Dunnottar Castle By Stonehaven

William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II, all graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Crown, sceptre and sword now take pride of place in Edinburgh Castle.

A darker chapter in the history of Dunnottar is that of the ‘Whig’s Vault’. The gruesome story of the imprisonment in 1685 of a group of Covenanters who refused to acknowledge the King’s supremacy in spiritual matters.

The Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal once one of the most powerful families in the land. The last Earl was convicted of treason for his part in the Jacobite rising of 1715, and as a result his estates, including Dunnottar, were seized by the government.

The buildings were thereafter much neglected until 1925 when the 1st Viscountess Cowdray embarked on a systematic repair of the Castle. The Castle was officially made open to visitors thereafter.

Scotish flower

The national floral emblem is The Thistle o’ Scotland.
(As sung by Willie Main)

O, the Thistle o’ scotland was famous of auld,
Wi’ its toorie sae snod and its bristles sae bauld;
Tis the Badge o’ my Country, it’s aye dear tae me,
and thocht o’ them baith brings the licht tae ma e’e.

It’s strength and its beauty the storm never harms;
It stan’s on its guard like a warrior in arms;
Yet its down is as saft as the gull’s on the sea,
And its tassle as bricht as my Jeanie’s blue e’e.

O, my country, what wonder yer fame’s gane afar;
For yer sons hae been great baith in peace and in war;
While the sang and the tale live they’ll aye win respect,
The lads neath the bonnets wi’ thistles bedeckt.

Lang syne the invaders cam owre to our shore,
And fiercely our Thistle they scutched and they tore;
When they maist thocht it deid, twas then it up bore,
And it bloomed on their graves quite as strong as before.

My blessings be yours. Is there Scotcsman ava
Wad stan’ by and see ony harm on ye fa’ ?
Is there gentle or semple wha lives in our land
Wad refuse to drink health to the Thistle sae grand.



Stonehave lies on Scotland’s northeast coast and had a population of 11 000 inhabitant. Originally a fishing village built around the High Street, and formerly known as Stonehive. The sense of history, with the impressive ruined fortress of Dunnottar Castle, the awe inspiring views of the sea and harbour, the friendliness of the local people, combine to make Stonehaven special.