Saturday, August 01, 2015

Fyvie St Peter's Kirk and Castle

While we were in Fraser Castle, we picked up a brochure about St Peter's Kirk in Fyvie, home to three Pictish stones and a Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window.  What an odd pair; we must go see for ourselves.
St Peter's Kirk in Fyvie

The stained glass window by Tiffany was donated by American friends of the Forbes-Leith family in memory of their son and heir who died in the Boer war in 1900.  The window shows the Archangel St Michael bearing a flaming sword and Banner of the Cross.  Unfortunately, the church was locked.  We were only able to see the window through a heavy casement of wire, from the outside.  It really didn't show very well.

The stones were built into the end of the building during reconstruction in 1904.
This beast may be a dolphin.

While it was a grey, damp day, two of the stone carvings were quite clear to see.  They showed up even better in Bill's photos.
The graveyard had many old headstones, but we thought this one was quite unique.
Fraser Castle was started in the 13th century and has been owned by five successive families- Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith. Each new owner added another tower, so today we see a quite impressive building.
Fyvie Castle, home of the Forbes-Leith famiy.
Fyvie Castle was purchased by Alexander Leith, in 1885.  He was a Scot who made his fortune in American steel.  While he did build the last of five towers and modernize the building, when it came to the interior decoration, it looks as if he gave someone a blank check and said to buy as much old armament as possible to put on the walls.  A bit overdone to say the least.

An example of the wall decor in the entryway where we paid.
The castle has a curse on it, attributed to the prophetic laird, Thomas the Rhymer.  It says that the estate will never pass from father to first born son, and since this curse, it hasn't!  It also has the usual assortment of ghosts and secret rooms never to be opened.  Love Scottish castle lore!

More decor, along with NTS brochures in the entry.  No more pictures allowed while we were inside.

The back of the castle.
There is a walled garden that is used as a kitchen garden, with a few flowers.  The trees, however, were the focal point of the estate.  A vast assortment, most labeled, are being very well cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
The garden has a wonderful selection of trees.

A two colored peonie.

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