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Re-dedication at Wallakirk.

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Bishop John Jukes explains the service of Re-dedication

for Rafael Gordon of Wardhouse.


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The Marques and Marquesa de Pescara.


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Maria Isabel and Jose Maria

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Javier, Inmaculada, Jose Maria, Bishop John,

Maribel, Jolyon and Sheelagh



Pat Scott
Published on:  September 14, 2001

@Huntly Express

The Marquis and Marchioness of Pescara at the memorial to Rafael Gordon X of Wardhouse and Kildrummie in Wallakirk Churchyard.

A POIGNANT ceremony took place at the ancient Wallakirk Churchyard recently when a memorial was dedicated to a member of the Spanish Gordon family who died nearly seventy years ago.

Rafael Gordon X of Wardhouse and Kildrummie, the V Conde of Mirasol died in Nairn in 1933 and was buried in the Gordon enclosure in Wallakirk Churchyard in Glass.

However, due to all the upheavals taking place in Spain at the time of Rafael’s death, the grave was not marked with a proper gravestone.

The recent book written by Ann Dean and Michael Morrison about the Spanish Gordons and their association with Huntly notes, “All that was left in the cemetery at Wallakirk is a simple wooden cross with no mention of Rafael, save the plaque which he himself had erected in 1913 to commemorate the burial of previous Spanish Gordons there.”

However, on Saturday September 1st, a memorial stone for Rafael was blessed at a service led by Bishop John Jukes of St. Margaret’s Church in Huntly.

Present at the service was Rafael’s granddaughter Maria-Isabel Gordon Sanchiz, Marchioness of Pescara and her husband, Jose-Maria, Marquis of Pescara, members of their family and other friends.

Maria-Isabel Gordon Sanchiz was one of a group of seventeen Spanish Gordons who came to Huntly during Gordon 2000 and stayed at Beldorney Castle.

Having visited the family enclosure in Wallakirk, on her return to Spain, The Marchioness commissioned a restoration of the Gordon Memorial in the churchyard and a memorial stone for the grave of her grandfather.

The Gordon Spanish connection dates back as far as the 18th century when John David Gordon settled in Jerez and with his great uncle began to make a name in the sherry industry.

This sherry link continues today in the Gonzales Byass company.

John David Gordon donated 1,000 of the 1,600 needed to build St. Margaret’s Church in 1834.

Later, seven large mural paintings were sent from Spain to the Church and for many years the Spanish connection with St. Margaret’s was fostered with many members of the Wardhouse Gordons and their guests attending the church regularly.