Iconic castle needs a new custodian

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ONE of the world’s most iconic castles, which guarded the Scottish crown jewels from Cromwell and his army, is looking for a custodian of its own.

A lucky job hunter could switch their office block for Dunnottar Castle – perched on a clifftop 160ft above the North Sea and reached by navigating a narrow strip of land.

The stunning ruined fortress, just outside Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, dates back to the early Middle Ages.

The fortress dates back to the middle ages
The fortress dates back to the middle ages

 

In the 17th Century it was where the Scottish crown jewels, known as the Honours of Scotland, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army.

The castle has also played host to Mary Queen of Scots, James VI and Charles II over the years.

More recently it used as the set of the 1990 film version of Hamlet starring Mel Gibson.

Now Dunnottar is visited by more than 80,000 people from all over the world every year and needs a new castle deputy to help look after it.

There has already been "a lot of interest" in the job post
There has already been “a lot of interest” in the job post

 

The post was first advertised about a week ago and already there has been “a lot of interest” with CVs flooding in.

Listed among the various duties the job entails is opening and closing the castle, cleaning the castle toilets, collecting entrance fees and making sure visitors stay safe on the clifftop.

“It’s a job that doesn’t come up very often,” explained custodian Jim Wands who will be working alongside the successful applicant.

“It’s a fantastic job. It’s brilliant. To say it’s the best job I’ve ever had is an understatement. There is something new to do every day. I love it.

Jim Wands will be working alongside the successful applicant
Jim Wands will be working alongside the successful applicant

 

“You’re working in one of the most iconic castles in the world. It’s pretty good.”

“The castle looks different every day, it’s just stunning,” continued Jim, who admitted at times the view still “stops me in my tracks”.

“It’s something special. Everyday you can see something different in it.

“Last year there were 89,000 visitors to the castle. There is so much more to it than the view from the cliffs.”

Explaining what a custodian does he said: “It’s trying to make the castle the best visitor experience you can when people visit.

The castle has also played host to Mary Queen of Scots, James VI and Charles II over the years
The castle has also played host to Mary Queen of Scots, James VI and Charles II over the years

 

“It ranges from property maintenance to health and safety, opening the castle to shutting the castle. It’s so varied. It’s like no other job.”

He added: “There are 272 steps into the castle. It is quite physical, you go up them three or four times a day.”

The job description for the role of Deputy Custodian states: “Dunnottar is one of Scotland’s most iconic Castle’s and is currently graded as 4 star by VisitScotland.

“Its importance in Scotland’s history spans the ages.”

The duties include: “Opening the designated areas of the castle to the public.

“Making the public aware of any activity which may be unsafe or unsuitable given the Castle’s cliff top location.”

And: “Assisting the custodian with wedding parties and film companies and any other organised groups visiting.”

Under remuneration it states: “Salary – a competitive remuneration package.”

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