‘Very Angry Badger’ Wreaks Havoc at Historic Castle in Scotland

‘Very Angry Badger’ Wreaks Havoc at Historic Castle in Scotland

A 16th century Scottish castle survived decades of battles, attacks, civil war and treason but has been forced to close due to one very angry badger, which has taken up residence in Cellar Tunnel.

Sturdy Construction

Craignethan Castle is an early artillery fortification in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, built around 1530 AD by the influential Hamilton family. While much of it is in ruins, an impressive tower and fortifications have stood the test of time, and thousands of visitors enjoy the castle and its picturesque grounds every year.

Badger in the Basement

However, part of the castle was forced to close to the public on 12 April after a new invader took control of the cellar tunnel – a “very angry badger”, The Independent reports.

Beware the #AngryBadger!

If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger. We're trying to entice it out with cat food & send it home to #chilloot https://t.co/K4C2lA84xD pic.twitter.com/nTuC9VPOuo

— Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 13, 2018

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Historic Scotland didn’t elaborate on why the badger is so angry, but it has been wreaking havoc in the tunnel, digging through loose soil in the stonework and turning some of the areas into rubble. Staff have been unsuccessfully trying to lure it out with cat food and honey, but the badger was having none of it.

Clean-Up

Historic Scotland confirmed via Twitter that the castle’s most recent invader has now vacated the premises and they are “doing a little housekeeping” following its visit.

“While our furry friend left the building over the weekend, we can confirm the #CraignethanCastle cellar tunnel remains closed this week,” Historic Scotland tweeted. “Our work team on-site need to repair some of the stone masonry the badger damaged. The rest of the castle is open for visitors.”

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The original tower house, Craignethan Castle. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0

Castle History

Craignethan Castle was built by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, once head of the second most powerful family in Scotland. He was one of the richest landowners in southern Scotland but was executed by King James V in 1540, after the king became convinced he was plotting against him, an accusation that is believed to be untrue.

In its heyday, the castle hosted many important visitors including Mary, Queen of Scots, who was sheltered there prior to her defeat at the Battle of Langside in 1568.

The castle was attacked in 1579 and given up without a siege. Its defences were demolished and the castle passed to the Hays family and remained with them until placed in State care in 1949. Today it is looked after by Historic Environment Scotland.


    Angry badger forces closure at historic Scottish castle

    Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6:06 PM - A portion of Scotland's Craignethan castle was closed earlier this month after staffers say a "very angry badger" wandered into its cellar tunnel and refused to leave.

    "If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger," reads a portion of an April 13th tweet from Historic Scotland, a government body that oversees the country's historic sites.

    Workers tried unsuccessfully to lure the grumpy animal out with cat food.

    If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger. We're trying to entice it out with cat food & send it home to #chilloot https://t.co/K4C2lA84xD pic.twitter.com/nTuC9VPOuo

    &mdash Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 13, 2018

    The badger refused to leave until it was good and ready -- vacating the space on its own accord over the weekend.

    During its four-day stay inside the tunnel it made a mess, digging up loose soil which was flung into the castle's stonework.

    Officials have confirmed the tunnel is now badger-free but will remain closed while crews clean up after their angry guest. The remainder of Craignethan is open to the public.

    #badgerupdate While our furry friend left the building over the weekend, we can confirm the #CraignethanCastle cellar tunnel remains closed this week. Our work team on-site need to repair some of the stone masonry the badger damaged. The rest of the castle is open for visitors. pic.twitter.com/MgmJVObWnt

    &mdash Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 18, 2018

    Criagnethan castle was built in 1530.

    The forest surrounding the site is said to be full of badgers, so this probably isn't the first time one has wandered inside the building.

    If it ever happens again, the folks at Craignethan will be ready.

    "Thank you to all our friends and followers for sending through their #badger tips," Historic Scotland says in a tweet.

    "We now know badgers much prefer peanuts and even bananas, over cat food. If your castle tunnel is experiencing similar problems, remember the @ScottishSPCA can assist with animal welfare enquiries."


    I didn't have my glasses on….

    Part of castle closed off due to ‘very angry badger’

    The guest was found in the cellar tunnel at Craignethan Castle, South Lanarkshire. The cellar tunnel was shut at around midday on Thursday after staff discovered the unexpected guest. It is thought the animal may have become lost and staff have been trying to lure him out with cat food and honey. The rest of the castle, in South Lanarkshire, remains open to visitors.

    Historic Scotland told visitors about the unusual resident in a tweet, saying: “If you’re heading to Craignethan Castle over the next few days you might find the cellar tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger.”We’re trying to entice it out with cat food and send it home to chill out.”

    Craignethan Castle: Site is a Historic Scotland property

    Staff first spotted some dug-out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection. The animal is said to have caused some mess, digging up through loose soil into stonework, and staff have been clearing away the rubble.

    The Historic Scotland property, managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), was built around 1530 and has a tower house, ramparts and caponier – a stone-vaulted shooting gallery.

    “step aside? i step aside for no beast,

    whether it be a hallowed hedgehog,

    an officious otter, a seasoned squirrel,

    a mutterin’ mole, or a befuddled badger!”

    – brian jacques (redwall series)

    credits: STV News -scotland, british medieval history, historic environment scotland


    Badger takes cat nap

    Craignethan Castle was not the first time a badger has found itself under the wrong roof.

    In October, Scotland's Animal Welfare Charity was called to a home in Linlithgow, west of Edinburgh, after a badger snuck in through a cat flap.

    Animal Rescue officer Connie O'Neil said the badger ate all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed.

    "I got a surprise when I arrived at the property and saw a badger having a nap," Ms O'Neil said.

    "He didn't seem too happy when I tried to move him but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then that the badger noticed the back door was open so made a run for it."

    Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said it was highly unusual for a wild badger to enter a house and urged people not to go near them as they could be aggressive when injured or cornered.


    A 'Very Angry Badger' Which Forced Closure Of Castle In Scotland Has Left The Property

    The staff at Craignethan Castle, a 500-year-old castle in South Lanarkshire near Lesmahagow in Scotland, tweeted last week that part of the castle would not be open to the public due to a "very angry badger." Late last week, a cellar tunnel still remained closed as the badger seemed irritated by people walking on the property.

    A 'Very Angry Badger' Destroyed Some Of The Building Structure In The Tunnels

    The rest of the castle remained open to the public despite the badger's presence and the damage to the masonry. But at some point in the early hours of the weekend in Scotland, the angry badger left the building or left the 500-year-old castle surrounded by an artillery fortification.

    Badgers are woodland creatures that tend to live in the wooded area around Craignethan Castle, but animal welfare assumes that the angry badger got lost or separated from the other local badgers.

    The Very Angry Badger Had Left The Castle During The Weekend

    An 'angry badger' that caused part of a castle to be closed off to the public has left the building https://t.co/LpAzq0if9y pic.twitter.com/9UIUFhdnB7

    &mdash BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) April 18, 2018

    The Angry Badger At The Craignethan Castle Was First Spotted Weeks Ago

    On social media, people suggested everything from putting out cat food, peanuts, and honey for the badger who seemed angry when spotted.


    9 Scottish Castles and One Neolithic Village Are Now Hiring

    Skara Brae

    Scotland

    In medieval times, Urquhart Castle ’s main problem was a centuries-long war for Scottish independence. In an attempt to seize control of the castle, English and Scottish armies subjected Urquhart to a series of bloody battles, devastating raids, and constant storming—a real downer for one of Scotland’s most picturesque castles, seated on the shores of Loch Ness.

    In the 21st century, Urquhart Castle’s greatest problem is stranded tourists. “They arrive by bus and are meant to leave by boat, but sometimes they forget to catch the boat,” says Euan Fraser, the manager of the castle, which is one of many monuments under the purview of Historic Environment Scotland. “And sometimes they say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go on the boat,’ and so we call a taxi.” Urquhart Castle is, technically speaking, a “complete ruin,” Fraser says. The historic site has no rooms that would allow stranded guests to sleep over.

    These problems could soon be yours, as Historic Environment Scotland is hiring for a slew of seasonal visitor associate positions at its various storied ruins. The jobs vary in task but share two things in common: a verdant, sweeping landscape and the chance to work alongside centuries of Scottish history. Applications are open until January 16.

    Now hiring: Kildrummy Castle, also a complete ruin. AJfromCO/CC by 3.0

    Scotland has no shortage of castles, or castle-related jobs: Kismul Castle, Stirling Castle, Lochleven Castle, St. Andrews Castle, Kildrummy Castle, Doune Castle, Dunblane Castle, Craigmillar Castle, and Newark Castle are all hiring. But not all of Scotland’s ruins are so well-fortified. Fraser points to the Blackhouse, a traditional thatched house that a family would have occupied in the 19th century, and Skara Brae, a well-preserved Neolithic village that bustled 5,000 years ago. Unlike Urquhart, Skara Brae actually has rooms an entire replica house was constructed, complete with a fire pit and furniture. It may be a better place to be stranded for the night.

    Though working at a Scottish castle sounds grand, it’s no more fancy than, say, working in a thatched house. Some job responsibilities might have once been common at the historic sites themselves, such as operating a boat to ferry people across Loch Ness or tending the garden. “Some castles have more herbaceous borders, the kind of shrubs that you’d expect of a castle,” Fraser offers as an example. Others tasks are decidedly modern. “We always need someone to oversee the car park,” he says. Occasionally, castle staff have to rid the site of unwanted visitors, such as a very angry badger who famously stormed Craignethan Castle in 2018. And no, you do not have to be Scottish to work at Historic Environment Scotland. In fact, Fraser says it’s even helpful to speak another language, to guide international tourists.

    Skara Brae, a neolithic village and a great place to be stranded. Tom Bastin/CC by 2.0

    Fraser has a degree in engineering, but he’s devoted his career to Scotland’s historic sites. Before Urquhart, he worked at Dallas Dhu Distillery, a historic, single-malt Scotch whisky distillery and another site managed by Historic Environment. “At Dallas Dhu, unlike a working distillery, you can put your head in a still,” he says. After several years at the distillery, Fraser left for a new job at Urquhart—a princely sort of promotion. Now, in his 20th year as the castle manager, he makes sure things run smoothly, and they generally do. “It doesn’t matter if it’s glorious sunshine or a snowy, blizzardy day, a castle is always a beautiful place,” he says.

    Fraser has a few words of advice for all future visitors passing through Urquhart. Come in the summer, around the evening, when there are fewer guests. “You get to see the site better, and wander around on your own,” he says. Dusk at Urquhart is also majestic, as the setting sun casts a shimmering glow over Loch Ness. But he does have one ask: Please remember to catch your boat home.


    Castle visitors warned of ɺngry badger' in cellar tunnel

    Staff at Craignethan Castle, near Lesmahagow, tweeted that a "very angry badger" was in the cellar tunnel of the property.

    Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which manages the site, said staff were in touch with local wildlife welfare authorities.

    It is hoped the badger can be coaxed out of the tunnel with food.

    The tunnel was closed on Thursday.

    A spokesman for HES said the rest of the castle, a residential tower protected by an artillery fortification, remained open to the public.

    He said: "The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost.

    "Staff first spotted some dug out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection.

    "It appears as though the badger has entered the tunnel and caused some mess: digging up through loose soil into stonework.

    "Our work team on-site have since cleared some of the rubble and have tried to lure the badger out with cat food and honey."


    'Very Angry Badger' Seizes Part Of 500-Year-Old Scottish Castle

    The tunnel at Craignethan Castle was closed last week because of the animal, said Historic Scotland, which manages the property. The badger apparently wandered in from the nearby forest, per the BBC.

    It’s not clear what the animal did to leave the impression that it was “very angry”:

    If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger. We're trying to entice it out with cat food & send it home to #chilloot https://t.co/K4C2lA84xD pic.twitter.com/nTuC9VPOuo

    &mdash Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 13, 2018

    Observers on Twitter suggested feeding mushrooms, peanuts and peanut butter to the badger, but cameras sent in on Saturday revealed that Historic Scotland’s cat food plot may have worked, as the creature appeared to have fled the scene.

    However, the badger dug through loose soil and stonework, leaving behind a mess, the Scotsman reported. Although the tunnel will stay shuttered while it’s cleaned, the rest of the castle will be open to tourists.

    Built in 1530, Craignethan is noted for its fortifications, which were built to protect it from artillery and considered ahead of their time. Although a rampart was demolished in 1579, its ruins remain on the grounds.

    Badgers are Scotland’s largest wild carnivores. While they are generally not aggressive toward humans, a wounded or cornered animal may attack ― and in a tunnel such as the one at Craignethan, a badger encountering a human could indeed feel cornered.


    Castle forced to close due to ‘very angry badger’

    Part of a castle had to close after a “very angry badger” was discovered inside.

    Staff found the animal in the cellar tunnel at Craignethan Castle at midday on Thursday and were forced to to shut the area off.

    The badger refused to leave up until the weekend, despite efforts to entice it out with cat food and honey.

    News and analysis, direct from Westminster to your inbox

    “W e believe the badger may have become lost”

    Historic Scotland advised guests that the castle, in South Lanarkshire, was partly closed up until today. The rest of the attraction was open as normal.

    On Saturday morning, Highland Scotland said the badger had left, though not before making a mess.

    Beware the #AngryBadger!

    If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger. We're trying to entice it out with cat food & send it home to #chilloot https://t.co/K4C2lA84xD pic.twitter.com/nTuC9VPOuo

    — Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 13, 2018

    “Our works team have used a GoPro this morning to view the tunnel and it seems our visitor has vacated,” the tourism team posted on social media.

    “We’ll keep the tunnel closed in the interim while we do a little housekeeping following its visit”.

    Craignethan Castle, south of Glasgow, is managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

    Made a mess

    It was built around 1530 and has a tower house, ramparts, and a stone-vaulted shooting gallery.

    An HES spokesman said: “ The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost.

    “Staff first spotted some dug out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection.

    “It appears as though the badger has entered the tunnel and caused some mess: digging up through loose soil into stonework.”


    'Angry Badger' Terrorizes Scottish Castle, Forcing Closures

    Portions of the 16th-century Craignethan Castle in Scotland were shut down last week after a less-than-friendly badger holed up there and refused to leave. Historic Environment Scotland, which manages the site in South Lanarkshire, sent out a tweet last Friday notifying visitors that the property's cellar tunnel would remain closed over the weekend “due to the presence of a very angry badger.” Staff tried to coax it out with cat food and honey, but the badger did what it wanted, and they were unable to move the mammal.

    Beware the #AngryBadger!

    If you're heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger. We're trying to entice it out with cat food & send it home to #chilloot https://t.co/K4C2lA84xD pic.twitter.com/nTuC9VPOuo

    — Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) April 13, 2018

    A spokesman for HES told the BBC, "The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost. Staff first spotted some dug-out earth on Wednesday evening, and later spotted the badger on closer inspection."

    On Saturday, staff used a GoPro camera to check out the tunnel from a safe distance and learned that the badger had left voluntarily, but not before making a mess. The critter dug through both soil and stonework, according to The Scotsman. The castle, an artillery fortification erected around 1530, is already partly in ruins.

    Sandy Stevenson, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Badgers are not typically dangerous, but they can become aggressive if they feel cornered or threatened. They can be seen year-round in Scotland, especially during spring and summer. Earthworms, bird eggs, small mammals, fruit, and roots are among their favorite meals, and they can even be “tempted into your garden by leaving peanuts out—a tasty snack for our striped friends,” the Scottish Wildlife Trust says.


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