Monday, 7 March 2011

Crathes Castle

We are now officially a member of the National Trust of Scotland.

We began by visiting one of the Trust's property in Banchory, Crathes Castle.
Crathes Castle is a 16th century turreted tower house on an estate granted to the Burnett family in 1323 by Robert the Bruce.

As photography is disallowed in the castle, no images of the interior were taken.

The walled garden consists of eight gardens; some are wild and ranging, others are neat and ordered.
It was probably created 400 years ago, soon after the castle was built.
Originally the garden was essential for providing vegetables and herbs to the kitchen. Later it became an ornamental work of art and place for gentle strolls.
The massive yew hedges were planted as early as 1702.


The Ghosts Of Crathes Castle

The Burnett's original home was on an island in the Loch of Leys. When the Laird died his widow, Lady Agnes became domineering over her son Alexander. She was jealous of his relationship with a lassie called Bertha who was living with them, in the care of the Lady. Romance blossomed between Alexander and Bertha. The Lady Agnes did not want this relationship for her son, instead she desired him to marry into a noble Scottish family. When Alexander was away from the Castle on a long trip Bertha died. The days prior to her death the servants noticed how unwell she had become and thought it was because she missed Alexander. When Alexander returned he was being comforted by his mother when he reached out for a goblet of wine. His mother snatched it from his hand and threw it out of the window and into the Loch. Seeing this, Alexander knew his mother had poisoned his sweetheart. Months later, Bertha's father returned to the Castle to bring her home. As Alexander and Lady Agnes explained her death, the room became chilly and Lady Agnes screamed and pointing to where she looked in terror cried "She comes, she comes" and then died. These events spurred Alexander to build the new Crathes Castle. However, once a year, on the anniversary of Bertha's death, a ghostly figure is seen crossing from the site of the old Castle to the new Castle. It is thought that this figure is either murdered Bertha or her murderer Lady Agnes.

In the haunted Green Lady's Room a figure carrying a baby has been seen crossing the room before disappearing in the fireplace. Sightings first appeared in the 18th Century. This is thought to be the ghost of a young girl who became pregnant by a servant. The servant was dismissed and the girl and her baby disappeared, thought to have eloped with her servant lover. However when in later years workmen where doing renovations to the room they uncovered skeletons under the hearthstone...then the hauntings began.

The Green Lady of Crathes Castle is not often seen these days, those she makes her presence felt and heard. It is said that if she appears and is seen a member of the Burnett family will die.

Taken from AboutAberdeen

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