Castle Stalker In May – Scotland

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The yellow of the gorse was quite spectacular in Scotland this year, 2016 and in May was at its best.  Luckily this bush has the extra bonus of having one of my favourite castles in the background, Castle Stalker at Appin, a few miles from Oban on the west coast of Scotland

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Just a little history…….In the early 14th century, the MacDougall clan built a small fort where Castle Stalker now stands. After a battle the MacDougalls lost the castle to the Stewarts, who built the early stages of the castle that you see now. In 1620 the castle was lost to the Campbells following a drunken brawl when the Stewart Chief, Duncan exchanged it for an eight-oared galleon, the Campbells claimed their prize in the morning. The castle was left derelict in the 1800’s until its restoration in 1960’s by Lt Col Stewart Allward and his family.

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May 2016

A Post Card From Oban, Scotland

We are not actually in Scotland at the moment, we are in Devon, but as the internet is behaving itself at the moment, I’m taking advantage of it and posting some odd photos of Oban.  These are just a few different ones from our holiday in May 16, the sea food platter was wonderful:)

Church Tree

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We have had beautiful weather here in the East of England, and with the hot weather, visitors appear to keep it company.  I love having visitors to stay, but it does effect my posts and we are now off away again on holiday, so goodness knows when normal postings will resume:)  But hopefully I will get some photos to share.  The above photo is of a church we pass on our way to Fort William from Oban on the west coast of Scotland and I just love the way the tall tree shadows the little church.

May 2016

Belvoir Angel & Crusaders Tomb Slabs, Lismore, Scotland

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Just a couple of odd tomb stones that I can across on the Isle of Lismore, off the west coast of Scotland,  The first is of called a Belvoir Angel, I have only ever seen these as upright headstones, so this was a first for me.  I was really quite surprised to find one on Lismore.  I have seen plenty in New England, US and several here in the Norfolk and Lincolnshire, so this one was a special find for me.  I can only make out This stone is placed here by Arch Black Slate Quarrier, as to the rest of the words, I’m not really sure what they say.  I couldn’t make out a date, but this particular ‘naive’ design of an almost childish moon-like face flanked by triangular winged faces are known locally as ‘Belvoir Angels’ and were intended to depict the soul of the deceased ascending to heaven and normally from the 17th & 18th century.  ( I am not sure yet why they are called Belvoir, but I am sure I will find out:)

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The second stone was in the Heritage Centre, as first I thought it was a copy, but its the real thing.  I found it interesting as one of the ideas about the design is that it was brought back by a Crusader.  So it is possible that this tomb slab, that was found in Lismore grave yard, was that of a Crusader…. just a thought.  I have added a close up of the details, for one thing I just love to see Scottish Gaelic in its written form and also love to hear it.

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Tirefour, Castle Or Broch, Isle of Lismore, Scotland

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One thing I found when we visited the Isle of Lismore, off the west coast of Scotland, back in May 2016, you are really visiting a living museum, there is so much history, on such a small island, it is almost unbelievable.  We were only there for three hours, but we saw so much, you just trip over history with nearly every step.

While we were waiting for the ferry to take us back to Oban, I noticed the remains of Tirefour Castle or Broch, it is also known by other names, but Broch means a prehistoric stone circular tower in Scotland and this Broch is the most significant Iron Age site on the island visible for miles.  We had seen a sign post for the site while we had been driving, but time was short, though when I saw the ruins, I so wished we had made the detour, maybe next year.

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Wild Primrose Bank, Lismore, Scotland

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You can understand why they call the Isle of Lismore, off the west coast of Scotland, the Garden Isle, when you see great swaths of Primroses, Bluebells, Cowslips and Wild Garlic in the Spring.  I just could not get over the amount of these beautiful wild flowers, I’m sure there are many more, but these particular plants were in abundance everywhere.  This area of wild flowers was to the south end of the island and I have no idea if it has a name, but I can only think of one…… Wild Primrose Bank, it was beautiful.  We were visiting in May 2016 and the weather was very overcast, just a shame that there wasn’t an inkling of blue sky, even so it was still a specular sight:)

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Primroses

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Primroses

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Wild Garlic

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Cowslips

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Plus a few ruins, that I just can’t resist:)

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May 2016

A Loch of Lismore, Scotland

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The Isle of Lismore….I’m having trouble leaving this lovely little Island off the west coast of Scotland, just a few more posts to go.  The island has a few small inland lochs and we came across this one in May 2016. It was quite an overcast day, but the sun was trying to grope its way through the clouds and created quite a nice effect on the water, making it shimmer a little in the sun light.

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