Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Drum Castle, Pronounced Druim Which Rhymes with Room

Coat of Arms of the Irwins of Drum.
Drum Castle was the home of the Irwins of Drum for over 650 years. The land was given to William de Irwin by King Robert the Bruce. The name comes from the Gaelic (pronounced Gal-ik) word, druim which means ridge, on which the Drum Estate sits.
Drum Castle's main entrance portal, with the original Keep on the rear left and newer additions in front and to the right.
Looking at Drum Castle as we drove up, we could see how the castle had evolved over the centuries.  There's the fortified keep with the more "modern" additions flowing off to the sides.  As with most National Trust for Scotland properties, no picture taking inside.
The fountain in the middle of the walled garden is a perfect focal point.  I spent a lot of time bending over and smelling all the different roses.
The walled garden is a bit of a walk from the house.  But the day was sunny and warm, bonny as they say over here.  The circle fountain was surrounded by a trimmed hedge, a bit unusual, as most are a spot for sitting.
The side of the castle as we walked up from the carpark.
The grounds are beautifully maintained.  Lush lawns with ancient trees.  Pathways through wonderful blooming  plants, that make you feel you have found a secret garden.  The scent of roses and honeysuckle filled the air.  The gardeners are doing a great job at Drum.

Honeysuckle.  So did my love of honeysuckle come from my Scottish ancestors?
Rhododendrons, while not native, are everywhere in Scotland.  There were several of this intense purple bloom around Drum.
Family lore has Alexander the 10th Laird during the Covenanting Rebellion, in 1639, having escaped with his life after King Charles I was captured, returned to Drum and hid for 2 years in a secret room.  After things had calmed down, he came out to resume his life as Laird.  No such room was found until the National Trust was doing renovations.  Off the library, a small room with a garderobe, was found in the thick walls of the old part where the newer additions were attached.  Because the walls are 12 - 16 feet thick, secreting a room in them would be easy enough.  This one stayed hidden for over 450 years!

The carving over the entrance portal is a flower instead of the Coat of Arms.
One of the Lairds had a son who was a painter in Rome.  While there, the son had his portrait done as the Archangel Gabriel as a gift for his parents.  Looking at the other paintings in the home, I would guess this one didn't go into the dining room with the rest of the family portraits!  Obviously, this child had a sense of humour.
Bill as the Archangel Gabriel..  The are cutouts in the garden of various portraits of the family; the National Trust for Scotland has a sense of humour, too!

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