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The 2009 Burnett Gathering - Dunottar Castle Tour
We then moved to the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, overlooking the North Sea. Since the 10 minute walk and climb was too
testing for some, Eileen Bailey led a party to a fine viewpoint for the castle and gave them a fine account of the castle's
history which is as dramatic as the castle itself. The rest of us, who undertook the climb, were led by professional guide, Elma
McMenemy, whose contribution was essential to the full experience.
Although the site had been inhabited since Pictish times, St Ninian brought Christianity to the Picts in the 5th century and
chose Dunnottar as a site for one of his chain of Churches. The Vikings later destroyed the Castle which became a Catholic
settlement in the12th century. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell was so enraged at the arrival in Scotland of the young King Charles II,
that he ordered the invasion of Scotland. The Crown Jewels or the Honours of Scotland were taken to Dunnottar where they
remained there undiscovered for eleven years. One of the darkest chapters of Dunnottar's history is that of the Whig's Vault in
which in 1685, 122 men and 45 women, whose crime was their refusal to acknowledge the King's supremacy in Spiritual
matters were imprisoned.