‘Fraser’s Dragoones’ all set to conquer Donside castle


The tranquillity of Donside will be rocked by musket and cannon fire when Royalist and Parliamentary forces clash this weekend.

Battle will commence at Castle Fraser on Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3, with Sealed Knot historical re-enactors “Fraser’s Dragoones” making a return to the National Trust property.

As well as their cannons, musketry and artillery displays, an authentic mid-17th century soldier’s camp will have a rich cast of characters on hand to engage adults and children alike.

Armourers, barbers, surgeons, cooks, beggars, washer women and other camp followers will be vying for attention.

Hands on pike drills, 17th century foot drills, musketry and artillery displays will culminate in a large-scale pitch battle in front of the Castle.

The real Fraser’s Dragoones were a coalescence in the Beauly area of Inverness with a number of experienced and veteran soldiers from the continental wars.

As such, the regiment quickly earned a reputation as one of the most formidable units in Lord Leven’s Army of the Covenant, during the English Civil war which consisted of 21 regiments between 18,000 – 21,000 strong of which Fraser’s was the only dragoon regiment.

Today, “Fraser’s Dragoones” are the most northerly regiment of the Sealed Knot re-enactment society, formed in the 1970s.

At Castle Fraser, the National Trust for Scotland’s Catriona Skene has been busy preparing an army of staff and volunteers for the much anticipated Sealed Knot weekend.

She said: “Castle Fraser has a grand record of being a fantastic setting for re-enactment battles.

“Our magnificent building was completed in 1636 and it provides such an impressive, imposing backdrop for the Sealed Knot’s splendid battles.

“We are all very much looking forward to inviting visitors to share in the spectacle.”

The Sealed Knot events will run from 11am until 5pm each day. Tickets are £9 for adults, £6 for children, families £25 and concessions £6. You can buy tickets online at http://www.nt.org.uk/CastleFraser or telephone 0844 4932164 for more info.