Now somewhat obscured by trees, it is a 'hidden gem'. Since 2014, it has been 'B listed' by Historic Environment Scotland and is well described on this web page.
Abdie CC's house is one of the few remaining curling club buildings. It was included in the recently published 'Scotland's Sporting Buildings', that book being reviewed by David Smith, here.
The house was constructed in the mid-1860s, on the site of a older structure. Originally it may have had a thatched roof, before that was replaced by corrugated iron.
Abdie Curling Club has a long history. It was founded in 1831, although curling was played in Abdie Parish long before that date.
The first President of the Abdie Club was Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland of Lindores. I was fascinated to learn that whilst in command of HMS Bellerophon, Captain Maitland received the surrender of Napoleon in June 1815 after Waterloo, and transported him to England. That story can be found here.
The Abdie CC was one of the original clubs listed in the first Annual of the Grand Caledonian Curling Club (as it was called then) in 1838.
see here), wonderful, rare reminders of play on outside ice.
From the markings on this 1895 map, this end of the big loch was shallow. The oldest members of the club recall curling on the area marked by the 'X'.
A report in the Dundee Courier on December 24, 1896, noted that "Lindores Loch is now entirely covered over with ice, the frost of Tuesday having registered 12 degrees. The Abdie curling club played another friendly game yesterday in the vicinity of the Curling house. The ice was strong, but rough."
'Pond hunters' will be asking the question whether the Abdie club manipulated the area to create a natural water pond. Indeed, the Historic Environment Scotland description says, "A man-made curling pond area to the north east of the pavilion is currently overgrown with loch-side vegetation." This is in a different area to that remembered as being curled on recently. More research and survey of the site, and study of the minute books, will be necessary to resolve exactly where the members played over a hundred year period.
The wider expanse of Lindores Loch has often been used for major bonspiels.
The Abdie Curling Club celebrated its 150 year anniversary by publishing a booklet in 1981, Fair and Keen: A Brief History of Abdie Curling Club. That's a great read.
Thanks to Gerry Watson and Alistair Robinson, and other club members, for their warm welcome and stories about the Abdie CC. Original photos are © Bob Cowan. Lady Maitland's sketch is from the Abdie CC's minute book, and reproduced here with permission. The image of Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland was found here. It is from an engraving by Henry Mayer after Samuel Woodforde, and was the frontispiece of the 1904 edition of Frederick Lewis Maitland's 1826 book, The Surrender of Napoleon. The image of Captain James Ogilvy Dalgleish is from The History of Curling, and Fifty Years of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, by John Kerr, David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1890. The map image is from the National Library of Scotland maps site, here.