When our children were young, Edzell castle was one of our favourite places to visit. We travelled from Aberdeenshire and generally arrived in time for a picnic lunch and then played in the garden. This garden, for Peter and Sian, lives on in memory as Charitas [love].
I began making films long before the ‘digital age’. It was around the time of the new millennium that I started making films using a computer [a close friend, also a psychiatrist in training, taught me how to build a PC, and he helped me download one of the first versions of Adobe Photoshop – this was in the time of modems – so we secretly downloaded it overnight using the NHS connection in Cornhill Hospital] [please don’t tell on us!]
One of the first clips that I edited on my home-made PC was of camera footage taken in Edzell Castle garden: I was playing hide-and-seek with Andrew. Sian watched us play whilst cuddling baby Rachel, who was then too young to walk. I often ‘use’ this clip in my wee films. It makes me smile, everytime. Memory and Charitas.
In April 2023, whilst staying at the Thrums Hotel, Kirriemuir, I revisited Edzell castle. However, due to the risk of ‘falling masonry’, I found that neither the castle nor it’s ‘pleasure gardens’ were open*.
*I had hoped to make a wee film about the Edzell Castle Gardeners [who I had been researching].
The material that follows comprises some of my research on the Edzell Castle gardeners. For their day – and even by our day – they were quite elderly to be in paid employment. How I would have loved to have heard their first-hand accounts of the day that Lord Panmure visited in October 1856: