Drum Castle was for centuries the seat of Clan Irvine. The original 13th-century tower of Drum Castle has been suggested as the work of medieval architect Richard Cementarius, who built the Bridge of Don in Old Aberdeen. It is believed to be one of the three oldest tower houses in Scotland (and notably unaltered). A large wing was added in 1619 by the 9th laird, and further alterations were made during the Victorian era.
The castle and its grounds were granted to William de Irwyn in 1325 by Robert the Bruce, and remained in the possession of Clan Irvine until 1975. William de Irwyn was armour bearer/secretary to King Robert the Bruce. Drum played a role in the Covenanting Rebellion leading to its being attacked and sacked three times.
The castle is surrounded by late 18th-century gardens, including a rose garden and arboretum containing trees from all regions of the 18th century British Empire.
Today, the castle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is open during the summer months. The chapel, dining hall and estate may be hired for weddings and corporate functions. A variety of local events such as classic car rallies and musical fetes also occur here. There is also a small shop and tearoom within the castle.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.