Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Balintore Castle 1856?

We all know that the construction of Balintore Castle was not started until 1858 or thereabouts, so how could there be a Balintore Castle in 1856?

Thanks to friend of Balintore, Paul, for alerting me to this rather fine watercolour from 1856 by William Collingwood Smith held by the British Museum. It shows what is now known as Balintore House, a magnificent Georgian-looking structure at the bottom of the castle's west drive. This building was known in the 16th century as Balintore Castle i.e. it is nothing less than the fabled earlier medieval castle that maps show existed more or less on the same site.

1856 watercolour of "Balintore Castle"

The water colour is of particularly good quality, and aside from exaggerating the vertical scale of the surrounding hills in best romantic movement tradition, it presents a detailed and no doubt accurate depiction of Balintore House at the time. Most of the towering chimneys have now gone, as has the farm building in front and the hay ricks! However, hay bales are still stored in black polythene on this level site, so plus ├ža change. The magic thing for me is that if you screw your eyes up and look at this painting, you can still get the impression of a mediaeval tower house, which is far from apparent from the extant structure.

1 comment:

  1. I love how these bits of Balintore's history keep popping up. How is Aunty Nellie's bedroom coming along?