Brodie Castle teacher information

​Brodie Castle stands on land that has belonged to the Brodie family for at least 800 years. Generations of the family left their mark on their home.

By altering and re-decorating the castle, adding new wings, and choosing furniture, ornaments and household equipment that suited their interests and tastes, the Brodie family reflected the historical and sociological times in which they lived.

The present building is based on a 16th-century ‘Z’ plan tower house, with 17th- and 19th-century additions. Internally, the wonderful ornate ceilings and fine collections of books, ceramics and paintings make any visit to the castle a memorable one. The paintings range from 17th-century Dutch masters to modern British watercolours, and include three works of art by the Scottish Colourists. Brodie also has fully equipped Victorian nursery rooms, a kitchen and a dairy.

The surrounding 70-hectare estate comprises striking formal 18th-century landscapes, with natural woodland to the west.  The woodland is set around a large naturalised pond and offers several walks (accessible for wheelchair users), a nature trail through contrasting habitats and two observation hides. Conifers, rhododendrons and monkey puzzle trees were planted here in Victorian times to create the wild garden, and this complements many older specimens in the grounds. Brodie is famous for its daffodils throughout spring – these include many specialist varieties bred by the pioneering 24th laird, Ian Brodie. At the end of the south-east drive stands a finely carved Class II Pictish stone.

A school visit offers opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence.

Primary schools (all Levels) can enjoy a tour of the castle, which can be tailored to your pupils’ requirements; a tour of the castle grounds; and a woodland walk with a visit to the pond – again, tailored to the needs of your pupils. Our Victorian programme involves Living History and participatory experiences – please telephone us for more details.

For secondary schools, there are several options, including specialist art tours – please telephone us to discuss your requirements.

Possible topics

  • The Brodie family 
  • Victorians
  • Toys 
  • Leisure

Resources for schools

  • Illustrated guidebook (for sale at Brodie)
  • History quizzes for children (Second/Third Levels)
  • For the Toys or Leisure topics: CD of images of the castle toys and sports equipment
  • For the Victorian programme: Victorian objects handling box, games and some replica costumes

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact Brodie Castle for a booking form and to discuss your requirements.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment; pre-booking is essential.
  • Maximum number of pupils: we are happy to work with one class or more. We can sometimes accommodate a large number of pupils on the same day, depending on staff availability. There should be a ratio of 1 adult to 10 pupils; for younger children, this should be 1 adult to 8 pupils.
  • Access – castle: we regret that there is limited access for those with mobility impairment within the castle. The ground floor is accessible (with ramps) for wheelchair users - and there is a stairclimber (pre-bookable) to the first floor. There is no wheelchair access to the third or fourth floors of this historic building, due to the turnpike stairs and layout. For those who cannot access the upper floors, we can offer photograph albums showing the castle interiors - and also, on the first floor, an opportunity to handle some historic objects, while the class explores the upper floors (please book this in advance).
  • Access – grounds: all the pathways are suitable for wheelchairs (although some can become muddy). Advice on suitable routes can be provided, both before and during the day of your visit.
  • Additional needs: we want to ensure that everyone gets the most from their visit – so please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will do our utmost to accommodate you.
  • Parking: there is a car/coach park in the grounds.
  • Toilets: fully accessible toilets are available in the car/coach park, the ground floor of the castle (back of building) and at the stables.
  • Refreshments: pupils are welcome to bring packed lunches. In good weather, they can picnic in the castle grounds. During wet weather in the summer, the Stables Meeting Room can be used (limited access). In winter, pupils may eat their packed lunches in the tearoom (the castle tearoom is open to visitors in the summer season).
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • There is no admission charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-members are welcome but there is an admission charge of £2 per pupil. 
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • All class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: please report to the front desk (at the main castle entrance).
  • Trust staff will lead castle tours.
  • Outdoor activities may be led by Trust staff or by teachers. Please discuss when booking.
  • Brodie Castle and the grounds are open for educational visits all year round, during school hours.
  • Please allow 1–4 hours for a visit, depending on what has been booked. A castle tour takes approximately 1 hour.
  • For a castle tour, your class will be split into groups of up to 16 pupils. There should be at least one teacher/school helper with each group.
  • Do allow time to explore the garden and estate.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Pupils do not need to bring any materials for the school visit, unless specified eg for an art class.
  • We regret that you cannot take photographs inside the castle. 
  • Coats and bags, if not needed, should be left on the coach.
  • Shop: pupils are welcome to visit the shop, in small groups and with teacher supervision.
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