Every season Emma deliberates over the colours and tartans to create stock collections for our Edinburgh shop and website. With over 500 to choose from this is no easy task and while we take into account the colour trends within the fashion world we also like to make sure we celebrate the amazing colours of truly traditional tartans with hundreds of years of history behind them.
This Autumn Winter, the Fraser Clan are the stars of the womenswear range with pencil skirts, dresses and boots all available from stock in the Red Weathered version of the tartan. Very autumnal with it's pinky red and olive hues and of course very famous due to the connection with the famous TV series Outlander. We have accessorised with a lambswool cardigan in Caspian, a cashmere beret or bobble hat in the lovely soft brown Otter, and the unusual knit of the Tuck Stitch gloves in Coral. Your winter outfit all sorted!
We cannot feature the Fraser tartan without a little history on the Clan. This is a clan with two chiefs, the Lowland Frasers of Philorth and Lords Saltoun, with the name first arriving from France with William the Conqueror in 1066. Sir Simon Frazer is recorded with lands in East Lothian, with a later Simon Fraser supporting William Wallace in his quest for freedom from the English. The Philorth connection dates back to 1375 when marriage gained Sir Simon's cousin, Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie, the castle of Cairnbulg pictured below.
Cairnbulg Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeenshire still to be inhabited by the family who built it and remains the Seat of Clan Fraser today. During the Wars of Independence all the castles of the Earldom were destroyed and the Earldom was divided up among the supporters, with the Earl of Ross receiving the ruins of Cairnbulg. In 1375 the restoration began and the tower dates back to that time. It is unclear when the courtyard and outbuildings were added, however the staircase tower dates 1545 and the time of young Mary Queen of Scots. In the late 16th century financial problems forced Sir Alexander Fraser, who built the town of Fraserburgh, improved the harbour and even built a University there, to sell the Castle along with a large area of land.
The late Lord Saltoun finally took the Castle back into Fraser hands in 1934 and modernised it , before it passed to Lady Saltoun in 1966, who carried on the good work. Since 1997 the Hon. Mrs Nicolson, Lady Saltoun's eldest daughter is resident and the castle is open to the public by appointment only.
We will explore more of the fascinating history of the Fraser Clan and their many castles in later blogs. Watch out for the next installment.