Fyvie Castle

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FYVIE CASTLE. Scottish, "Pastoral Air" (3/4 time). C Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by the famous Scottish fiddler-composer and dancing master James Scott Skinner (1843-1927), who called it a "Pastoral (Air) Weird and Eerie" and dedicated it to his students in the area. Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire, dates to the 13th century and features five different towers, one built in each century from 13th to 17th, by each of several families to hold it. The oldest part of the castle was built in the Scottish baronial style, however, subsequent renovations added important features. A 17th century 'Morning-Room' is in Scottish Renaissance style with decorated plasterwork and paneling. There is a great wheel stairway, one of the finest in Scotland. The interior of the castle was substantially renovated in Edwardian times by the 1st Lord Leith of Fyvie.

It is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including a "Grey Lady" and a "Green Lady." The former emerged when building work uncovered a secret room containing a skeleton-the Grey Lady was seen frequently thereafter, that is, until the bones were returned to the room, upon which the apparitions ceased. The Green Lady is said to be 17th century Dame Lillias Drummond, the unfortunate victim of her husband, Sir Alexander Seton, who starved her to death. He remarried soon after (to the woman he had been consorting with in secret), and while the newlyweds were waiting for some new rooms to be refurbished elsewhere in the castle they were to sleep in a tiny, little-used room high up in the castle. During the night they heard soft sights emanating from somewhere in the chamber, and when they awoke the discovered that the name Lilies D. Drummond was carved deeply into the stone window-sill outside their room, stories above the ground. The name can still be seen there. Castle Fyvie was also reputed to have been cursed by Thomas the Rhymer.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Skinner (The Logie Collection), 1888; p. 63. Skinner (The Scottish Violinist), 1900; p. 39.

Recorded sources: Tartan Tapes CDTT1004, Paul Anderson - "Heat the Hoose" (1998).




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