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Case Studies > Historical and cultural preservation

Towie Barclay


Case Study Historical and cultural preservation Towie Barclay www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Historical and cultural preservation Created in 1593 by Clan Barclay, Towie Barclay Castle was given to the clan by Malcolm III of Scotland. In 1792, after a rutted history of ownership, the castle was ultimately handed to Robert Gordon’s Hospital for £21,000. By the mid-20th century, Towie Barclay Castle had fallen into a desperate state of disrepair.

In a bid to rescue and revitalise the building, the musician Marc Ellington and his wife Karen invested in the castle. The restoration was funded entirely by Marc’s music career and the work took over 7 years to complete as Karen vigorously monitored the extensive restoration work on the building. The work was such a success that Towie Barclay castle was awarded a Saltire Award in 1973, a credit to the hard-work and dedication invested in the iconic building.

The castle is a striking symbol of Scottish history.

However, Marc and Karen’s contribution to the country’s cultural reputation is further underlined by their governance of Gardenstown and Crovie. Here, the Tomnaverie Stone Circle is one of the 99 ‘recumbent’ stone circles identified in the north east of Scotland, as the largest stone is laid in a horizontal position. The circle surrounds a burial cairn of about 4,500 years and seems to have been used up until the 1600s.

In a landscape of stone circle remains and burial cairns, the stone circle is steeped in Scottish history. Like other stone circles, it is suggested that the Tomnaverie circle was intended to allow farmers living in the area to plot the movement of seasons by tracking moonrise through the recumbent stone and its flankers which frame the movement of the moon over Lochnagar.

The Ellington’s have been integral to such historical preservation and restoration, ensuring the reputation of such Scottish landmarks are not diminished.

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