Explore Castle Fraser
Saturday 24th August 2019
With only a week to go until we descend on the Castle Fraser Events Field for our USA Roots event with copious amounts of American themed food, drink and fun we wanted to remind folk not to miss a tour of the castle whilst on site!
We did the tour a few weeks ago and it was fascinating to learn about the castle's colourful background and of some of the characters who resided within the castle walls over the years! The tour lasts around 45 minutes, starting in the courtyard and taking you through the various rooms, plus the tower (the views across Aberdeenshire and down on the Events Field are amazing!), and finishing off in the Library.
And next weekend there's two options for the tours for folk attending the event. You can either enjoy 50% off the standard tours (hourly throughout the day) or you can grab one of our VIP Tickets that includes entry to the event, a special tour with Highlander Tour Guide Eddie (with an Outlander twist), and canapés plus a beer or glass of fizz in the Dining Room to finish!
So here's some interesting facts about the castle to give you a wee teaser...
Castle Fraser was started in the mid-fourteenth century as a three storey rectangular Tower House. The surrounding lands, known as Muchall, were originally the property of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar. However, when he died in 1435 without a legitimate heir, the estates passed to the Crown.
The castle was substantially upgraded in the sixteenth century by Michael Fraser, Sixth Laird of Fraser. He built two new towers on diagonally opposite corners of the existing Tower House to form a Z-plan castle. The most elaborate of all Z-plan castles in Scotland!
The castle was substantially upgraded in the sixteenth century by Michael Fraser, Sixth Laird of Fraser. He built two new towers on diagonally opposite corners of the existing Tower House to form a Z-plan castle.
In 1897 Frederick Mackenzie Fraser died childless and his widow, faced with the extensive costs of maintaining the property, sold it in 1921 to Weetman Pearson, Viscount Cowdray. In the 1950s some work was undertaken to remove sections of the nineteenth century modifications. The castle was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1976.
Castle Fraser retains the atmosphere of a family home and still contains the original contents, including Fraser family portraits, furniture and collections. The interiors represent all periods of the castle's history, from the Medieval stone vaulted Great Hall to the Regency Dining Room.
Some scenes in the 2006 film The Queen, starring Dame Helen Mirren, featured Castle Fraser as a backdrop.
Unlike many similar castellated mansions in the Aberdeenshire area, Castle Fraser has never needed to use its defensive features, largely avoiding sieges and other such troublesome events over the years.
Castle Fraser stands in over 300 acres of landscaped grounds, woodland and farmland which also includes a walled kitchen garden.
It's most famous ghost is the ghost of a princess staying at the castle who was murdered while she slept in the Green Room. According to legend, her body was dragged down the stone staircase leaving a bloody trail. A stain which could not be removed even with repeated scrubbing. As a last resort the steps were covered in the wooden panelling as seen today. Over the years many residents and visitors have reported seeing her ghost throughout the castle.
In the Library you can see the wooden leg that Colonel Charles Fraser wore after an injury in the 1812 Peninsular War.