Latest news from Berwickshire Naturalist's Club
On Thursday, August 23 over 60 members visited Ayton Castle.
The Scottish Baronial building will be familiar to those travelling North from Berwick on the East Coast Main Line, and it is the third castle to occupy the site.
After the second castle was destroyed by fire in 1834 the estate was purchased by William Mitchell, a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who commissioned the architect James Gillespie Graham to build the current castle. Building commenced in 1846 and stone was sourced from a quarry at Chirnside.
In 2014 the castle was purchased by Brian Parsons and Richard Syred, who are steadily refurbishing the property.
At the start of the visit members enjoyed a very informative presentation by Brian. Brian and Richard then took small parties round the public rooms on the ground floor.
The magnificent interior is well known for its Scottish Renaissance plaster strapwork ceilings. Other items of interest include possibly the only surviving example of D.R Hay’s ‘patent damask’ imitation textile wall covering.
A chapel, dedicated in 2015, delighted many members.
Despite the damp weather, Simon Jones, the Factor, conducted hardier members round the grounds. St Abbs’ Well, the recently restored dovecot and the biomass fuelled boiler house were all visited.
It was a very enjoyable and well attended visit. Many thanks to Brian, Richard and Simon for making us so welcome.