. I love the history of Scotland you’re showing us. It’s mostly ‘man’ history, as is par for the course with history, but I often wonder what roles the women played. I’m sure they weren’t all ‘know their place’ type of women. I bet there were more than a few ratbags and sheros 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s mostly man history that is true except for this area for the last 150 years. This area has been shaped by Queen Victoria and there are traces of her everywhere, mostly good, like preserving the ancient caledonian forest. I also discovered she’s the reason there’s no train line to Braemar. They wanted to build one during her reign when train lines were going in everywhere but she continually blocked it because she didn’t want lots of tourists near her castle at Balmoral. Whether this is a good or bad thing now we’ll never know but one thing is for sure – other highland villages that do have a train line and that became tourist hotspots – like Aviemore – are now dominated by ugly modern developments and they’ve lost much of the lovely Victorian architecture they once had. Something that makes Braemar so nice is it has nothing like that. There’s no ugly modern chain hotel for instance and all the original buildings are still there.

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