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15 May 2019

Opening the door to the past at Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle
At number 56 in our 100 ways list is our work to open the door to the past at Craigievar Castle as we put the original 17th-century studded door on display at the fairytale castle in Aberdeenshire.

If fairytales were real, all castles would look like the enchanting, pink Craigievar Castle. Sitting amid the rolling hills of Aberdeenshire, we made an incredible discovery of what we think is the oldest door in any of our properties.

A heavy studded oak door, previously deemed lost, was found by a National Trust for Scotland volunteer in one of the castle’s barmkin buildings. The door, which is more than 400 years old, was probably the original front door to Craigievar Castle when it was completed in 1626. It was then replaced in 1825.

Sir Moir Lockhead and Kevin McCormick, National Trust for Scotland Trustees, joined castle staff and volunteers to officially unveil the door.
Sir Moir Lockhead and Kevin McCormick, National Trust for Scotland Trustees, joined castle staff and volunteers to officially unveil the door.

The door had suffered significant damage and deterioration and National Trust for Scotland conservators carefully restored it. Dendrochronological investigation was also carried out – a scientific method of dating tree rings to establish the exact year that they were formed. This revealed that the oak trees used to build the door were felled in the Eastern Baltic in 1510 and 1554.

Now, visitors are able to see the ancient door in a bespoke case in the castle as it’s brought to life through 3D and unique augmented reality elements, showcasing life from hundreds of years ago.

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“The castle is brimming with history and the new digital elements we’ve introduced help visitors explore the door, making it even easier for us to share our love for Scotland and help people experience history like never before.”
Lauren Jackson, Conservator

The National Trust for Scotland is the charity that celebrates and protects Scotland’s heritage. It relies on the support of its members and donors to carry out its important work of caring for the natural and built heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.

From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, the National Trust for Scotland exists to protect the national and natural treasures we all love.