Drum Castle, Scotland
|View of the castle from the west. The Jacobean portion is to the right.|
|The Tower, the oldest part of Drum|
Most of the Irvine lairds were named Alexander. One of these Alexanders, the fourth (or IVA because there were two 4th lairds, brothers) laird, and his brother were involved in the Battle of Red Harlaw, in 1411, in which Donald MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, and his large army challenged royal authority. The Lord of the Isles destroyed Inverness, then headed toward Aberdeen to do the same. The Earl of Mar, the Steward General, was in charge of defending the city with a small local force. Sir Alexander Irvine was one of his prominent officers.
|Part of the 19th century addition designed by David Bryce. This runs behind the original 17th century Jacobean Wing to provide corridors, privacy, and easier movement through the house. It also created an entrance hall at courtyard level.|
The Battle of Red Harlaw took place twenty miles north of Drum Castle and is considered one of Scotland’s bloodiest acts of civil war. Maclean of Duart, Red Hector of the Battles, was one of the prominent chiefs under MacDonald, Lord of the Isles. He and Sir Alexander Irvine came into conflict during the battle, a single combat in which neither would relent. They both died fighting each other. His brother Robert Irvine survived the battle, changed his name to Alexander, becoming another forth laird of Drum, or IVB. He married a daughter of the Keiths, Elizabeth, and ended the feud. He is believed to have exchanged swords with Red Hector’s son (Maclean), a symbolic act of peace between their families/clans. I found this especially fascinating because I visited both Drum Castle and Duart Castle on Isle of Mull (stronghold of the Macleans) during this trip.
The ninth Irvine laird, Alexander, was nicknamed “Little Breeches” because he took up the Continental fashion of wearing short trousers. He had the Jacobean mansion portion of Drum built in 1619. He was also sheriff of Aberdeen. He and his wife were philanthropists and were rich enough to lend money to King James VI. I didn't get a good photo of the whole southern, Jacobean mansion portion because people were setting up for a wedding, but you can see it by clicking here.
No photos were allowed inside the Jacobean and Victorian parts of the castle. It is elegantly furnished with lots of beautiful antique furniture, artwork, china, etc.
A massive rope moulding carved from local granite decorates the front door.
|The beautiful double entrance doors.|