Monday, September 18, 2017

Hunterston Castle

Today is Sunday, August 27th

We have a family castle in Scotland. It's called the Hunterston Castle located in Hunterston, Scotland. It was kind of "out of our way" making our big circle around Scotland but we all wanted to see it. We wanted to see our "roots" and where we came from. This castle is unlike any other castle we've seen. It's not on the tourists maps. And it's not owned by Scotland or any other organizations. In fact it is still owned by the Hunter Family. It was in fact the best castle we saw our whole entire trip. Maybe I'm a little biased! I had to make reservations to see it and it was so, so worth it. 

The castle is off the beaten path and we had to take a dirt road to get to it. 

 Although it is called a castle it looks more like a huge home or manor. 
One thing I learned on this trip was "other people" besides the King and Queen lived in or owned castles. Our family, the Hunter's, were the hunters of game and other wildlife for the King. This estate was granted to the Clan Hunter, specifically, Laird Hunter of Hunterston in the 12th century by King David I. The castle dates back to the 15th century. The attached manor was built in the 17th century.  

 The "castle" is really only the tall building on the L. The middle attached building is the manor that was built in the 17th century for family members. The building on the R was built during the late 18th or 19 century. Today it is used for the grounds keeper.  

To the right is  a beautiful gate leading to the garden. 
Our tour guide was having a hard time tracking down the key to the castle so we toured the gardens first.  

What a beautiful sight. 

There was this beautiful bench and statue behind it
The detail on the bench are the logos that represent our Hunter clan.

The dog is a hunting dog with a crown around its neck representing that the dog works for the King.

The front of the garden was well kept. The back had been "let go" a bit. Among all the tall growth we found a wood shack. Our tour guide didn't know who used this shack or if someone lived in it. 

There were several plaques dedicated to family members hanging against the rock walls her and there. 

The family still runs a herd of sheep. 

Finally the keys were found to let us in the family castle!

Isn't that the coolest! Still using the original keys
for the front door.....

 The castle had many rooms with furniture dating back to the 16/17th century.  

We are the "Hunters" Our ancestors used hawks and dogs to hunt. 

The detail on the wood furniture is just absolutely amazing. 

A chair. 

The beams and rock are original. 

Wooden shoes. 

In one of the tops rooms there was door leading outside. 
To think this wood door is centuries old. 

The original rock/slate roof. 

 We found the bedroom. 
For centuries this room slept everyone in the household including visiting guests. 
This bedroom still has the furniture used many centuries ago. 

Look at that head board! 

Antler candle holder. 

The closet! 

A real candle dish.

A interior door

 There were little alcoves in the rooms and hallways that were used to hold candles to provide light.

 While others were big enough to hold other things.  

 Awesome seating bench. 

Family dining room. 
Look at those chairs!
They were made out of antlers.

So much detail!

The ends of the arm chairs. All representing the Hunter's Clan.

The center of the table. 

I even imagine having to wipe down the spilt syrup or milk off these tables. 

The last room was the banquet room. It was a hands on room. The items in here could be touched, picked up and handled. 

Carved stone fireplace.

Matt with a shield and sword.




The Hunter Clan Crest! 
The Hunter Clan Motto is Cursum Perficio.
Meaning, I accomplish my course.

I told you! 
May have been the smallest castle ever but it was also the best Castle we saw!

Matt, Jonathan, Mom, Dad, Tina, Hanna 

So thankful for the opportunity to see a part of our roots this day!