History

Inveraray Castle, Scotland

This is the view of Inveraray Castle, that you see from the bridge on the road into Inveraray.   For some reason we have yet to visit, even on holiday last year 2016 it didn’t happen.  So for the moment its just the exterior, and in black and white, because it was a grey day and the castle is grey/green …… so it just got lost in colour.  

A little history…The castle was built on a rectangular plan with a sturdy crenellated tower at the centre and circular towers at each corner. The new house bristles with mock-military features including turrets, moats, and slit windows. To provide an uninterrupted view from the castle, the entire burgh of Inveraray was destroyed and rebuilt half a mile away in its current location.   Construction of the castle began in 1743 but took 43 years to complete.

Inveraray, Loch Fyne, Scotland

 

We have had a very busy week-end, showing some visitors around Norfolk, well a little bit of the North Norfolk coast.  So blogging time has been zero, but I did manage to sort a few photos.  Following is a postcard of Inveraray, Scotland, a small town on the western shores of Loch Fyne and the home to Inveraray Castle, which I still haven’t visited.  There are a mixture of black & white and colour photos, these were taken over two holidays that we had in Scotland last year, 2016.  We have passed through the town so many times, if it’s sunny we stop, if it’s raining, then on we drive, but this is the first post about this really interesting little town.

Established in 1745 by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, head of the powerful Clan Campbell, the town is an absolute set piece of Scottish Georgian architecture. Key buildings that are worth visiting include the neoclassical church, and Inveraray Jail and courthouse, now an award-winning museum that graphically recounts prison conditions from medieval times up until the 19th century.

Kilmartin Museum, Kilmartin, Scotland

After we had visited Kilmartin Churchyard and Church, Scotland (I have yet to post) in 2016, we visited the Museum.  The Museum collects and cares for all of the archaeological objects that are found, by chance or excavation in Mid Argyll.   This is really only a taste of what is in the museum, as we were running out of time, but there are a few interesting items that I found.  A little bit about Kilmartin before we go any further …..Kilmartin Glen, in the heart of Mid Argyll, is one of Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscapes. Over 800 historic monuments, cairns, standing stones, stone circles and rock art dating back over 5000 years have been recorded within this area. It just helps to understand why the museum is there.  So the following is just a short trip around the museum.

The above is a copy and the original is in the National Museums of Scotland.  A Carved Slab, Neither Largie North Cairn 4,000 – 1.600 BC….. People may have carved this simple design long before the slab was incorporated into Nether Largie North Cairn.  The below photo from the museum, shows how it was found in 1930, standing upright on the ground surface with the cairn material.

The above stone is again a copy of the Stone Cross, Achadh na Cille, Oibmore, Knapdale 8th-10th centuryAD, which is now in the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum.  One of seven crosses from this site, three of which are still inlace.  It is not possible to give an exact date for the cross, but the earliest ringed crosses are 8th century.  The early Christian crosses from Mid Argyll vary greatly in style.  The first crosses may have been of wood, or even wattle.  The photo show the front and back view of the cross.

This last photo show a carved limestone cross fragment from Kilbride and this is the original article.  It was found at the thirteenth century chapel of Kilbride, the church of  St Brigit, now a derelict building near Kilmartin.  The cross fragment dates to the 9th century, which indicates there was already an ecclesiastical presence on the site when the chapel was constructed.  The spirals and voluted trumpets of the carving are a common theme in early Christian sculpture.

The above photo was just a quick photo of the cottages across the road from the museum, and generally is of the type of buildings in the village as a whole.

May 2016 – Kilmartin

 

 

Lochgilphead War Memorial & Celtic Cross, Loch Fyne, Scotland

We have passed through Lochgilphead, on Loch Fyne, Scotland, quite a few times and I always wonder about the cross at the end of the road, in the above photo you can see it in the distance.  The celtic cross always looks older to me, but it would seem it was erected in 1921.  Although the celtic cross is not of a great age, its still interesting to learn the history and in May 2016, I managed to take some photos from the car as we were passing by.

Some history………The Lochgilphead war memorial is a square pedestal of unusual design with decorative medallions carved with celtic designs and battle honours on the four faces at the upper corners. The pedestal stands on a low circular stepped base and is surmounted by a rustic celtic cross carved in freestone with boss and wheel-head. The commemoration and names of the WWI dead are listed on a bronze panel set into the face of the pedestal. The commemoration and names of the WWII dead are carried on two smaller bronze panels set into the face of two low stone pillars which flank the pedestal.
The monument stands at the junction at the head of the main street, on the sea front overlooking Loch Fyne.
The monument was erected by Glasgow monumental sculptors Messrs. Scott Rae, the daybook entry reads:
Order No. 5805, Lochgilphead, Grey cross, Erected May 1921.

A Wedding, A Poorly Nipper & Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire

We went to Fareham in Hampshire for very special wedding, today 08.08.17, my fathers.  My father who is ninety, married his girlfriend of thirty-four years, his new wife is seventy-two.  The day was beautiful, even though we had some rain, it didn’t matter, the day just shone.  I just wanted to make a note of this special day……so I do not miss their first anniversary, I’m terrible at dates 🙂   Also my oldest dog Nipper is in the vets, we had to rush him there three days ago as he was really very poorly and we found out he has very bad diabetes.  The vets have had to try and level his blood, which we think they have done, although he is still very poorly, he is starting to respond, so fingers cross he will pull though.  Anyway we will continue with the real reason for this post…… Newark Castle in Nottinghamshire.  We visited last year 2016, we had passed Newark several times over the years, but this time we managed to stop.

Newark Castle and Gardens are lovely, formal gardens bordered by the remaining walls of Newark Castle which was partly destroyed in 1646 at the end of the English Civil War. The Castle has stood proudly on the banks of the River Trent for nearly 900 years.

A little history….

The castle’s foundations date back to Saxon times but it was developed as a castle by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1123. Known as the Gateway to the North, the castle endured numerous sieges during the Baronial and English Civil war before it was partially destroyed in 1646.  From the riverside the bulk of Newark Castle looks extremely impressive, looming above the water like a forbidding barrier. It is only when you approach from the town that you realise how ‘one-sided’ the structure is. For on the town side, there are almost no remaining walls, though the towers are still impressive.  

 

 

I also took a mixture of black & white, as the castle grounds are used for weddings and we counted three while we were there.  Although the weather was very cloudy, it was still warm day.

 

 

Balloch Castle Country Park, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Its not often that you get to see a castle being restored, but we did last year 2016.  We had a couple of hours to spare in and around Dumbarton in Scotland, before meeting family, so of course we went off to explore a little.  I had seen a sign for Balloch Castle Country Park, well there must be a castle, so we followed the sign post, and the road went on and on.  Husband started to get a bit twitchy as the road was eating into the little time that we had, and then suddenly there was the entrance.  Couldn’t see any castle from the car park, lots of parkland and beautiful shrubs, but there was no sign for a castle, so maybe there wasn’t one.  Husband went off down a path and I went down another, a shout from husband had me scurrying down his path.  There was the castle, not quite what I was expecting, but non the less quite interesting.

A little history…. The Castle designed by Robert Lugar in 1809 is listed category B, however it is a pioneer of its type and an important house of its date. There are also Stables and two lodges. The site of the 13th century castle is a scheduled ancient monument.

Balloch was for several hundred years the stronghold of the Lennox family. The remains of their old castle, a mound surrounded by a moat, are still to be seen in the south-west of the Park and are scheduled as an ancient monument. In 1390 the Lennoxes moved to the island of Inchmurrin for greater safety but Balloch remained in their ownership until 1652 when the 4th Duke of Lennox sold it to Sir John Colquhoun of Luss. In 1800 the estate was acquired by John Buchanan of Ardoch who commissioned the architect Robert Lugar to build the new Gothic-style castle on the present site. John Buchanan started the laying out of the present landscape, planting unusual trees and shrubs, and his work was continued from 1830 by the next owner, Gibson Stott. Between 1845-1851, the estate was sold again, to Mr A.J. Dennistoun Brown who died in 1890. Glasgow City Corporation bought the 815 acre estate from his Trustees in 1915 in order to improve opportunities for visitors. In 1975, the Park was leased to Dunbarton District Council for a period of thirty years at a nominal rent and in 1980 it was registered as a Country Park

I think a return visit is required, one, to see how the restoration is coming along, two, to see the ancient castle remains and three, to explore the wonderful parkland. 

 

Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Scotland

In 2016, I ticked a castle off my wish list, Kilchurn Castle, one of the iconic castles of Scotland.  We have passed by so many times, and each year I wanted to visit, but I wanted a nice sunny day.  Well I got the sunny day in 2016, we parked in the small car park and then walked to the castle.

The closer we go to the castle, the bigger my smile got, finally I was going to explore one of my favourite castles.  We walked up to the door…….it was locked, we tried again, and still it remained firmly locked……no it was suppose to be open, more people turned up, a discussion follow, but still it stayed well and truly locked.  I did find a window to hold the camera up to, to get a shot of inside, as there wasn’t really any other way of seeing the interior, I got a little glimpse, which will have to do until we go back.

 

 

A little history ………Kilchurn Castle is a ruined structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was first constructed as a five storey tower house with a courtyard in the mid-15th century as the base of the Campbells of Glenorchy, who extended both the castle and their territory in the area over the next 150 years.

By the 17th century, it was a military barracks and in 1760 it was damaged by fire and abandoned. Kilchurn fell out of use and was in ruins by 1770. It is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

After exploring in the sunshine, we made our way back to the car, a little disappointed, but it was still a good visit.  The following photos show you how most people first see the castle from the road, the second is a close up of the same photo, but I have changed it to b&w.