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Ross Sinclair

Real Life Gordons of Huntly


A Gordon for me, a Gordon for me if you're nae a Gordon you're nae use to me the Black Watch is braw, the Seaforths and a' but the cocky wee Gordon's the pride of them all
A Gordon for Me by Robert Wilson
A contemporary examination of the ancestral home of the Clan Gordon and their world wide diaspora

Glasgow based artist Ross Sinclair joined us over the summer in 2011 to examine the heritage of Huntly’s Gordon clan through a contemporary lens.

The incredible story of the appearance of the Gordons of Huntly after the Battle of Bannockburn was just the beginning of 500 years of extreme drama. For hundreds of years the Gordon Earls and Dukes were some of the most powerful men in Scotland, second only to the Kings and their heirs. Their story comprises power shifts, battles, intrigue, endless castle building, ransacking, (dis)loyalty to the Kings and Queens of the day, death, disinheritance and finally the lack of an heir leading to the passing of the titles with the death of the Last Duchess of Gordon in 1864. That is with the exception of the title of Marquis, which continues nearby to this day with Granville Gordon, 13th Marquis of Huntly and Earl of Aboyne. But what role do the Gordons play in contemporary Scotland?


During his residency Ross tried to activate and illuminate the incredible story of the Gordons which many of the people of Huntly are unfamiliar with. After an initial period of research, meetings, introductions and interviews Ross undertook a series of events and performances including visits to the local Gordon Schools and Real Life Trips carrying various portraits of Gordon nobility through Huntly and up the Clashmach, our local hill. The Real Life Gordons of Huntly was an event where all the residing Gordons in Huntly listed in the phone book were invited to a lunch at the Castle. The Real Life Portable Museum tour of Huntly Gordon History was launched at the end of September, where people walked around town to the significant Gordon sights with banners and posters illuminating the heritage of the castle, the catholic chapel, the Gordon schools etc.

By meeting with local residents and Gordon connections throughout the world, Ross expanded his and our knowledge of the horizons of Huntly and the impact of the Gordon family worldwide.

Below are extracts from a presentation Ross gave about The Real Life Gordon's in Huntly at the AHM Symposium in late 2011, included here as part of the PAR+RS participation season, including the Huntly History Song he recorded with Kim William Gordon and some of the young people from the school.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The Real Life Gordons Huntly History Song


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