Driving back from Balmoral, we stopped at Crathes Castle. It was almost 4 pm, so we parked and trotted to the ticket desk. I had our Royal Oak Foundation membership cards in hand as we asked to see the Castle. The gentleman at the desk, while saying the last entry was at 4, took my cards and after looking at them said, "Let me call and see if they can't get you in, it's just gone 4." He explained to the person on the other end of the line that we were members of the Royal Oak Foundation and couldn't he please let us come? The result? We were given our tickets and told to "Walk quite quickly to the Castle!"
|The painted ceilings have been restored by the National Trust for Scotland. Yes, that's Bill's beard and hat showing in the picture.|
|The land was gifted to Alexander de Burnard, who was the appointed Royal Forester of Drum, by King Robert the Bruce in 1323. The ivory horn and clothe were gifts from the King to signify the land was the Burnett of Leys family.|
When we arrived at the castle door, two men were inside. They were very interested in just where the Royal Oak Foundation was located. They had been trying to decide if it was Australia or the United States. After a bit of chit chat, we were told the Castle was built in 1500's, enjoy our visit, and if we had any questions, there were docents about in most of the rooms.
|The gardens from a Castle window, with the enormous sculpted yew hedges.|
|The gardens are beautiful; most of the plants are labeled for easy identification.|
|Isn't the bark of this tree spectacular? It's a Prunus serrula, a native of China.|
|A Giant Sequoia grown from seed brought from California by William Lobb in 1853. One seed was given to each member of the Royal Horticultural Society. From tiny seeds a mighty tree has grown.|
|The castle viewed from the walled garden.|
|We both liked this particular flowering bush, but neglected to get the name.|
|The decoration over the doorway is the carved horn, the Burnett of Leys family crest.|