Thanks to all of you that sent me messages wishing me luck on my first art tour, which happened yesterday morning. I think that it was a success, with just the right number of people in the group to move easily about the castle to see the different paintings and hear the different stories. If you were one of them, I do hope you enjoyed it.
Along with the regular garden tours, the next big event happening at the castle will be one of my favourites – which is the Bon Accord Steam Fair – and it is coming on the weekend of the 15-16 June 2013. You can see a mini poster below with more details, but full information can be found as usual on the NTS website.
Hope to see you!
Yes, am squeeing a bit here – May is my first Castle Fraser art tour. Please do email or phone if you are interested!
As always, you can find the full list of events on at the castle this year via the NTS website or the Facebook page.
Not a house that I’d particularly heard about before, but a friend suggested we go over for the Open Day tour to Hospitalfield House, Arbroath.
Before we went to the main house however, we stopped off at the Fraser family, later Allan-Fraser mausoleum (or mortuary chapel), which is in the Western Cemetery and not too far away. Let me tell you it is an astounding place! I’ve seen a few mausoleums, mostly in pictures – but never anything like this. Built in the neo-Gothic style it has a frankly strange mixture of architectural styles and looks large enough for the average family to live in. A must visit – especially on Doors Open Day, which is normally September time where you can actually go inside. Maybe I’ll do that next year.
Hospitalfield House itself, as the name suggests, was actually built originally as a hospice run by monks from Arbroath Abbey (which you can also visit the ruins of). In the Seventeenth century however, it was bought by the Fraser family and from then on until the late nineteenth century was used as a family home.
When viewing the house now, it retains much of its Victorian décor – which it owes to its’ final owners the Allan-Frasers, also its art collection. Patrick Allan, later adopting the name Allan-Fraser – having no children – Patrick and his wife Elizabeth Fraser decided that if Patrick outlived her, he would leave the house in a trust to provide young people with training in art.
This happened in 1890, and though much of the original estates have been swallowed up to continue the trust’s work – Hospitalfield continues with this work to this day.
You can study and attend events at Hospitalfield House, and do think about booking for the next Open Day.
The jousting event for 2012 is nearly here! Click on the thumbnails for full details folks…
I had been wanting to go and see Cawdor Castle for a few years, but not had the excuse to just get on with it and go until I heard that The Antiques Roadshow were going to be there! To my knowledge, they don’t visit that many locations in Scotland, at least during each year’s filming. I do love watching other people’s treasures – especially family stories.
We decided we didn’t really have anything we wanted valued, so packed ourselves off to the station to get the train to Nairn, outside of Inverness – which is the closest to Cawdor and the castle. For June it wasn’t really warm and the weather was pretty atrocious, as was the non-existent bus service available to Cawdor, but hey-ho we got there and immediately loved the castle and gardens.
The castle is beautiful, and reminded me a little of Fraser, the rooms are also really comfortable looking – which is much in keeping with the fact that it is still a family home. Enjoyed some of the paintings too – especially the portraits which were over the front desk where you show your tickets. Had a nice wander around the shop to get my obligatory guide book, and to read more about the tree preserved within the castle itself…
Time for a final wander around the gardens (loved the roses) and to take some pictures and generally people watch the visitors and spot AR experts! This is when I spotted this before we left:
Right in the centre you’ll spot the presenter Fiona Bruce! It was nice to see her, if only at a distance. The programme I believe is scheduled for the end of 2012, early 2013.
And I didn’t even manage to mention THAT Scottish play in this post!
*UPDATE The programme has now been shown. You can see a clip here.
Click on the thumbnails for full details.
On a rare open day, the Mum and I went to visit the privately owned Lickleyhead Castle.
Included was afternoon tea too! We really enjoyed ourselves on the quick castle tour (mostly modern decoration) and our lovely sit down tea. Good chance to chat to other interested folks too.
Hope they do it again next year!
Well, hello! It’s that time of year again already – it almost feels impossible, but Castle Fraser opens again for the 2012 season tomorrow 1 April.
I know that there are lots of fabulous events already planned this year, and next week we have our annual Easter Egg Trail, so watch this space for more! You can keep up with the latest news on the NTS website as well as the Castle’s own official Facebook page. I will try and post up posters as soon as I have them, and if my scanner is talking to me anytime soon.
Another exciting thing is that the final private room of the house is now going to be open to the public as our new exhibition room! Come and see it – it is in the round tower, and has been a family bedroom (check out the lovely wallpaper which is still visible) as well as a luggage and store room in its’ life.
I hope we’ll see you soon.
Still can’t quite believe the castle season has ended already. Here, however, is the carol concerts flyer for info. for early December.
Don’t leave it too late, they’re very popular and often sell out!
I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again, and we are winding down to the end of season at the castle.
It’s not exactly been great for weather during the Summer here, but we have had some sunny days, and the annual Steam and Vintage fair, not to mention the Jousting in August had pretty decent weather and went really well.
The leaves are now falling and turning red and gold on the estate, and my thermals will no doubt be soon making a re-appearance, but we do still have some events left to go.
Please see the thumbnails below for our October Halloween weekend, and our fairytale-style Christmas event in December. Fingers crossed that snow does not stop play this year!
We have some Christmas goodies in our shop (stop saying boo you lot!) as well as our other lovely things, second hand books are still available too if you want to contribute.