Our next stop at the present day was the Brodie Castle close to Forres


This small royal burgh, which was granted its Charter in the 13th century, was once one of the most important places in Scotland, and is mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth. It is also thought to be the "Varris" on Ptolemy's maps. The ground plan of the medieval settlement still forms the basis of the town today, though it is much more open and green than it was then, thanks to some large areas of parkland.

The 20-feet high Sueno's Stone(Historie Scotland) dates from the 9th or 10th century, and is the largest known Pictish stone in Scotland. One side shows a cross, while the other shows scenes of battle. One of the scenes might be the battle fought at Forres in AD 966 where die Scottish king, Dubh, was killed. It is now floodlit, and under glass to protect it from the weather. The Falconer Museum in Tolbooth Street was founded in 1871, and highlights the history and heritage of the town and its surroundings. It was founded using money from a bequest left by two brothers who left Forres for India.

One was Alexander Falconer, a merchant in Calcutta, and the other was Hugh Falconer, a botanist and zoologist.
The cathedralesque
St Laurence Church was built between 1904 and 1906 on the site of the town's former churches (with the original having been built in the 13th century), all dedicated to St Laurence. Though impressive from the outside, its inside is spectacular.
Dominating the town is the
Nelson Tower, opened in 1812 in Grant Park to commemorate Nelson's victory at Trafalgar seven years before - the first such building to do so in Britain. If you're fit enough to climb its 96 steps, you'll get spectacular views over the surrounding countryside and the Moray Firth.

Brodie Castle (National Trust for Scotland) lies four miles west of the town. It is a 16th century tower house with later additons. In about 1160
Malcolm IV gave the surrounding lands to the Brodies, and it was their family home until the Tate 20th century. It contains major collections of paintings,furniture and ceramics, and sits in 175 acres of ground. Within the grounds is Rodney's Stone, with Pictish carvings.

A couple of miles northeast of Forres is
Kinloss, with an RAF base and the scant remains of an old abbey. It was founded in about 1150 by David I, and colonised by Cistercian monks from Melrose. It is said that in 1150 David founded it in thanks after getting lost in a dense forest. Two doves led him to an open space where shepherds were looking after their sheep. 'Fhey gave him food and shelter, and as he slept he had a dream in which he was told to found an abbey on the Spot. Before the Reformation, it was one of the wealthiest and most powerful abbeys in Scotland.

On the coast north of Forres is perhaps Scotland's most unusual landscape, the
Culbin Sands. In 1694 a storm blew great dunes of sand - some as high as 100 feet - over an area that had once been green and fertile, causing people to flee their homes. The drifts covered cottages, fields, even a mansion house and orchard, and eventually created eight square miles of what became known as "Scotland's Sahara". Occasionally, further storms would uncover the foundations of old cottages, which were then covered back up again by succeeding storms. The sands continued to shift and expand until the 1920s, when trees were planted to stabilise the area. Now it is a nature reserve.

Dallas Dhu Distillery(Historic Scotland) sits to the south of Forres, and explains die making of whisky. It was built between 1898 and 1899 to produce a single malt for a firm of Glasgow blenders called Wright and Greig.

Größere Kartenansicht

Brodie Castle ( £ 9,00/per person)

Größere Kartenansicht

Brodie Castle


Brodie Castle


Brodie Castle

Tate Ninian Brodie of Brodie (1912-2003)

I was born at Brodie Castle and lived there, apart from occasional holidays and visits to relatives, until the age of nine when I went to school in England, but then almost always returned for the holidays. In the early days it was paraffin lamps and capdles. I suppose it was very dark in the winter but it didn't seem unpleasantly so.

The heating came from wood and coal fires, but I don't remember feeling the cold. One's bath was a hip bath in nursery or bedrooms set in front of the fire in winter, and rather pleasant. Above all I remember it as a place of happiness. When visitors express . disappointment at our having no ghost, I say that's because it has always been a happy house — and probably it has.
At the same time I had a great affection for the garden and grounds (although, unlike my father, I was never much of a gardener). In those early days we walked everywhere and knew every wood, field and path. All round the pond, I think, were my favourite walks (it has never been called a loch or lochan).

In the thirties my work kept me mainly in London and the south, but I could still pay fairly frequent visits to Brodie. I was married by then, but it wasn't till about 1950 that I gave up my work in the theatre and settled in at Brodie with my wife and children. I was pleased that they found as much to delight them as I did. My wife applied herself with a will to improving and decorating. She had by then acquired an interest in and quite extensive knowledge of porcelain, furniture and, above all. of paintings.

My mother and father had made an extensive collection of twentieth-century paintings and drawings. Although neither of them had moved much in what one might call artistic circles, they showed an astonishing flair in this direction, giving only modest sums for artists whose work, in some cases, is now valued at more than a hundred times the original price (and one can see the reason why). They also acquired some early English watercolours. My wife rearranged all these acquisitions to excellent effect.

In the sixties, however, the euer-increasing cost of the upkeep of the castle became alarming, and we decided to approach
The National Trust for Scotland. Tragically, my wife died in 1972, but during her last illness she was aware of, and excited about, the very first tentative negotiations with the NTS, and was happy to know that there was a very good chance that the results of the care and the enthusiasms of so many generations, not least of her own, might be preserved for all time.

Brodie Castle

 Tate Ninian Brodie of Brodie

Das Wappen der Brodie's



The exact construction date of the present building is not known, nor whether it replaced an earlier building on the same site or in the vicinity. The caphouse on the south-west tower carries the date 1567, which probably records the completion of that part of the building, begun around 1560.
Alexander Brodie of Brodiewas the laird at that time and was 12th in line of descent from Malcolm, Thane of Brodie, who died in 1285. In 1566, the year before the caphouse date, Alexander had been reinstated in his possession of the property, having previously forfeited the Lands to the Crown through his involvement in the 5th Earl of Huntly's rebellion against Mary, Queen of Scots in 1562.

The house is a typical 'Z' plan tower house with square towers set diagonally at opposite corners of a rectangular hall block, lime-harled and with the ornate corbelled battlements and bartizans so characteristic of the Scottish fortified house of the sixteenth century. The west wing, projecting from the angle between the southwest tower and the hall, was probably built in the early seventeenth century.
In 1645 the estate was pillaged and the house partially 'byrnt and plunderit' by the Royalist army under the
Marquess of Montrose and his lieutenantLord Lewis Gordon, who were fighting for Charles I against the Scottish Covenanters during the Civil War. Fortunately most of the building was spared.

During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries the exterior of the house itself remained largely unchanged. However, the eighteenth century saw the complete remodelling of the grounds, begun by
Alexander, I9th Brodie of Brodie and his wife Mary Sleigh, and completed by James, the 21 st laird, and his wife Lady Margaret Duff. Radiating avenues were planted, a formal canal terminating in a semicircular basin was created, a wilderness established and a picturesque serpentine drive made to approach the house from the south. The main staircase was constructed in the 1730s by John Ross, mason of Elgin, who also charged 1s 8d for taking down the battlements.

The debts accumulated by Alexander amounted to over £18,000. These were inherited by the late eighteenth-century lairds, whose story is one of constant extremity. It is hardly surprising that, architecturally, the house lay dormant until 1824 when William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie, rashly commissioned William Burn to enlarge it. Only a third of Burn's plan was built, and that not properly paid for until William Brodie's prudent

Brodie Castle

 1826 engraving showing the projected enlargement of the the castle, of which only part was actually built.

marriage in 1838 to the heiress Elizabeth Baillie of Redcastle. This also enabled him to engage the York architect William Wylson, who remodelled William Burn's lacobethan' gables and substituted the Scottish crowstep gables we see today. He also formed the present entrance hall and library.

Today the house is much as it was in the first twothirds of the twentieth century. The far-sightedness of Ninian, the 25th laird and his wife Helena, who together mapped out the castle's future, has enabled the seat of the Brodies of Brodie for over 400 years to be held in trust for the nation.

There have been Brodies at Brodie for over 800 years. They may have been of Flemish origin, or else one of the loyal Celtic tribes rewarded with lands by Malcolm IVin about the year 1160. The name was originally 'Brothie', changed to 'Brodie' in the early sixteenth century. In Gaelic broth meant a ditch or mire — the same as 'dyke' in Saxon. The mire trench or ditch which runs from Brodie Castle to the village of Dyke may have given both the place and the familytheir name.

The earliest laird recorded is Malcolm, who died in 1285. Malcolm's son, Thanus de Brothie and Dyke, held a charter as his father's heir, dated 1311, from
King Robert the Bruce.lt was with Alexander, who died in 151 I and was tenth in descent from Malcolm, that the spelling Brodie' first appeared. His son Thomas, the 11th laird, was killed in 1547 at the Battle of Pinkie, near Edinburgh, fighting against the English army of Henry VIII, who was attempting to enforce the betrothal of his son Edward to the infant Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 'Rough Wooing'. Thomas's son the I2th laird, another Alexander, either built or completed the present house shortly after his forfeited estates were returned to him in 1566. His son David, the I3th laird, had seven sons, four of whom established landed families. One of these families, the Brodies of Lethen, still flourishes an its estate near Auldearn.

Brodie Castle

 James, 21st Brodie of Brodie

The early seventeenth century saw the young Alexander (born 1617), the I3th laird's grandson, being sent to be educated in the south. On the death of his father he returned, now I5th laird, to Scotland, and went to St Andrews and Aberdeen universities to complete his studies. At the former he learned to play golf. In 1635 he married Elizabeth Innes, widow of John Urquhart of Craigston, and her religious piety strengthened Alexander's puritanism. Elizabeth died in 1640, leaving Alexander a widower of 23 with a son and a daughter.

The religious events of the seventeenth century dominated Alexander's life and drained his estate. He was one of many who signed the
National Covenant in 1638. He was a senator of the College of Justice and as such styled 'Lord Brodie'. In 1649 he was chosen as one of the commissioners for the Covenanting government to negotiate with Charles II at The Hague and again at Breda in 1650. He attended Charles JA coronation at Scone in 1651 and no doubt followed news of events until the king's defeat at the battle of Worcesterand subsequent flight. He was summoned to London by Cromwell in 1653 to treat for a union of the two kingdoms, but he was 'resolved and determined in the strength of the Lord to eschew all employment under Cromwell'.

After the Restoration Alexander visited London to seek reparation for debts incurred during the Commonwealth.

Brodie Castle

 Jane, Duchess of Gordon (the beautiful Duchess) from the portrait by Romney.

His diary records his impressions: Thus I saw a large and beautiful country, not straitened with the poverty that my native soil was under: The journey was fruitless: he returned to Brodie a disillusioned and ill-used man, labouring under the imposition of a £4,800 Scots fine, a penalty for his Covenanting principles. He died in 1680 aged 63. His son James, the 16th laird, takes the story up to 1708. He left nine daughters. The fifth, Emilia, married her father's cousin and heir, George, who became 17th Brodie of Brodie.

The eighteenth century opened with the Brodies declaring for the House of Hanover. In the year following the unsuccessful Jacobite Rising of I715, the Earl of Sutherland wrote: Allow me to call your seat Castle Brodie instead of House since it has been garrisoned in so good a cause'. However, it was to remain 'Brodie House' until the romanticism of the mid-nineteenth century led to the adoption of 'Brodie Castle'. The '45 Rising saw Alexander, 19th Brodie of Brodie, siding with the government. He took no active part in the fighting, but he allowed the
Duke of Cumberland's troops to camp in the grounds on the eve of the battle of Culloden.

Alexander and James, 21st laird, dominated the eighteenth century at Brodie. Alexander was appointed
Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1727 and served as MP for Morayshire until 1741 and then for Inverness burghs from 1747 to 1753. He and his wife Mary Sleigh introduced agricultural improvements and cottage industries on the Brodie estate. In a letter to his shortlived elder brother, James, 18th Brodie of Brodie, Alexander precociously quoted from Sir Richard Bulstrode's Miscellaneous Essays (1715): There are Tour different Actors on the Theatres of Great Families: Beginner, Advancer, Continuer, Ruiner'. Alexander proved to be the ruiner of Brodie, leaving debts amounting to £18,268 15s 4V2d when he died in 1754, impoverishing the estate for almost a hundred years.

Brodie Castle


The Lord Lyon's only son, Alexander, 20th Brodie of Brodie, died aged 18 of consumption while taking a hydropathic cure in Bristol in 1759. He was succeeded by his kinsman, James Brodie of Spynie, 21st Brodie of Brodie. James married Lady Margaret Duff, daughter of the Ist Earl Fife. She bore him five children, and died tragically at Brodie in 1786.

In 1774 the whole of the extensive estate had to be sold to meet debts. It was bought up by the 2nd Earl of Fife, who returned the Barony of Brodie to James, his brother-in-law, and retained the remainder of the estate. To recoup its fortune the family looked to service in India, as did so many impoverished families at this time. The 21st laird's younger brother, Alexander, had returned from India a rich nabob, and married off his only daughter to the 5th and last Duke of Gordon of the first creation. Their union was childless, and the widowed Duchess later left her chattels to her kinsman William Brodie, the 22nd laird, which greatly enhanced the castle collections.

The 21 st laird's son, James, also went to India, and while travelling out on The Queen he met and fell in love with Anne Story, much to his parents' displeasure: they considered he had thrown away his prospects. She bore him seven children. He built a house near Madras and nostalgically called it Brodie Castle: it still stands but has become a music college. James was drowned in a sailing accident in 1802 and in 1824 his son William succeeded to his grandfather's estate as the 22nd Brodie of Brodie.

Brodie Castle

 Anne Story, by James Northcote.

William served as Lord Lieutenant of the County of Nairnshire, as had his grandfather before him and his son and grandson after him: the Brodies always played a prominent part in local politics. They also took an active part in national politics, particularly during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when the family provided MPs for Morayshire, for Inverness burghs and for the city of Elgin.

William's son Hugh succeeded his father in 1873, and married Lady Eleanor Moreton, a daughter of the
2nd Earl of Ducie. They had nine children, of whom Jan succeeded as 24th Brodie of Brodie. He married Violet Hope and had three children, of whom the eldest, David, died aged six and the second son Michael died in 1937 as the result of a motor accident.

The youngest son, Ninian, trained as an actor at the
Webber Douglas Schooland played at the Old Vic, Birmingham and Perth. After the war he returned to Brodie Castle with his wife Helena Budgen to run the estate. Their twin children, Juliet and Alastair, were brought up at Brodie. As Ninian wrote in his foreword to this guidebook, by the 1960s the ever-increasing cost of upkeep was becoming alarming and the transfer of the castle to The National Trust for Scotland was completed in 1980, with the assistance of The National Land Fund. Ninian Brodie died in 2003.

Brodie Castle

 William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie, and his family, by James Currie.



Formerly storerooms and the original kitchen, the entrance hall was created in the 1840s by the architect James Wylson. The Romanesque Revival columns were carved by a mason called Square, of whom Wylson wrote, in January 1846: '1 had to direct every stroke of the chisel for his eye is not at all good and he wants nicety and method:

The life-size Carrera marble statue of the Medici Venus bears the inscription 'To the MostNoble GEORGE, Marquis of HUNTLY, as a small mark of Gratitude from John Falconer HBM's Consul at Leghorn AD 1837'.

The two carved stone panels set into the east wall in the nineteenth century display the arms of Hay of Lochloy, Sutherland of Duffus, Dunbar of Boath, Crighton of Crawfurdland and Cockburn. The stone an the left may have come from Inshoch Castle, once the property of the Hays of Lochloy and later part of the Brodie estate.

Brodie Castle

 The Entrance Hall


This vaulted chamber is at the base of one of the two square towers which were set diagonally at opposite corners of the ball block, forming the familiar 7' plan tower house. Gun loops and arrow-slit windows gave a defensive command of the south, west and north fronts. The vault shows the late sixteenth-century rubble masonry construction of the house and the window ingoes indicate the thickness of the walls at the base of the tower.
At one end hangs the estate map of 1770 drawn up by George Brown, Land Surveyor, for James, 2l st Brodie of Brodie. It records the formal landscape laid out in the 1730s, of which vestiges still remain. The Skeleton of a child is thought to have belonged to James, who had a keen interest in the sciences.
A small collection of weapons, mostly or ental, is also on display.

Brodie Castle


The Library

This room was created by
James Wylson in 1846 out of what had been formerly two storerooms. The family archive sheds valuable light on the details of the nineteenth-century building work.

From it we learn that the doors and floor were constructed from imported American oak and that William Brodie had once entertained the idea of painting the library white for, in a letter from Brodie Castle dated 2 January 1846, James Wylson wrote `... I should fear the appropriateness of white painting in a Library, which appears rather to want a subdued light (if not the dim and religious, which is so often quoted), and there will be no want of light in the new Library. I should also doubt its harmonising with the tone of the bindings:
This comfortable room was favoured by Ian, 24th Brodie of Brodie. He was a noted breeder of daffodils, and together with his wife, Violet, a collector of pictures. G L Wilson, writing in the 1948 Royal Horticultural Society Daffodil and Tulip Year Book recalled: `... in the evening we would sit round the fite in the Library. Brodie always sat on the right-hand side of the fireplace with Mrs Brodie opposite, and their guests between them Brodie in his happiest mood sat or squatted with his heels tucked up on his chair, the light from above shining on his silvery hair and charming becoming countenance, as he laughed and chuckled over endless recollections and reminiscences exchanged the whole evening.'


Opposite the fireplace hangs a portrait of David Petty, of whom nothing is yet known. He may have been a kinsman of
Sir William Petty, one of the founders of the Royal Society. It is in the manner of Sir John Medina (1655/60-1710). The other painting is by Sir Edwin Landseer(1802-73), of The Head of Driver, a deerhound belonging to George, 5th Duke of Gordon. This was cut from a much larger canvas of a stag hunt which used to hang in the Drawing Room and which the family did not like.


The set of six simulated rosewood chairs in beech was made by Dowbiggin for the Duke of Gordon's house in Belgrave Square, London, in 1833. The French bracket clock, which probably came from
Gordon Castle, is in the eighteenth-century manner and is signed Muson à Paris.

Brodie Castle

 The Library

Brodie Castle

 The library chair which unfolds into steps

Brodie Castle

 The Library


This staircase is a late nineteenth-century addition which provided a second access to the dining room and on to which the butler's pancry formerly opened. The stained glass window bears the coat-of-arms of Brodie of Brodie.

Pictures and Furniture
The large painting, probably depicting Nero slaying Octavia, is by
Lucca Ferrari(1605-54); below it is a Regency rosewood games table. Above the stair hangs a full-length portrait of Philip III of Spain as Crown Prince, by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz(1553-1608). Above the window is an early seventeenth-century portrait of an unknown sitter. The painting of Leda and the Swan is by Antoine Coypel(1661-1722). The two marble portrait busts are of the 1st Duke of Wellington, left, and Henry Baillie of Redcastle, MP for Inverness-shire.


This room presents the greatest puzzle in the architectural history of the house. In the early seventeenth century the west wing was added to die sixteenth-century 'Z' plan tower house; this room was intended as the taird's Chamber' or principal room and would overlook what was to become, in the early eighteenth century, the baroque landscape.

The plasterwork would appear to be late seventeenth-century and related to the Body of works inspired by the fashionable prototypes at Holyroodhouse. Within the court circle around the
Duke of Lauderdale, elaborate plasterwork was commissioned at Thirlestane Castle, Prestonfield House, Caroline Park, Balcaskie House, Kellie Castle, Arbuthnott House, Kinross House and many others.

A late seventeenth-century date for this work places it within the lairdships of Alexander, 1st Brodie of Brodie (died 1680), or James, I 6th Brodie of Brodie (died 1708). Both were burdened with heavy fines imposed during this complex period of religious and political evolution. Coupled with this temporal restriction is the unlikelihood of either of the lairds, whose personal diaries reveal their intense Presbyterian soul-searchings, countenancing the voluptuous figure sculpture of the emblematic maidens, who possibly represent the Tour elements of earth, fire, air and water.

The difficulty of dating the room is compounded by the heavy oak graining of the ceiling and walls, carried out in the I820s. The factor, Neil MacLean, in a letter dated 18 March 1825, at which time this room was the drawing room, wrote: The present state of this house iscertainly anything but agreeable, and the smell of the new painting will be almost intolerable for some time ... the wainscotting of the public rooms, if properly executed, must have a superb effect — the drawingroom will be perfectly uniquer Over the years
this room has served as the laird's chamber, a library, a drawing room and finally as a dining room.

Brodie Castle

 Brodie of Brodie and Lord Lyon, from a portrait by Ramsay.

Furniture and porcelain

Around the mahogany end dining table, which extends to 20ft, is a set of sixteen dining chairs and two carvers, upholstered in morocco leather, made by Trotter of Edinburgh in 1823.

The table is laid with part of the large Chinese export armorial service of the Fitzhugh pattern, of which 102 plates survive. The service carries the family coat-of-arms with the motto `Unite'. On two pieces, however, the Chinese decorator unwittingly misspelt `Unite' and painted `Untie'. The service was probably ordered by Alexander Brodie, the wealthy nabob and brother of the 21st laird.

The unusual mahogany two-tiered dumb-waiter is c1820; the carved oak sideboard dates from 1870. The Louis XV ormolu-mounted Boulle bracket clock is by Brezagez d Paris, while the splendid pair of ormolu wine coolers, attributed to
Matthew Boulton, dates from the early years of the nineteenth century.

Family portraits

The room is hung with family portraits, of which the most interesting are described here. They illustrate a hundred years of the family story from the mid-eighteenth century. The earliest Brodie portrayed is the Lord Lyon, Alexander, I9th Brodie of Brodie, who died in 1754. This oval Portrait of Alexander is a nineteenth-century copy by James Bisset after the original by
Allan Ramsay (171384). He was succeeded by his son, Alexander, who died young at the hot water wells at Bristol and whose portrait hangs in the adjoining Blue Sitting Room.

The young boy was succeeded by his cousin, James, 21st Brodie of Brodie, seen in a portrait by
David Martin(1737-97) which hangs on the right-hand side of the wall opposite the fireplace. Adjacent is a portrait of his wife, Lady Margaret Duff, daughter of the first Earl Fife, by John Downman (c1750-1824). In 1767 James and Lady Margaret eloped.

In 1786 Lady Margaret was accidentally burned to death. A contemporary account records that she fell asleep over a book by her bedroom fire and a peat feil out and set her nightgown alight. James valiantly tried to save her but was forced back by the flames. He died aged 80 in 1824.

His son, also called James, was painted by
John Opie (1761-1807); the portrait hangs to the right of that of the Lord Lyon. In 1789 he went to India to seek his fortune, sailing on board The Queen. During the voyage he fell in love with, and later married, Miss Anne Story, who was travelling to friends in Madras. She is depicted in the companion portrait by James Northcote (1746-1831), to the left of the Lord Lyon; and also in the portrait in the south-east corner. James was drowned in a sailing accident in Madras in 1802 and his son, William, succeeded his grandfather to the Brodie estate as 22nd Brodie of Brodie in 1824.

The portrait of William Brodie in military uniform, by
Sir John Watson Gordon(1788-1864), hangs opposite the fireplace. It was this William Brodie who engaged William Burn to enlarge the house, turning it into the comfortable Victorian mansion that it is today. His was the collection of Dutch seventeenth-century paintings, bought in 1822-23 when he accompanied Lord and Lady Huntly on a Continental tour. In 1838 he married Miss Elizabeth Baillie of Redcastle whose portrait (Scottish School) hangs next to William's.

Brodie Castle

 The Dining Room


Brodie House was sacked by
Lord Lewis Gordon in 1645, but the early seventeenth-century plasterwork in this room survived, for it carries the initials of Alexander Brodie and his wife Elizabeth Innes. The loving token in the soffit of the south window must date from the period between their marriage in 1635 and her death five years later.

The ceiling shows the very simple and crude strapwork typical of early plasterwork in Scotland.
Originally the laird's chamber, this room was superseded as such by the adjoining room, now displayed as the dining room. More recently it was used as a small private sitting room and writing room by the late laird's mother. The electric blue flock wallpaper dates from the mid-nineteenth century.

Principal pictures

Most interesting is the portrait of a young boy by C Phillips (1864-1944) which hangs to the left of the south window. It shows the son of the Lord Lyon, Alexander, who became the 20th Brodie of Brodie when he was 13, but died aged 18. To the left of the other window hangs The Crucifixion by a follower of
Cornelius van Poelemberg (1594/5-1667). A watercolour portrait of The Duchess of Gordon hangs to the left of the fireplace.


The writing table with an oyster veneered top is of the Louis XV period, as is the bombi commode to its right. This French chest of drawers is typical of its kind, with a marble top, gilt bronze or `ormolu' mounts and kingwood veneer. The parquetry writing desk with tambour shutter in the raised rear section dates from 1800. The ormolu cartel clock is by Dey ä Paris. On the chimneypiece stands agarniture de cheminie consisting of two candelabra vases and a lyre clock, by
Le Roy et filsof 57 New Bond Street, London. The nineteenth-century silk hunting rug is Kashan.

Brodie Castle

 The Blue Sitting Room


Originally the high hall of the sixteenth-century tower house, this room occupies the entire length and width of the centre block of the 7' plan. The laird's end of the room was at the west where the Gothic fireplace is now: this was designed in 1831by the
Sobieski Stuart brothers. Access was easily gained to the laird's private room beyond (now the Blue Sitting Room) and to the private stair, both in the south-west corner. With later extensions and alterations this room is no longer a reception and communal dining room, but has become a gallery. It was fitted up in the 1820s by William Burn, and is hung with many of the Dutch seventeenth-century works collected by William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie. The modern red damask wallpaper captures the Spirit of the two earlier papers found here during restoration and which gave the room its narre in the nineteenth century.

Principal pictures

Flanking the large canvas by
J Cossiers (1600-71) of A Concert are four scenes of bandits by J A Rosemans (dates unknown). On the corresponding wall to the right of the doorway is Shipping off Dover by John Wylson Ewbank (I799- I847). To the left of this is a pair of seventeenthcentury paintings by Cornelius Poelenburg (1594/5-1667) of Tobias and the anfiel and Nymphs bathing, and to the right The dentist and The alchemist by Gerrit Dou (1613-75).

The miniature portraits by the drawing room door are Portrait of a gentleman in armour by
Robert Walker(c1605/I0-1656/8) on the left, probably the Marquis of Montrose, and, to the right, Daniel Mytens' (c1590- before 1648) Portrait of a gentleman, probably Oliver Cromwell. To either side of the Gothic fireplace are A black horse in a stable by William Barraud(1810-50), signed and dated 1836, and A grty horse in a stable by James Ward (1768-1859), signed and dated 1812. Above the door to the turnpike stair hangs The penitent Magdalene, school of Van Dyck (1599-1641).


The seat furniture consists of cane-backed and seated walnut side chairs and two armchairs, all in the William and Mary style. The rosewood veneered centre table with ormulu mounts, c1815, is attributed to the workshop of
Louis le Gaineur, a French cab net maker working in London. The eighteenthcentury cartel clock, signed Stollwerk à Paris, plays two tunes alternately on the hour and strikes the half, and is one of the finest examples by this important maker.

Brodie Castle

 The Red Drawing Room


This room is part of the extensive alterations made to the house by
William Burn for William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie. The financing of this part alone precipitated the sale of the contents of the house to keep the creditors at bay. It was only William's timely marriage to the heiress Elizabeth Baillie that prevented the whole estate being sold up.

Although originally intended by Burn as the dining room, this large room had become the drawing room by the Tate I830s. No doubt this was because the new drawing room in the proposed west wing of Burn% plan was never built.

The factor, writing in 1827, sounded a note of caution over the glazing: 'By the Bye, Wilson has not yet glazed the dining room windows and the reason he gives is that the panes are too ridiculously large that the wind would in all probability blow them to pieces a delightful prospect'. They have survived, notwithstanding.

Brodie Castle


The painted decorations on the architraves, over doors and on the ceiling probably date from the Tate 1860s or early 1870s. The central lozenge-shaped compartment of the ceiling bears the initials of William Brodie and his wife Elizabeth Baillie on a blue ground and, on a pink ground, those of their son Hugh Brodie and his wife Lady Eleanor Moreton, third daughter of the 2nd Earl of Ducie. The decorative scheme may be connected with their marriage in 1868.

The ceiling decoration was accidentally painted out by a local tradesman who had been instructed to `redecorate the drawing room' while the family was away on holiday. It was restored in 1982.

The room is hung with some of the paintings bought by William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie, and furnished with several items inherited by William from his kinswoman Elizabeth Brodie, wife of the 5th and last Duke of Gordon.

Brodie Castle

 William, later 22nd Brodie of Brodie (in the red suit) with his sisters and Brother, painted by John Opie.

Principal pictures

Between the windows on the south wall hangs a large group portrait of the children of James Brodie by the Cornish painter John Opie (1761-1807). William, later 22nd Brodie of Brodie, is the boy in the red suit. Family tradition claims that the large
Van Dyck(1599-1641) of Charles I was given by King Charles II to Alexander, 15th Brodie of Brodie, as a token of gratitude for his loyalty. It is a contemporary studio copy. The oval portraits on either side of it are of William and his wife Elizabeth, both by James Currie (fl 1846), signed and dated 1846.

Above the door hangs Boy with a Flute, attributed to
Abraham Bloemart (1564- 1651). To the bottom right of this is the interesting self-portrait of Jacob Cuyp (1564-after 1651) and his wife, both signed and dated 1647. He was the father of the more famous Albert Cuyp(1620-91). To the left of the fireplace hangs a copy of the Portrait by George Romney (1734-1802) of Jane, Duchess of Gordonand her son George (later the 5th and last Duke, husband of Elizabeth Brodie). Jane, known as 'the beautiful Duchess', helped to raise the Gordon Highlanders with a campaign that rewarded recruits with a kiss and a shilling. To the right of the fireplace hangs a portrait of Dr Talpen by Ferdinand Bol(1616-80), signed and dated 1669.


In the bay window stands a Louis XV bureau plat, or writing table, with ormolu mounts, stamped HEDOULN (maitre ibiniste 1738). Beneath the portrait of Charles I stands a rare metamorphic table known as a table d dessus coutissante or bed table cl 770. The upper section is detachable and incorporates a compartmented interior with adjustable mirror and writing slide. To the right of the fireplace is a nineteenth-century Dutch table in the seventeenth-century manner, inlaid with ebony, ivory and floral marquetry. The William IV vitrines on either side of the bay-window contain miniatures and decorative porcelain. The pair of beechwood Louis XV fauteuils or armchairs are stamped L POUSSIER. The trellis pattern carpet was bought for the room at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Brodie Castle



The dressing room is situated in the south-west tower and served the adjoining best bedchamber. The Tate laird, Ninian, and his elder brother Michael, knew it as the schoolroom, where they were taught by their governess. The curtains were remade from a heavily glazed chintz found by the Trust in the housekeeper's cupboard.


This room was referred to as 'the best bedchamber' in the 1754 inventory, which records it as being furnished with 'a brown moihair bed lyned with yellow silk'. It was the principal bedchamber situated above the laird's room (now the dining room) and commanding, in the eighteenth century, a view of the formal landscape to the west. Ninian Brodie recalled the room in the early 1920s as being partitioned off to form a passalte linked with the two doors and known as the Toad Room', where his mother kept her collection of reptiles, including her pet toad Volumnia.

The partition was later removed and the room used to house the growing collection of modern paintings, mostly stored in racks. In 1980 the Trust refurnished this room to bring together the important lacquer furniture then scattered about the house. The carpet is a reproduction of a threadbare nineteenthcentury Brussels loop carpet found in the house.

Brodie Castle

 The Best Bekhamber in 1964, showing the racks where the Brodies stored paintings.


The two irregular shaped canvasses on the west wall of Birds in a landscape were probably intended to be set as overdoors in panelling. On either side of the bed are hung Fite champitre by C D J Eisen (1720-78) and Figures with cattle and sheep by a stream, unsigned. The delightful The young shepherd and The young shepherdess, signed and dated 1779, are by
Jean Baptiste Huet(1745-1811). On the east wall hang Fruit on silver salver, signed DCG, and A river landscape with a castle, Dutch, nineteenth-century. The circular pictures to the right of the fireplace are St Matthew and St John byGoltzius (1558-1617).


The set of Tour early eighteenth-century Portuguese carved walnut chairs stood for many years in the entrance hall, but because of their fragility and their importance they have been moved to this room to complement the early eighteenth-century lacquer furniture. The pair of coramandel lacquer cupboards is eighteenth-century, as is the fine black and gold double-arched lacquered secretaire. An oak specimen tiptop table inlaid with a wide variety of woods and dating from the 1840s stands by one window. The key to the various woods is given on the tripod base. A sketch of this is shown with the table.


The third floor of the castle was given over to principal bedrooms in the seventeenth century but by the nineteenth century the new Victorian additions took over that function and these rooms were relegated to use as staff quarters and nurseries. The Trust has refurnished them as a typical day nursery, night nursery and nanny's room.


Ninian Brodie remembered this room as being a dormitory for three housemaids. It is now furnished as a day nursery with a fine mid-eighteenth-century padfoot mahogany gateleg table as a centre piece an which are displayed period games, books and toys. Of the two rocking horses, the one with the natural wood stand belongs to the Brodie family, as does the Triang dolls' house.

On either side of the fireplace hang family portraits of the children of William, 22nd Brodie of Brodie.

Brodie Castle

 The Day Nursery


With its worn and humble furniture, this room was the preserve of the resident nanny, often a very much loved member of the household. Children in cradles usually slept in nanny's room, only moving into the night nursery when requiring cot beds.


This room contains two fine late nineteenth-century children's beds and other toys and nursery items. Bathing in front of the coal fire in a hip bath was an important event.
Ninian Brodie remembered this room as being the day nursery in his time and the adjoining room the night nursery.


Ninian Brodie remembered this room as `Grannie's Room', for Lady Eleanor stayed here whenever she visited. A drawback to this arrangement was that the children had to keep quiet in the nursery above. It had probably been two rooms in earlier times, each entered from one of the two turnpike stairs which run up the house at diagonally opposite corners. The blocked remains of the north-eastern stair still protrude roundly into the room.
The room now displays part of the extensive collection of twentieth-century paintings formed by Ian, 24th Brodie of Brodie, and his wife Violet. As the collection is too lange to be displayed in this room at any one time, the hanging is subject to change.


This bedroom, with its adjoining dressing room, was one of the principal bedrooms provided by William Burn's addition of the I 820s and was intended for guests. The room was redecorated following storm damage in the winter of 2004. The bedroom boasts a particularly attractive hob Brate. The rooms are hung with watercolours, mostly English and of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, collected by Ian and Violet Brodie. These include works by
Cotman; Wheatley; Cox; Fielding; Varley; Sandby; Ibbetson; Towne and McIntosh Patrick.

Brodie Castle

 The Blue Bedroom.

Brodie Castle

 The Blue Dressing Room.


Principal pictures

By the second landing there is a portrait of Hugh, 23rd Brodie of Brodie, with a prize collie, 'Arran', by
J M Barclay (1811-86). Next to it hangs Church interior by Antoine de Lorme (d 1673), signed and dated 1654. Towards the bottom of this flight is Portrait of the Brodie family in the Old Dining Room at Brodie Castle by James Currie (fl 1846). On the first landing hangs The philosopher and pupils by Willem van der Vliet (cI 584-1642), signed and dated 1626.

Brodie Castle

 The philosopher and pupils by Willem van der Vliet


This vaulted room, set within the north-east tower, contains the coronation robe of
Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV, who was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 8 September, 1831. lt passed as a gilt to Elizabeth, Duchess of Gordon (nie Brodie), Mistress of the Robes, wife of the 5th and last Duke. Opening off the room is a circular stairwell, once the principal turnpike stair of the 'Z' plan tower house. lt is hung with a series of eight views by James Giles(1801-70) of the Duke of Gordon's properties in the Highlands.

The skort passage contains a showcase with miscellaneous relics including the Duke of Gordon's dog's collar, a lantern supposed to have been used by
Guy Fawkes, bits of tartan associated with Bonnie Prince Charlie and his basket-hilted sword. The Meissen dog is nineteenth-century.

Principal pictures

To the right of the pier glass, English cI 700, hangs
Edward Pritchett's(1828-64) Dogeana, Venice. Near the alcove is A Venetian scene by James Holland (1800-70), signed and dated 1843, and in the alcove A church interior, possibly Antwerp Cathedral, by Peter Neeffs(c1577-cI660). The stairwell contains two portraits of Elizabeth Gordon, nie Brodie, and her husband George, 5th Duke of Gordon.


Principal pictures

By the landing hangs The young artist by
Vaillent (1 623- 77), signed and dated 1650, and next to it is Portrait of a man by T de Keyser(1596/7-1667). Two Venetian scenes flank a portrait of Catherine the Great.


In the nineteenth century this room was divided into the boot room and lamp room; the knives wert probably cleaned here too. Later it became the castle kitchen, equipped with an Esse stove and remaining in use until 1979. More of the Chinese export dinner service, scen in the dining room, is on display here.


This kitchen, forming part of William Brodie's nineteenth-century addition, is fitted with ranges on the north and south walls. In 1979 the small fange, dating from the 1930s, remained but the fittings on the opposite wall had been lost. The handsome Eagle range and hot plate of the 1890s are replacements. Both ranges are fitted with patent reversing dampers on the righthand ovens, enabling heat to be concentrated on either the top or the bottom.

Brodie Castle

 The Victorian Kirchen.

Brodie Castle

 The Victorian Kirchen.

A large fire would be needed only for roasting, so patent lifting fires were fitted to allow a comparatively small fire for other purposes. The final refinements on the 1930s model include pedal openers for the oven door, thermometer and draught regulator-cumventilator. Range cobbles or kitchen nuts were burned because they produce a long flame quickly without giving off too much smoke. The copper Batterie de cuisine and many other items were rescued from disused pantries and outhouses where they had been discarded but, fortunately, not thrown away. The last cook to preside over this bustling scene was Mrs Patterson.


Visitors leave the castle through the scullery, where the pots were washed and the vegetables prepared. Outside in the service court, part of William Burn's 1824 addition, is the octagonal dairy where cream was taken from the earthenware settling bowls. Butter and cheese were then prepared in the lower room. A stone cheese press stands to the north of the dairy.

Brodie Castle

 The Scullery


The garden at Brodie reflects three major periods of development. The most important in terms of the history of landscape gardening is the remnants of the eighteenth-century scheme laid out by Alexander Brodie in the 1730s and, it is now thought, completed by James, 2Ist Brodie of Brodie, and his wife Lady Margaret Duff: Fortunately the discovery among the family papers of a late eighteenth-century estate map revealed the original design. The great limes and beech trees at the far end of the west avenue and the Pond are all that now remain of an extensive formal landscape in the French manner. The west avenue led to the `poncr, a formal `piece of watet' in the form of a canal opening out into a semicircular basin.

Brodie Castle


The Trust has embarked upon a programme of restoration of the west avenue which will take many years to mature. As the young trees become established and replace older trees, the original shape of the avenue, with splayed belts opening out from the castle, will again become apparent.

The second half of the nineteenth century saw the creation of a Victorian setting for the house, with an extensive planting of conifers, wellingtonias and monkey puzzles. The area to the east of the castle, known as the shrubbery, is all that remains of this Victorian planting.
Ian Brodie, 24th Brodie of Brodie, added another important element to the story of the garden. He was a pioneer in breeding the modern garden daffodil, producing over 400 varieties himself and markedly influencing others who succeeded him. Major Ian approached cultivation with military precision, planting his daffodil seeds a measured three inches apart, in rows eight inches apart. They bloomed as a well disciplined company lined up an the parade ground. The Trust is engaged in tracing and reestablishing his collection.

At the end of the east drive stands the Rodney Stone, a ninthcentury Pictish slab bearing elaborate and well preserved carvings. It was discovered during the digging of the foundations of the present church at Dyke, a mile away, and set up at Brodie in 1782 to commemorate
Admiral Rodney's victory over the French at Dominica.

Brodie Castle

 The Rodney Stone

Brodie Castle

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Against 17:30 we were again in our cottage.

1 shower, nice weather ca. 18°C

169 miles