Sunday, 31 July 2016


Early July  -  wild roses in the sand dunes ......

A dog called Flash .......

Coastal wild flowers ......

Beautiful clouds ........

Late July  -  beside a pond ......

One of my favourites  -  honey perfumed Common Ragwort grows happily by the water's edge.

Thank you for visiting

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Monday, 11 July 2016

Time Travellers - Part 2

Crichton Castle stands on a grassy hillside overlooking the River Tyne
The original castle dates from the late 1300s,when John de Crichton built his tower house.

Down in the valley a line of trees conceals the river.

The building went through many changes during its 200 years as a family residence,
only to be abandoned in the late 1600s, a short time after the final remodelling was completed.

Information board image - above.

In mid 1400s the castle was further enlarged by John's son William,a powerful figure of the time.
He was Master of the King's Household,Sheriff of Edinburgh and Keeper of Edinburgh Castle.
A great hall and guest accommodation were built around a central courtyard.
The tall building on right is the original tower house.

At 12 miles from Edinburgh city centre it would have been an easy commute on horseback. 

Remains of the tower house
Solar panels on the roof provide electricity for minimal modern day requirements.

William de Crichton's great hall around 1450 (information board illustration).

In 1562 the young Mary Queen of Scots attended the wedding here, of her half brother
Lord John Stewart and Janet Hepburn and it was their son Francis who would make the
final changes in the castle's design.

Remains of the medieval stone fireplace in the great hall.

Francis Stewart was a highly educated and well travelled young man.
He had studied at the universities of St Andrews,Paris and Rouen
and travelled extensively on the Continent.

He added the most striking architectural features of the castle,
almost certainly influenced by Renaissance palaces he had seen in Italy.
When work began he was still only in his early 20s.

The castle courtyard around 1590 (information board illustration).
The north part of the building (right) was completely rebuilt creating a new lord's hall
and luxurious living rooms on three floors.

The diamond faceted stonework, unique in Scotland,is what makes this castle special.

In 1586 Mary's son the young King James VI visited, possibly to see the work in progress.

James VI in 1586 aged 20.

Francis was involved in a number of nefarious deeds including murder.
He was said to be a student of "the dark arts", and in 1591
was accused of trying to kill the king by witchcraft.

He was temporarily pardoned but four years later a verdict of treason was passed and
 aged 33, he was forced into exile in Italy. He died in Naples in poverty,
again accused of sorcery.

His abandoned castle fell into decline and eventually became a source of
building materials for the area. 

Looking through the lord's hall to the medieval church founded
by William de Crichton in 1449.

On the south side, the remains of William de Crichton's medieval castle.
The great hall is on the first floor.

The 1580s purpose built stable block with rooms above on two levels.

Stable interior

Today a warm wind blows -  and wild nature adorns the hillside.

Wild roses and bracken.


Crowfoot Trefoil and Germander Speedwell

Crichton Castle is now cared for by Historic Scotland

Thank you for visiting

Photos  7 and 12 - image source Wikipedia

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