Historic gardens to be revived
Tourism: Ambitious plans to develop castle’ s walled gardens into full-time attraction
Ellon Castle has had a rich and often bloody history; home to murder most foul and repeatedly ruined.
Each time, the stronghold has been rebuilt once more as a seat of clan and family power.
Its nature finally changed during the time of the Jacobite Rising when stunning walled gardens were planted.
Their full glory has been seen only briefly by the public over the years but now that is all to change, with the board of Ellon Castle Gardens unveiling ambitious plans to reinvent garden and grounds as a full-time tourist attraction.
To that end, an exhibition will be held this Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, to enable local people to see just what is planned.
Visitors to the Slains Hall at the Ellon Kirk Centre will be able to view photographs and planting plans and meet with members of the castle’s team.
The board hopes it will be an opportunity for Ellon people “to put their mark on this future tourist attraction”.
Having been built by the Comyn family in the 13th century, the original fortress underwent repeated attacks and finally ruination before it was rebuilt as a stronghold by Clan Kennedy.
The castle soon switched hands once more after the Kennedys were outlawed for murdering John Forbes of Watertown.
That murder, carried out by a father and son of the Kennedy Clan, was so brutal it came to be known as ‘The Slaughter of Watertown’.
Ellon Castle was consequently sold to the Gordon family, who planted the gardens, but even though its martial nature had lessened, the castle was still home to bloodshed.
At the heart of the garden is a 24-faced sun dial erected as a memorial to Baillie Gordon of Ellon’s children.
They were allegedly murdered by their tutor after they stumbled upon him in what is said to have been “a compromising position” with their mother.
By 1845, the garden was in a derelict state and Laird Alexander Gordon embarked on a project to restore it to its former glory.
His work has been carried on down the years and today the board of Ellon Castle Gardens plans even more improvements.
Those keen to make their way to Ellon, however, will have to show patience as it is likely to be about three years before the gardens can be fully opened to the public.
STUNNING: The walled gardens at Ellon Castle will be the focus of a public exhibition on Saturday when local people will be given the chance to view proposals to turn the site into a full-time tourist attraction