Volunteer sought to fill traditional role - Keeper of the Keys
The role of Keeper of the Keys is an ancient role associated with castles in Scotland. Traditionally, the Keeper of the Keys has the responsibility for ensuring the security of a castle, particularly in the absence of its proprietor.
In reviving this ancient office, the laird of Ballumbie Castle is looking for a volunteer who lives close by the castle to report when the security fencing has been damaged.
Mark Lindley-Highfield of Ballumbie Castle spends hundreds of pounds each year to secure and repair the castle's security fencing which is broken into by people seeking access to the castle ruins. No one is allowed access beyond the security fencing for safety reasons.
While it is a voluntary role, so for someone keen to see this part of Angus's heritage preserved and to ensure the safety of local residents, the appointment will be made officially, meaning that the incumbent will formally hold the office of Keeper of the Keys of Ballumbie Castle and they will be paid a nominal honorarium each year as recognition of the holding of the office. The role would suit someone who walks by the castle regularly.
As Keeper of the Keys, the role bearer would have the right to apply to display crossed keys behind their Coat of Arms, if this were agreed by the Lord Lyon, Scotland's heraldic chief.
Mark Lindley-Highfield of Ballumbie Castle was recognised in his name by the late Lord Lyon William David Hamilton Sellar in 2010. He took on the castle when a preservation group had to close down as a result of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and it is now held in trust for him and his successors.
Like the local golf club, he has had to report incidents of vandalism to the local police. Even though the castle is visited regularly to check the integrity of the fencing, it is thought that by having someone keeping a watchful eye locally, this damage can be discouraged.
There is a hope to put the structure to some community use in the future, however the first step is to assure its ongoing security.
The application form can be found HERE and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.