Today is #HeritageTreasure day and we would like to celebrate Dundonald Castle and its surroundings! We are lucky to be surrounded by many things that our community would call a Heritage Treasure. As we don’t have space to talk about all of them here, we thought we would focus on a few special treasures from our volunteers.
What the Castle Means to Me
“My first glimpse of Dundonald Castle was from the window of the Auchan’s pub one evening in February with the sun just setting and the sky behind turning pink as night fell. We had just signed the contract on our house in the village and were celebrating with a drink: until that moment I had no idea the village even had a castle!
Looking at it from the pub window silhouetted against the sky, the castle looked impossibly romantic and I was really excited to see it in more detail.
The castle and the visitor centre became pivotal for helping me to connect to my new home and for giving me a concrete lesson in the culture and history of my newly adopted country.
This was highlighted when I discovered that my husband has an ancestry connection to the Fitzalan Family who built the castle, and suddenly the castle became more than an historic building and became a symbol for the ancestral stories, the people, the happenings that over the years have led to our family story.
It has given me a sense of connection to the castle and its inhabitants, its history and culture and the village, and that has helped me to make sense of my new home and new country and culture.
Dundonald castle is a gift to everyone as a very important part of the history of the Stewarts and therefore the history of both Scotland and England.
The Visitor centre does excellent work in interpreting the history of the castle and the life of its inhabitants; but the centre also works as a focal point for the modern day village and as a hub for the community to meet.
It has been through volunteering at the castle and Visitor Centre that I have come to feel very much a part of the culture and history and heritage of this special part of Scotland.”
– Liz, Tour Guide, FoDC