Sunday, 25 April 2010

Cortachy Castle



Come with me on a sneaky little tour through the Cortachy Estate. I'm not sure if I was meant to gain access to the grounds, but some careless aristocrat or his minion left the gate open......
What's a nosy guy supposed to do?




The castle is about 5 miles north of Kirriemuir in Angus.
Impressive little Gatehouse. It was a pretty dreich day, not the best for photos, but you'll get the idea.




The River South Esk runs through the Estate.... nice for a spot of salmon fishing for the Earls guests..... hope none of them fall in and drown.




As you can see the river was quite high with all the recent snow melt.




Not all that often that you see whitewashed Castles.




There's a nice little gory legend attached to the castle.....





....Lets face it, what sort of castle worth it's salt doesn't.




You'll find the legend described in full below....





I was tempted to try the door handle, but thought I'd mebbe not push my luck....





These places tend to have big dogs.....

Here's a rough guide to the history of the place...

Cortachy Castle


Cortachy Castle is a large baronial manor built around a 15th century stronghold and is the hereditary seat of the Earls of Airlie. The lands were granted to Sir Walter Ogilvy by King James II in 1473 which is probably when the construction of this castle began, though there had been a an earlier castle of the Stewart Earls of Strathearn dating from 1330 on the site previously. During the 17th century the castle was severely damaged, first by Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll when he attacked it in 1641, then Cromwell burnt it down in 1651 because Ogilvy had given shelter to King Charles II there. Argyll had also destroyed the earls other castles of Airlie and Forther in 1640 which gave rise to the song "The Bonny House of Airlie". During the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 the Ogilvy's supported the Stuart monarchy again and had the castle, estates and titles seized by the Crown. The castle was eventually returned to the family before 1815 and the Earldom by 1826. During the remainder of the 19th century the castle was heavily renovated.

Cortachy Castle and the Ogilvy family are haunted by a drummer boy who was reputedly thrown to his death from the highest tower by one of the Earls. It is uncertain which Earl of Airlie or indeed which century the legend pertains too, but the Earl in question killed the boy for either feeding information to his enemies or for having an affair with his wife, or perhaps both. The last words the drummer boy said were a curse on the family. Since then the ghostly sounds of drumming have been an omen of impending death.

There is a story that the drummer was heard by a Miss Dalrymple in December 1844 whist staying at Cortachy Castle. She had the story explained to her by a nervous Earl and Lady Airlie, emphasizing that the last time it was heard, a Lady Airlie had died. Miss Dalrymple fled the castle after hearing it a second time and Lady Airlie commited suicide within six months. If this is correct the experience would have happened during the time of David Ogilvy, 9th Earl of Airlie (1785-1849).

A second account has the drumming foretell the death of David Ogilvy, 9th Earl of Airlie. The drummer was supposed to have been heard on 19 August 1849 by an Englishman visiting the castle. The 9th Earl died the following day and was succeeded by his son David Graham Drummond Ogilvy.

David Graham Drummond Ogilvy, 10th Earl of Airlie is said to have had his own death announced by the drummer which was supposedly heard by both Lady Dalkeith and Lady Skelmersdale one hour before he passed away in 1881.


There are various descriptions of exactly how the drummer boy was dispatched. My favourite was that he was crammed inside his drum and the drum was thrown from the tower......nice way to go!

As I was leaving, I swear I heard the sound of drumming........ !

For more Scenic Sunday posts click here


26 comments:

  1. Great series of photos and surely a nice castle. Imagine living there and the life going on there way back. Intreesting with a story to the photos!

    christina, sweden

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  2. Thanks for history lesson! And the pictures are great! No castles here in NH so I always like seeing pictures of them.

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  3. I would have done the same and sneaked in to take pictures :) Lovely photos of a beautiful castle. And an interesting story to go along with the pictures as well :)

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  4. Wonderful tour and photos of the Castle and the estate. It does sound like it has an interesting history. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Pretty cool shots! Love the castles, we don't really have very many castles over here. Those that we do are nothing in comparison to age as that one.Great shots and story telling.

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  6. Thanks for the tour Neil, what an interesting history. The drummer boy must have been very small, or had a very big drum if he was stuffed inside it before being thrown to his death. I love the gate house, it looks differant from the castle. Was is built later?

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  7. cool - Dunbeath Castle is another good looking white painted castle

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  8. A very surley looking castle...I think that buildings built with multiple intentions and purposes have a different feel to them than your simple little rose covered cottage...and I like the idea of throwing the drummer out in his drum too!

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  9. That is a lovely a tour - the white round tower reminds me of the one at Craigevar (if i've spelt that right)

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  10. Thank you for giving us such a lovely tour of the grounds, Neil. These are wonderful shots! Blair Castle on the Atholl Estates is another white one. But this one is so much nicer. :)

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  11. perfect and now a cup of tea please

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  12. Rather rude to intrude on the Airlie family's privacy.How would you like people walking through your gardens? Do not think your intruding is anything to be proud of. The gardens are open to the public each year and the monies donated to a charity.

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  13. Firstly.......don't leave anonymous comments on my blog......ever again. If you don't have the courage of your convictions to identify yourself, that says more about you than it does about my willingness to take a walk through some aristocrats 'gardens' who gained them through nothing other than an accident of birth. I at least worked hard to buy my own house and garden, and in the unlikely event that anyone should choose to, I wouldn't give a toss if they walked through them either. Plus if I want to donate to a charity, I'll choose my own to donate to..... Now fuck off asshole.

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  14. Nice one! Well said I'll walk through your garden next time I'm on the mainland hehe but I'll let you know so you can have tea on the go!!

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  15. ..... and there'll be scones and butter to go with the cuppy Joan!

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  16. Having had people walk through my garden on more then one occassion and even had a German tourist bus stop so one bloke could have a crap behind my hedge, I felt I couldn't "be myself" inside my own home because you never knew if anyone would suddenly look in at you. It is horrible and frightening. So I am sure you would give a toss if someone was in your garden.
    I went to Cortachy on a similar day to your photos some years ago, and SO wanted to go in and see the castle, but instead I read up on when it was open to the public and went back then.
    I was enjoying this until your comment of 11/6, you're the arsehole not Mr Anonymous

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  17. Hey was'sup Beano? Why are you so nervous about being seen "being yourself"? Got any pervy dress-up secrets you don't want known?

    I advise the 'ta hell with the neighbours' mentality. I proudly wear my adult nappies and fluffy pink cufflinks with pride. I advise the same to you. Why hide it? it will only wear you down to the point of making stupid comments on people's blogs.

    Of course, this could be interpreted as a stupid comment on a blog.... 'cept I personally know Neil Tasker... and he is one of the most ethically minded, socially just and just "good all round human bean" that could exist.

    Anyways... I have pics of me shitting besides a hedge, shall I forward them to you?

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  18. BTW Neil, A Scots Quair... ffs! ;-)

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  19. I know, I know..... sad lack of Scottish writers there isn't there?

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  20. ..... and Beano..... I have a sneaking suspicion that the bloke who shat in your garden knew you better than I do.
    Your name's Beano.....fucking BEANO!.... and you're calling ME an arsehole!

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  21. Aye Beano. A loved child has many names don't you know.

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  22. Oh, my bloody clan of Ogilvy,/I have stood before your castle, Cortachy/ To hear its motto singing in the wind, "To the end." I touch the castle's picture/ Rising high above the flowers and the trees/With its crystal flowing stream, the River Esk,/And I close my eyes./Smoke rising from the roof tops,/the clang of metal swords--/The Lachaber axe and pistols Doune,/He didn't play his drum,/Rum-tum-tum,to sound the warning, that drummer boy of Crntachy./ so we threw him from the highest turret;/I saw him fall; his dying words I do recall,/"I'll return to mark your death/Listen for the rat-tat-tat that ends your days,/Oh cursed clansmen of Ogilsvy...(c)2-9-11, Lillian(Oglesby)Holden Ramirez

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  23. As far as I'm aware there is no trespassing laws in Scotland .
    I am a true desendant and I am sure all would be welcome
    to have a look. We are a friendly bunch as long as you're not
    English. Lol
    Jason George Ogilvie

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  24. Thank you for that Jason. I'll take that as an official blessing for my illicit visit.

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  25. I am a descendent of the Ogilvys of Cortachy. I'd love to see the castle in person.

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