Craignethan Castle, Alexander III, Wizards, Necromacy & a Belligerent Badger

‘Very angry badger’ forces parts of Scotland’s historic Craignethan Castle to close https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/very-angry-badger-craignethan-castle-scotland-part-closure-a8303811.html
A funny wee story that is apparently SO newsworthy that all online MSM felt the need to cover it?! Google has PAGES of links to articles
Which of course I found a tad strange so I went for a wee dig….
Craignethan Castle wiki website map
was once owned by Andrew Hay, 8th Earl of Errol
The Hays also used to own Yester Castle aka Goblin Ha
The barony of Yester was granted by King William the Lion to Hugo de Giffard, a Norman immigrant given land in East Lothian during the reign of King David I.
The original stone keep, built before 1267, is generally considered to be by Sir Hugo de Giffard. A grandson of the first Laird of Yester,
he served as a guardian of the young Alexander III of Scotland, and was by repute a magician and necromancer.
Alexander III is known to have been at Yester on and around May 24, 1278, where he corresponded with Edward I of England.
Following the Scots Wars of Independence, Yester was rebuilt as a castle of enceinte. google books
Sir Hugo de Giffard aka Wizard of Yester.
He was considered to be a powerful warlock and necromancer.
It is in the undercroft of the castle that he was thought to practise his sorcery.
14th century chronicler John of Fordun mentions the large cavern in Yester Castle, thought locally to have been formed by magical artifice.
Legend supposed that Hugo was able, via a pact with the Devil, to raise a magical army to his aid, and use them to carry out his will.
It is this army of hobgoblins that was considered the builders of Yester Castle.
Alexander III & The Wizard of Balwearie http://www.scotlandmag.com/magazine/issue49/12009597.html
Wizard of Balwearie
Craignethan & Mary Queen Of Scots http://www.marie-stuart.co.uk/Castles/Craignethan.htm
Michael Scot’s father had been knighted by Alexander II and married Margaret Balwearie of Kirkcaldy, Fife. Scot was born in the latter part of the 12th Century and grew up in a tower at Balwearie. The tower stood long before James III, in 1463, granted William Scott a licence to build the fortress that was to become the Castle of Balwearie.
The road leading up to this tower it is said, was laid down by demons working under a spell cast by Scot. The Devil himself laboured away on the road and after it was finished constantly plagued Scot for more work.
Tired of the Devil’s pleas, Scot sent him to make an endless rope of sand on the shore at Kirkcaldy. The task wore the devil out and it may be from this tale that the saying, ‘The Deil’s deid and buried in Kirkcaldy’ originated.
In a kingdom, where in the early 13th century few people travelled more that a few miles and most could not read or write it is hardly surprising such a man who travelled Europe and read Arabic translations of the Greek Philosophers inspired such suspicion and awe. After his initial training at Oxford, Scot studied at universities in Paris and Toledo in Spain. It was probably at Toledo he learned the secret of distilling alcohol as early manuscripts attributed to him refer to “Aqua Ardens”, the earliest name for distilled alcohol.


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