Friendly band of invaders at Drum Castle


It was attacked twice during the 17th Century Civil War, but Drum Castle has been besieged by arrows once again – by a band of friendly invaders.

Members of Echt Neighbourhood Watch and Echt Horticultural Society were drafted in to help find a solution as to how to incorporate the castle’s new £140,000 gallery into the visitor tour experience.

The gallery opened to the public at Easter and features key pieces from Aberdeen Art Gallery’s modern collection, on show at Drum while the city attraction is closed for a two year refurbishment.

The specially created gallery has been developed in an area of the castle previously unseen by the public and castle staff called on help from the local community to get an independent view of how the new attraction would best fit into the castle tour.

The volunteers came in and helped point the way to the new attraction and new signs - bearing arrows - have been put in place as a result.

Property manager Dr Alison Burke, said: “As the gallery was not part of the visitor experience before, we weren’t sure how visitors would want to make their way around the castle physically and understand it intellectually.

This is an exciting new development for Drum.

George Glennie

“We see the castle every day and are so familiar with it that we thought we might not see it as a new visitor does. Therefore, we decided to ask our volunteers to take a fresh look at the castle.

“Their feedback was invaluable and we’ve used their advice and input to help navigate our visitors to the new gallery and understand the journey.”

George Glennie of Echt Neighbourhood Watch and Echt Horticultural Society said that he and the other local community representatives were pleased to get involved.

They took a good look round the castle to see how the new gallery fitted in and what felt like the most natural flow for getting around.

As a result they made suggestions to help guide visitors and to ensure they get the maximum benefit if their castle tour.

Mr Glennie said: “This is an exciting new development for Drum and we hope that it helps draw in an increased number of visitors.”

By hosting the artwork, Drum is ensuring the public can view the pieces whilst the Art Gallery is closed.