Clash of North East Clans: Mary Queen of Scots’ lesser known Aberdeenshire battle

One of Mary Queen of Scots’ lesser known battles will be re-enacted at Banchory this SundayOne of Mary Queen of Scots’ lesser known battles will be re-enacted at Banchory this Sunday
One of Mary Queen of Scots’ lesser known battles will be re-enacted at Banchory this Sunday
This Sunday, August 6, families and history buffs can step back in time to witness the clash of feuding 16th century Aberdeenshire clans, Moray and Huntly, under the watchful gaze of Mary Queen of Scots.

The Battle of Corrichie re-enactment will showcase the bravery and tactical competence of the Aberdeenshire clans, with the Earl of Huntly leading the rebellion against Queen Mary's authority.

Some 460 years ago Mary Queen of Scots returned from France to Scotland, landing at Leith in Edinburgh on the 19th of August 1561.

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This marked a time of tremendous change and a significant turning point for Scotland as she created close alliances with England in a hope to become the heir of Queen Elizabeth and become Queen of England and Scotland.

Many disputes and rebellions followed. One such lesser known – but no less significant - battle took place on the Hill of Fare near Banchory in 1562.

A re-enactment of the battle can be witnessed at the Milton of Crathes, where visitors can experience the bravery and tactics of the feuding Aberdeenshire clans of Moray and Huntly, as the Queen faced a highland rebellion led by the Earl of Huntly.

This dramatic event is open to all ages from 10am to 5pm.

The family-friendly event combines drama, music, archery, falconry, witchcraft, drumming and storytelling.

Visitors will be immersed in the captivating world of North East Scotland’s historic clans, and gain a fascinating glimpse into their lives.

The event also features a special guest appearance by Jennifer Morag Henderson, author of "Daughters of the North," who will be signing copies of her book on the day.

"This is the first time this re-enactment has ever taken place,” explains Event Co-ordinator, Andrew Dingwall-Fordyce.

“Visitors can immerse themselves in a 16th-century village, and watch the cavalry and soldiers who fought for Mary Queen of Scots in brave battle against the Earl of Huntly.

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"We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to learn about this fascinating turning point in Scottish history."

Rhynie-based historian, Alex Forbes, is well-versed in the background to the 1562 event.

“At the time, Scotland was facing a tremendous transition in religion, politics and alliances with France,” he explains. “Corrichie was a moment when history could have been changed but Mary Queen of Scots chose the protestant religion over the catholic religion, and the alliance with England over the alliance with France, because she wanted to become the heir of Queen Elizabeth of England and Scotland.”

For further historical information and to book tickets visit Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day. £10 for adults and £5 for children under 14.

The event marks the culmination of a number of clan events being held across the North East of Scotland this year, including the Aboyne Games the day before, and closes the 700th anniversary of the Burnett of Leys and Irvine of Drum families in Deeside.

Organised by St. Nicholas Productions in connection with the Leys Charitable Trust, proceeds from the event will be directed towards funding local community causes including the Loch of Leys restoration, a long-term project to preserve and restore the physical, biological, cultural and historical features of this important site.