Old Slains by Andrew Spratt

Old Slain as imagined by Andrew Spratt

In these days of self-isolation, we are all very likely spending more time than usual in front of screens, as face to face meetings are limited and places of work are closed.

Clan Hay members might enjoy perusing Andrew Spratt’s Twitter feed (@andrewsp2009)

Andrew is Historic Scotland’s custodian at Dirleton Castle in East Lothian.  He is much involved in historic re-enactments and is an expert in arms and armoury and, above all, a leading authority on castellated architecture.  He is also a talented artist and regular visitors to this site or readers of the Clan Hay Journal may have observed that he has been very generous to the Clan Hay Society over the years in generously allowing us to use his striking artwork to illustrate articles.

Andrew has long been painting artists’ impressions of ruined castles to help us envisage now ruinous properties as they might have been in their heyday.  The reconstructions in his Twitter account cleverly overlay the ruins we see today, with Andrew’s considered view of what might have been there before they fell into disrepair.  They include prominent Clan Hay properties, including Old Slains, Delgatie Castle, Duns Castle, Inshoch Castle in Nairn, Neidpath Castle near Peebles and the long ruined Yester Castle, predecessor of Yester House, including it’s Goblin Ha’, home to the 13th century Hugh Gifford, the Wizard of Yester.  Also included are some of the Aberdeenshire sites we hope to visit as part of Clan Hay’s planned activities in August this year, among them the castles  of Dundarg, Kinnaird, and Inverugie.