Dunnottar visitors from a bygone age

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Staff at Dunnottar Castle have discovered that the popular attraction has been open to visitors for nearly 150 years.

While searching in the British Newspaper Archive, they found a notice in the Stonehaven Journal, the local paper from 1846-1917, relating to visitors and carrying the date May 18, 1870.

It said the public would be admitted “on every lawful day throughout the year” by applying to the Farm House at Mains of Dunnottar.

The notice continued: “A charge of 3d (3 old pence) for each adult, and 2d (2 old pence) for those under 12 years of age, will be made to cover the expense incurred by this arrangement. May 18, 1870.”

The earliest visitor book found in the castle’s records is dated June, 1889.

The first person to sign it was Robert Wilson, from Portlethen.

Visitors from Stonehaven, Brechin, Dundee and even Edinburgh – quite a distance in 1889 – travelled to see the castle.

In later books, the visitors get even more far flung, from London and beyond.

The castle now attracts more than 120,000 every year from around the world.