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May 1, 2009 05:46 - May Highland Games and Festivals

The list of festivals in May is quite extensive. It’s not too hot or not too cool. And everyone’s anxious to get out-of-doors and do something!

If you are planning a Scottish Wedding Theme ~ or would just plain like a good dose of Scottishness, get to one of these Highland Games. At most of the events, you can find local bagpipers to hire or browse tartan sample books. There's always lots of kilts and outfits, everywhere from formal to very casual, to look at. Clan tents have information on your clan's history. The music runs from traditional to rock. And there's lots of Scottish traditions and food to sample.

  • April 30 to May 3, Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia ~ The Australian Celtic Festival
  • May 1 to 2, Greensboro, North Carolina ~ Triad Highland Games
  • May 1 to 3, WaKeeney, Kansas ~ Th’ Gatherin’ Ancient Festival O’ Beltane
  • May 1 to 3, Bridgeport, West Virginia ~ Scottish Festival and Celtic Gathering
  • May 1 to 4, Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland ~ Féile Chois Cuain


    Feile Choise Cuain
    courtesy Louisburgh, Ireland

  • May 2, Maynooth, Ontario, Canada ~ Maynooth Celtic Festival
  • May 2 to 3, Chatham, New York ~ Celebration of Celts
  • May 8 to 10, Carrollton, Kentucky ~ Kentucky Scottish Weekend
  • May 9, Farmington, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games
  • May 9, Frederick, Maryland ~ Frederick Celtic Festival
  • May 9, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania ~ Phoenixville Celtic Street Fair
  • May 9, Savannah, Georgia ~ Savannah Scottish Games and Highland Gathering
  • May 9 to10, Winston-Salem, North Carolina ~ Winston-Salem Celtic Music Festival & Highland Games
  • May 10, Hoeilaart, Belgium ~ Hoeilaart Highland Games


    Hoeilaart Highland Games
    Poster courtesy Team Hoeilaart

  • May 10, Inverclyde, Scotland ~ Gourock Highland Games

    Gourock Highland Games 1956
    courtesy Gourock Highland Game

  • May 11 to 15, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ~ CelticFest Vancouver
  • May 15 to 17, Albuquerque, New Mexico ~ Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival & Highland Games
  • May 15 to 17, Edinboro, Pennsylvania ~ Edinboro Highland Games
  • May 15 to 17, Fitchburg, Wisconsin ~ Fitchburg Days
  • May 15 to 17,Gatlinburg, Tennessee ~ Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games
  • May 15 to 30, Bridgeport, Barbados ~ Celtic Festival
  • May 16, Aiken, South Carolina ~ Aiken Highland Games & Celtic Festival
  • May 16, Courtenay, British Colombia, Canada ~ Comox Valley Highland Games
  • May 16, Eugene, Oregon ~ Eugene Scottish Festival
  • May 16, Fair Hill, Maryland ~ Colonial Highland Gathering
  • May 16, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada ~ Moose Jaw Highland Games
  • May 16, Newark, Delaware ~ Fair Hill Scottish Games
  • May 16, Nottingham, South Africa ~ Fort Nottingham Highland Gathering
  • May 16, Prescott, Arizona ~ Prescott Highland Games
  • May 16, Richmond, Rhode Island ~ Rhode Island Highland Scottish Festival
  • May 16, San Francisco, California ~ O’Reilly’s Oyster and Beer Festival
  • May 16, Tallahassee, Florida ~ Tallahassee Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival
  • May 16 to 17, Houston, Texas ~ Houston Highland Games and Celtic Festival
  • May 16 to 17, Livermore, California ~ Livermore Scottish Games & Celtic Festival
  • May 16 to 17, Springfield, Illinois ~ Springfield Highland Games and Celtic Festival
  • May 16 to 17, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada ~ Victoria Highland Games
  • May 17, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada ~ Saskatchewan Highland Games
  • May 22 to 23, Mint Hill, North Carolina ~ Mint Hill Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • May 22 to 25, Chicago, Illinois ~ Irish Fest
  • May 23, Berry, New South Wales, Australia ~ Berry Celtic Festival
  • May 23, Kingston, Ontario ~ Kingston Celtfest
  • May 23 to 24, Alma, Michigan ~ Alma Highland Festival and Games
  • May 23 to 24, Costa Mesa, California ~ United Scottish Society of Southern California Scottish Festival
  • May 23 to 24, East Durham, New York ~ East Durham Irish Festival
  • May 24, Lippo Karawaci, Jakarta, Indonesia ~ Jakarta Highland Gathering
  • May 28 to 31, Lucas, Kentucky ~ Glasgow Highland Games
  • May 29 to 31, Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, Canada ~ Gathering of the Scots Festival
  • May 29 to June 1, Rorshach, Switzerland ~ Celtic Days on Lake Constance
  • May 30, Bathgate, Scotland ~ Bathgate and West Lothian Highland Games
  • May 30, Gloucester City, New Jersey ~ Celtic Celebration on the Waterfront
  • May 30, Hartville, Ohio ~ Brigadoon Beltane Festival
  • May 30. Louisville, Kentucky ~ Louisville Feis
  • May 30 to 31, Glasgow, Kentucky ~ Glasgow Highland Games

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Coming Monday, the castles of Argyll and Bute…

May 4, 2009 06:30 - Castles of Scotland ~ Argyll and Bute

[Editor’s Note: Carnasserie Castle, Dunsraffnage Castle, and Inveraray Castle have been edited to include the source for specific castle computer themes and screensavers]

These are the castles located in Argyll and Bute which could be used as a basis for a children’s castle for your wedding reception.

The B. Beacham website also cross references family names and castles.

  • Achallader Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Ardencaple Castle, 12th century, demolished, seat of Clan MacAulay


    Ardencaple Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Barcaldine Castle


    Barcaldine Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Calgary Castle

  • Carnasserie Castle, ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Carnasserie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Carrick Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins


    Carrick Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Claig Castle, Isle of Fraoch Eilean, foundation ruins

  • Craignish Castle, Adfern, baronial house, rebuilt


    Craignish Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Duart Castle, Isle of Mull, 12th century, restored, seat of Clan McLean


    Duart Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunans Castle, Glendaruel, baronial house, restored


    Dunans Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunaverty Castle, Kintyre, 13th century, ruins

  • Dundarave Castle, seat of Clan MacNaughten

  • Dunollie Castle, Oban, tower house, 13th century, ruins


    Dunollie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunsraffnage Castle, enceinte, 1220, ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.



    Dunstaffnage Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Duntrune Castle, Argyll, tower house 12th century, residence of clan chief, seat of Clan Malcolm


    Duntrune Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunyvaig Castle, Islay, courtyard castle, 13th century, ruins

  • Fincharn Castle, Glengorm,

  • Gylen Caster, Kerrara, tower house, ruins


    Gylen Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Innes Chonnel Castle


    Innis Chonnell Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Inveraray Castle, Inveraray, castellated house, 1746, residence of Duke of Argyll, seat of Clan Campbell

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Inveraray Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kames Castle, Isle of Bute, tower house, 14th century, private residence


    Kames Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, tower house 15th century, ruins


    Kilchurn Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kilmahew Castle, Cardross, tower house, 16th century, ruins


    Kilmahew Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kilmartin Castle, Z-plan tower house

    Kilmartin Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kilmory Castle, Lochgilhead, castellated house, 19th century, offices


    Kilmory Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lachlan Castle, ruins


    Lachlan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Minard Castle


    Minard Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Moy Castle


    Moy Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Rothesay Castle, Rothesay, shell keep, 13th century, ruins


    Rothesay Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Saddell Castle


    Saddell Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Skipness Castle, Skipness, 13th century, ruins


    Skipness Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle Stalker, Loch Laich, tower house, 15th century, seen in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as Castle Aaaaarrrrrggghhh


    Castle Stalker image courtesy Wikipedia


    Castle Stalker image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Castle Sween , 12th century, ruins

    Castle Sween image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Tarbert Castle


    Tarbert Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Torosay Castle, Isle of Mull, baronial house, 1858, unoccupied residence


    Torosay Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Torrisdale Castle

  • Castle Toward, Argyll, baronial house, 1940, currently an educational centre


    Toward Castle ruins image courtesy Photos by Eleanor


    New Toward Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

Tomorrow, the castles of Clackmannanshire

May 5, 2009 07:30 - Castles of Scotland ~ Clackmannanshire

Known in Gaelic as Siorrachd Chlach Mhannainn, nicknamed "the wee county" and sometimes called Clacks, this is the smallest county in Scotland.

The area’s claim to fame is their annual tap dance festival called Clack, Clack Clackmannanshire.

  • Alloa Tower, 14th century, seat of Clan Erskine


    Alloa Tower Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Broomhall Castle, baronial house, 1874, now a hotel

  • Clackmannan Tower, tower house, 14th century, ruins, seat of Clan Bruce


    Clackmannan Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle Campbell, courtyard castle, 15th century, ruin, also known as Castle Gloom

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Campbell Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Menstrie Castle, tower house, 16th century, currently let as flats, seat of Clan Abercrombie


    Menstrie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of Dumfries and Galloway…

May 6, 2009 07:03 - Castles of Scotland ~ Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway have been combined into one council area. They sit in the southernmost area of Scotland. Dumfries is famous as the hometown of Robert Burns. It’s also a sister city to Annapolis, Maryland.

Galloway is an ancient city, known to Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The black, hornless beef cattle, also called Galloway, are native to the area.

A great number of castles are found in Dumfries and Galloway ~

  • Abbot’s Tower, L-plan tower house, late 16th century , restored in 1990; private residence


    Abbot's Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Amisfield Tower, tower house, 17th century, private residence, also known as Hempisfield Tower

  • Auchen Castle, courtyard castle, 14th century, ruins, also the name of a nearby baronial house of 1849

    Auchen Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Auchenrivock Tower, L-plan tower house, late 16th century, ruins on the Buccleuch Estate

  • Auchenskeoch Castle, Z-plan tower house, 17th century, ruins, o Z-plan tower in Galloway

  • Baldoon Castle, tower house, 17th century, ruins

  • Balmangan Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Barclosh Castle, oblong plan tower house, late 16th century, ruins

  • Barholm Castle, tower house, 15th century, private residence


    Barholm Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Barjarg Tower, L-plan tower house, late 16th century, progressively restored since 18th century

  • Barscobe Castle, L-plan tower house, 1648, restored 1971

  • Blackethouse Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Blacklaw Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Bonshaw Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century

  • Boreland Tower, tower house, late 16th century or early 17th century

  • Breckonside Pele, pele tower, late 16th or early 17th century, ruins

  • Breckonside Tower, oblong plan tower house, c. 1591, ruins

  • Brydekirk Tower, tower house, 16th century, ruins forming part of the outbuildings at Brydekirk Mains farm

  • Caerlaverock Castle, courtyard castle, 13th century, ruins, seat of Clan Maxwell

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Caerlaverock Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cardoness Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins


    Cardoness Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Carsluith Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins

    Carsluith Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castlemilk Tower, tower house, 15th century, demolished c. 1707

  • Closeburn Castle, tower house, 14th century, private residence


    Closeburn Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Comlongon Castle, tower house, 15th century with 19th century extensions, restored as a hotel


    Comlongon Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cornal Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Corra Castle, 17th century house remains

  • Crawfordton Tower, trapezoid plan tower house, ruins

  • Cruggleton Castle, motte and bailey, 12th century, ruins

  • Cumstoun Castle, oblong plan tower house, c. 1500, ruins

  • Dalswinton Tower, Z-plan tower house, early 16th century, ruins

  • Drumcoltran Tower, L-plan tower house, late 16th century


    Drumcoltran Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Drumlanrig Castle, Renaissance house, 17th century, Duke of Buccleuch residence, on the site of an earlier castle


    Drumlanrig Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dundeugh Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Dunskey Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins


    Dunskey Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Earsltoun Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century, decayed, roof maintained, used as farm store

  • Edingham Castle, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins


    Edingham Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Eliock Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Elshieshields Tower, tower house, 16th century, restored

  • Fourmerkland Tower, oblong plan tower house, 1590

  • Frenchland Tower, oblong plan tower house, late 16th or early 17th century, ruins

  • Friar’s Carse

  • Gillesbie Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Gilnockie Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, private residence, also known as Hollows Tower


    Gilnockie Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Glenae Tower, tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Hills Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, restored c. 1930 , retains barmkin and gatehouse


    Hills Tower image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Hoddom Castle, fortified enclosure containing L-plan tower house, 1565

  • Isle Tower, oblong plan tower house, 1587

  • Isle of Whithorn Castle, tower house 1674, residence, originally known as The Isle


    Isle of Whithorn Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kenmure Castle, castle, 16th century

  • Castle Kennedy, tower house, 14th century, ruins, owned by the Earl of Stair, on the grounds of Lochinch Castle with extensive gardens, seat of Clan Kennedy


    CAstle Kennedy image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Kinnelhead Bastle-House, oblong plan bastle-house, ruins

  • Kirkconnell Tower, tower house, 15th century, private residence

  • Lag Tower, oblong plan tower house, ruins

  • Langholm Tower, tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Lochar Tower, rectangular plan tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Lochhouse Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, privatge residence


    Lochhouse Tower image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Lochinch Castle, baronial house, 1867, Earl of Stair residence


    Lochinch Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Lochmaben Castle, castle of enceinte, 14th century, ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Lochmaben Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lochwood Castle, L-plan tower house, 15th century, ruins, also known as Lochwood Tower


    Lochwood Tower image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Lochnaw Castle, tower house, 16th century with large 17th century additions

  • Lockerbie Tower, oblong plan tower house, 16th century, demolished in 1967 to make way for present police station

  • MacLellan’s Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins


    MacLellan’s Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Mellingshaw Tower, tower house, 16th century, ruins

  • Morton Castle, courtyard castle, 15th century preceded by a 13th century castle, ruins


    Morton Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Mouswald Tower, oblong plan tower house, c. 1562, ruins

  • Orchardton Tower, tower house, 15th century, ruins


    Orchardton Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle of Park, tower house, 16th century, restored as holiday accommodation

  • Raecleugh Tower, tower house, ruins

  • Repentence Tower, tower house, 1565

  • Robgill Tower, tower house

  • Sanquhar Castle, courtyard castle, 15th century partially restored in the 19th century,
    ruins


    Sanquhar Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Sorbie Tower, tower house, 16th century, ruins


    Sorbie Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle of St. John, tower house, 16th century, restored museum

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


  • Threave Castle, tower house, 14th century, ruins


    Threave Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Tibber’s Castle, motte and bailey, 13th century, ruins

  • Torthorwald Castle, oblong plan tower house, 14th century, ruins


This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of the City of Dundee…


May 7, 2009 08:16 - Castles of Scotland ~ the City of Dundee

Dundee sits on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which flows into the North Sea. Over the years Dundee has been known for exporting wool produced in Angus, weaving jute, marmalade, and ship-building.

The castles are few, with Mains Castle being the only courtyard castle.

  • Broughty Castle, tower house, 15th century, currently a museum


    Broughty Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Claypotts Castle, Z-plan tower house, 16th century


    Claypotts Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Dudhope Castle, extended tower house, 15th century, currently offices


    Dudhope Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Mains Castle, courtyard castle, 16th century


    Main’s Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Powrie Castle, Z-plan tower house, 16th century with 17th century restored wing , ruins

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of East Ayrshire…

May 8, 2009 07:08 - Castles of Scotland ~ East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire has a sister city in Sukhumi, Georgia.

Remembering that Robert Burns came from this area and Scotland is celebrating his 250th birthday this year, two interesting events being held in Easy Ayrshire are ~

  • Mauchline Holy Fair celebrates Burns’ most famous poem The Holy Fair, written in Muachline b between 1784 and 1786

  • Mauchline Plough Match is held on Mossgiel Farm, home of Robert Burns, also known as the ploughman Poet. In honor of Burns, a ploughing match will be held on the farm.

The castles of East Ayrshire ~


  • Aiket Castle, private residence


    Aiket Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Barr Castle, tower house, 15th century, currently a Masonic Lodge, also known as Lockhart Tower


    Barr Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Busbie Castle, tower house, 14th century, ruins in garden of private residence, demolished in the 1950s

  • Caprington Castle, tower house, 15th century extended into a baronial house c. 1830, private residence


    Caprington Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Carnell Castle, tower house, 15th century extended into a baronial house c. 1843, private residence and hotel

  • Cessnock Castle, tower house, 13th century, private residence


    Cessnock Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Corsehill Castle, tower house, ruins


    Corsehill Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Craigie Castle, ruins


    Broughty Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Craufurdland Castle, tower house, 14th century extended into a gothic house in the 19th century, private residence


    Craufurdland Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Dean Castle, courtyard castle, 14th century, currently a museum

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Dean Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunlop Castle, ruins


    Dunlop House Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Kilmaurs Castle, ruins, replaced by Kilmaus Place, seat of Clan Cunningham

  • Kingencleuch Castle

  • Lainshaw Castle, incorporated into Lainshaw House


    Lainshaw Castle 1779 courtesy Wikipedia

  • Loch Doon Castle, ruins


    Loch Doon Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Loudoun Castle, ruins on the grounds of a theme park


    Loudoun Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Mauchline Castle


    Mauchline Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Newmilns Tower

  • Ravenscraig Castle, ruins

  • Riccarton Castle

  • Robertland Castle, motte, Robertland House built from the remains


    Robertland Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor


  • Rowallan Castle, on the grounds of a golfing development


    Rowallan Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Sorn Castle


    Sorn Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Templehouse Fortalice

  • Terringzean Castle, ruins

  • Trabboch Castle


    Trabboch Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming Monday, the castles of East Dunbartonshire…

May 11, 2009 06:42 - Castles of Scotland ~ East Dunbartonshire

On the south, East Dunbartonshire borders the city of Glasgow and is mainly urban. To the north it‘s mostly rural upland, including the Kilpatrick Hills and Campsie Fells.

Campsie Fells, a wilderness area of unspoiled beauty, is popular for hiking and biking, particularly along The Crow Road. Due to steep slopes and prior accidents, a local expression for death is He’s away the Crow Road. The Campsie Fault has tiers of rock that display 30 lava flows. There are also waterfalls of great beauty.

In the U.S., Dunbarton, New Hampshire was renamed in 1765. Archibald Stark, an immigrant from Dunbartonshire, was a prominent settler. Dunbarton was the home of Robert Rogers, commander of the Rogers’ Rangers, who rose to fame during the French and Indian Wars.

The castles are

  • Bardowie Castle, tower house, 16th century

  • Craigend Castle, castellated mansion, 1812, ruins, built over an older castle site

    Craigend Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of East Lothian…


May 12, 2009 06:28 - Castles of Scotland ~ East Lothian

Sitting on the Firth of Forth, East Lothian is bordered by the City of Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, and Midlothian.

East Lothian is the birthplace of

  • Alexander II King of Scots
  • John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church
  • John Muir ~ naturalist and conservationist who fathered the U.S. National Park System while preserving the Yosemite area
  • The Reverend Doctor John Witherspoon who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence
  • William Dunbar, a Medieval poet

The Castles of East Lothian ~

  • Auldhame Castle, tower house, 16th century, ruins


    Auldhame Castle image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Ballencrieff Castle, tower house, 1507 & 1586


    Ballencrieff Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Barnes Castle, uncompleted castle, ruins


    Barnes Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • The Bass, curtain wall and keep, 16th century, ruins, stone used to build the lighthouse, can be viewed on a sightseeing boat-trip


    The Bass Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Black Castle

  • Dirleton Castle, fortress, 13th century, partial ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Dirleton Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunbar Castle, ruins


    Dunbar Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Fa’side Castle, tower house with altered keep, keep from 15th century, also called Fawside and Falside


    Fa-side Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Fenton Tower, tower house, 1587, luxury hotel and wedding venue


    Fenton Tower image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Garleton Castle, courtyard castle, 16th century

  • Hailes Castle, keep and ranges, keep 14th century, ranges and towers 15th and 16th centuries, ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Hailes Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Luffness Castle, tower house, 16th century, on site of 13th century castle, sometimes known as Luffness House or Aberlady Castle

  • Preston Tower, L-plan keep, 15th century, ruins, two stories added in 17th century


    Preston Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Redhouse Castle, courtyard castle, 16th century, ruins


    Hailes Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Saltoun Castle, Elizabethan house, 16th century, incorporates remnants of 12th century castle


    Saltoun Hall image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Stoneypath Tower, tower house, 16th century

  • Tantallon Castle, courtyard castle, 14th century, seat of Clan Douglas

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Auldhame Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Whittingehame, keep, 15th century


    Whittingehame Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Yester Castle, castle and keep, 13th century, ruins, also known as the Goblin Ha’


    Yester Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of East Renfrewshire…

May 13, 2009 05:57 - Castles of Scotland ~ East Renfrewshire

Bordering Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, East Renfrewshire has at least two claims to fame ~ the Giffnock Quarries which have processed their famous honey-colored stones since 1835. Glasgow University and many buildings around the world have used this stone.

Secondly is the parachute jump of Nazi Rudolf Hess, who landed on a secret mission for peace negotiations. The landing was botched, leading to the capture and arrest of one of Hitler’s top deputies.

The castles of East Renfrewshire are ~

  • Caldwell Castle, tower thought to have been part of a courtyard castle, possibly 16th century


    Caldwell Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cathcart Castle, 15th century
    Mary, Queen of Scots is supposed to have spend the night here before being defeated at the Battle of Langside in 1568.

  • Mearns Castle, tower house, 15th century, currently a church

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of the City of Edinburgh…

May 14, 2009 06:28 - Castles of Scotland ~ City of Edinburgh

Edinburgh overflows with history, including these castles ~

  • Craigcrook Castle
    Among renowned past guests are Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Anderson, George Eliot and Lord Tennyson


    Craigcrook Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Craiglockhart Castle, tower house, 13th century, ruins


    Craiglockhart Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Craigmillar Castle, keep and ranges, 14th century with 15th century towers and curtain wall and 16th century walled courtyard, ruins


    Craigmillar Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dundas Castle, keep, 15th century, ruins, seat of Clan Dundas


    Dundas Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Edinburgh Castle, fortress, 15th century, sits on site of castles before the 10th century

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Edinburgh Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • The Royal Palace of Holyrood House, quadrangle, 15th century.
    Holyrood is an anglicisation of the Scottish Haly Ruid, meaning Holy Cross.

    Holyrood is owned by the government, while Balmoral is owned by the royal family. Many Kings and Queens of Scotland have been born, married, crowned, and laid to rest at Holyrood. Each summer Queen Elizabeth resides at Holyrood for a week to host official ceremonies and garden parties.

    .


    The Royal Palace of Holyrood image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Lauriston, L-plan tower house, 16th century


    Lauriston Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Liberton Tower, tower house, 17th century


    Liberton Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Merchiston Castle, keep, 15th century


    Merchiston Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of Falkirk…

May 15, 2009 06:33 - The Castles of Scotland ~ Falkirk

Falkirk’s name derives from a church built of many-colored stones, thus "the variegated, or speckled, church".

The area has been of great importance ever since the Romans built the Antonine Wall from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. Remains of the wall and it’s forts still remain in Falkirk.

In recent times the Falkirk Wheel is part of the canal system that connects Glasgow with Edinburgh. Originally the canal had 11 locks, which the wheel replaces.


Falkirk Wheel image courtesy Wikipedia

The city of Falkirk is a sister city to San Rafael, California.

The Castles of Falkirk ~

  • Airth Castle, 14th century castle with 12th century church ruins, currently a hotel


    Airth Castle courtesy Wikipedia

  • Almond Castle


    Almond Castle courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Blackness Castle, 3 towers in walled courtyard, 1440


    Blackness Castle courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Callendar House, a 15th century Georgian Mansion styled as a French Chateau. It has hosted Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Queen Victoria.

    The estate was awarded to Thanes of Callendar. It passed to the Livingston’s through marriage. After the Battle of Culloden, the estate fell into disrepair and was bought at auction by industrialist, William Forbes. Most of the estate is still held by the Forbes family.


    Callendar House image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle Cary Castle, or Castlecary Castle, tower house, 15th century


    Castlecary Castle courtesy Falkirk Local History Society


  • Elphinstone Tower, tower house, 14th century

    Elphinstone Tower courtesy Falkirk Local History Society

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming Monday, the castles of Fife…

May 18, 2009 05:52 - Castles of Scotland ~ Fife

Fife is a peninsula lying between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth. It’s one of the original Pictish kingdoms known as the Kingdom of Fib. Within Scotland it’s still called the Kingdom of Fife.

The castles of Fife ~

  • Aberdour Castle, tower house, 13th century

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Aberdour Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Arnot Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins, seat of Clan Arnot, currently a wedding venue, currently listed for sale


    Arnot Tower image courtesy Rampant Scotland

  • Balgonie Castle, tower house, 14th century, set on fire by Rob Roy MacGregor, restored as residence and wedding venue

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Balgonie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Ballinbreich Castle, L-plan tower house with curtain wall, 14th century, once owned by Clan Leslie

    The name is a corruption of the Gaelic , which means town of trouts.


    Ballinbreich Castle image courtesy Electric Scotland

  • Balwearie Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins

    A Scottish Ballad The Wronged Mason tells of one Lambert Lamkin who is hung on the dule-tree of Balwearie Castle in Fife.

    Sir Michael Scot was born in the latter part of the twelfth century. There are many tales about Michael and his reputation as a wizard. Learned and well traveled, Michael worked for the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. He was friends with Pope Gregory IX and Pope Honorius III.

    Due his dalliances with magical arts and astrology, Michael was featured in Dante’s Inferno. Local legend claims that Michael conjured up demons to build the road up to his castle and when the road was finished the demons wanted more work. To rid himself of them Michael gave them the task of weaving ropes out of the wet sand on Kirkcaldy’s shore. The task was so difficult that they are still employed there to this day.


    Balwearie Castle image courtesy
    Royal Commission on the Ancient
    and Historical Monuments of Scotland

  • Collairnie Castle, tower house, 16th century


    Collairnie Tower image courtesy Maire Stuart Society

  • Couston Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century


    Couston Castle image courtesy Morris and Steedman Associates

  • Culross Palace, T-plan merchant’s house with courtyard walls, 1597


    Culross Palace image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dairsie Castle, Z-plan tower house, 16th century, built on previous castle sight


    Dairsie Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Denmylne Castle, cross-shaped tower house, 1560

    Mylne is Gaelic for mill, thus the castle’s name. The Den Mill remains can still be seen. There is a marriage lintel above the door, dated 1625 with the initials of Michael Balfour and Joanna Durham. Read more about Scottish Marriage Stones in the June 18 and 19, 2008 blogs.


    Denmylne Castle image courtesy Geographic British Isles

  • Earlshall Castle, L-plan tower house, 1546, built by Sir William Bruce.

    Chessmen topiary, rescued as mature yew trees from an abandoned garden in Edinburgh, can be found in the gardens.


    Earlshall Castle image courtesy Skip Nolan

  • Falkland Palace, historic house, built between 1450 and 1541, former royal palace

    The gardens include the original tennis court, built in 1539. It‘s the world’s oldest court still in use.


    Falkland Palace image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Fernie Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century with 19th century Baronial additions


    Fernie Castle image courtesy You Stay UK

  • Fordell Castle, tower house, 1567


    Fordell Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Halyards Palace, courtyard wall, 16th or 17th century, ruins, renamed Canmore

  • Kellie Castle, T-plan tower house, 1360 and 1573 to 1606


    Kellie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lochore Castle, 1160, also called Inchgall or Isle of the Strangers, on an island on Loch Ore


    Lochore Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Lordscairnie Castle, L-plan tower house, 1495


    Lordscairnie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • MacDuff Castle, tower house, 14th and 16th centuries, ruins


    MacDuff Castle image courtesy Rampant Scotland

  • Myres Castle, Z-plan fortress, circa 1530


    Myres Castle image courtesy Visit Scotland


  • Newark Castle, 17th century, ruins, also known as St. Monance Castle


    Newark Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Pinreavie Castle, U-shaped plan, 1615

  • Pitreavie Castle, 15th century, but considerably altered two centuries later. ruins


    Pitreavie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Ravenscraig Castle, towers, 1460, ruins


    Ravenscraig Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Rossend Castle, 1119


    Rossend Castle image courtesy Wikipedia


  • Rosyth Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins


    Rosyth Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Rumgally House, hunting lodge, 15th century, currently a B&B


    Rumgally House image courtesy Rumgally House Bed and Breakfast

  • St Andrews Castle, ruins

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    St. Andrews Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Scotstarvit Tower, L-plan tower house, 16th century,

  • Wemyss Castle, 1421, historic house


    Wemyss Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

This B. Beacham website cross references Scottish family names and castles.

Coming tomorrow, the castles in the city of Glasgow…

May 19, 2009 08:37 - Castles of Scotland ~ City of Glasgow

In 540 Saint Mungo became the bishop of glas cau, meaning green hollow, which evolved into dear green place.

The Clyde Auditorium, nicknamed The Armadillo, was designed as ships’ hulls to celebrate Glasgow’s shipbuilding past.

Sitting on the River Clyde, Glasgow became a major trade center with the Americas. Though Glasgow has no sister cities in the U.S., there are Glasgows in the and Canada ~

  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky (annual Highland Games)
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

The Castles of Glasgow ~

  • Bishop’s Castle, irregular X-plan tower, 15th century with 1544 gatehouse, also known as Glasgow Castle


    Bishops Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cathcart Castle, rectangular tower house with curtained wall, mid-15th century


    Cathcart Castle image courtesy Electric Scotland

  • Crookston Castle, irregular X-plan tower with 12th century earthworks


    Crookston Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The Darnley Stewarts replaced the early castle with the present stone structure around 1400. Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, married Mary, Queen of Scots. It’s thought they became betrothed under a yew tree at Crookston. In 1816, the yew tree was felled.

    Robert Tannahill, a contemporary poet of Robert Burns, wrote a poem about the castle and Mary ~


    Through Cruikston Castle’s Lonely Wa’s

    Through Cruikston Castle's lonely wa's
    wintry wind howls wild and dreary;
    Though mirk the cheerless e'ening fa's,
    Yet I ha'e vow'd to meet my Mary.
    Yes, Mary, though the winds should rave
    Wi' jealous spite to keep me frae thee,
    The darkest stormy night I'd brave,
    For ae sweet secret moment wi' thee.

    Loud o'er Cardonald's rocky steep
    Rude Cartha pours in boundless measure;
    But I will ford the whirling deep
    That roars between me and my treasure.
    Yes, Mary, though the torrent rave,
    Wi' jealous spite, to keep me frae thee;
    Its deepest flood I'd bauldly brave,
    For ae sweet secret moment wi' thee.

    The watch-dog's howling loads the blast,
    And makes the nightly wand'rer eerie;
    But when the lonesome way is past,
    I'll to this bosom clasp my Mary.
    Yes, Mary, though stern winter rave
    Wi' a' his storms to keep me frae thee,
    The wildest, dreary night I'd brave,
    For ae sweet secret moment wi' thee.

    Robert Tannahill

  • Haggs Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century


    Haggs Castle image courtesy The Glasgow Story

  • Patrick Castle, 1611, demolished circa 1830


    Patrick Castle image courtesy The Glasgow Story

Coming tomorrow, the castles of The Highlands…


May 20, 2009 12:58 - No Blog Today

Due to illness, there will be no blog today. Tomorrow, the Castles of the Highlands will be featured...

May 21, 2009 10:09 - Castles of Scotland ~ The Highlands

The Highlands are defined as the rugged, mountainous region above the Highland Boundary Fault. One of the least populated areas of Europe, the people fled after the Battle of Culloden during The Highland Clearances. They emitgrated to the Americas, Australia, and the cities as the Industrial Revolution began.

Yet today, with the fewest people, it has the most castles, running the gamut from ruins, to personal homes and hotels ~

  • Achnacarry Castle, Scottish Baronial style, 1802, 1655 castle destroyed after Battle of Culloden, in Fort William, seat of Clan Cameron


    Achnacarry Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Ackergill Tower, oblong tower house, 1400’s, in Wick, seat of Clan Keith


    Ackergill Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Ardtornish Castle, tower, in Movern, seat of Clan Donald, then Clan MacLean


    Ardtornish Castle image courtesy Clan MacDonald

  • Ardvreck Castle, tower house, 1590, in Sutherland, seat of Clan MacLeod


    Ardvreck Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Armadale Castle, mansion house 1790, Baronial style added in 1815, on Isle of Skye, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald


    Armadale Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Balnagown Castle, 14th century, in Alness


    Balnagown Castle image courtesy Rampant Scotland

  • Beaufort Castle, 1870’s, in Beauly, Ancient seat of Clan Fraser


    Beaufort Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    Photographed during construction the 15th Lord Lovat poses for the camera.

  • Braal Castle, tower house, mid-14th century, in Caithness, originally Castle of Brathwell

  • Brahman Castle, 17th century, near Dingwall, ancient seat of Clan MacKenzie


    Brahan Castle image courtesy Clan MacKenzie

  • Brims Castle, L-plan tower, c. 1590, in Caithness, Ancient seat of Clan Sinclair


    Brims Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Caisteal Maol, tower house, 15th century, on Isle of Skye, ancient seat of Clan MacKinnon

    The name, meaning bare castle, was applied after it became a ruin. It’s also known as Castle Moil, Castle Moal, Dun Akyn, Dun Haakon, and Castle Dunakin which means the castle of Haakon.

    Haakon was a Norwegian Viking who sailed through the narrows to the Battle of Largs in 1263.


    Caisteal Maol image courtesy The Chatelaine

  • Carbisdale Castle, 1905 to 1917 for the Duchess of Sutherland, in Ross and Cromarty, currently a youth hostel

    The castle has 365 windows, one for each day of the year.


    Carbisdale Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cawdor Castle, tower house, 1454, near Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Calder or Cawdor, Clan Campbells of Cawdor, Clan Campbell


    Cawdor Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Castle Chanonry of Ross, rectangular tower house, c. 1500, in Inverness

  • Castle Craig, on Black Isle, ancient seat of Clan Urquhart
    Currently a treatment facility


    Castle Craig image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Culloden House, pre-1595 tower house with Georgian mansion built around the ruins after a 1753 fire, currently a hotel, ancient seat of Clan Stewart and Clan Forbes

    Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at Culloden House for at least two nights before the Battle of Culloden.


    Culloden House image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Dalcross Castle, L-plan tower house, 1620, in Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Fraser, currently rented for special events


    Dalcross Castle image courtesy The Chantelaine

  • Dornoch Castle, tower house, 12th century with 14th keep & 16th century tower, currently a hotel


    Dornoch Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dounreay Castle, L-plan tower house, in Caithness, ancient seat of Clan Sinclair


    Dounreay Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Dunbeath Castle, elongated oblong tower house, 1428, in Caithness, ancient seat of Clan Sinclair


    Dunbeath Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dun Ringill, broch, Isle of Skye, ruins, ancient seat of Clan MacKinnon
    [broch described in Apirl 28, 2009 blog]


    Dun Ringill Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunrobin Castle, tower and Scottish Baronial Castle, parts date 12th century, tower house 1520, baronial style 1835, in Sutherland, seat of Clan Sutherland, largest house in the Highlands


    Dunrobin Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunscaith Castle, tower house with curtained wall, 15th century, off the Isle of Skye, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald


    Dunscaith Castle image courtesy Castle Stories

  • Duntulm Castle, tower house, 14th and 15th century with 17th century tower, on Isle of Skye, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald of Sleat


    Duntulm Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dunvegan Castle, tower house, 14th century keep with 16th century tower, on Isle of Skye, ancient seat of Clan MacLeod, occupied by the Clan MacLeod chief since 1270


    Dunvegan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Eileen Donan Castle, tower house, 1220, on Loch Duich, seat of Clan MacRae, most photographed castle in Scotland

    A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.


    Eilean Donan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Erchless Castle, 15th century, in Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Chisholm


    Erchless Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Foulis Castle, 11th century motte, 14th century tower, ancient seat of Clan Munro


    Foulis Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Freswick Castle, tower house with additions, sits on Freswick Bay


    Freswick Castle image courtesy Caithness Castles

  • Glengarry Castle, Inverness, ancient seat of MacDonald of Glengarry


    Glengarry Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Castle Grant, Z-plan tower house, 14th century, in Moray, ancient seat of Clan Grant


    Castle Grant image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Invergarry Castle, L-plan tower house, overlooks Loch Oich, ancient seat of Clan MacDonnell of Glengarry


    Invergarry Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Inverlochy Castle, castle of enceinte with curtained wall, 1269, near Fort William, ancient seat of Clan Cumming


    Inverlochy Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Inverness Castle, tower house with additions, 1548

  • Keiss Castle, oblong tower house, pre-1595, near Wick, ruins


    Keiss Castle image courtesy Caithness Castles

  • Kilravock Castle, tower house with additions, 1460, near Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Rose


    Kilravock Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kinloch Castle, 1897 to 1900, on Isle of Rum


    Kinloch Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kinlochaline Castle, tower house, 12th century, on Loch Aline, ancient seat of Clan MacInnes


    Kinlochaline Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Knock Castle, on Isle of Skye, ruins, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald and Clan MacLeod


    Knock Castle image courtesy Undiscovered Scotland

  • Castle Leod, L-plan tower house, 1606, in Ross-shire, ancient seat of Clan MacLeod of Lewis, currently seat of Clan MacKenzie


    Leod Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lochindorb Castle, enceinte castle with curtained wall, 13th century, in Strathspey, ancient seat of Clan Cumming


    Lochindorb Castle image courtesy Castle Stories

  • Castle of Mey, Z-plan tower house, c. 1570, Tudor Gothic addition in 1821, once known as Barrogill Castle, ancient seat of Clan Sinclair. Restored by the Queen Mother, beginning in 1952, for a summer residence.


    Castle of Mey image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Milntown Castle, 16th century, in Ross, ancient seat of Clan Munro Mingarry Castle, irregular hexagon tower with curtained wall, 13th century, in Lochaber, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald, Clan MacLean, and Clan Campbell

  • Moniack Castle, tower house with additions, 1580, in Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Fraser, the Fraser family now operate a winery on the premises


    Moniack Castle image courtesy Moniack Castle Wineries

  • Newmore Castle, tower house, pre-1560, in Ross and Cromarty, ancient seat of Clan Munro


    Newmore Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Ormlie Castle, pre-13th century, Inverness

  • Ormond Castle, pre-14th century, also known as Avoch Castle, on the Black Isle

  • Rait Castle, round tower with vaulted roof and courtyard, ancient seat of Clan MacKintosh


    Rait Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Red Castle, in Ross and Cromarty


    Red Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Scrabster Castle, keep and curtained wall, pre-1328, Caithness, also called Bishop’s Castle


    Scrabster Castle image courtesy Highland Council

  • Sinclair & Girnigoe Castle, L-plan tower house, 1476 to 1496, curtained wall and gate house added in 1606, ancient seat of Clan Sinclair


    Sinclair and Girnigoe Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Skibo Castle, 19th century, in Sutherland, renovated by Andrew Carnegie


    Skibo Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Strome Castle, tower house, pre-1473, near Lochcarron, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, Clan MacDonnell, and Clan Munro

  • Castle Stuart, Inverness, completed in 1625


    Castle Stuart image courtesy Rampant Scotland

  • Teaninich Castle, pre-1660, in Ross and Cromarty, currently a hotel

  • Castle Tioram, tower house with 13th century curtained wall, 15th to 17th century, sits on the tidal island Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart, ancient seat of Clan MacDonald of Clan Ranald


    Tioram Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Tor Castle, c. 1870, Inverness, ancient seat of Clan Chattan


    Tor Castle image courtesy Am Baile

  • Tulloch Castle, tower house, 12th century, in Dingwall, ancient seat of Clan Bayne and Clan Davidson, currently a hotel and conference center


    Tulloch Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Urquhart Castle, figure-8 tower house, a castle has existed since the 13th century, on Loch Ness, most Nessie sightings occur near the castle


    Urquhart Castle image courtesy The HIghlands

Scottish family names and castles are cross-referenced on this B. Beacham website.

Coming tomorrow, the castles of Inverclyde…

May 22, 2009 09:39 - Castles of Scotland ~ Inverclyde

Partially surrounded by the Firth of Clyde, Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire also border Inverclyde. Duchal, Dunrod, and Newark Castles each have an interesting history.

  • Ardgowan Tower, tower house, 14th century, ruins

  • Duchal Castle, enciente wall 13th century, keep 14th century, ruins

    Duchal means between two rivers. The castle was sieged by King Jame IV of Scotland, with the inhabitants surrendering immediately when Mons Meg was positioned. See the May 15, 2008 blog for information on Mons Meg.

  • Dunrod Castle, also known as Inverkip Castle, ruins, ancient seat of Clan Lindsay

    In the 17th century, the parish of Inverkip gained notoriety in reference to witches. A local verse, still known today, tells about the time ~


    In Auld Kirk the witches ride thick
    And in Dunrod they dwell;
    But the greatest loon amang them a'
    Is Auld Dunrod himsel'.

    Auld Dunrod was the last of the Lindsay family who lived at Dunrod Castle.

  • Easter Greenock Castle, 16th century, demolished c. 1830 to make room for a railway line.

  • Castle Levan, tower house, 14th century, enlarged after 1547, restored as bed and breakfast

  • Newark Castle, tower house with barmkin wall and gatehouse, 1478, expanded into a Scottish Baronial Mansion in 1597


    Newark Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The Port of Glasgow grew around the castle. As of 1895, the stump of the dule tree was carefully preserved. Dule trees will be discussed after the Castle series is completed in June.

  • Castle Wemyss, Scottish Baronial style, c. 1850, demolished

Scottish family names and castles are cross-referenced on this B. Beacham website.

Coming Monday, the castles of Midlothian…

May 25, 2009 08:05 - Castles of Scotland ~ Midlothian

Midlothian sits between the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh.

  • Borthwick Castle, tower house, 1430, private hotel for weddings, ancient seat of Clan Borthwick

    One of the largest and best preserved fortifications in Scotland.


    Borthwick Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Crichton Castle, L-plan tower house with courtyard, 14th century, ruins, ancient seat of Clan Callander.


    Crichton Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    Featured in Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion, the 1995 movie was filmed at the castle.

    Francis Stewart, the designer, having traveled in Italy, was inspired by the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. Thus the diamond rustication, or texture, on the courtyard wall.

  • Dalhouse Castle, L-plan tower house, 15th through 17th century incorporating a 13th century castle, ancient seat of Clan Ramsey, converted into a hotel


    Dalhousie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Dalkeith Castle, mansion, 18th century, incorporating the ruins of a 12th century castle, ancient seat of Clan Graham, Douglas, and Buccleuch (Buckley)

    The facility is leased to the University of Wisconsin for a study abroad program.


    Dalkeith Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Hawthornden Castle, L-plan tower house, 17th century with 15th century keep, ruins, currently a writer’s retreat


    Hawthornden Castle image courtesy Village Atlas

    Located just downstream from Roslin Castle, man-made caves beneath the castle are older than the castle.

    An ancient seat of the Clan Abernethy in the 13th century, Clan Douglas gained control in the 14th century. In the 16th century, Clan Drummond bought the castle. In the 1970’s, Drue Heinz, the widow of H.J. Heinz II, purchased the castle.

  • Melville Castle, originally a tower house, converted into a Gothic castellated mansion, 1786-91, private hotel

    Has been an ancient seat of the Clans Melville, Ross, Rennie, and Dundas.
    Original tower house Melville family, Ross in 14th century, Rennie in 1705, Dundas family

  • Newbattle Castle, fortified house, 17th C, also known as Newbattle Abbey

    Originally a monastery, founded under King David I, the church was burned in 1344 and 1544. In 1587 it became a secular building and the seat of Clan Kerr.


    Newbattle Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

    The abbey was popular with the many Scottish kings who visited the abbey. The monks were among the first coalminers in Scotland.

    Read more about the monks and local industry in tomorrow’s blog about Prestonpans.

  • Roslyn Castle, keep 14th century, ranges 15th-16th century, holiday accommodations, ancient seat of Clan Sinclair, passing by marriage to Clan Kerr

    After being destroyed, the castle was built into the cliffs of Roslin Glen and is accessed by a high bridge. The castle sits above the North Esk River which forms a loop and protection on three sides.


    Roslin Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

Sir Walter Scott lived at Lasswade Cottage, where he wrote the novel The Heart of Midlothian and the poem Rosabelle, both of which tell of the region. He immortalized the castles of Ravensheuch, Hawthornden, and Rosslyn in his poem "Rosabelle". A real Rosebelle St. Clair lived at Ravenheuch Castle. She drowned in the Firth of Forth, attempting to join her parents and love at Rosslin.


Rosabelle

Listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note and sad the lay
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

"Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.

"The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the water-sprite,
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.

"Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?"

"'Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

"'Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide
If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle."

--O'er Roslin all that dreary night
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light,
And redder than the bright moonbeam.

It glared on Roslin's castled rock,
It ruddied all the copsewood glen;
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,
And seen from cavern'd Hawthornden.

Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie,
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheath'd in his iron panoply.

Seem'd all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar's pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
And glimmer'd all the dead men's mail.

Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair--
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high Saint Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold--
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle.

And each Saint Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung and the wild winds sung
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

Sir Walter Scott

After tomorrow’s blog about Prestonpans, Ravenheuch Toll House reads an interesting tale in it’s own right and will be presented Wednesday…

May 26, 2009 05:30 - Prestonpans ~ A Brief History

Over the centuries the histories of Newbattle Castle and Prestonpans have been closely interwoven.

Legend tells that a pirate named Althamer was shipwrecked in the 11th century. The survivors stayed and when the monks who settled at Newbattle arrived in 1184, Aldhammer (Althamer) was already a settlement.

The monks renamed the settlement Prieststown, which became Prieston. The monks began manufacturing salt on the seashore, using pans to process the salt. The towns name evolved into Salt Priesttown into Salt Preston, and finally Prestonpans.

By the early 1400’s there were ten salt works belonging to the town. These processed 800 to 900 bushels a week. One gallon of sea water yielded a bushel of salt.

Other industries arose in the area. After the monks began mining coal, by 1210 the villagers were mining coal, and continued to do so for centuries. Beginning in 1720, sixteen breweries operated in Prestonpans. None exist today. A soap works once produced 90,000 pounds annually.

For hundreds of years, the villagers used the harbor at Prestoungrange, which was also know as Morison’s Haven. Herring and oysters were both lucrative for the fishermen into the 1900’s.

In 1745, The Battle of Prestonpans, or Battle of Gladsmuir, opened the second Jacobite Rising.

Tomorrow, some interesting tidbits about Ravensheuch Toll…

May 27, 2009 05:59 - Ravensheuch

Known both as Ravensheuch and Ravenshauch, the meanings are similar, yet distinct. Heuch means a crag, cliff, quarry, or mine. Hauch is a piece of low-lying level ground, or a meadow.

Lying near Roslyn Castle, Ravensheuch was also known as Raven’s Hauch Toll, as well as Ravensheuch House or Castle, first and foremost it was a toll house, built by Peter Kerr c. 1800. Clan Kerr was located at Roslyn Castle. Ravenscraig Castle in Fife was also known as Ravenshauch Castle.

Peter Kerr contracted for many tolls in the area, including Ravensheuch House, which was his headquarters.

Remembered as a peculiar Highlander , one of his quirks was to collect no toll for black-faced sheep. The usual charge was per score, or twenty, animals. Peter would overlook the black-faced ones. If anyone pointed this out to him, he had a stock reply, "Na, na, it’s nae mistake o’ Peter’s, but a Tevel never peys toll."

Long after Peter’s time, a group of early teenaged boys went to Musselburgh, taking along a pony. They had to pay tolls at Ravensheuch and West Pans. At Musselburgh, being inexperienced teens, they forgot about the return tolls and spent their money buying sweets. When they got back to West Pans, they were not successful when trying to sneak through. Everyone dug deep into their pockets and produced enough change to get through the toll.

At Ravenshouch they tried again to dash through the toll gate. Being caught and with no money left, the keeper threatened to keep their pony. The boys at least knew enough to know he couldn’t lay hands on the pony. Stepping off to one side, laughter soon broke forth from the group. Approaching the keeper, one asked, "I say maister, if the pony doesna gang through the toll yo dinna charge onything?" The keeper assured them if the gate wasn’t opened there would be no toll. Four boys each grabbed a leg, one the head, another the tail. Hoisting the pony, they carried it through with much laughter. The gate-keeper was so taken with their ingenuity and laugher that he broke into laugher and ran to help the boys carry their pony through.

Tomorrow, the castles resume with the castles of Moray…

May 28, 2009 06:34 - Castles of Scotland ~ Moray

Moray lies on Moray Firth, bordering Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. Fishing is a major industry, particularly scallops and Norway lobsters. I suspect the many old castles reflect the numerous Viking raids across the North Sea. Unfortunately, too many lie in complete ruin with few remains evident.

  • Aikenway Castle, tower house, pre-1530, no remains, ancient seat of Clan Leslie, also known as Oakenwalls

  • Asliesk Castle, tower house, betweeen 1542 and 1700, ruins, also known as Rees Well

  • Auchindoun Castle, L-plan tower house with courtyard wall, 1400’s, ruins

    Lying 2 miles east of Dufftown, the castle was destroyed by the Forbes in retaliation for the slaughter of 28 women, children, and servants at Corgaff Castle.


    Auchindoun Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Ballindalloch Castle, Z-plan tower house, 1546, rebuilt and extensions in 1645, 1770, 1850, and 1878, known as "the Pearl of the North", ancient and continuous seat of Clans Russell and MacPherson-Grant. A famous Aberdeen Angus herd resides on the Castle grounds


    Ballindalloch Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Balvenie Castle, tower house, 12th century, Renaissance house addition in 1550, 13th century curtained wall, ruins, in Glen Fiddich, a mile from Dufftown.


    Balvenie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    In Gaelic, Balvenie means village of monks, suggesting an earlier monastery. The castle, held by Clan Buchanan, Clan Comyn, Clan Douglas, and Clan Stewart, was abandoned by 1729. An 18th century building was designed by the Adam brothers, which in 1892 became the Balvenie Distillery.

    Dufftown lays claim to being the Scotch Whiskey capital, with Glen Fiddich being the biggest-selling single malt whisky in the world.

    In 1995, Coca-Cola executive, H. Burke Nicholson, bought the Baronie of Balvenie, including the castle.

  • Blairfindy Castle, L-plan tower house, 1564, Clan Gordon hunting lodge, ruins, currently owned by Blackadder Whiskies


    Blairfindy Castle image courtesy Blackadder Whiskies

  • Blervie Castle, Z-plan tower house, c. 1600, ruins


    Blervie Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Brodie Castle, Z-plan tower house, c. 1430, restored after 1645


    Brodie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Burgie Castle, Z-plan tower house, 1602, demolished c. 1800 to build Burgie House, ruins


    Burgie Castle image courtesy Anne Burgess at Geograph

  • Coxton Tower, tower house, with courtyard wall, 17th century, ruins


    Coxton Tower image courtesy Canmore

  • Craigneach Castle, L-Plan tower house, plundered in 1645, no remains

  • Cullen Castle, ruins

  • Darnaway Castle, motte, 1450 with 1810 Gothic French addition, occupied by Clans Dunbar, Gordon, Douglas and Stewart

  • Deskie Castle, no remains except in a children’s rhyme once popular in the area

    Glenlivet it has castles three,
    Drumin, Blairfindy and Deskie.

  • Deskford Tower, tower house with courtyard, ruins, occupied by Clan Sinclair and Clan Ogilvie

  • Drumin Castle, tower house, 1370’s, built for Alexander Stewart, the "Wolf of Badenoch"

  • Duffus Castle, motte and bailey with curtained wall, c. 1140, abandoned in 1705, ruins, ancient seat of Clan Sutherland Duffus Sept

    Duffus combines two Gaelic words, dubh and uisg, meaning "darkwater" or "blackwater". In it’s past, the Loch of Spynie and many stagnated pools were below sea level, possibly giving Duffus it’s name.


    Duffus Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Dunphail Castle, tower house, existed before 1314, with 16th or 17th century tower, ruins, ancient seat of Clan Comyn, Clan Dunbar, Clan Grant, and Clan Cunningham


    Dunphail Castle image courtesy Scottish4Ever

  • Earnside Castle, c. 1450, no remains, built by the Cumyns of Altyr, once occupied by the Murrays of Abercairny

  • Elgin Castle, motte, ruins since 15th century, also called Ladyhill, occupied as a Royal Fortress in 12th century

  • Findochty Castle, L-plan tower house, 1569, ruins, built by Clan Ord

  • Forres Castle, motte, then tower with wall, no remains
    Repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, the first known destruction was by Vikings in 850. In the 14th century, thick walls, a keep, and towers were added.

    King David II was in residence in 1367. For 300 years, the official residence of the sheriffs of Moray The Dunbars of Westfield occupied the castle until the 17th century, when it fell into decay.

  • Gauldwell Castle, tower house with courtyard wall, 13th century over 12th century castle, ruins, also known as Goldwell Castle or Boharm Castle as it sits in Boharm parish. Name evolved into Caldwell.

  • Gordon Castle, tower house, 15th century with 18th century additions, also known as Inverero Castle. The tower was called Bog-of-Gight. the tower and one wing survive as a private residence.

    One of the largest country houses ever built in Scotland, the East wing destroyed by fire in 1827. Gas lighting installed in 1842.


    Gordon Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Hempriggs Castle, c. 1450, demolished in 1830, no remains, occupied by Clan Dunbar

  • Inverugie Castle, motte and bailey, ransacked c. 1820, blown up in 1899, no remains, site of rock quarry and World War II trenches, ancient seat of Clan Keith and Clan Ferguson


    Inverugie Castle reconstruction courtesy Andrew Spratt

    View more of Andrew Spratt’s castle reconstructions. While at Maybole, you can also view other illustrations of Scottish life, past and present.

  • Kilbuaick Castle, c. 1450, demolished 19th century, no remains

  • Kininvie Castle, tower house, 1480, then 16th century

  • Kinneddar Castle, hexagonal tower house with two enclosure walls, demolished in 19th century, no remains, also known as Bishop’s Palace

    Bishop Richard, c. 1187-1203, resided here, with Bishop Archibald extending or rebuilding the castle in 1280.

  • Pitlurg Castle, tower house with wall, ruins, property held by the Gordons of Pitlurg until 1724, means "the hillside place"


    Pitlurg Castle image courtesy W. D. Gordon, Clan Gordon

  • Quarrelwood Castle, c. 1350, no remains, occupied by Clan Sutherland until 18th century, the remains were removed piecemeal by the tenants, a 14th century ditch remains. A public park now exists at Quarrelwood.

  • Rothes Castle, motte, then tower house with keep and curtained wall, ruins, destroyed or damaged by Montrose in 1620, ancient seat of Clan Leslie

    King Edward I lodged in the castle on July 29th, 1296.


    Rothes Castle image courtesy Castlexplorer

  • Rothiemay Castle, motte, possibly 15th century with 17th century addition with further additions in 19th century, ruins, demolished c. 1950, ancient seat of Clan Gordon and Clan Forbes

  • Spynie Palace, tower house with enceinte walls, 15th century, ruins, also known as Bishop’s Palace and Davie’s Tower

    Mentioned in 13th and 14th century writings, David’s Tower was completed in 1482, altered between 1535 and 1573, with decay beginning in 1690. The palace as the principal residence of the Bishops of Moray from the 13th century until the abolition of episcopacy in the late 17th century.


    Spynie Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Skeith Castle, tower house, pre-1580, no remains, in ruins by 1790, the farmhouse has a date stone of 1687.

  • Castle Stripe, tower house, 15th century, ruins, also known as Ballindalloch Old Castle, possibly ancient seat of Clan Grant and predecessor of Ballendalloch Castle [above]

  • Tor Castle, tower house, 1419, abandoned mid-17th century, also known as Castle of Dallas

  • Tronach Castle, Iron Age promontory fort, no remains, also called Rathven Castle

Coming tomorrow, the castles of North Ayrshire…

May 29, 2009 14:20 - Castles of Scotland ~ North Ayrshire

Sitting on the Firth of Clyde, North Ayrshire is bordered by Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. The Isle of Arran is also included in North Ayrshire.

  • Ardrossan Castle, tower house, 15th century, ruins, occupied by Clan Barclay, Clan Ardrossan, and Clan Montgomery, demolished by army of Oliver Cromwell in 17ty century. Also known as Castle Craigs and Wallace’s Larder. Sitting on a rocky hill, ard means height and rossan means rocky promontory.

    The name Wallace’s Larder is derived from William Wallace capturing the British garrison and throwing the dead and living into the vaults below the castle. Next he threw in the garrison’s food supplies and left them there to rot. The castle was then partly dismantled above the captives.


    Ardrossan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Auchenharvie Castle, tower house, c. pre-1564, in ruins since c. 1600, ancient seat of Clan Cunningham, Clan Hamilton, Clan Stevenston, and Clan Eglinton. Also known as Achin-Hervy, Awthinharye, Auchinbervy, Achenhay, and Auchenhowy


    Auchenharvie Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Broadstone Castle, Scottish baronial style, demolished 1850, no remains, ancient seat of Clan Hamilton, also known as Braidstone

  • Broderick Castle, located on Arran, a fortress existed as early as the 5th century. The name is Scandinavian, meaning broad bay. Built as tower house in 1510, battery added in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell, tripled in size in 1844 for William Hamilton and his wife, Princess Marie, the adopted daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte., on Isle of Arran, ancient seat of Clan Hamilton, passed to Clan Graham by marriage.


    Broderick Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The castle is illustrated on the reverse side of the Royal Bank of Scotland twenty pound note. The Governess, a 1998 movie starring Minnie Driver, was filmed at Broderick Castle

  • Clonbeith Castle, simple oblong mansion, 1607 door lintel, ruins, name derived from cluan meaning grazing land and beithe meaning birch, ancient seat of Clan Cunningham.

  • Cunninghamhead Castle, mansion house, 1747, destroyed by fire c. 1960, no remains, owned by a range of families.

  • Eglinton Castle, Gothic castellated round keep with four outer towers, c. 1800, ruins, earlier castle burned in 1528

    An item of interest , sold at auction in 1925, was a chair built from the oak timbers of Alloway Kirk, with the back inlaid with a brass plaque displaying Robert Burn’s poem Tam o’Shanter.

    In 1901 the estate had a foremost collection of trees which were sold for timber in the late 1940’s. A partial list of the trees include a

    • Holly, 6’10" girth
    • Sycamore, 13’2" girth
    • Field Maple, 6’5" girth
    • Horse Chestnut, 11’4" girth
    • Gean, girth 11’
    • Hawthorn, 8’3" girth
    • Ash, girth 4’6"
    • Elm, girth 12’7"
    • Hornbeam, girth 14’
    • Holly Oak, girth 5’2"
    • Sweet Chestnut, girth 16’
    • Beech, girth 18’3"
    • Cut-leaved Beech, girth 8’11"
    • Larch, girth 8’9"
    • Cedar of Lebanon, girth 9’11"
    • Scots Pine, girth 11’

    That patron of all manly sports, the Earl of Eglinton, supported curling as well.


    The final demise came during World War II when the site was used for army training. Now a county park.


    Eglinton Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Giffen Castle, tower house, 15th century, 13th century chapel, collapsed in 1838, no remains


    Giffen Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Glengarnock Castle, tower house with courtyard and wall, 1400 - 1542, ruins. Possibly oldest ruins in Ayrshire.


    Glengarnock Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Hessilhead Castle, 15th to 17th century keep with c. 1680 addition, in ruins by 1776, scant remains, also known as Hazlehead or Hasslehead, occupied by Clan Eglinton and Clan Montgomery


    Hessilhead Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Kelburn Castle, 13th century keep, remodeled in 16th century, 17th century additions like a French chateau. One of the oldest castles in Scotland, it has been continually inhabited by the same family for longer than any other Scottish castle.


    Kelburn Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The graffiti on the tower walls was painted by invitation when the owner was told the facing needed replacing, which was scheduled to begin in 2009. On February 16, 2009 the a top-floor room and the roof burned.

  • Kerelaw Castle, ruins, held by the Lockharts c. 1191, passing to the Campbells and Cunninghams, burned in 1488 by a Montgomerie resulting in the revenge burning of Eglinton Castle in 1528. Rebuilt sometime after 1488, fell into disuse after 1787 when Kerelaw Grange House was built nearby.


    Kerelaw Castle image courtesy Wikipedia


    Kerelaw Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The Golden Chain tree in the photo was supposedly sent from Africa by David Livingstone.

  • Kilbirnie Place, tower house with walled garden, 15th century with 17th century additions, ruins, ancient seat of Clan Crawford, abandoned in 1757

    Another popular curling site, "Many keen and good curlers who flocked down to Kilbirnie when the ‘icy chain‘ was safely thrown over it."

    Curling and curling ponds were blogged January 16th and 19th, 2009

  • Kildonan Castle, tower house, established in the 13th century by the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles and passed to the Hamiltons in 1544


    Kildonan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Law Castle, keep, 15th century for Mary, sister of King James III, restored c. 1980, currently a holiday accommodation


    Law Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Lochranza Castle, L-plan tower house, 16th century, built over 13th century remains, occupied by the MacSweens, Stewarts, then becoming the property of King Robert II in 1371, fell into disrepair c. 18th century


    Lochranza Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Montgreenan Castle, an enclosed wall, in ruins, also known Bishop’s Palace

    The name Grenane was recorded in 1480, while the name Montgreenan appears c. 1605, fell into disuse in 1680 when the title was forfeited. The remains were removed c. 1765 to build a house at Kilwinning.


    Montgreenan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The Georgian mansion, built in 1817, including a curling pond, is currently a hotel

    Curling and curling ponds were blogged January 16th and 19th, 2009


    Montgreenan Mansion House image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Pitcon Castle, 18th century mansion built on remains of an older castle, ancient seat of Clan Boyd

  • Portencross Castle, a fortified site since 13th century, present building built 14th century to overlook the harbor, abandoned in 1739 when a violent storm blew off the roof. Believed to have been a royal residence, it was also known at Arnele and Ardneil.


    Portencross Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

  • Skelmorlie Castle, tower hosue and courtyard, 1502, with 1636 addition and 1852 renovation into a large mansion, 1960 renovation following a fire, presently modern mansion has been removed and the tower house restored


    Skelmorlie Castle image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

  • Stanecastle, in the 15th century, the estate passed to the Eglintons, with repairs by the Eglintons in 1750. A prior name was the "Barony of Stane", meaning stone.

    The core of the estate may have been a Medieval nunnery or convent. A small Medieval chapel, probably dedicated to Saint Bridget, was discovered under a turnpike road. In the 19th century workmen located a tunnel. Supposedly there were two, one from Stanescastle to Eglinton Castle, another from Stanecastle to Dundonald.


    Stanecastle Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

Coming Monday, June Highland Games and Festivals, then castles of North Lanarkshire on Tuesday…

April 2009 «  » June 2009

 

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