Crathes Castle


A noonday sun is a sword that slays veiling mists to reveal the face of everything. It tends to make everything a bit plain, though in a bold way that demands it to show its true quality. The castle at Crathes stood up to the sun well. It wasn’t frilly, but it didn’t claim to be.

The sun kept everything bright and warm (by comparison to other days) and gave us all a nice day out. Tyler’s parents were with us, which was great fun! His dad livened up the day for the history-explainers stationed throughout the castle and his mom was a good partner for me in appreciating the decor of the castle. We love them dearly.


The castle itself was, for the most part, one staunch tower from the 14th century. Wings had been built by owners in the victorian era as living quarters, but they’ve since burnt down. The layout of the tower was fairly basic, up one spiral staircase to view rooms on each floor and then down a second spiral staircase. The best info was about the low doorways meant to slow down attacking soldiers flaunting high helmets and also the 11th stair that was built too deep to further add to their injury by tripping them up. Any windows that aren’t large enough for a man to climb through are the original windows. Back in its day, this was a tricksy, no nonsense kind of a castle.

Ambrose and I loved the mirrors scattered throughout the castle, they were our favorite. I was wearing him facing out, so I’d be wandering through a room and there his little face would appear in the wall, grinning right at me. Grinning, because he could see mommy. We’d do little dances in front of each mirror.

Though the castle held no frills, its gardens did hold the promise of mystery and faerie once spring touches it and dusk-time comes. I should like to go back and catch it at that moment someday. I enjoyed the gardens for their potential.


The greenhouse inside the gardens, the place where all the green and growth was stuffed away from the grey, was where the magic lay at Crathes castle. The air in it was sticky and humming, bright and hot. Everything was waiting in there, waiting with the comfortable knowledge that it was worth waiting for and that when its plump ripeness rolls out into the garden it will dazzle the rest of the lanky plants and draw true crowds to the castle. I liked it in there, even if the plants were snooty.


With our new membership to the National Trust of Scotland, I hope to go back to these grounds for a family picnic someday. The gardens need to be enjoyed in full bloom.


7 thoughts on “Crathes Castle

  1. I loved your talk about the garden!! When you said “faerie,” I thought of G.K. Chesterton’s talk about Elfland. Jessie, you are a true artist in pictures and words. I get so much delight from perusing these “pages.” *happy sigh*

  2. Crathes! So that’s where these pics were taken, I get it now. This was the Castle of the Blue Tit! though we only got to walk around the perimeter of it while you three stayed in the car. I’ll never forget standing there with the castle on the right and the garden with those sculpted yews in the foreground and the layers of hills in the back, o my. Standing with my husband’s hand in mine and the little family back in the car. What a day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s