Friday, 11 November 2011

Battling for Scottish Castles

This may seem a bit odd to put up a such a post on 11 Nov 2011 but over these next days I'm going to aim for some Scottish castle lore, which will inevitably have references to those who died in battle. (not 20th century but much earlier)
First up on my list of Scottish castles is Hallforest Castle. It's the nearest castle to my home and one that can give much inspiration, especially in different weather conditions. Here's a wee bit about it for those of you who like to dabble in Scottish history.

Hallforest Castle

A mile to the south-west of the village of Kintore, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, stands the ruins of Hallforest Castle. Said to have been built in 1296 it is an oblong keep 48 feet by 30 feet, and the walls are around seven foot thick. It was built on six floors and was one of the earliest towers in Scotland.

The Castle took its name from its location in the great forest - Hallforest. The forest, which lies between Kintore and Kemnay, is also recalled in local names such as Forest Road and Tom's Forest.

It is said that it was built as a hunting lodge by King Robert the Bruce.

In 1305 Sir Robert Keith (received the title Great Marischal) was chosen as one of ten Scots to represent his country at the English Parliament but in May, 1308, he was fighting with Bruce's army at the Battle of Barra, near Inverurie. (4 miles from Hallforest)

The Keith family helped Robert the Bruce in gaining his throne in the ensuing battles for independence from the English. He was rewarded by King Robert the Bruce by land at Hallforest, Kintore that included the castle. And so the Keith's arrived in the Garioch ( local name for the land around Inverurie) and the castle became the former stronghold of the Keith family.

King James IV of Scotland is said to have hunted in Hallforest.

Mary Queen of Scots is known to have stayed at Hallforest in 1562.

(The Battle of Inverurie, also known as the Battle of Barra, was fought in May 1308 in the north-east of Scotland. Though part of the wider Wars of Scottish Independence it is more properly viewed as an episode in a brief but bitter civil war. The battle was a victory for the Scottish King Robert Bruce over his chief domestic enemy, John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan. It was followed by the Harrying of Buchan, a violent act of destruction, at least equal to, if not greater than, some of the excesses practiced elsewhere by the English.)

Fodder for writing here, everybody...*sighs*...if only I can find the time!


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