Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Medieval Tower House





Driving in Borders country last week with Dritanje, we came across this ruined Tower House,
forlornly marking time in a hillside field.  Dritanje's blog .....RIVERTRAIN

Fortified Keeps or Tower Houses were a common form of architecture for landed families
in Scotland until late medieval times. Built for protection, they usually occupied
a prominent position overlooking surrounding countryside.
In times of danger brazier fires would be lit on rooftops across the area
to signal enemy approach.

The size of towers varied depending on wealth and status of the owners. 





Today the field is occupied by cows with calves, so we dare not investigate closer









Dry stone dykes surrounding the fields require a specialist to build and repair them.
 Built without mortar, this type of construction dates back to thousands of years BC
 













Roadside vegetation


















Echoes of Richard Long sculpture!

This stone assemblage lying beside a path caught my eye. As we were close to a railway line
 it is most likely to be ballast stone used for laying the trackbed





Stone Circle by Richard Long  -   Scottish Gallery of Modern Art ..... HERE





Smailholm Tower near Melrose, now a museum, is an example of a renovated fortified tower.

I may come back to this later .....






Thank you for visiting


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Monday, 15 May 2017

Jackdaw Village





Hailes Castle  -   East Lothian

The original  building,a tower house,was begun in the late twelve hundreds by Hugo de Gourley
 and over the following 300 hundred years subsequent owners added extensions to fit their needs.

Today it is home to families of Jackdaws and the ghostly "Lady in White" 





Jackdaw's nest in a niche high in the Great Hall
Noisy chicks exercise their vocal chords out of  danger's way.
This was one of many nests in out of reach spaces in the walls. These birds are known
for collecting shiny objects while nest building. When I was a child a friend and I spent hours searching in
old buildings and climbing trees looking for jewels which we were sure had been secreted away in Jackdaw nests
....but we never found the treasure!
  




Information board illustration

Above  -  The Medieval lord's table
Below  -  How the castle may have looked in the 16th century





The buildings are in a very ruined state and no decorative features remain.













Inner courtyard with the 13th century protective curtain wall on the left.
Behind the wall a water filled ditch added further protection on the landward side.





The tower block








Pigeon nesting compartments above the dungeon
 Pigeons would have been a convenient source of food for the household





Farmland viewed from the back of the building,overlooking the River Tyne









19th century cottage on the perimeter the castle grounds.





I found these ladies on Pinterest - at some point their dress would have suited the setting.
They certainly look aristocratic!




Thank you for visiting





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Image 1  -  Jackdaw - image source Wikipedia

Monday, 1 May 2017

Earth




Pine  -  Hawthorn  -  Wild Cherry

East Lothian farmland




Stones -  cones - pieces of shell - dry earth












I like looking down, looking at detail ....

The structure of the surface here reminds me of American artist Jan Henle's photo sketches.



Exhibition catalogue cover 1988

The work was created on the island of St.Croix in the West Indies,where Henle grew up.
He meticulously worked land with a plow and shovel then photographed the results.
As in East Lothian, pieces of shell appear on the surface.




 I thought it would be interesting to make a virtual connection by photographing shells from neighbouring islands of
St.Kitts and Antigua on the St.Croix land image .... 





I've had these shells and for years - today they want to communicate!






Thank you for visiting




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Sunday, 19 March 2017

March Wind





Wind - Stormy Sea - Wind - Blue Sky - Wind - Showers - Wind - 14°C






























Princess not enjoying the weather!



Thank you for visiting


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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Motor Museum





Deep in the East Lothian countryside lies a unique little motor museum.

The collection, started in 1966, is comprised of cars, commercial vehicles,motorbikes,pedal bikes,
toy cars and all manner of related memorabilia.
 



Most of the vehicles are in running order -  some take part in rallies and film shoots.
I've shown a small selection of what was on show the day we visited.




1938 Citroen traction avant (front wheel drive)
The model was first introduced in 1934.

The car shown here was restored in 1984 for the 50th anniversary and took part in the
Paris-Moscow-Paris rally organised to commemorate the event. 








1923 Arrol Johnston  -  built in Dumfries, Scotland  .....





1935 Packard straight 8  -  last registered in British Colombia  .....





1938 Matchless 1000  motorbike  .....




1931 Austin 7 Swallow -  it is on loan to the museum and has been owned by
the same family since 1947  .....







1948 Vauxhall 14  (centre)  .....





Ford Zephyr  -  circa 1960 (centre)
1925 brown Morris in the background  .....





Behind the Zephyr is a 1926 Chrysler Edinburgh Evening News van.
It is the sole survivor of a fleet used to deliver newspapers in and around Edinburgh.





1961 Humber Super Snipe  .....





1956 Austin A50  .....






1961 Morris Minor Traveller .....



Thank you for visiting


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