Friday, 11 March 2011

Crieff: Drummond Castle and Gardens

Beech Avenue Drummond Castle Gardens

I love castles. The idea that these magnificent stone structures were built hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago and continue to dominate the countryside around them intrigues me. Drummond Castle in Crieff, Scotland was built in 1490 by John, 1st Lord Drummond and went through major transformations and remodelling around 1630 and 1890.  The imposing Drummond Castle Keep is the first part of the complex that you see from the car park, after driving down the exquisite Beech Avenue which is over a mile long. 

Drummond Castle Keep

Drummond Castle is not open to the public but that is not the reason you visit here anyway.  The major reason to visit here is to see the exquisite Drummond Gardens.

The Drummond Gardens are laid out in the design of a St Andrew’s Cross.  These formal gardens are expertly divided into sections with shrubs, deciduous tress, maples, topiary, coniferous trees and twenty-one types of apples but I realised quite quickly that I was out of my depth.

I’m certainly not an expert on fauna and plant life so I took a relaxing walk around the gardens and just appreciated all of the sights.  Click on any of the photos for a better resolution.

John Mylne’s Sundial (above left and centre) lies right in the middle of the St Andrew’s Cross and was erected in 1630.  It is known as a multiplex sundial and apparently shows the time in different countries.  I can’t comment on that because I have never, even managed to tell the time on a sundial! 

I loved the detail on this arch that formed the bottom boundary of the garden, leading to the rose and vegetable gardens.

In the bottom photo here you can see the copper beech tree that Queen Victoria planted when she visited in 1842.  It is strange to imagine that this magnificent tree must have been a mere shrub 169 years ago!

I really love this photo and it shows what a gorgeous day it was when we visited.  It occurs to me that I managed to get no pictures whatsoever of the grounds people.  That is quite a feat as there were so many of them!They work nearly every day and it takes them a full year to complete a maintenance cycle!  They are obviously very talented!

It said in the brochure that the bridge in the photos above was the original drive.  I guess that means that we came in through the back entrance and that the gardens were once to the front of the castle as opposed to the back.  That makes sense really.

This is Drummond Castle and was largely remodelled and rebuilt in the mid-19th century.  I saw this particular style of architecture, which I believe to be Scots Baronial Style, all around Scotland and I really love the creepy haunted house look.  If you look carefully at the photo above, you can see black birds flying around the turrets of the castle above and they certainly added to the eerie sense of foreboding!

This last photo was taken from the top and Ste was looking down over the gardens.  The scenery was breath taking (as it so often is in Scotland) and we had a hard time tearing ourselves away. 

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21 comments

  1. Lovely photos Emm! It is truly a magnificent castle. I love the gardens - they are so well kept, and so green.

    Oh and not to forget to mention the sundial, that's the best bit!

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  2. cool Emm. I miss England's castles. I think I've been here.

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  3. Wow!! Emm...thanks for sharing such a fabulous and gorgeous post!! I am in love...so beautiful!
    Magnificent!

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  4. Looks like you had a glorious day! I love the symmetry of the gardens. And I totally understand you having a hard time pulling away - I have a hard time pulling away from anywhere in the UK!

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  5. I love castles too. This one is magnificent. On my to visit list after this post.

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  6. I really love these photos, Emm.
    Exquisite!!

    ...and looks like you had a great time!

    I've been always fascinated by castles, especially British castles.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

    Big hugs!

    B xx

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  7. Hey... the first photo caught my eye, but really all of them are so beautiful!

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  8. Can I go there *right* now, sunshine included? Gorgeous pics! Every time I've been to Scotland it has rained or I nearly died (scary roads!). These pictures make me want to take my chances again.

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  9. Gorgeous pics!! And yes it's quite a feat you managed to get them without any of the groundspeople getting into them...
    Man, that must take a lot of work to maintain! :-|

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  10. Great pics and info Emm, and how lucky are you to get a sunny day in Perthshire. Everyone should visit Scotland at least once.

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  11. Beautiful Gardens, it's a pity that Lady Willoughby doesn't want any paying visitors into her grand home!

    You sure were lucky with the weather during your trip, that doesn't happen often enough in Scotland. Living in London is like living in the Mediterranean in comparison to back home!

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  12. Fabulous pictures you have here. Especially the third one, which absolutely shows the grand of the garden. And the castle is marvelous.

    BTW, that first shot makes me imagine having an adventure in the woods or something. (Kinda reminds me of Frodo's journey in the movie, when he first met the Ringwraith).

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  13. Great pictures! They are amazing
    I also love castles! And I wish I could be rich to buy myself one lol
    Have a beautiful day ahead! :)

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  14. I love castles, always have, but I also love perspectives like the ones in the garden. The Beech Avenue reminds me so much of the type of French road that you don't see nearly so often these days.

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  15. I have been to this lovely castle like 10 years ago!
    I miss Scotland so much.

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  16. The castle and garden look so beautiful. I love all your photos and glad it was a lovely day when you visited.

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  17. @ Alan: Lol! You know, when I entered that photo, I thought, "Alan's going to love this one".

    @ David: I really do appreciate them after growing up in South Africa where there are few ancient structures.

    @ Kiki: it is a stunning place!

    @ Eurotrip Tips: we had glorious weather the whole week!

    @ Mo: Yay, glad I have inspired you visit. At £5 entry, it is worth it.

    @ Betty: I like that photo too.

    @ Mujerboricua: we were sooo lucky with the weather. I envisaged a week of staying indoors reading.

    @ Ash: I know! The team was large too!

    @ Ryan: most of our week was like that!

    @ William: it was often quite chilly though but it was a lovely week.

    @ Con Artist Trickster: Thank you! And lol at the LOTR reference.

    @ Nadia: I like visiting castles but would find them too cold and damp to live in!

    @ Sheila: Definitely! It is the first time I’ve focused more on the area surrounding a castle than the castle itself.

    @ London Caller: Really? After visiting Scotland I can definitely say that I’ll be back.

    @ Life Ramblings: Thank you! We were so lucky as Scotland is renowned for having unpredictable or severe weather!

    @ Sailor: Thank you!

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  18. WOW, can you imagine living here.....


    xoxo
    m

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  19. We used to go on school trips to Warwick Castle and I live very near Arundel Castle now - castles are amazing and so full of stories.

    I love living in a country with so much history; I always laugh when I watch American ghost hunter-type shows and they say "this place is ancient - it's nearly 150 years old!" and I think wow, most houses in my town are at least twice as old as that and the Tower of London is 1000 years old! You should check out Arundel Castle if you're down this way, they even have the prayer book that Mary Queen of Scots took with her to the scaffold (they have connections to the Stuarts) and nearly every treasonous plot in British history involves the Earl of Arundel. If walls could talk then Arundel Castle would have many secrets to tell.

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  20. @ Urban Cynic: I'm definitely keen on visiting Arundel Castle! I've heard so much about it. I hear you about history - even though Johannesburg is said to be the 'cradle of mankind' with the oldest human remains found there, very little of the city is older than 1886 which is when the gold rush started.

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