Visiting Braemar Castle
Homecoming 2009 - Clan Farquharson
Weekend at Braemar Castle
Braemar Castle, seat of Clan Farquharson and
former home to its chief Captain Alwyne
Farquharson opens its doors, free, to clan
members on Saturday 18th and Sunday
19th July. Farquharsons, and septs of
Clan Farquharson, such as Coutts, MacHardy,
Paterson, Kellas, McKinley and Tawse, recognised
by the Clan Society, will enjoy a warm welcome
and free entry. Alistair Farquharson, the Clan
society’s north-east representative, will
welcome visitors who will enjoy a tour of the
Castle with its fully furnished rooms and
Farquharson memorabilia. New for Homecoming
2009, is a dedicated Clan room with documents
and artefacts relating to the family. The shop
is well stocked with Clan Farquharson items and
the Castle will be open from 1100 to 1600 on
Saturday and Sunday. Non Farquharson visitors
are also welcome. Entry is £5 for adults, £4
concesssions, £3 for children and £12 for
For details of the North East Clan
is now run by the community of Braemar with an ambitious
restoration programme underway. 12 fully furnished rooms
are on show. Built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar as a
Hunting Lodge, the Hanoverian troops garrisoned here
after the Battle of Culloden ensured their place in
history by graffiti-ing the wood panelling. For the past
250 years the Farquharsons of Invercauld, have used the
Castle as a family home and it is filled with
furnishings and personal memorabilia of the family.
Come inside and take a peek at the
Victorian Kitchen crammed with original utensils,
peer into the "pit", once prison for 17 Cameron
rebels, visit the elegant Dining Room with its
200 year old grandfather clock. Climb the stone turnpike
stairs to the comfortable Drawing Room and
Morning Room and visit the Exhibition space
to find out more about the architecture of the
Cairngorm National Park. See the Laird’s Bedroom,
with its handsome four poster bed and the secret corner
that’s home to Long John Silver and his creator
Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote "Treasure Island"
right here in Braemar.
Open Saturday and Sunday 11
a.m. – 4 p.m
Wednesdays, July and August. Free transport from
the village. Check times with the Visitor
(or by arrangement with Braemar
Visitor Information Centre
013397 41600 or
Entry £5, children and concessions £4,
family ticket £12
Shop ~ Souvenirs ~ Ice-cream
The Castle re-opened for the season on
Saturday 11th April 2009 with a weekend of spectacular
free entertainment provided by the re-enactment group
To see what
Memories of 2008 -
A Job Well Done!
re-opened on Saturday 3rd May 2008 with a Grand Fete
century castle, which has been closed to the public
since 2005, is now in the care of the village of Braemar.
Local landowners, the Farquharsons of Invercauld, have
handed the castle over to the community on a 50 year
The re-opening was celebrated by
a fete in the grounds and Steve Robertson of "Scotland
the What" officially opened the
Saturday 3rd May was a
day out for all the family, with community groups from
the village there to make sure that
there was something for
everyone to enjoy from face painting to a human fruit
machine! There was mini caber tossing from the
Junior Highland Games team, having a go at welly wanging,
archery, grass sledging and fun races. The local Fire
engine was there and members of the Mountain Rescue
Team, a Jacobite encampment and
a chance to meet the
Giant from the Braemar Pantomime. A programme of
children’s highland dancing and country and line dancing
from the Castleton Dancers, as well as entertainment
from Braemar Primary School was
ongoing throughout the afternoon.
The Book Club’s second hand book stall
did a roaring trade as did the tombola
and raffles. Teas, coffees and ice-cream
were on sale with home-bakes from the WRI and on the
barbecue, the local butcher’s award winning sausages and
burgers. The Ballater & District
Pipe Band, sponsored by the
Braemar Royal Highland
Society, played throughout the
To view pictures
of the day click
We’re there – we’re re-opening!
Well - we’re
re-opening, and we’re nearly there, with phase 1 of the
10 year plan! But it’s a brilliant start.
The Castle will re-open to the public on Saturday 3rd
May. Entry to the Castle will be free on that day and we
hope as many people as possible from the village will
come and see the changes. If you live in Braemar and
have never been in the Castle – "come on down" – you’re
doubly welcome! We need you to see what’s on offer so
you can spread the word to visitors.
Work has been continuing to get the Castle ready and
a lot of effort this month has gone into getting the
grounds into shape. John Torrance and Neil Gregory have
done a significant amount of work in removing some of
the dangerous larches and the regular team, including
Malcolm MacIntyre, have also been wielding the
as well as
performing acrobatics to remove damaged harling from one
of the towers
A number of people have volunteered as guides, more
still welcome, and we had an excellent session with 5
qualified "Blue Guides" who are willingly sharing their
expertise and experience with us raw recruits.
You will see from other notices around the village
that the re-opening is being celebrated with a fete in
the grounds of the Castle on May 3rd. All the
organisations in the village have pitched in the
Beavers, the WRI, the Junior Highland Games, the News
Group, the Book Club, the Fire Brigade, the Mountain
Rescue, the Primary School, the Castleton Dancers, the
Pantomime, the Royal Highland Society are sponsoring the
Ballater Pipe Band and Michel and Magali Brat will set
up their Jacobite encampment. Pete Mulvey has organised
the raffle – get your tickets now, excellent prizes.
Joanne Morris welcomes donations to the Tombola stall
and home-bakes and books would also be gratefully
received. From May 3rd onwards, the Castle and shop will
be open at weekends from 11 – 4, or at other times by
appointment. (Entry £5, £3 concessions, £12 family
February 2008 Update
The snowdrops are peeping through in the courtyard, a
timely confirmation that new life is beginning in the
May is now confirmed as the opening date and opening
hours, prices, guiding, shop and staffing are currently
under discussion with everyone invited to pitch in their
thoughts at an open meeting in the Hall on Thursday 28th
Work is ongoing
to tidy up the grounds with damaged trees being removed
and the old vegetable garden spruced up.
Inside, the new carpet (which previously resided in
the Highlander) has been laid in the Laird’s Dressing
room. The blue and green of the carpet tone beautifully
with the new dark green paint and the room has a
welcoming, lived-in ambience.
The Rose room will be re-painted shortly and will
become the "Exhibition" area in the Castle. The first
exhibition will be provided by Historic Scotland and the
room will then house travelling exhibitions and art and
photographic displays so that those returning to the
Castle will always have something new to see. Flagstones
to replace the concrete floor at the back door of the
Castle have been sourced and will be laid over the next
The bottleneck dungeon has been cleared out and
inspected by the Regional Archaeologist (no bodies
found!) and the well between the Castle and the curtain
wall has been uncovered and will also be emptied.
Braemar Community Ltd has been successful in securing a
grant from SCF for £3,000 towards the cost of electrical
rewiring in Braemar Castle.
We are grateful to
them for their assistance.
October 2007 Update
September has seen terrific progress on the
dismantling of the Victorian wing. At the beginning of
the month it was hard to see an end to such an enormous
task but thanks to the
sterling efforts of volunteers, now not much remains.
Work will continue during
October to complete this clearance but we can now also
get on inside the castle.
Two bedrooms have been identified to focus effort on,
both in the north east wing. One is the Laird’s bedroom
and the other is directly below. First task will be to
get these room re-painted. Rachel Wells will be
co-ordinating what’s happening when. If you’d like to
get involved give Rachel a ring on 41292 - or – just
turn up at the Castle between 1230 and 1630 on Sunday
Work has also been continuing weeding and tidying the
entrance courtyard and garden and volunteers’ gardens
are being raided for spare herbaceous cuttings to fill
up the borders.
At Braemar Community Ltd Annual General Meeting on
Tuesday 25th September, Chairman, Simon
Blackett, reported that the initial Castle feasibility
study is now complete and an application to the Heritage
Lottery Fund for pre-restoration funding to pay for a
conservation plan, audience study and business plan is
currently being considered. A draft Business plan for
2007 – 2010 has already been drawn up by BCL.
"Save our Castle" T-shirts are available from the
Gallery and from Taste – priced £10 for adults and £6
for children – would make
There are now
as well as a
composed by Karen Noble’s mother-in-law, Hilary) around
the village. You can pick up your quiz (and/or add a
donation to the boxes) at the Fife
Arms Hotel, the Invercauld
Arms Hotel, the
Moorfield House Hotel, the
Braemar Pharmacy & Newsagent
and Taste Restaurant. There
are also boxes at the Braemar
Garage, Strachans, the Hungry Highlander and the
Doreen Wood -
September 2007 Update
The removal of the Victorian wing has been ongoing
and volunteers have removed and stored hundreds of roof
slates from this section. Work is now continuing to
remove the timber roof lining and rafters and to clear
that area completely. This is a slow process and it
looks likely that it will be well through October, even
into November, before the removal of this wing is
complete. On Sunday 19th August, local
volunteers were unexpectedly joined by an energetic
group of nine Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students from
all over England. They were an orderly and disciplined
workforce who formed a chain-gang (outside the on-going
work area) and were able to assist in the moving and
storing of a considerable quantity of timber. Their
assistance was greatly appreciated. (If you’d like to
lend a hand ring Bill Marshall on 41695 and he’ll let
you know what tools to bring.)
Fundraising has also been ongoing with "Save
Braemar Castle – Help!" t-shirts now available at £10
for adults and £6 for children. It’s this season’s
fashion item to be seen wearing in the village! Get
The plan was to sell the t-shirts on Games Day but
the fee for a Trader’s Licence is a steep £155 per
person (although it does last for 3 years from the same
venue) and would have knocked a large hole in any
profits. Andrew Braidwood at the Gallery generously came
to the rescue agreeing to sell the T-shirts in the
Gallery (Community bobby Craig McNeill kept us right on
the protocols and John Macpherson kindly lent his
Volunteers staffed a display outside illustrating and
explaining the ongoing work at the castle as well as
promoting the t-shirts. Profit on the t-shirts is
currently running at around £600 – buy yours and make it
Other fundraising ventures coming up in the Autumn
include a Race Night and also a Ceilidh. Look out for
At the end of August, Braemar Community Ltd, and
consequently also Braemar Castle, finally (after a long
slow haul) attained full Charitable status.
The AGM of Braemar
Community Ltd will be held on Tuesday 25th
September in the Village Hall. As well as the Business
you’ll be able to hear, and ask about, the latest
developments at the Castle as well as catching up with
plans for the next few months. T-shirts will be on
Doreen Wood - 4/9/07
Tea Break in
the Castle Garden!
The Flowers that
bloom in the spring, Tra La!!
A serious moment.
The Outside Squad
Will we get this bonfire ready for
That's the kindling
- now let's pile on the big stuff!!
Quick, look busy, here's that
blooming photographer again!
Tried and tested
British working practice - one working and two watch!!
There's a big spider up there -
I saw it move!!
You shall go to the
Ball Laura - but only once you've finished cleaning that
An Old Boiler makes new friends
I could go Bats up
We're half way up
the stairs - No! we're half way down the stairs!
Well if you ask
The Way ahead - under the watchful eye of the Laird!!
The Dining Room
It went that way!
Don't worry, I'll get it with the vacuum........
I've told you, its a face mask not
a Party Hat!!
His & Her's
Rush, rush, rush ................
Oh, bung it on the
bed ..... well, maybe not?
Mirror, mirror on the
wall - who is the fairest of them all??
Yes, the water's
I used to be a
champion pole vaulter! watch ..........
That 10p I dropped
is under here - I'm sure of it - and I'm not going home
'til I get it back!!
Faster than a
Sorry, can't stop!!
No, really - I CAN'T STOP!!
Look!! I can eat a whole packet of
biscuits without taking the wrapper off. How cool is
An attempt to get into the Guiness
Book of Records for the biggest game of Jenga ever!!
Who's turn is it!!
No, look, I see a
better one up there.
Mmm.... Maybe we
should make them into Pooh Sticks instead. The biggest
Pooh Stick Race ever!!
the Castle - the Heavy Mob
If anyone flushes
that loo upstairs, I'll be right in the ****!!
I've been in here for
four weeks now - there must be a way out somewhere
It's a barrow load
of fresh air for the lads inside! Pushing it uphill's no
joke you know!!
Chestnuts roasting on on open
....Smoke gets in your eyes!!
Sunday 6th May 2007
arrived late this week but was in time to see
Pooh stick production has clearly
increased since last week!
An early visitor was caught trying to
sneak out with souvenirs!
The prisoners in the dusty dungeons
are still trying to get out..
...still without success...
...and have now resorted to digging
...presumably because earlier
attempts were either thwarted .......
...or simply failed!!
But the revelation of the week without a doubt
"THERE REALLY IS
A GHOST IN BRAEMAR CASTLE!!!!!!"
Sunday 13th May 2007
Repairs to the
Eenie, Meanie, Minie, Mo
Mind me fingers !!
Meanwhile in the Castle - there's fashion parade going
First prize in the style section
Hat colour co-ordinated with the
waistcoat you'll notice
First prize in the practical section
for the "Complete Look"
And to prove the point - a practical
demonstration - Knock, knock, who's there?
ME! And I still can't find the way
Come and join the fun - Sunday Afternoons at Braemar
Castle - All Welcome