The Lumsden Nursery

This bedroom is styled in the manner of a late Victorian or Edwardian nursery. It is named for the Lumsden family, who owned Lickleyhead Castle from the early 19th century until 1922. It has two single beds. This is the highest room in the castle!


The tale of the Lumsden family during the Victorian era, the time they held Lickleyhead Castle, is one of both greed and great sadness. One of the last large areas of common land in Aberdeenshire was the neighbouring mountain of Bennachie. Throughout the 1850s the local lairds, Henry Lumsden of Lickleyhead chief among them, conspired to seize this land for themselves. This was achieved by 1858 and poor crofters living in the 'Colony' were evicted. This action is referred to as the ‘division of the commonty’ and was similar to the highland clearances of the late 1700’s.

The laird of Lickleyhead did not live to see this day himself however, dying in 1856. Heartache was to follow the family all through this decade. First son Harry and his wife passed away in 1850, followed by the laird, then the laird's grandson, another Henry, who died of disease while being schooled in London in 1859. Various uncles also passed away, leaving younger grandchild Hugh Lumsden as the only male in the family tree by 1860. Happier times followed and Hugh married Maria Magdelena though there was to be one further tragedy in Hugh’s life as his second son, Major Carlos Lumsden, was killed in 1916 during the First World War. The Major, a noted historian and writer, penned prior to his death-

‘Here the shells are falling all round one: it is simply hell on earth; I had no idea of what it was. God only knows if I shall ever see home again; I doubt it very much ; yet I have done my duty, and will do it to the end. I go to Confession and Communion very often. Send me a small strong Rosary.’

Laird Hugh died one month after his son. The shock of the news must have badly affected him. The emotional and financial strain of these years must have been very hard on the family. By 1920 Lickleyhead was on the market; the entirety of the castle furniture was put up for auction. The castle was eventually sold to the former governor of Mexico City, Guillermo De Landa Y Escandón.

The Lumsden Nursery sits in a tower which was constructed in the 1620’s during the time of John Forbes. The nearest bathroom is the Grip Fast bathroom (down a few steps and through one door).




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