STV cameras help unravel mystery of castle's secret chamber

A series of medieval chambers have been discovered within the walls of an Aberdeenshire castle.

With the help of STV cameras, archaeologists at Drum Castle have now been able to see inside the rooms for the first time in generations.

Built in the early 13th century, Drum is one of Aberdeenshire's oldest castles but some of its secrets are only just being discovered.

During restoration work archaeologists uncovered a series of chambers built into the walls of the original tower. However, they have so far been unable to see inside the innermost room.

Now, with the help of television cameras they were finally able to explore the space.

Dr Shannon Fraser of the National Trust for Scotland said: "I'm feeling really excited about it, because we really wanted to be able to see inside the further chamber.

"We could see doorway into the chamber from the outside window but to be able to understand actually how all the castle actually works inside it was really important to try to get in there."

The chambers were blocked off in the 1840s when a new library was built in the medieval Great Hall. Today there is no other way to access them or to find out what they were used for.

However, after analysing the footage archaeologists now have the final piece of the puzzle.

Dr Fraser said: "Now that we've been into that outer room and we can see there's not a door going in behind the great fireplace, which we know would have been serving the hall, it's looking like we may actually have a more likely scenario of a very large open roasting hearth.

"However, in consultation with the archaeologist that we're working with on this project I think anything is possible. We've just got to get a lot more thinking going and analysing what we have so far.

"In Scotland in the 1320s you might not expect the interior to reflect what it looks like on the outside but what we're looking at here is actually much more sophisticated than we expected for the date.

"In fact we are looking at a building of a very high cultural milieu if you like, so that's incredibly exciting."

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