I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me on this bright sunny Monday.
Last year when Lindsay and I had been touring the countryside he stopped at the Kildrummy Castle car park and asked me if I would like to visit this one. It was late in the day and we were kind of tired so I told him, “No, that’s ok, I don’t have any ancestors tied to this one, let’s just call it a day.” and so we drove away.
After I had visited Butchart Gardens earlier this year, Lindsay mentioned to me that there is a similar quarry garden near his home that also grows the Himalayan Blue poppies which Butchart features and he wondered if I might be interested in visiting the Kildrummy Castle Gardens when I am visiting him. I told, “Oh, most definitely, that would be very nice.”
Yesterday, just before we left to visit them, he had printed out some information on the castle and inquired if I would also like to visit it since we didn’t visit last year. I told him “Sure, why not?” As I looked at the information he had printed out for my benefit, a thought occurred to me to check my tree in Ancestry just in case there might be a familial connection. I was completely surprised to find that in fact there were some family connections, and not only one obscure one, but about 5 of them that I had no idea existed!
The first 3 people connected to Kildrummy were great aunts and cousins, but the last 2 were 19th and 22nd Great grandparents! Ka-ching! I just hit another ancestral jackpot!
The family names were Erskine and were the Earls of Mar and were linked through marriage to Robert the Bruce in the early 1300s who was often at Kildrummy. It also is associated with the Stewart family (of which I have many ancestors) and Kildrummy played a major role in Jacobite Rising (if you are an “Outlander” fan like I am)
Armed with this new information, exploring the ruins of the castle took on a whole new significance. Let’s go take a look…
The view of the countryside from the castle….
When we got ready to leave, the lovely lady who had sold us our tickets, Morag, really wanted me to be sure and sign the Guest Book since I had such strong ties to this castle. She really made me feel exceptionally special!
At left is a model of what the castle would have looked like and below are artifacts they unearthed at the site. Maybe some of my ancestors used some of those items! Imagine!
Next stop, the quarry below the castle where the stone blocks for the castle came from. It has been transformed into a simply beautiful garden!
Down the path we go to explore the delights found around each and every corner.
It even had a very interesting little museum stuffed with unusual items from the past, such as these antique glass window shards below…
Giant bellows (left)
Musket balls and old coins (below)
It was an absolutely delightful day and what a treasure of ancestry!