Saturday, 22 March 2014

Our Precious Water

Some images for World Water Day  -  22nd March

Above, Swans in a city park

River Earn

River Almond

River North Esk

River Tweed

River Quaich, Glen Quaich

Hilltop loch, Glen Quaich

Loch Earn

Storm clouds over the North Sea

Mermaid sketch  -   by J W Waterhouse

Thank you for visiting

Shared with         Saturday's Critters       Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 8 March 2014

and a rainbow .....

On a windy day last week, a friend and I visited this medieval castle on the outskirts of the city.

Information board illustration of how Craigmillar would have looked in past times.

The outer courtyard

Outer courtyard and door to the inner courtyard

The inner courtyard

The coat of arms of the Preston family who built the castle in the late 1300s.
The animals on either side of the shield resemble monkeys but may be lions.

The interior is large and a confusing warren of rooms and spiral stairways.

On our way up to the roof in the oldest part of the castle we pass the medieval laird's hall.
This room would have been used for entertaining

Present day inhabitants sit in a nest above a doorway

On the roof rain clouds are gathering over the Pentland hills.
It's 10 degrees C, and very windy and we have to hang on to the safety railings to keep our balance.

This was an amazing position for a fortification. Today visibility is moderately good but on a clear day the
horizon can be seen for miles in all directions. Looking north, the older Edinburgh castle is on the skyline
to the left, with views of the Firth of Forth and lands of Fife in the distance.

Looking towards the Lammermuir Hills and East lothian.

The buildings below are a new hospital built on an area called Little France, the site of a former hamlet
where Mary Queen of Scots French retainers camped in the 1500s.

And in this direction, the North Sea. 

In 1660 the Preston family sold the castle to Sir John Gilmour, Lord President of the Court of Session

in Edinburgh. He set about modernizing the place by adding a new west wing.
Above is the fireplace of his drawing room,which can be seen below
in an artists impression of how it may have looked in Sir John's day.

Sir John in his official robes 

A land owning family in the 1660s

Engraving by J M W Turner  -  1836

Eventually the family built a grand new house as was fashionable at the time and
by the late 1700s the castle was described as a romantic ruin, an inspiration
for writers and artists.

In 1949 the building went into state care but present day Gilmour family burials are still carried
 out in the ruined chapel in the castle grounds.

Dark clouds now drift above us and it's beginning to rain.

Crows brace themselves in the wind

And a rainbow appears.........

Thank you for visiting

Shared with       Skywatch Friday     Saturday's Critters

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