By Brenda B. Taylor
Foulis Castle stands in the parish of Kiltearn, Ross and Cromarty, four miles northeast of Dingwall on the old road to Evanton in the Scottish Highlands. The castle has been the seat of Clan Munro since the 11th century. The clan chief was given the castle and Foulis lands as a reward from the Earl of Ross for defeating Viking invaders.
The Munros have turned the old kitchen of Foulis Castle into a museum of artifacts used in the castle. The original keep was burned in 1746 during the Jacobite Uprising. Sir Harry Munro (c.1720-1781) built the present dwelling on the old foundations. Alterations and renovations have been made through the years, but the building remains essentially the same.
Andrew Munro, chief of Clan Munro in 1508 A.D., lives in Fàrdach Castle, the name given to Foulis Castle in the Scottish historical romance, A Highland Pearl, by Brenda B. Taylor. The artifacts shown in this post are displayed in the kitchen museum of the present-day castle. They are not from Andrew’s time, but the remains of an ancient tower from his time period still stand in the courtyard.
The kitchen is located below the main floor of the house so moisture collects on the flagstone. A dehumidifier is used to help with the dampness
Peat is a brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy, acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter. It is widely cut and dried for use in gardening and as fuel. The Scots used peat almost exclusively as fuel until recent times when other types of fuel became available.
The blue water bottles in the photograph were used as fire extinguishers. When this kitchen was used by the family, water was drawn from wells and not readily available to extinguish kitchen fires.