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THIS WEBLOG page will allow you to follow the progress of saving Castle Cluggy. We like to keep things fresh, so here is what has been going on recently.

18 January 2021LANDSCAPE DESIGN

BRINDLEY ASSOCIATES' Landscape Design Project Manager/Senior Landscape Architect visited the site this morning. The landscape design for the site will be issued in the week beginning Monday 8th February 2021.

01 January 2021ONE-OF-A-KIND GIFT IDEA FOR 2021

A NEW BOOK charting the history of Castle Cluggy has been published. Limited to 50 copies worldwide, The History of Castle Cluggy - ancestral seat of the Murrays of Ochtertyre has been researched and written by the Head Trustee, with a foreword by the Lord-Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross, and is available to purchase in soft copy direct from the author for only £9.99 plus postage. All proceeds from the sale of this book will be going to the charity to provide vital funds to save the castle. 100 pages and lavishly illustrated throughout, this book gives a fascinating insight into the castle's development and would make a unique and one-of-a-kind gift.

31 December 2020HOGMANAY AT CASTLE CLUGGY

HOGMANAY is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. The first-foot, the first the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour giving a symbolic gift of coal, is supposed to bring luck to the householder for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall, dark-haired men are preferred as the first-foot.

26 December 2020LEVEL FOUR RESTRICTIONS

CORONAVIRUS restrictions in Scotland have been increased in response to a new strain of the virus. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced  that mainland Scotland would be placed into Level 4 – the toughest tier. Under the toughest restrictions, all non-essential retail and hospitality will be forced to close. The First Minister announced the move after a more transmissible strain of the virus was discovered in the UK.

16 December 2020PROGRESS REPORT

THE TRUSTEES are waiting for Brindley Associates to complete their tree survey and to complete a plan for the soft landscape elements. This will allow the Quantity Surveyor to complete his initial cost plan for the project. Bat surveys need to be carried out - winter hibernation surveys and summer activity surveys - before any building work can start. If the winter surveys were to be done this year, the static bat detectors would need to be deployed today to allow for a two-week monitoring period within the month of December so we cannot start the winter surveys this year now. We are forced to accept that the winter surveys will be December 2021-February 2022, allowing building work to happen in 2022. We will spend 2021 getting the various consents in place, completing the necessary archaeological and ecological surveys, allowing us time to raise the necessary finance. 

03 December 2020CHRISTMAS COMES TO CASTLE CLUGGY

HAPPY CHRISTMAS to our supporters. We hope that we can meet again in 2021 and carry on where we left off. Christmas was banned at Castle Cluggy for almost four centuries. Before the Reformation in 1560, Christmas in Scotland had been a religious feasting day. Then, with the powerful Kirk frowning upon anything related to Roman Catholicism, the Scottish Parliament passed a law in 1640 that made celebrating ‘Yule vacations’ illegal. Even after Charles II was restored to the throne, celebrating Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland for a long time – it was not until 1958 that 25th December became a Scottish public holiday. 

25 November 2020NEW LOCKDOWN RULES

THE UK GOVERNMENT and devolved administrations have agreed a joint plan to relax social distancing rules over the festive period, allowing three households to mix from December 23rd to 27th. Scotland's First Minister said staying at home should be the “default” position but the easing of restrictions to allow households to gather over Christmas is a “recognition of a reality that exists over the Christmas period, whether I like it or not”.

23 October 2020ECOLOGY SURVEY

BRINDLEY ASSOCIATES LIMITED has undertaken a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) at Castle Cluggy. The survey was requested to inform plans to carry out proposed conservation and landscape works to the castle ruins and surrounding area. Trustees will take the various recommendations on board as the project progresses. The main ecological value at the site includes:

  • The site's location within an area of ancient woodland;
  • The castle ruins' suitability to support roosting bats and nesting birds including barn owl;
  • Three trees within the site with potential bat roost features;
  • Loch Monzievaird provides suitable habitat to support otter; and
  • Invasive rhododendron recorded throughout the site.

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