The village of Dirlton, East Lothian, from the castle grounds.
Close to the castle is the dovecot, built around 1500 to provide both eggs and meat for the household.
Sometimes hundreds of young pigeons were eaten at banquets.
The interior is especially beautiful, there's a feeling of entering an Italian Renaissance chapel.
The nesting boxes housed up to 2000 pigeons which flew out and in through a circular opening in the roof.
Entrance doorway originally approached via a drawbridge.
Next door was the lords private bedchamber and latrine closet.
His latrine closet.
Site of the old ovens in the cellar bakehouse.
The well : water could be drawn from both ground and first floor levels.
Cellar store rooms beside the bakehouse where grain and other provisions were stored.
The vaulted ceiling supports the floor of the Great Hall above.
The buffet on which the family silver was displayed.
While banqueting, the family and important guests sat on a raised stage at the opposite end of the hall.
Swan was commonly served and displayed as in the above information board illustration.
Pieces of stale bread were used as plates.
The tables, composed of boards on trestles, were easily moved to clear the floor for dancing.
The numerous window seats would not have been cold and uninviting as they are now,but adorned with
cushions curtains and hangings. Leaded glass was expensive and a sign of wealth.
In winter, fires in almost every room kept the inhabitants warm.
Brightly coloured tapestries were a medieval interior design must have for rich families.
Woven in wool, silk and gold threads, few survive, mostly because they were burned,stolen or
cut up to extract the gold.
We are now nearing the Winter Solstice and darkness falls early.
On the left a visitor reads an information board in the fading light.
My friend Louise and I, in need of hot coffee, decide to head for the village inn.
Window seat at the V.I.P end of the Great Hall.
After 1600 the castle ceased to be a domestic residence and in 1650 was extensively damaged
by cannon. It passed into state care in 1923 and is currently maintained by Historic Scotland.
Seagulls circle, as they have done for centuries, and the smoke trail from a passing plane
brings us back into the twenty-first century.
Thank you for visiting
Shared with Mosaic Monday Our World Tuesday Skywatch Friday