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#95870 - 05/13/18 02:56 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
I've been out and about castle hunting in the van. Well to be precise, I went hunting for the home of Clan Udny and their "fool" Jamie Fleeman. The clan used to stay at Knockhall Castle (posts on previous page here http://www.madridman.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=95863#Post95863 ) before the fire that badly affected it. It was a real eye opener - look out for posts next week on this.

As I type, the Spanish news is reporting the overnight events of the three church bombings in Surabaya, Indonesia where nine people were killed and the stabbings in Paris where one person has lost their life. Let's be thoughtful and prayerful for all those affected by these events.


Back to the blog...

We leave the rocky shoreline of Boddam behind


and head back to Cruden bay on the way home




The were other vans there too


Back in Aberdeen, King's College was looking resplendent even on a slightly overcast day...

The leaves are just staring to emerge on the trees in front of New Kings


Elephinstone Hall in the background as we look across the lawn


King's College Chapel. tower and crown


A cherry blossom tree fronts the chapel


A panorama of the lawn and its surroundings


A splash of colour at a nearby building


This week's Sunday Snaps can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44001744

Tomorrow we'll begin our hunt for the home of Clan Udny and Jamie Fleeman...


Edited by robbieroy (05/13/18 03:05 AM)
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#95871 - 05/14/18 02:30 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
Reminder: A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Knockhall Castle and some of its history


Built in 1565, it was purchased by Clan Udny in 1634. The Clan remained in the castle until 1734, when an accidental fire gutted the building and the Clan moved back to their other property, Udny Castle. Jamie Fleeman, the Laird of Udny's fool, is credited with saving the life of the family in the fire.
(Information Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knockhall_Castle )

We are on the hunt for the other property of Clan Udny - Udny Castle.

Our trip start in Cruden Bay


We head through Ellon and our first stop is Pitmedden - Pitmedden is a rural village in the parish of Udny, Aberdeenshire.

The main street in Pitmedden


The village hall


The crossroads


Most of the buildings and houses are traditional granite




The parish church


Built in 1864


The journey to Udny Castle continues...








Edited by robbieroy (05/14/18 02:48 AM)
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#95872 - 05/15/18 03:07 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
We are on the hunt for Udny Castle, former home of Clan Udny and their "fool" Jamie Fleeman...

Our first stop was in Pidmedden







We now head for Pitmedden Garden.
It is a Scottish Renaissance walled garden set in the countryside


The car park was quiet as it was still quite early in the morning




Let's have a look round


There are many woodland walks so you can explore the woodlands around the garden on the waymarked trails


There is a grassed picnic area


The heart of the property is the formal walled parterre garden.
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#95873 - 05/16/18 02:33 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
We are at Pitmedden Garden, on our way to Undy Castle. The garden is maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

It dates back to 1675


It was originally laid out by Sir Alexander Seton


The Trust re-created the garden in the 1950s


There is also a Museum of Farming Life, which brings the agricultural past to life


Well worth a visit if you are in the area. The webside of the garden is https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/pitmedden-garden

It is time to move on however. Udny Castle is on the outskirts of a delightful village called Udny Green...

Here I am parked up at the Green


The Green is at the heart of the village


Eat on the Green restaurant


The village hall






The Jamie Fleeman Connection...
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#95874 - 05/17/18 03:16 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
Jamie Fleeman or Fleeming (1713–1778) was better known as "the Laird of Udny's Fool" or "the Laird of Udny's Fule" in the Scots language. He is remembered in a number of ways in the Udny area - for example by street names.

The following information is on the wall of the public hall in Udny Green - it is worth a read!






I spotted this on the green


A closer look at the sign over the door revealed this!


Another of the pretty cottages around the The Green





Looking across the green to the parish church






The parish church and the motehouse...
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#95876 - 05/18/18 03:21 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
We are exploring the beautiful village of Udny Green on our way to Udny Castle, former home of Clan Udny and the Laird of Udny's fool Jamie Fleeman. The graveyard is interesting because it has a mort house.

This is the parish church at the north end of the village green and dates back to 1821


The current Church was built to replace the former church known as "Christ's Kirk" which was situated in the Udny Green Cemetery where the mort house is.


It was designed by the City of Aberdeen architect John Smith in 1821


The nearby war memorial


The church garden


Some of the nearby buildings


The village library. The telephone box houses a defibrillator


A view over The Green from the church


Let's head to the kirkyard which is at the opposite end of The Green


That's where we will find the mort house used for storing dead bodies...



Edited by robbieroy (05/18/18 03:22 AM)
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#95877 - 05/19/18 02:24 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
We are at Udny Green Parish Church kirk yard where we find a mort house. But what is a mort house?

Gruesomely, it housed corpses until they started to decompose, so their graves would not be desecrated by resurrectionists and body-snatchers digging them up to sell the cadavers to medical colleges for dissection.

The one at Udny Green is near the entrance to the graveyard
That is it with the conical roof.
It was built in 1832


Bodies were permitted to be stored for up to three months before burial. The circular mort house was designed with a revolving platform and double doors
The mort house on the left


After the passage into law of the Anatomy Act 1832 Udny Mort House gradually fell into disuse; minutes of the committee responsible for its operation cease in about July 1836.


The outer door of the mort house


Lets have a look round the rest of the kirk yard...

A family tomb




It is a south facing graveyard


and it commands great views of the surrounding countryside




It is time to head to Udny Castle...

Information Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udny_Mort_House
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#95878 - 05/20/18 03:33 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
Another new week - where has this last week gone? - it seems to have been in a hurry. I hope that you have had a good week in which the news had been very mixed - trouble flared up in the Gaza Strip again, there was another school shooting and the fatal plane crash in Havana. The week ended on a high note for many with the royal wedding though.

Finally, we are heading to Udny Castle! It isin the parish of Udny, southwest of the village of Pitmedden and northeast of the hamlet of Udny Green, Aberdeenshire, in the northeast of Scotland.

Finally, we are heading to Udny Castle! Here are the entrance gates


It is in the parish of Udny, southwest of the village of Pitmedden and northeast of the hamlet of Udny Green, Aberdeenshire, in the northeast of Scotland.


The area is generally flat


but the castle is sited on the highest ground and can be seen for a considerable distance.


Its exact construction date is unknown, but its foundations probably date from the late 14th or early 15th century.

This is the gate house or lodge


with and indication of when it was built


Let's head up the path to the castle


The path has fields on both sudes


and idsbordered by mant flowering plans and shrubs




This week's Sunday Snaps can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44081653

Have a great week....


Edited by robbieroy (05/20/18 03:42 AM)
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#95879 - 05/21/18 03:26 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
Once round this bend, Udny Castle comes into view


There it is in the distance behind the trees


Udny Castle is a tower house on it's own estate, sited on the highest area in a generally flat terrain


The exact construction date is not known but it was probably initially constructed by the Udny family in the 14th or 15th century


The Udny family also owned Knockhall Castle and lived there until 1734 when Knockhall was destroyed by fire; they then returned to Udny.


Jamie Fleeman, the Laird's fool, was responsible for saving the family papers from being destroyed in the fire


It is five storeys high and walls are 8 feet (2.4 m) thick


Some say this might be a statue of Jamie Fleeman but the military garb would suggest not.


Fleeman was born in Longside, Aberdeenshire, in 1713 and was one of three children.


Fleeman's sister, Martha, was a Presbyterian and often conversed by quoting Psalms and had the reputation of being demented.


Information Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Fleeman and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udny_Castle

Jamie Fleeman's grave...




Edited by robbieroy (05/21/18 03:28 AM)
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#95880 - 05/22/18 02:52 AM Re: My Travels in North East Scotland [Re: robbieroy]
robbieroy Online   content
Executive Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 2119
Loc: Scotland
It is time to leave Udny Castle...



Let's head down the daffodil-lined driveway


and rejoin the track to the castle


then finally, the gates


Although we are saying goodbye to Udny Castle we will stay with Jamie Fleeman for a little bit. I discovered where his grave was so headed off to find it.

Born in Longside, Aberdeenshire, in 1713, he was buried there on his death. Fleeman's grave is at Longside and a monument to mark his grave was erected in 1861

During a summer evening of 1778, Fleeman became soaked in a heavy rain storm. He quickly developed a fever, which then turned to jaundice. He received no offers of help and spent time wandering between different houses but no one was willing to give him shelter.


Fleeman's weakened state caused him to rapidly become emaciated and lose his strength. He eventually found shelter in a barn at Little Ardiffery, in the parish of Cruden. He secured the barn door with a piece of planking and fell asleep. A short while later, some farm labourers, unaware Fleeman was sleeping behind the door, forced it open causing the plank to strike Fleeman's head.


The severity of his injury was not discovered until some hours later; he was then taken to the kitchen and his wound attended to. Fleeman insisted he wanted to return to Longside, some eight miles distant. He took a whole day to walk back to his sister's cottage in Kinmundy. Two days later, Fleeman died.


Two versions of his last words are given; they were either: "I'm of a gentle persuasion, dinna bury me like a beast" or "I'm a Christian, dinna bury me like a beast."


The stonemason who fashioned the memorial


Information Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Fleeman

This has been an interesting journey which has led us from Knockhall Castle in Newburgh to Udny Green, Udny Castle and then Longside.

It prompted me to get out in the van again and find out more local history...




Edited by robbieroy (05/22/18 02:53 AM)
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