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.
The Man Trap
If I look back 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:
History of the Abbey
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.
An Autistic Dancer, a Byronic Hero and an Obsessive Scientist
Read my series A Dancer’s Journey. There’s ballet. There’s lots of naughtiness. And there’s peril!
Enjoy a kiss on the London tube in the first book, TENDU. Romp up and down the castle stairs. Dance in a stone circle. Attend a Ceilidh in the great hall. Have your brain studied in the dungeon. All fun, I assure you. Well, not quite all…
Series on Amazon UK
Series on Amazon worldwide
There’s more about these stories in the posts below:
- The Publishing Journey of a Ballet Novel
- Pointe Work and a Red Leotard
- Working Girl: a WordPress Prompt Goes Dark
- A Snaggled, Barbourous Place
- Chosen Sisters: Friendship and Dance
- And there’s also this slightly strange little post about what the characters of A Dancer’s Journey get up to when I take a rare day off from writing.
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