With its towers, arches, and tales of its residence ghosts, Crathes Castle gives a spectacular experience against a setting of rolling hills and stands majestically inside its own lovely grounds.
The pink-harled facade and Disney-esque layout are frequent aspects of Aberdeenshire castles. But at Crathes, they are coupled with wonderfully well-preserved original interiors, expansive lawns, and several additional features. From family photographs to magnificent antique furniture, guests can find a maze of cultural history inside the Castle.
The walled garden is a beautiful historical jungle, divided into eight parts with every green treat imaginable, including sculpted topiary, intricate herbaceous patterns, and contemporary exotic blooming. It's thought that the yew hedges were planted as early as 1702.
The Historical Importance Of Crathes Castle
The legacy of Crathes Castle is intertwined with that of the Burnett family. Their initial connection to the Castle goes back to 1323 when Robert the Bruce handed them the estate, but their ancestors did not build a castle until over 200 years later. The initial stones were put by Alexander Burnett in the late 1600s, and the construction was completed in 1594.
Unlike many Scottish castles, Crathes had a peaceful past. Its role was never defensive, and the fortress has remained virtually unchanged since its construction. The Burnett family has lived in Crathes for nearly three centuries, and its use was mostly for castle residence in Scotland. They left the Castle and gardens to the National Trust of Scotland in 1951.
The Ghosts Of Crathes Castle
Castles and spirits are inextricably linked. There can't be many buildings in Scotland without some form of phantom ghost from history. A White and a Green Lady ghost can be seen at Crathes Castle.
The Popular Ghost Of The Green Lady
The Green Lady's Room at Crathes is called after a young lady who has been seen near the furnace wearing green attire and holding a baby in her arms. The bones of a child were found under the hearthstone of the furnace during the rebuilding of the Castle in the 1800s.
Many people have seen the ghost of the Green lady, including Queen Victoria. However, the exact identity of the green lady remains unclear.
The Lesser-Known White Lady
The White Lady is the lesser-known of the two ghosts of the Castle. It is the soul of Bertha, a young laird who fell in love with Alexander Burnett. They were planning to marry, and she had her chamber in the Castle during the marriage planning. However, Lady Agnes, Alexander's mother, did not think Bertha was suitable for her only boy. She waited till Alexander was gone for the night before poisoning his future bride during supper. The White Lady roams a path between the old and new Castles on the anniversary of her demise.
The Castle Interiors
Crathes Castle's main building is an L-plan structure with six stories.
The top floors are a spectacular display of towers, corbels, and intricately detailed string courses, as well as a Victorian-era clock.
The original entry was located at the "L's" interior angle to make it easier to guard, and it still has its metal plate to assist secure the gateway today. The Stair Chamber, the Nine Nobles Room, the Green Lady's Room, and the Muses Room all include some of the greatest Scottish Renaissance fresco ceilings. They were made in the late 1600s, but wood and plaster ceilings kept them buried until 1877.
The designs on the panels and oak support pillars were most likely painted with water-based adhesive tempera paint by a native Scottish artisan.
The boards and beams were painted white, with black writing and ornamentation, and were filled in with colorants.
Don't Skip The Castle Gardens
Visitors should take a stroll through the world-famous Walled Garden. It's divided into eight sections and was mainly designed by Sir James Burnett and his wife Sybil in the early twentieth century.
It's inspiring at any time of year, with ponds, fountains, thematic borders, flowers, and many exotic species. Summer is the ideal time to visit for a swirl of colors, with the herbaceous borders in full bloom.
Places To Stay Nearby
Bridge Of Bennie Cottage
- The cottage features a terrace, a yard, and complimentary WiFi.
- The vacation house includes a DVD player, a kitchenette with a dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, a sitting room with a lounge area and dining space, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms.
- There are toiletries and bedding available.
Banchory Lodge Hotel
- The Georgian manor Banchory Lodge Hotel offers free car parking.
- Banchory Lodge's bedrooms are distinctively furnished, with some featuring four-poster beds. All rooms have a television and a beautiful en suite bathroom with views of the lawns.
Ravenswood British Legion
- The Ravenswood British Legion has dining, free car parking, a café, and a lounge.
- The hotel's rooms include a lounge space, a television, and a secure storage box. Beddings and toiletries are provided in each room at the hotel.
- The Ravenswood British Legion serves an à la carte breakfast every day.
The Crathes Castle is situated in a picturesque location and is well-known for its oak paneling and fresco ceilings, which are still in excellent condition. The Castle is a complex maze with spires and fairytale-like turrets, complete with its own fabled ghost. Crathes Castle is the spot to visit whether visitors are seeking a secret Scottish jewel or just want to view a lovely castle without the typical crowds.