Mar stretches from the
Braes of Mar in the west to Aberdeen, and from the Braes of Angus in the south to the
River Don, and was one of the divisions of the ancient kingdom of the Picts. It existed
later as a geographical and political region under its mormaer long before Ruadri is
recorded as its first earl in about 1120. The title is the oldest still existing in
Scotland, and Mar is the premier Scottish earldom. Its present holder, the 31st since
Ruadri, is Countess of Mar in her own right.
Built during the 14th and 15th Centuries, Alloa Tower
was extensively renovated in the 18th century and again recently, but still retains a
medieval timber roof. In 1360 the town of Alloa was put under the control of Sir Robert
Erskine and his descendents have maintained the association with the town to the present
day and still own the Tower. In 1565 the family were made Earls of Mar by Mary Queen of
Scots, who is said to have been reconciled with Darnley here.
Another notable Erskine was the 6th Earl of Mar who led the 1715 Jacobite rebellion an
enterprise which was not crowned with success.
Bobbing John, as he was known, was forced into exile, but his son was later able to
recover their Alloa property.