Auld friends and visitors

I recently shared a film that I made at what little remains of Craighall Castle, Fife. I had long wanted to visit the castle as it was featured in “Fife Illustrated” a book from the 1840s that belonged to my great-great-great grandfather, John Gordon (1816-1899). The silhouette above is of the roofless, hilltop shell of Collairniehill fairm, Dunbog, in which he and his wife Annie raised their family.

I called the film “Un-Scottish style” because Craighall Castle was one of the first mansion houses in Scotland to incorporate Renaissance style architecture from Europe.

John Gordon (1816-1899) was familiar with every road in Scotland

The obituary of my great-great-great grandfather reported that despite his “somewhat inaccessible home” that “he was familiar with every road in Scotland” . The obituary also recorded that he attracted many visitors for his “observation and lucid memories for bygone times”. These visitors were from many different lands and cultures, such as the Anglican priest, and Dean of St Andrews, the Rev Vincent Rorison:

When I was researching for my film “The odd Dr Todd” I was drawn to this Saltire shaped tombstone in Wellgreen Cemetery, Perth, without realising that it was the gravestone of Dean Rorison, close friend of my great-great-great grandfather:

It was recorded of Dean Rorison:


Another of those who used to visit my great-great-great grandfather as an auld man was David Gillespie of Montquhanie:


My great-great-great grandfather also entertained James Carnegie of Aytounhill:

Before settling at Aytounhill, James Carnegie’s family had lived at Stronvar, Perthshire. By chance I have also made a film on Stronvar:

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