Recently I’ve been watching a British program called Walking Through History. It’s presented by one of the hosts of Time Team, but it’s quite a different kind of show. Here, the focus is hiking and walking through historical places around the UK.
It’s a very aspirational thing to watch in the middle of winter!
The most recent episode I watched focused on Victoria and Albert’s love of the Scottish Highlands. It was all lovely and interesting, but what really struck me was this little fact about Mar Lodge (taken from Rampant Scotland):
The Duke of Fife was a lavish entertainer and during the season His Grace held functions for guests, tenants and employees in the ballroom decorated with 2,500 stags heads. When Queen Victoria attended balls at Mar Lodge, the Duke arranged for an avenue of kilted Highlanders holding aloft blazing torches to light the way from the house to the ballroom.
(The show said it was 2,435, to be exact.)
The exterior looks harmless, but once you get inside . . .
There’s a bit of a closer look at Mar Lodge Estate’s Facebook page.
The current Mar Lodge, being the third incarnation, was built between 1895 and 1898. The Duchess of Fife at the time was Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter.
There are various events and attractions at the estate. Personally, if I ever happen to end up in Scotland, I think I’ll have to make a special trip just to see this ballroom for myself!