Thursday, 5 April 2012

Tom a Chastel - The Royal Castle of Strathearn



Tom a Chastel

The Royal Castle of Strathearn






Fully a mile south of the old kirk of Monzievaird lies Trowan or Trewin . Today it is dominated by Baird’s monument sitting atop Tom a Chastel or the round hill of the castle Once it was the site of the Royal Castle of Earn ., In by gone times it was at the north east edge of the Glen Artney deer forest . From its summit beacon fires would proclaim the Earl’s rule over the whole of Strathearn . In 1329 John de Warrens , Earl of Surrey and his wife Joanna , Countess of Strathearn were condemned to imprisonment for life in the castle for complicity with various other lords against King Robert Bruce . The judgement was given by the Parliament at Scone . Joanna was the daughter of Malise , then seventh Earl of Strathearn . Tradition states that castle was burned down in the later part of the 14th century and some noble ladies confined therein were consumed by the flames . About 1790 most of the old stones of the castle were removed to be used as building material for the farm dykes and other enclosures. When excavations were being carried out for the erection of the present monument in 1832 , the old castle founds were exposed and several jars and pieces of metal were found blackened by the fire centuries before . From a part of the castle which probably had been the stables , a blackish mould was discovered which transpired to have been horse manure ! Inter mixed with this were pieces of metal which were identified as being stirrup buckles .

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