Thursday, July 12, 2012

Loch Lee and Edzell Castle

On Tuesday, I drove about 45 minutes south to a little village called Brechin to meet up with a colleague of mine from Singapore. Gail grew up in Brechin, went to university in Aberdeen and we meet while we both worked as physios for the same clinic in Singapore (her husband's job also brought them Singapore). It's so crazy that I would go on to live in her home country but it's great because it's almost guaranteed that we'll keep in touch and see each other once or twice a year when she comes in for summer and Christmas.

We started our day with a walk to Loch Lee. Almost immediately into our walk we passed the ruins of Invermark Castle. It's very small my castle standards but wouldn't it be great turned into a B&B or weekend cottage?

We then came upon a beautiful waterfall on the side of the mountain and eventually the loch. I continue to be amazed how picturesque this country is (even on dreary, rainy days). Since we had other things planned for the day, we only walked halfway around the loch. I would love to go back to see some of the other 'hidden' waterfalls.

A walk is not a walk in Scotland without seeing some farm animals!

Can you see the waterfall?
 We stopped for lunch and then headed over to Edzell Castle ruins.
This is not my picture (source). I am still wondering how I didn't get a picture of the outside of the castle!


"Edzell was home to the Lindsays. When they acquired the estate in 1358, the lordly seat was a timber residence beside the ancient church. During the 16th century, they built a brand-new castle a short distance away – the one we admire today. The ‘icing on the cake’ of their new residence was the wonderful ‘great garden’, added in 1604.

The Lindsays were a gifted, turbulent and tragic noble family. They were known as the ‘lichtsome [carefree] Lindsays’. Their head became Earl of Crawford and one of the most powerful men in the realm. In the mid-1400s David, the 3rd Earl, made Edzell a separate inheritance for his younger son, Walter, and the castle remained with this junior branch for the rest of its days as a Lindsay residence.

For a time in the 16th century, this junior branch also held the earldom of Crawford in the person of David, 9th Earl. It was he who began building the new residence. It was centred on an impressive tower house, with state apartments in the gatehouse range, and additional family rooms along the north side of the courtyard. The family’s most famous guests were Mary Queen of Scots, in 1562, and her son James VI, in 1580 and 1589.

Alas, the family fell on hard times. In 1715 they were forced to sell Edzell because of mounting debts. With their departure from the scene, Edzell’s days as a noble residence were over.

The family’s greatest building achievement at Edzell was the wonderful walled garden. It was added by the 9th Earl’s son, David, Lord Edzell, in 1604. The present garden layout was recreated in the 1930s. However, the garden’s most arresting and original features are its four enclosing walls, which display a series of unique carved panels. These portray the Seven Cardinal Virtues, the Seven Liberal Arts and the Seven Planetary Deities. Sir David’s intention was clearly to provide a stimulus both for the mind and the senses. His garden is unique in Europe and gives the castle a distinctive place in the art history of the European Renaissance." (source)

A beautiful peacock welcomes you to the grounds.

You can't see the carvings from the picture but you can when looking down from the watch tower.
And also tells you good-bye!

It was a fabulous day with Gail and I am looking forward to seeing her at Christmas. It was great to catch up and actually start to become more friends than colleagues since we have more than work to talk about now!

1 comment:

  1. The hike looks so pretty. Let me know if you want to go back and I would gladly tag along:)