Traquair House

It even sounds like the title of a romantic novel.

This is the kind of story we love with a passion. It encapsulates everything that is good about Scotland, and all that is bad, in the same breath.

It is wonderful and it is shite. Romance tinged with desperation. Defiance with hopelessness.

THE GATES OF TRAQUAIR HOUSE WILL NEVER RE-OPEN UNTIL A STUART KING IS RESTORED TO THE THRONE.

traquair.jpg
The Gates of Traquair -
FirstFoot thinks that the daft old
bugger just lost the keys.

So vowed the Jacobite Fifth Earl of Traquair confidently, shutting them for the last time one late autumn day in 1745 after waving his distinguished guest, the Bonnie Prince Charles Edward Stuart, goodbye.

Little did he know, of course, that the Stuart, or Jacobite cause was fated to die once and for all on the bleak moor of Culloden in April 1746 and so, closed they have most firmly remained to this very day.

Great stuff. But frankly it's a wee tantrum that ain't ever going to have much effect now.

charlie.jpg
Bonnie Prince Charlie on
one of the few occasions
that he was sober

The Windsor dynasty shows few signs of caving in.

As threats go, it's a bit like Britain telling the US Senate that we're shutting Portobello Beach indefinitely until they agree to give us America back.

Traquair House, just outside Peebles, is an exceptionally beautiful place and well worth a visit, if only to sample the quite excellent beer that is now brewed and sold on the premises.

But remember, thanks to the 5th Earl and his big mouth, you'll have to use the tradesmen's entrance like everyone else.

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