The Alligators and Follies of Pitfour Estate

Summer at Pitfour Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

I’ve visited Pitfour Estate many times over the years. It’s a great place to walk, though less well known than the nearby Aden Park. I have photos from various years and various seasons. That’s summer above. Remember summer?

History of Pitfour Estate

 Autumn at Pitfour Estate.

The estate was purchased  in 1700 by James Ferguson of Badifurrow, who became the first Laird of Pitfour. He and his descendants developed the land, building various bridges and follies. The observatory in Drinnie’s Wood used to be part of the estate too, having been built to watch horse racing on the nearby race track (now a forest).

The Temple of Theseus

One of the follies was a bathhouse built to look like a Temple of Theseus, seen from across the lake below.

Temple of Theseus

The fifth Laird, an extravagant man who liked his luxuries, is said to have kept pet alligators in it. The interior:

The inside of the Temple of Theseus at Pitfour Estate. Home to alligators?

Looking out over the lake from behind the pillars of the temple, on another summer’s day:

Pitfour Lake

Pitfour in the Mist

Pitfour Lake in the mist

The lake is used by a local fishing club today. You often see jumping fish.

Trees at Pitfour Estate

I have a great many pictures, so I intend to share some more of them in my next newsletter: swans, another folly and some more mist. Hopefully that’ll go out in the next few days, if my current writing project releases me for long enough to do it! Go here to sign up for the newsletter.

Mermaid and Fireflies Reviews

Mallee Stanley shared reviews of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR and FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE on her Read and Write blog recently. “”What makes both these books fascinating reads, is that they are based on dark historical events relating to Aberdeen.” See the whole review here.

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The Romans called it the edge of the world

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39 Replies to “The Alligators and Follies of Pitfour Estate”

  1. Thank you for again sharing this stunning photography. Will this interesting place with alligators weave into one of your stories? I look forward to reading your next books. Stay strong.

    1. I don’t know. It might be fun to weave a story around the wee alligators… but this year, it’s the contemporary books that are being polished up, and released.

  2. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos and the details of the estate. I haven’t gotten into the estate, yet. I spent forever and a day trying to find the road up to the observatory. Your post has Pitfour estate back on my list to visit.

    1. The entrance to the estate is quite nearby to that – there is a wide parking lay-by just off the main Mintlaw road – but there’s a distinct lack of signposting.

  3. I have a British friend who wrote a Facebook status about wanting to visit beautiful forests with old churches and old mansions. And all with a mysterious history behind it. I asked her, “Great! Coming to New England?” To which she said, “No, I meant Scotland.”

    Looking at your pictures, I see why.

  4. Love the photos. Does Scotland even have alligators? I lived in Florida for good long time, and I figured they were indigenous to that type of environment only. I’m guessing he had them shipped in.

  5. Great photos. Love that one with the tree reflections. Ah the follies of those extravagant men – seem all over England and Europe really.

  6. These photos are absolutely gorgeous, especially the lone tree and the yellow summer flowers – a little realm of paradise!

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