News

BRAEMAR GATHERING

We’re delighted to announce that we will have a presence at the fantastic Braemar Gathering Donald & Ann Fraser-Clark will be in the a floored marquee, called the Overseas tent, for visiting clans, representing the CFSSUK. The Gathering always takes place on the first Saturday in September and this year that’ll be the 2nd.

78th Fraser Highlanders Brand New

See our brand new webpage on the 78th Fraser Highlanders in Canada, it’s in its own subtab under the History tab.

EDINBURGH TATTOO FANTASTIC EVENT

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has unveiled the 2017 theme as “Splash of Tartan” taking inspiration from VisitScotland’s events for the year, Clan Chiefs have been invited to lead their clansmen to the Castle, on their own special designated evenings, and to take part in the opening ceremony of the Tattoo. In addition, clans and families are being encouraged and identified clan chiefs will take the salute, in front of their clan members. We’ve been allocated Saturday 5th August 2017 7:30 pm performance (NB there are two performances on a Saturday) and that is a firm date, but unfortunately, our allocation is now on public sale, so the tickets could well have gone, now but a number of us did manage to purchase tickets and are looking forward to this great event.

Donald Fraser-Clark has organised an early Lunch/High Tea come late Dinner on the day, at 16:00 in the Angels With Bagpipes restaurant on the High Street and we’ll wander up on mass to the Tattoo afterwards. If you want to join us at that, you’re very welcome.

Contact me if you’re interested in going, using the Editor email on the Links page. 

INTERACTIVE CLAN MAP

A few months ago Lochcarron, the well known Scots tartan and kiltwear company contacted me saying that, they were building an interactive clan and would we be interested in being involved in the process, on behalf of the clan. Of course, I said I would and although I was away a lot, we managed to sort out an entry that we were happy with. It’s a very nice pop up map, showing the clans, just enter Fraser or Fraser of Lovat in the search box and information, plus a link to their website, through the tartan in the information box. It’s a fun and educational way to find your tartan, have a look at Lochcarron Clan Map   

NEWS FROM CASTLE FRASER 2017

We look forward to welcoming friends, old and new, to Castle Fraser this year.   It will be 40 years since this beautiful building, garden and estate opened to visitors, courtesy of Major & Mrs. Smiley.   Their family continue to take an interest in the Castle and this year we were delighted to receive Col. Charles Mackenzie Fraser’s military jackets, on loan, for display in the Castle, which will make splendid additions to Blanche’s wedding dress and the replicas of some of the garments which have been disintegrating, These have been replicated by our splendid volunteer, Mrs. Jane Balme.   Jane now has an able assistant, Emma Murphy, who also finds time to volunteer in the gardens.

We will be focusing this year on exhibitions/displays in the Castle using archive material.   We are presently trying to source some suitable display cases to highlight topics such as the music of Castle Fraser; the titles and bookplates in some of the more interesting books, and featuring the childrens’ books published by Mrs. Lavinia Smiley.   We also hope to use one of the rooms, currently not in use, to highlight some more of the Smiley family memorabilia.   And we are delighted that the SWI will be using this space to host an exhibition for their centenary year.

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Castle Fraser in Winter Sunshine

The second year of our tapestry project is being undertaken by local school children, and we have put together a programme of themes and enthusiasts for the next few years.   This year’s theme is based on the birds and animals on the estate.

Our Senior Assistant for Functions & Events has put together a busy programme of family events, including a Gin Tasting evening for Mother’s Day – highlighting Lavinia Smiley’s Orange Gin Recipe!

The money from our Donations Box this year will go towards the continuing conservation care projects, such as renovations to curtains and chair covers.   We are very grateful to Judy Lowstutter (Celtic Journeys Tours) who has been bringing small tour groups to the Castle 3 or 4 times a year from the U.S., for giving us a donation towards the cost of electrifying the magnificent Waterford crystal chandelier in the Dining Room.   This has been on our wish list for several years and we believe it will help us to lease out this beautiful room for lunch and dinner parties.

Currently the offices and long letting apartments at The Stables at Castle Fraser are empty as the NTS regional office has moved to Crathes Castle.   Discussions are underway to maximise on the use of this attractive property to continue to fund the maintenance of the Castle, Gardens and Estate, and a decision is expected shortly.

We re-open for the season on 1 April 2017, closing on 31 October and expect another busy year, with visitors from around the world.   It is always exciting to meet Frasers from overseas, and the UK, who feel they have a connection to the Fraser family.

SCOTCON Here’s an event you may find interesting http://www.scotcon.scot/
PICTURES FROM A CFSSUK WREATH LAYING
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CFSSUK WREATH LAYING
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Donald Fraser-Clark, of the Society, along with his wife Ann, organised for two wreaths to be laid with the CFSSUK badge on them, at the statues of Lord Lovat and his piper Bill Millen, at D-Day’s Sword Beach, near Oisterham, Normandy. This took place in 2014 with the Mayor of Oisterham  present.
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I visited the site myself a year later, the statues are very impressive and a fitting tribute to Commando 4. Also, have a look at this link  http://player.mashpedia.com/player.php?q=xL5P53el2JQ&lang
ABERTARRF HOUSE
We’ve been contacted by a Bill Anderson of the Inverness Civic Trust who made a fascinating discovery, can anyone help? “I am looking for some help, I recently stumbled across a sandstone sundial with the name Alex Fraser of Fairfield and a date of 1729 on it, this is located in the grounds of Abertarff House, Church Street, Inverness. Whilst I know that Alex Fraser 6th of Fairfield was in his third term of office as Provost of Inverness at this time, the question that I would like answered is does anyone know anything about this sundial?” https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=262863703750932&story_fbid=808152022555428 
Now Scan for Friends Now use your QRReader to scan the website code and send to friends   FRASERS in THE WARS of INDEPENDENCE

The Frasers fought for Scotland throughout the War of Independence, Sir Simon Fraser of Oliver and Neidpath, The Patriot was, in his day, rated more important and influential than William Wallace himself. At the Battles of Roslin, 1303, he led the Scots army in no less than three victories in one day. At the Battle of Methven in June 1306, Sir Simon Fraser is said to have saved King Robert’s life not once, but three times. After fighting for both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, he was captured in 1306 and met the same fate as Wallace, at “The Tower”. It’s also claimed, the head of his brother, John, was also displayed on a spike on London Bridge.

Sir Alexander Fraser attained high office in Scotland as Lord Chamberlain and won the hand of the sister of The Bruce, King of Scots and while he was at The Bruce’s side throughout his campaign for the throne, Alexander was at the victory at the Battle of Barra Hill, near Aberdeen with at least one of his brothers, Bruce was ill and at his lowest and this victory could arguably be classed as as crucial as Bannockburn. Also, Sir Alexander Fraser’s seal and signature appear on the letter sent to the Pope by the leaders of Scotland, “The Declaration of Arbroath”.

Sir Alexander Fraser, was the eldest of the four sons of Sir Andrew Fraser, Sheriff of Sterling, d 1297, all four sons fought and then laid down their lives in Scotland’s Two Wars of Independence, Sir Alexander, 1332 Battle of Dupplin, Sir Simon, Sir Andrew and Sir James, Battle of Halidon Hill 1333. We know Sir Alexander and Sir Simon fought at Bannockburn and we like to believe Sir Andrew and Sir James were also there. Sir Andrew’s other heritage was his two sons established the roots of what was to become the Clans of Fraser, Sir Alexander was ancestor of the Philorth Line, Clan Fraser and his younger brother Simon ancestor of the Lovat Line, Clan Fraser of Lovat.

THE FORMIDABLE ELYZA FRASER (1734-1814), THE ONLY WOMAN TO INHERIT THE CASTLE IN HER OWN RIGHT

AN ANCIENT mausoleum containing historic memorials to generations of Frasers is in a critical state of decay.The 200-year-old Elyza Fraser Mausoleum, a rare example of work by internationally renowned Jacobite architect James Byres, stands in tiny Cluny graveyard close by Castle Fraser near Sauchen, Aberdeenshire. It was commissioned by Elyza Fraser herself, a characterful spinster who inherited Castle Fraser in 1792  and immediately  applied herself to  transforming and modernising the castle, gardens, parklands and farms.   The mausoleum was completed in 1808, six years before her death.

Now there are fears that her final resting place could be lost if the building does not receive urgent attention.

A group of people including academics,  The North of Scotland Preservation Trust,  the National Trust for Scotland, Cluny Church of Scotland minister Euan Glen, and concerned local people, have formed the Friends of Miss Elyza Fraser’s Mausoleum, designed to implement essential repairs and to highlight the mausoleum’s  place as part of Clan Fraser’s heritage. But before they can apply for funds, they need to find out who owns the building.  So far, Aberdeenshire Council, the NTS, the Cowdrays (who bought the estate in 1921, and gifted it to the NTS in 1976)   and the Church of Scotland have all confirmed they do not have title, although all are anxious to see the building stabilised.Now the Friends group is urgently appealing to any Fraser descendents, here or abroad, who might have a claim on the building.

If someone comes forward, the Friends hope they can work together to progress a preservation scheme.

The mausoleum is rated of European importance for its  architectural, cultural, historic and artistic qualities.  But it is held in huge affection locally too and there are hopes that any restoration project will involve community support.Anyone who has an interest in the Friends’ project should contact Friends chairman Steve Callaghan on scallaghan@nts.org.uk, tel 07919 693363.

PATCHWORK SQUARES
We entered two Clan squares into the Plantlife project, have a look at the links and find the squares via the Search keywords, also give us a vote if you want (see note and links below).
Plantlife would like to thank you for submitting your 2 squares to the Patchwork Meadow and to let you know that it has arrived safely.

If it is not on the online gallery already we will make sure that it is photographed and uploaded (www.wildflowereurope.org/patches). Please keep watching the website (www.plantlife.org.uk/patchworkmeadow and http://wildflowereurope.org/patchwork-meadow-exhibitions/) for information on Patchwork Meadow exhibitions. hers to learn more about Britain’s wild plants! The Patchwork Meadow Team Plantlife Email: patchworkmeadow@plantlife.org.uk

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