Deer Abbey in Aberdeenshire is a beautiful sprawling ruin. It’s a peaceful place to visit. Reflective. A place to peer through old doorways into the past.
If I look back a year into my own past I see myself in quite a state, just about to go into hospital and become monstrous. I am better this year. Better than that anyway. Able to go out and about to places other than my doctor’s surgery.
Which brings me to the man trap:
You would definitely need some medical intervention after stepping in that! It’s a hideous contraption that was designed to catch poachers, widely used in the 19th century by local Lairds. It’s not known how it came to be at Deer Abbey.
From one of the informational plaques, the man trap in use:
For 340 years the Abbey housed a Cistercian community. The monks of Deer wore white robes and no underwear, a brave choice given Aberdeenshire’s low temperatures and the strong gales of winter!
After the reformation the building became the property of the Keith family. Mrs Keith dreamed of angry monks coming to destroy her home, Dunnottar Castle. And more recently, there have been sightings of a ghostly monk on the main road outside the Abbey. Maybe the old Cistercians do not rest easy yet.
I love the ancient trees of the Abbey grounds. And the pink hue of the crumbling walls. The hillside beyond is satisfyingly timeless, and probably offers quite a similar view to the one that the white robed monks looked out on.
A little more Deer Abbey will be dropping into my mailing list next week. Go here to sign up if you like.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.
Set mainly in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic and a love story.
Paperbacks and kindle: http://author.to/mermaid