Sunday, 9 April 2017

Joined in Putting

I was delighted to be sent some scans of an article in last week's Dundee Courier, dated 6th April.  This was a letter sent in by a David Storrier of Edinburgh, reminiscing on time he spend with his grandfather at Burnside of Balintore, opposite the gate lodges at Balintore Castle. David enjoyed games of putting with Lady Langman, who stayed at the castle during the summer season.

Lady Langman just so happens to be my favourite previous occupant of the castle. She is the one person who seems to have injected some positive energy into the building, during its long history of neglect. The fact that she played putting with the locals supports the stories I have heard that she liked to throw parties! The article also mentions the gardener Will Crowe. I have heard from other sources that "Willie" was the last person who actually lived in the castle, using the still room in the basement as his bedroom.

The first photograph shows David's grandfather James Storrier. In the background is a clear view of the gates that once existed between the gate lodges. I have never seen these before - they are presumed long gone. I have manged to find digital copies of the article's text and photographs online, and have included these below. Finally, there is camera shot of the printed article showing the components in their published configuration. I would love to know if David Storrier has any more information, does anyone out there have a contact?

James Storrier in front of the castle's gate lodges

Joined in putting

“An item in a recent Courier Weekend magazine about Balintore Castle interested me,” writes David Storrier of Edinburgh.
“My grandparents lived across the road from the castle gates at Burnside of Balintore where my grandfather, James Storrier, bred blackface sheep.
“I spent many summer holidays from Glasgow staying with my Aunt Susan and going up to the castle with her to visit Will Fenton the gamekeeper and his wife. They lived in a cottage behind the castle.
“On a summer evening, Will Fenton, Will Crowe the gardener, Joe Lindsay the farmer at Balintore Farm and his shepherd Duncan Brown and myself would play a game of putting on the green beside the castle.
“A Lady Langman, who I think was a sister of Lord Lyell, would come up from England and stay for a few weeks and very often joined in the putting.
“The castle had its own hydro electric supply provided by a dam on the hill behind the castle, the water flowing down to a generator at the foot of the hill below Balintore Farm. This was many years before electricity came to the glen in the 1950s.”

historic photo of Balintore Castle

scan of article in Dundee Courier


  1. Totally love this place and love seeing the old pics of her in her glory standing proud 😁

  2. Isn't is great when stuff like this just shows up!

    I am excited for you!

  3. Just wanted to say that I found your wonderful castle whilst walking in the hills surrounding it on 8th April. Walking is my passion and I am never disappointed in what I might find in the Great Outdoors, whether it be flora, fauna or fairytale castles, as is Balintore. I congratulate you on your enthusiasm, enterprise and audacity in taking on such a mammoth task in trying to save this amazing mansion. Forgive me if I say "you must be mad", but it's a wonderful, eccentric, one in a million, right kind of maif yin trying to save Balintore for future generations. I was completely bowled over by the place, its position, its towers and turrets, in fact everything about this grand old pile. I do wish you good luck and hope things go to plan in the future. I will be watching your blog with interest, keep up the
    good work. With kind regards from a lover of fine architecture, who also loves to walk.

  4. The unintelligible "maif yin" as noted above, should read, "man when", in case you couldn't work that one out.

  5. Hello there, I am very much interested in following your restoration. Can you please let me know how to follow your blog. Thank you.

  6. Nice story, I new Susan Storrier. I lived and grew up at Westerton Balintore during the sixties. My Mother was friends with Susie as I knew her as. I done Bob a Job when I was in the Boy Scouts for her was always very nice to me and always gave me a cake to eat when I visited. Also remember Joe Lindsay as well. Gamie had changed by that time believe his name was Drummond.

  7. My Milne family farmed at Westerton of Balintore from 1678 to about 1821.
    Four generations of Milnes farmed thesse lands and built the roads and plowed the fields as tenants of the Earl of Airlie. In 1847 Betsy Milne and William Storrier had a child James Milne Storrieer. James son David Storrier was the bodyguard to the Edward Prince of Wales and later King. When Edward married Mrs. Simpson and abdicated David my 2nd cousin, 1 removed, remained with the couple until the war broke out and then returned to the UK. I have some photos on my Ancestry in anyone would like to see them. Linda Milne, Ont. Canada

    1. Hi Linda, many thanks for the information - what a wonderful family story!

  8. My Great Grandfather was born at Westerton and when I was first starting family history I stayed at the Welton. I had no idea where any of the name places were so I got a Map of the area and found the Westerton Castle.
    this was in 2006. I recalled the name Westerton was on his birth record and took a ride up to the farm.. The tenant was very gracious and invited me in to take a look at the place. It was quite a thrill to know my ancestors had lived on these lands for over 200 years. Very emotional. Every time I go to the UK I go up to the castle to see the progress from the road. It's a wonderful project you have undertaken. Best regards. Linda

  9. It's a fantastic thing to tread in the footsteps of your ancestors. Thanks for the kind words on the castle.

  10. Those pillars Don't look impossible to copy in stone over a concrete pillar base ? Again probably not high on the list!