Saturday, November 28, 2009

Medieval Castles in 2009

During the course of this year we have visited and photographed a number of medieval castles in the Border region that lies between England and Scotland. It is an area that has seen many battles for power over the centuries and is therefore littered with fortresses many of which date back to medieval times and some such as Carlisle Castle having origins even further back - to Roman times.

Carlisle Castle (Cumbria England)
With over 900 years of history. Architecturally fascinating and reputed to be haunted!

Naworth Castle (Cumbria England)
A small, privately owned medieval castle dating back to the early 14th century.

Dacre Castle (Cumbria England)
An even smaller castle, again privately owned which was up for rental at the time we visited.

Dunstanburgh Castle (Northumberland, England)
Castle ruins in one of the most outstanding locations you could ever dream of! Located high on a promintery overlooking the sea. Breathtaking views once you reach it and look down on the surrounding countryside. Legends abound about this castle and it is reputed to be haunted.

Threave Castle (Scotland)
Ruins of a 13th century castle built in a unique location - on an island in the middle of the river Dee.

Hermitage Castle (Scotland)
Another unique location for a medieval castle - this was far from romantic though. A much more desolate location. Castle reputed to be haunted.

Photographs of each of the above will be published in subsequent blog posts.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hermitage Castle - Inside & Out

Hermitage Castle Scotland
We don't usually focus on an individual castle for more than one or two blog posts but we have made an exception with Hermitage Castle in Scotland. I have tried to describe the place in words (see our Halloween blog post about haunted Hermitage Castle) but photographs convey the atmosphere perhaps more strongly.

Here are 2 more photographs we took of Hermitage Castle earlier this year.

Photo 1 (right)
An inside shot of part of the castle ruins

Photo 2
On the left of the picture is the Douglas Tower - the largest of the 4 attached towers and so named because it was the Earl of Douglas who remodelled the castle in the 1370's and 1380's. Almost 2 centuries later (in 1566), the infamous 4th Earl of Bothwel was taken to Hermitage to recover from a local skirmish; whilst there, most likely residing in the Douglas tower, he was paid a secret visit by Mary Queen of Scots who was later to become his wife.

On the right of the picture is the Well Tower.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Hermitage Castle Photos

Here is a view of Hermitage Castle as you approach it more closely, having come up the path from the entrance (Historic Scotland's little hut where you buy your ticket).

At this point you are already standing above what used to be the castle moat.

Pictured right - what used to be the moat, now grassed over but still visibly deep. You can see the green, grassed path in the top right hand corner of the picture along which you walk from the entrance.

This photo was taken having turned around near to the base of the stonework in photo 1 (above left).

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hermitage Castle Scotland

Whilst our Halloween post pointed readers in the direction of a variety of haunted medieval castles all over Britain, it focused in particular on Hermitage Castle.

After writing that post I was reminded of just how strong an atmosphere there was to the place - I can still close my eyes and feel the 'coldness' that seemed prevalent there! I then started to sift through the photographs we took on our visit to Hermitage Castle earlier in 2009 and it became even clearer just how powerful and commanding a presence the place has.

It seems therefore only fair to the many readers of our website and our medieval castle blog, that we should share some of those photographs with you all. After all, many of you are not in a position to travel to Scotland and see first hand what I have described. So over the coming weeks watch out for some great photos!

Today's ...... the view that greets you as you walk towards Hermitage Castle.

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