Mothers’ Day at the Castle: the Story of Marjorie Bruce

This post and video were created by Blythe Paterson and Gwen Sinclair

Today we’re celebrating an old custom which takes us back to the early Christian festival known as Mothering Sunday, where a special service was held on the 4th Sunday in Lent to encourage locals across the land to attend their mother church – or the main church near their home to leave offerings of flowers and honey-cakes to show their devotion to Jesus’ mother, Mary as they together brought in the dawn. Mother’s Day festivities can, however, be found further back in time within the civilisations of both the ancient Greeks and the Romans, who enjoyed ceremonial feasts dedicated to their mother goddesses – Cybele and Rhea, or even as far back as the ancient Egyptians who had an annual festival to honour their Mother deity – the goddess, Isis.

This Sunday afternoon we would normally be welcoming our many visitors to enjoy this day out, as often one of our busiest days of early Spring. However as we’re unable to do so just now due to Covid-19 restrictions, as part of our 650th Anniversary celebration year with the ascension of Robert II to the throne of Scotland in 1371, we have instead prepared a short film dedicated to Robert’s mother, Marjorie Bruce (c. 1296-1316), who was the daughter of Robert the Bruce and his first wife Isabella of Mar, to whom we’re sure Robert II would have offered his flowers at Mothering Sunday services that were likely to have been held in the small chapel which we know he had built in, or near, Dundonald Castle.

We hope that you enjoyed this film and please subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date with other films connected to the history of Dundonald Castle:

Wishing you all a very happy Mother’s Day! 💐


Graphics by FODC ( Background photo: Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay)

Film Sources:

Stephen Boardman The Early Stewart Kings: Robert II and Robert III 1371-1406. Cromwell Press, Wiltshire: 1996.

Michael Brown, Disunited Kingdoms: Peoples and Politics in the British Isles 1280-1460. Pearson Education Ltd., Edinburgh: 2013.

Michael Brown, Bannockburn: The Scottish War and the British Isles, 1307-1323.  Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh: 2008.

Colm McNamee, The Wars of the Bruces: Scotland, England, and Ireland 1306-1328.  Tuckwell Press, East Linton: 1997.

Edward M. Spiers, Jeremy Crang & Matthew Strickland (ed.) A Military History of Scotland.  Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh: 2012.

Records of Parliament of Scotland to 1707 – accessible at: Including articles drafted in 1315, 1318 and 1325 (freely accessible to all):

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (accessible with University association):