29th July – 4th August.
The 2013 Clan Hay Programme involves a commemoration of the fallen of the Battle of Flodden and a tour of places linked to the Clan as we progress to Aboyne, where our Annual Gathering will take place.
Although many members of Clan Hay will, no doubt, wish to join us for the whole programme of events, people are most welcome to take part in as many, or as few, as they wish.
Bookings should be made before the 1st May 2013, but the earlier the better to secure a place on the tour. Late booking may be taken if places are available. Accommodation bookings at Duns Castle must be made directly with Aline Hay at the Castle. (Email: email@example.com)
As far as possible Post Codes are included in brackets to enable people to use Sat-Navs, if they wish, to locate venues. Transport is the responsibility of individuals but maps will be provided and where possible we will travel in convoy.
Queries should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 29th July.
The first three days will be based at Duns Castle. (TD11 3NW)
Historic 14th Century Duns Castle is situated in the heart of the rolling hills, fields and forests of the beautiful Scottish Borders on the edge of the little market town of Duns.
The Hays of Duns have owned the Castle since 1696 and, along with their dedicated staff, Alexander and Aline welcome guests to their home. The Castle retains a very intimate and personal feel, along with its historic grandeur and furnishings.
The programme will start with a welcome and buffet supper which will give people a chance to get to know each other.
Tuesday 30th July
Angus Hay, military historian, will give an illustrated talk about the Battle of Flodden and provide us with the background to what happened and its significance to Clan Hay. Following the talk we will make our way to the Flodden Battlefield Site (EH41 4QU) and Eco-museum where a commemoration of the fallen will take place followed by a tour of the battlefield.
This will be followed by lunch at the Collingwood Arms at Cornhill on Tweed. (TD12 4UH)
During the afternoon we will visit Etal Castle (TD12 4TN) which is set in the charming village of Etal by a ford over the River Till.
Built by Robert Manners as a defence against Scots raiders in the mid 14th Century, Etal Castle fell to James IV’s invading Scots army in 1513, immediately before their catastrophic defeat at Flodden. Coincidentally, the castle was owned, by female line inheritance, by the Earls of Erroll during the 18th and 19th centuries.
An award-winning exhibition at the castle outlines the story of the bloody Anglo-Scottish Border warfare.
In the evening we will enjoy a formal dinner (Black Tie/tartan) at Duns Castle.
Wednesday 31st July.
Our morning will be spent visiting Neidpath Castle (EH41 4LW).
An earlier castle was built here by Sir Gilbert Fraser in about 1190. He was followed by his son Sir Simon Fraser (died 1291) and Sir Simon Fraser (“The Patriot”), who was executed in London by King Edward 1st in 1306. The barony of Neidpath then passed to the Hay family, through marriage to Mary, the Fraser heiress, and stayed with them until 1686. Sir William Hay built the present castle in the late 14th Century. It was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1563, and by her son James VI in 1587. During his visit, King James summoned Sir John Stewart of Traquair to Neidpath and persuaded him and Lord William Hay to settle a feud of some years standing.
During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked by General Lambert and suffered damage to the 13th Century tower on the riverside.
During the 1660s, the 1st Marquis of Tweeddale remodelled the castle, and constructed out-buildings. The Marquis was an agricultural “improver”, who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, having stood surety for the sum of £24,000 for his cousin, the Earl of Dunfermline, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, in 1686.
In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. He married Lady Jean Hay, second daughter of the bankrupt 2nd Earl (and 1st Marquis) of Tweeddale. She thus continued to live in the castle in which she had been partly brought up.
From Neidpath Castle we will go on to Floors Castle (TD5 7SF) in Kelso where we will stay for lunch before returning to Duns.
Thursday 1st August.
We will leave Duns after breakfast to travel north.
Our morning visit will be to The Sancta Maria Abbey, Nunraw. (EH41 4LW). In the 16th Century a Z-plan tower house was erected to defend the community against the English and in 1548, the Scottish Parliament met there to decide on sending the young Mary, Queen of Scots, to France. After three Hepburn Prioresses, Nunraw had become the preserve and then, following the expulsion of the Roman Catholic Church at the Reformation, the residence of the Hepburn family. The original castle was incorporated into the baronial mansion built in the same red-sandstone by the Dalrymple family in 1860, which later passed to the Hays.
In 1946, Cistercian monks returned to Scotland for the first time since the Reformation and made Nunraw their home.
Lunch will be at The Tweeddale Arms, Gifford. (EH41 4QU).
After lunch we will continue northwards to Edinburgh where we will visit The Museum of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Royal Scots Greys) in Edinburgh Castle. (EH1 2NG).
Several members of the Hay Family have served with this famous regiment.
If there is time, you might be interested to visit St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, where there is a memorial to Sir William Hay of Delgatie who was executed with the Marquis of Montrose.
Thursday evening is free but people might like to gather at the Ensign Ewart Pub, just below the Castle at about 7pm.
Friday 2nd August.
As we continue to make our way northwards we will visit Megginch Castle, (PH2 7SW), where we will have lunch.
Robert the Bruce appointed Sir Gilbert Hay of Erroll as Lord High Constable of Scotland in 1314, and a branch of that family, the Hays of Leys, was established at Megginch Castle in the Carse of Gowrie, just off the main road between Perth and Dundee. By 1452, the family had been raised to the titles of the Earls of Erroll. An original tower house dates back to the 15th Century and a stair tower and block of the castle were built before 1460. A 16th Century wing is dated 1575.
Upon leaving Megginch Castle, the suggested route is:
A90 north east towards Aberdeen – turn off the A90 beyond Brechin on to the B966 destination Edzell – then to Fettercairn – where there is a distillery which is worth a visit. (Entry is £2.00).
From Fettercairn - take the B974 over the Cairn o’ Mount – destination Banchory and Aboyne.
At the summit of the Cairn o’ Mount there is a parking/viewing spot from which the counties of Angus and Fife and beyond may be seen.
Continue along the B974 for several miles – take the left hand turn, by an old AA yellow box, and follow this B976 to Aboyne.
Saturday 3rd August.
Clan Hay will have its usual tent at the Aboyne Highland Games where Clan members are most welcome to join us for light refreshments.
After the Games we will round off the day at our ceilidh at Crathes Hall. (AB31 5QR). For those who are new to Scottish Dancing, or would just like to go along, we are invited to join Clan Burnett on the Friday evening 19:30 – 21:00 (£5) for some basic lessons.
Sunday 4th August.
Join us at Delgatie Castle, our Clan Centre, (AB53 5TD) for lunch at midday. This is always a very enjoyable event and a wonderful opportunity to sample Joan’s fabulous cooking and also to look around the castle.
It is advisable to arrive in time to see the castle mid-morning as we will be going on to Old Slains and New Slains Castles immediately after lunch.