Mono

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. 

 

The Humber Bridge

Every time we go over the Humber Bridge, I mean to post about it, for my ‘Bridge Category’, as at the moment that category is a little lacking.  This crossing was made in May 2015 and the views are wonderful, on a sunny day, but this day was a little cloudy, so the photos look better in b&w.  The bridge connects Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and it’s the world’s eighth-longest suspension bridge over the Humber estuary, formed by the rivers Trent and Ouse between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Hessle on the north. 

A little history….Approval for the construction of a suspension bridge was granted in 1959 with the passing of the Humber Bridge Act and the creation of the Humber Bridge Board, although it was not until 1973 that work finally began.

Work on the construction proceeded for eight years, during which time many thousands of tonnes of steel and concrete were used and upwards of one thousand workers and staff were employed at times of peak activity.

The traffic first crossed the bridge on the 24th June 1981.

I found a photo in book, so that you can see what the bridge looks like.

Happiness Is……

Happiness is…… for my Father-in-law, being on a foot plate of a steam engine.  I’m not joking, he had the biggest grin on his face from the start to the finish, he loved every minute.  It was Christmas 2016 and we always visit the train station at Sheringham, on the North Norfolk coast, to see if there are any steam trains in.  Luck was with us, and I think I had a big grin on my face, while I photographed him, 

 

The Lighthouse of Southwold, Suffolk

I got side tracked, this post was meant for something else, but I found another lighthouse, although not a Stevenson Lighthouse, as this one is in the beautiful seaside town of Southwold, on the Suffolk coast, but still a good one for my Lighthouse Category.

We were visiting in February 2016, it was a little cold and overcast, but the sea air was wonderful, blowing away all the cobwebs and making you feel alive.  I have changed all the photos to b&w, as the sky was so heavy, you could hardly make out the lighthouse.

A little history of the lighthouse….Southwold Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1887 as a coastal mark for passing shipping and as a guide for vessels sailing into Southwold Harbour.  Design and planning for the construction of Lighthouse began in 1887 under the supervision of Sir James Douglass, Engineer in Chief to Trinity House. The light is still operational and light is visible for 24 sea miles.  

February 2016

A Snap Shot of Harrogate, Yorkshire

In 2015, I must have had a thing about black & white, as I have found some more photos while sorting through my never ending collection, this time Harrogate in Yorkshire.  I think these were odd ones that I had taken, when taking photos of the ‘The Valley Gardens’ in the town.  They are a random collection of captures, but hopefully give a tiny insight into this lovely Yorkshire Town.  Hopefully the garden will follow shortly, but this time in colour.

Harrogate is a town in North Yorkshire, England, east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Its heritage as a fashionable spa resort continues in the Montpellier Quarter with the Royal Pump Room Museum, documenting the importance of local mineral springs. Nearby is the restored, Moorish-style Turkish Baths & Health Spa. To the west, leafy Valley Gardens features the art deco Sun Pavilion.

2015