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!