16 Aug 2007

"I am a Rock" by Simon & Garfunkel

We visited Craigievar Castle near Alford in Aberdeenshire today. This is one of my favourite Scottish Castles as it is not too grand and was still used as the family home up to about 1980. The castle sits on an eastern slope of the hill from which it derives its name; Craigievar, from the Gaelic, meaning "the Rock of Mar".

It is an excellent example of the original Scottish Baronial architecture, the great seven-storey castle was completed in 1626 by the Aberdonian merchant WilliamForbes, ancestor to the "Forbes-Sempill family" and brother of theBishop of Aberdeen. Forbes purchased the partially completed structure from the impoverished Mortimer family in the year 1610. William Forbes nickname was Danzig Willy, a reference to his shrewd international trading success. The Forbes family resided here for 350 years until 1963, when the property was gifted to the Nation Trust for Scotland.

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