From Tower House to Country House: The Art & Architecture of North-East Scotland
June 12-17, 2022
This new tour will be based in Aberdeenshire and Moray, a magnificent and unspoilt part of North-East Scotland, and an area rich in architectural delights.
Foremost must be the great concentration of romantic turreted tower houses, dating from mediaeval times to the 16th century and known for their excitingly varied silhouettes and their rich Renaissance plasterwork and painted ceilings. Such are Crathes, Craigievar, Fyvie and Monymusk, built by the great Scottish lairds of the period. The tower theme continues into the early 18th-century with the dramatic Baroque splendour of William Adamís Duff House, and in the 19th century is revived in the castellated Gothic of Gillespie Grahamís Drumtochty Castle and Archibald Simpsonís superbly sited Castle Forbes. By contrast, William Adamís Haddo House (1732) is a restrained classical Palladian country house, with Adam Revival interiors furnished by the important Victorian firm of Wright and Mansfield.
Many of our visits will be to private houses, some like Arbuthnott House, still in possession of the same family since the early Middle Ages. Here the late 17thĖcentury plaster ceilings are some of the finest in Scotland. Most houses have important contents, such as Kemnay, which has a wonderful collection of documented Georgian furniture, whilst Fyvie holds a magnificent collection of Old Master paintings and works of art.
In Scotland few mediaeval churches survived the Reformation, but one of the most fascinating is the ancient collegiate church at Cullen in Morayshire. Other features of the area are the interesting 18th- and early 19th-century planned towns; Cullen is one of the finest of the period, and Monymusk, one of the most picturesque.
Important historic gardens to be visited include the rare Renaissance garden of Edzell, the restored Victorian gardens of Haddo and the outstanding early 20th-century gardens of Crathes, one of the most perfect creations of the period, whilst Castle Forbes is set in a magnificent landscape park with wonderful views.
The tour will also introduce participants to the splendid scenery of Aberdeenshire with spectacular drives through the mountains and moors of the Cairngorm National Park.