Crief Highland Gathering & Drummond Castle Gardens, Scotland

OK there was absolutely no way that I was only going to visit one highland games. Today was my second Highland Games in Crief.

It’s said the Highland Games originate from Ireland in 2000 BC and that they crossed the water to Scotland with the fourth and fifth century migrations of the Scotti into Dalriada (Argyll) and beyond. Here are some key pieces of trivia about the Highland games which are a highlight in the Scottish summer calendar and one of the country’s oldest and most treasured traditions.

SO many people! The far end was where the tug of war and races started
Entrance to Drummond Castle and Gardens

Drummond Castle was built on a rocky outcrop by John, 1st Lord Drummond around 1490. The 2nd Earl, a Privy Councillor to James VI and Charles I, succeeded in 1612 and is credited with transforming both the gardens and the castle between 1630-1636.

The keep still stands but the rest of the castle was restored and largely remodelled by the 1st Earl of Ancaster in 1890.

Early records mention Lord Drummond sending cherries to James IV in 1508, when the monarch was hunting in nearby Glen Artney Forest.

The 2nd Earl must have owned a significant garden and the presence of the sundial (installed in 1630) goes some way to confirmong this.

Towards the end of the 17th century the 4th Earl was credited with planning and beginning an avenue of four rows of trees from the castle to Perth, some 20 miles away!

One of the gardeners employed at the time was John Reid, who later wrote The Scots Gard’ner, the first Scottish gardening book published in 1683.

I called this the shrubbery wall of solitude
I called this a pickle tree
Every single branch was growing in the right direction. This is impossible
I called us the Rosanna Rosanna Danna tree. Only those of you who were raised in the 80s by Saturday Night Live would understand this

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