6. Brodick Castle / Caisteal Bhreadhaig
Listen to Gaelic translation
Brodick Castle, a former seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, and now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, has a long history which stretches back to the 5th century.
Sitting in extensive gardens, The distinctive castle we see today is largely the work of architect James Gillespie Graham (1776-1855) who extensively remodelled the building in the Scottish Baronial style in 1844 for the 11th Duke William Hamilton (1811-1863) and his new wife Princess Marie Amelie of Baden (1817-1888).
The story of the 11th Duke, his wife, and the artist George Hering are forever intertwined, and in our placemarker we celebrate the contribution of the Hering family to the Isle of Arran.
Hering, George Edwards
Born in London, George Edwards Hering (1805 - 1879) was an English artist primarily known for his landscape paintings. The son of a German craftsman, Hering trained at the Munich Art School, later embarking on a 'Grand Tour' through Italy, Greece, Transylvania and Romania.
On his return to London in 1838 he would publish a selection of sketches made on this trip. It was however the Italian landscape which would become the main focus on his work. A regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, one painting, Amalfi, was acquired by Prince Albert in 1841.
A regular visitor to Arran, Ormidale House was built as a summer house for the now wealthy artist and his wife. In 1846, having lost their first (and only) child at the age of six, the Herings were persuaded to adopt a daughter, Marion, the illegitimate child of the Duke of Hamilton and a local girl.
Hering would go on to paint a series of important landscapes of the island, with his 'View of Brodick Bay' (1857) now hanging in the castle and his romantic depiction of Machrie Moor 'Druidical monuments at dawn in the Isle of Arran' of 1871 now in the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. Hering died in London in 1879 and is buried at Highgate cemetery.
His daughter Marion, who having moved to London from Arran at age 4, would sometimes use the name Jeanie Hering in honour of her adoptive father. She would go on to become a sucessful author of children's books and plays under this pseudonym, some of which were later performed at the Strand.
Marion would later marry the celebrated sculptor John Adams-Acton and both would encourage artists such as Sir Noel Paton, poets such as Robert Browning, and writers such as Lewis Carroll to visit their summer home on the Arran, making it a fashionable destination for middle class audiences.