Aberdeenshire Folk Tales

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Grace runs song classes, storytelling for families, sessions for schools and also outdoor explores which can include story, song walks, story-making, creative writing, song creation with natural, historical inspiration, tool use, fire-making and other fun activities, supporting groups to experience nature in different ways. Most recently Grace has been working for Scots Radio, supporting schools, community groups to create their own doric films. Photo credit: Gregor Ksiazek. Find out how to get involved in our Live Literature programme.

However, once they arrived at the Hill o' Fare, the fairies disliked the place so much that they also cursed the rebel laird of Blelack, Charlie Gordon, for good measure:.

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One Sunday, the minister in the Logie Coldstone Kirk prayed to God to scatter the rebel army, whereupon Lady Blelack, with some choice words, retorted, 'How daur ye say that an my Charlie wi' them? Three hundred and fifty press-ganged men commanded by Stoneywood, Blelack and Stoneywood travelled the country from Midmar to Braemar, forcing some tenants to enlist and others to pay the war tax. When the Jacobite rebellion was quelled, Blelack House was razed; the fairies' curse came true.

Farquharson the wizard suffered bad luck from the very day he cast the spirits out. Why did the fairies loathe the Hill o' Fare? The Battle of Corrichie is immortalised in an old ballad, of which there is a remnant below.

It was reputed to have been written by Mr Forbes, schoolmaster at Maryculter, Deeside. Murn, ye Heilans, and murn ye Lowlans, I trow ye hae muckle need; For the bonnie burn o' Corrichie Has run this day wi' bluid. The Gordons mustered 1, men, whereas James Stuart, who wished to block Gordon's power, led 1, cavalry. At the height of the battle, Gordon, who was of huge girth, rose in his stirrups in his heavy armour, suffered a heart attack and fell dead from his horse.

Local Echt folk up to the twentieth century still recalled that the burn of Corrichie ran red for many days, so many were slaughtered on that hill. Huntly's son, the queen's would-be suitor, and other members of his family, were taken in chains to Aberdeen. Five Gordon nobles were hanged there, but Lord John Gordon was condemned to be beheaded.

The beautiful Mary Queen of Scots, who had watched the Battle of Corrichie, was forced to witness the execution from a window of the Earl Marischal's house on the south side of the Castlegate. The executioner was unskilled, and it took several strokes to kill the unfortunate man.

Strathbogie Castle was then relieved of its contents, including the treasures from the Cathedral of Aberdeen.

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Silver and gold plate, jewellery, gorgeous textile fabrics and clothing were dispatched to the palace of Holyrood to adorn the hall of Kirk-o'-Field where Lord Darnley, Mary's second husband, had been murdered. The old ballad ends with wishes that were not granted in Mary's reign:.


Rural Scotland celebrated with history and tales

I wish our queen had better friens I wish our country better peace I wish our lords wid nae discord I wish our wars at hame may cease. After Huntly's death, his body and possessions were transported from Strathbogie Castle to Edinburgh. It was brought to the Scottish Parliament on 29 May , seven months after his death.

There his coffin lid was opened and the coffin propped up so that the earl might hear the charges against him. The court ruled that the Gordon estates be forfeited. Huntly's body lay unburied in Holyrood Abbey for three years. After this, it was returned to Moray for burial at Elgin Cathedral. His valuables were taken to Holyrood Palace. When Mary was imprisoned at Loch Leven, she was given the earl's cloth-of-estate. As for the fairies, rumour has it that in more recent times a white witch built fairy houses throughout the Blelack estate in an attempt to encourage the little people back to their beloved Seely Howe.

If you are passing by Bennachie, it is worth the time to go and see this magnificent standing stone, believed to be of Pictish origin. I have heard many versions of the tale, but this is my favourite. Mary loved to bake. For her, it was never a chore, no matter how many scones, bannocks or pancakes she had to turn out. She and her parents lived in a smallholding at the foot of Bennachie, where her father tended to his beasts. Mary gazed south from the kitchen window, as she had done every day for the last two years, always hoping for the familiar sight of Sandy, her betrothed, to come striding across the fields.

He had left penniless to join the army, vowing to return with wealth enough to marry his beloved. With a sigh, Mary went back to beating the pancakes; even her hopeful spirit could not remain optimistic when there had been no word of Sandy in all this time. It was the following Sunday, when everyone was leaving the wee kirk, that Mary first caught sight of the stranger. He was leaning on the stone parapet of the bridge as she and her parents walked home; a striking figure, tall, and dressed in black.

He was very handsome. As Mary passed, she glanced curiously at the man's face, and he smiled at her with a look in his dark eyes that made the lass's legs falter and her belly tighten. All through that week, whenever her thoughts drifted back to the handsome, dark stranger, her heart would skip a beat, and a smile play on her lips. There's so many myths and legends throughout the Highlands!

One of my favourite is how the waterfall in Smoo Cave was created! Take my test to see if you know about the other dark legends of the Highlands! Check out our HauntedFife posts over Halloween weekend!

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From tales of burning witches to visitor friendly ghost monks! I remember arriving on Arran in the pitch black and having to hike from Brodick to a site a few miles north. Walking up the lonely single track road lit only by the moon, my friend grabs me and points to a person closely behind us but walking in the opposite direction. No one passed us!!!!! November edited November December Part of my growing up was in Fraserburgh. Many years ago, it was the seat of the local laird.

Rural Scotland celebrated with history and tales

His daughter was beautiful and kind, and he wanted her to marry a local notable. But the daughter was in love with a poor musician from the town. One day, the father decided to travel and visit a neighbour.

As soon as he set out, the daughter sent a message to the musician, and he hurried to the castle to see her. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad, and the father turned around headed back to the castle. He caught the two young lovers in a compromising position.

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Enraged, he threw the musician into the dungeon of his keep, and locked the girl in the topmost room. Then he took himself to the great hall and in despair, drank himself into a stupor. While he lay insensible, the storm grew worse, and the sea water began to seep into the dungeon.

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It slowly filled until the musician was drowned. Next morning his body was found.