The Ground Floor and Gardens
Descending the early 18th century stone stairs, which were
a later addition brings the visitor to the 18th century front door of the house which
would have originally opened on to the old castle courtyard. Beyond this door there are
modern domestic additions within the are of the old courtyard. Through these it is
possible to return to the entrance hall at which point the visitor leaves the house once
again by the front door at which he entered.
At a later date it is hoped to open the old kitchen and
also to show the vaulted cellars of the early castle. However, much restoration is still
required to these buildings and others before they can be viewed.
For those wishing to see the gardens the entrance is up a
short flight of stone steps in a grass bank near the front door. The garden is an
attractive feature of the family house of Arbuthnott and the lady of the house has
successively embellished it in her own fashion over the last 300 years. It has always been
treated as an extension to the house itself and no attempt was made in the 18th or 19th
centuries to divorce the house from the garden as was customary at that time. The four
grass terraces are intersected by diagonal grass walks terminating at the south-west
corner with an iron stag and target. Originally set out as a formal garden with clipped
hedges giving protection for herbs and shrubs, it has today evolved into a garden of great
variety which still, however, claims most of its charm and interest from the formal nature
of its pattern and from its setting on the sides of a hill leading down to the stream
which is derived from the Bervie water lying across the haugh.