Drum Castle, Scotland, part 3: The Chapel and The Old Wood of Drum

The Chapel

A beautiful, little charming 16th century chapel sits to the south-west of Drum Castle. It is almost hidden in a copse of yews and hollies. The style of the chapel reflects the preference of the Irvine family for the Episcopal Church, dating back to their stubborn resistance to Presbyterianism, with its simple rites and places of worship, during the religious wars of the 17th century.

The chapel was restored during Victorian times, 1856, in memory of the six-year-old son of the 19th laird, who died in that year and is buried in the chapel.

 The font (above) is a copy of the Saxon font in Winchester Cathedral. (Some of the family attended Winchester public school.) Fonts are for non-immersion baptisms and usually sit just inside the entrance.

Stained glass window over the entry door.
A lot of weddings take place in this chapel. Workers were preparing for one and setting up for a reception outside on a big lawn while we were visiting.

The entry and font

 The chapel alter is made of sandstone. The Augsburg silver figure of the Virgin was brought here in 1897. The gorgeous stained glass window is by Hardman of Birmingham.

Entry door.

I found this little chapel, hidden in the trees, to be very inspiring. Look for one like it in my upcoming book. :)

Tree just outside chapel.

The Old Wood of Drum

The 117-acre Old Wood of Drum is the last remains of the once vast native forest called the Royal Forest of Drum. Its ancient origins and the rarity of the still standing oak woodlands led to its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1983.

The earliest recorded reference to the Royal Forest of Drum was in a charter in 1247. During this time, the wood was enclosed as a royal park, a ditched and fenced enclosure that kept deer and wild boar in and people out. Those caught hunting animals or birds, harvesting timber or grazing animals within this boundary were punished with a heavy fine. In 1323, King Robert the Bruce bestowed the wood upon William de Irwyn, who became a Royal Forester, entrusted with its upkeep.

A fern growing on a tree limb.

A twisted and interesting sight.

An oak with a swollen base.
Timber from the forest was used in the various stages of building at Drum Castle. Some of the oaks in this forest date back to 1776. The tree trunks with massively swollen bases were damaged by grazing animals centuries ago.

one of the ponds
The trees in the wood include oak, Scots pine, birch, geans (wild cherries) etc. Many young trees have been planted too, grown from seed collected on the site. Exclosure fences keep roe deer out, which damage young trees. The forest has lots of wildlife and wildflowers, as well as two ponds.

I loved walking along these trails through nature. The leisurely, easy walk took about an hour or little longer. This wraps up our virtual visit to Drum Castle and estate. I hope you enjoyed it.

Reader review from Amazon for My Fierce Highlander: "After reading this book, I'm a definite fan of Vonda Sinclair's! So consuming and made me stay up late one night to finish--yeah...only 3 hours of sleep that night! But it was worth it! A must-read for anyone who loves historical romance--especially with Highlanders!"~Julie
15 Responses
  1. I don't always get around to commenting, but these pictures touched me. I don't know why. As if I'd been there and know the place. Now there's a writing promt. Thanks Vonda! I always enjoy your posts and the photo's.

  2. Thanks, Sandy!! I'm glad you enjoyed it and that it touched you. I feel the same way about Drum. For some reason, it sticks in the mind and heart in a warm and inviting way.

  3. Angelyn Says:

    That wooden ceiling is magnificent. So are the trees--makes me think of Lord of the Rings. As always, the pictures just draw me in.

  4. Amy Jarecki Says:

    Lovely scenery. Beautiful raw stone in the chapel. Wow!

  5. Gerri Bowen Says:

    Loved the photos, Vonda! Thank you.

  6. Angelyn, YES, I loved that ceiling! Some of the trees were huge. Thanks!

  7. Amy, both the chapel and the wood were so beautiful. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for checking them out, Gerri!

  9. The ceiling and entry door are fantastic. And I want to take a walk through those trees. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

  10. They truly are, Ally! It was a beautiful walk. Thanks for commenting!

  11. Vanessa Holland Says:

    Wow, more amazing pictures of Drum, Vonda! Thanks for posting.

  12. I want that chair, Vonda! What craftsmanship. Lovely photos and commentary, as always. Thanks for transporting us to this lovely place.

  13. Thank you, Vanessa! I thought you would like the forest.

  14. Pat, thanks! That is a beautiful chair. I wish I knew the history of it.

  15. Loved the church. I tweeted.

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