Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lost Houses of Angus - Aldbar Castle

Aldbar Castle (also known as Auldbar), stood near Brechin for nearly four hundred years until it was sadly demolished in the 1960s.  The estate had been owned by the Crammonds before passing to the family of Lyon of Glamis, one of whom constructed the building in the late 16th century.  Ownership later passed to the Sinclairs, Youngs and Chalmers, the latter of whom transformed the building into a mansion house in the latest style.  Its demolition followed a fire in 1964, after which it was not deemed economical to salvage. 



There is a strange story concerning the last of the Young family to own the estate in the mid-18th century.  He was betrothed to a young lady who, rather strangely, ordered both a wedding dress and a mort-cloth from the same firm in Edinburgh.  She intended the latter item to be sent to the church of the parish where she came from, but there was a delivery mix up and both garments were dispatched to Aldbar Castle.  When Young opened the package and saw the mort-cloth he took it either as an omen or a sinister message.  He sent the garments on to his fianc√©, then hurried on to Montrose and drowned himself in the sea.  His intended  bride died very soon afterwards and was wrapped in the mort-cloth which she had presented to her church.  One version of this strange tale is told by Andrew Jervise in his Memorials of Angus and the Mearns (volume, 2, p. 73, 1861), where he doubts that the unfortunate bridegroom to be drowned himself on purpose because his clothes were left on the beach and his horse tethered nearby.