We’re proud to release the story of ‘Steel Bonnets’. Watch the tale of our Border region and the hidden back story of the Border Reivers – robbers & raiders known as the ‘Steel Bonnets’.
The Border Reivers did not see themselves as English or Scottish and developed a certain independence of spirit whose people who were loyal to kin, not kingdom. We raise a toast to those ‘Steel Bonnets’ whose loyalty to their clan is the ultimate celebration of family, friendship and humanity.
The video showcases the best of our Border region – starting at Berwick upon Tweed, whose tumultuous history shows the town swapping control from England to Scotland and back again over 13 times. We take a look at the beautiful Hadrian’s wall, the ultimate demonstration between the English – Scottish divide, finishing up at the spectacular ruins of Workington Hall, where Mary Queen of Scots sought shelter during her last days of freedom in 1568.
We visit traditional pele towers, fortified defensive keeps that were a signature architecture of the time, particularly found in the Cumberland and Westmorland area, where over 90 were built. They were tall but square stone buildings with thick walls, perfect for defensive campaigns during those riotous times.
You can still visit one of the finest examples of a pele tower, located just 30 miles from the Distillery. Gilnockie Tower, or ‘Hollows’ Tower, is the home of the original Armstrong Clan from the 16th century, located in the infamous ‘debateable lands’.
On the border was the Armstrongs – able men, somewhat unruly, and very ill tae tame!
Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie was a Border Reiver – rich and feared, he ran a protection racket right across the Borderland, in a similar style to the mafia. The Clan Armstrong Centre houses reiving artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Armstrong archives. Notably, astronaut Neil Armstrong – the first man to step on the moon – is a direct descendent of the Reivers.‘On the border was the Armstrongs – able men, somewhat unruly, and very ill tae tame!’
Our own ‘Steel Bonnets’ blended malt whisky is a nod to those who put family first – a celebration of kindred spirits; the first blend of English and Scotch malt whisky.
So, raise a glass to family and friends, may they be of the past, present or future.
For more information visit, www.lakesdistillery.com/steelbonnets