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TITLE
Life on the Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (8 of 16)
EXTERNAL ID
EOHP_FOULIS_ESTATE_08
PLACENAME
Foulis
DISTRICT
Dingwall
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Kiltearn
DATE OF RECORDING
1991; 1992
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Marianne Chamier & Joan Paton
SOURCE
Evanton Oral History Project
ASSET ID
41139
KEYWORDS
audios
estates
Clan Munro
Munros of Foulis

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This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark.

In this extract, sisters Marianne Chamier and Joan Paton (née Gascoigne) share their memories of life at Foulis Castle including dancing in the kitchen with the servants and estate workers.

Interviewer: There used to be great dances at Foulis, I understand?

Marianne: Uhmm. I don't remember grown-up dances because my grandparents were old and the aunts were all married, you see ...

Interviewer: Yes.

Marianne: ... except one who stayed home; one was unmarried - Violet Munro - the middle aunt. But I don't remember dances because they were too old for them by then. But I remember when, when our children were young having both children's parties and teenage dances there, which we had.

Interviewer: Yes.

Marianne: But by that time mother was living there. Because when my eldest brother married he went to live at Ardullie and mother went to live at Foulis; my grandmother had died by then so she moved into Foulis. But the sort of dancing I remember was dancing in the kitchen which went on a good deal almost every night. I used to wait in bed till they were all safely settled round the dining table then I used to nip down the back stairs. And there'd be all the people from Evanton - the post, the garden boys, the gardener and all the rest of it. And there were reels and singing and all that sort of thing went on, and when it got too loud - the kitchen was underneath the library where they sat after dinner - and my grandmother used to (I can't take that) bang on the floor with a stick [Laughter] when the roars and yells got too loud.

Interviewer: But she obviously didn't mind too much.

Joan: No, no, no.

Interviewer: She was well aware of what was happening.

Marianne: She was very expressive lady, my grandmother, utterly unlike my grandfather; she had a frightful temper which she let fly in all directions. Fearful rows with the maids, especially if the maids had tempers too. There were shouting matches and bangings of doors. I don't think they held it against her, really, you know. But she really let fly. I was terrified of her when she lost her temper. I remember one occasion when I dropped a bottle of cherry brandy, on the drawing room carpet; I was carrying it round for her, and, of course, I think it broke and it went all over the carpet and her temper - I was absolutely terrified - she let fly in all directions at me. She was very, she was very good looking and very fiery indeed. And she was, she belonged to these parts. She was a Miss Stirling from Fairburn, you know, at Urray.

Interviewer: Oh, Urray.

Marianne: Yes. You know, it's now an old folk's home, or a residential home or something. She was the daughter of Sir John Stirling who built that house.

Interviewer: And what was her first name? Her first name?

Marianne: Violet.

Interviewer: Violet?

Marianne: Mmm.

Interviewer: Right.

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Life on the Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (8 of 16)

ROSS: Kiltearn

1990s

audios; estates; Clan Munro; Munros of Foulis

Evanton Oral History Project

Evanton Oral History Project

This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark.<br /> <br /> In this extract, sisters Marianne Chamier and Joan Paton (née Gascoigne) share their memories of life at Foulis Castle including dancing in the kitchen with the servants and estate workers.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: There used to be great dances at Foulis, I understand?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Uhmm. I don't remember grown-up dances because my grandparents were old and the aunts were all married, you see ...<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes. <br /> <br /> Marianne: ... except one who stayed home; one was unmarried - Violet Munro - the middle aunt. But I don't remember dances because they were too old for them by then. But I remember when, when our children were young having both children's parties and teenage dances there, which we had.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Marianne: But by that time mother was living there. Because when my eldest brother married he went to live at Ardullie and mother went to live at Foulis; my grandmother had died by then so she moved into Foulis. But the sort of dancing I remember was dancing in the kitchen which went on a good deal almost every night. I used to wait in bed till they were all safely settled round the dining table then I used to nip down the back stairs. And there'd be all the people from Evanton - the post, the garden boys, the gardener and all the rest of it. And there were reels and singing and all that sort of thing went on, and when it got too loud - the kitchen was underneath the library where they sat after dinner - and my grandmother used to (I can't take that) bang on the floor with a stick [Laughter] when the roars and yells got too loud.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: But she obviously didn't mind too much.<br /> <br /> Joan: No, no, no.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: She was well aware of what was happening.<br /> <br /> Marianne: She was very expressive lady, my grandmother, utterly unlike my grandfather; she had a frightful temper which she let fly in all directions. Fearful rows with the maids, especially if the maids had tempers too. There were shouting matches and bangings of doors. I don't think they held it against her, really, you know. But she really let fly. I was terrified of her when she lost her temper. I remember one occasion when I dropped a bottle of cherry brandy, on the drawing room carpet; I was carrying it round for her, and, of course, I think it broke and it went all over the carpet and her temper - I was absolutely terrified - she let fly in all directions at me. She was very, she was very good looking and very fiery indeed. And she was, she belonged to these parts. She was a Miss Stirling from Fairburn, you know, at Urray.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh, Urray.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Yes. You know, it's now an old folk's home, or a residential home or something. She was the daughter of Sir John Stirling who built that house.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And what was her first name? Her first name?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Violet.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Violet?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Mmm.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Right.