Category Archives: South and Central

Sheriffmuir


The Battle of Sheriffmuir was an engagement in 1715 at the height of the Jacobite rising in England and Scotland.
The battlefield has been included in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009.
Sheriffmuir was and is a remote elevated plateau of heathland lying between Stirling and Auchterarder on the north fringe of the Ochil Hills.

John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, standard-bearer for the Jacobite cause in Scotland, mustered Highland chiefs, and on 6 September declared James Francis Edward Stuart (the “Old Pretender”) as King of Scots.
With an army of about 12,000 men Mar proceeded to take Perth, and commanded much of the northern Highlands.
Following unsuccessful skirmishes against John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll (based at Stirling), Mar was eventually persuaded to lead his full army south, on 10 November.
Spies informed Argyll of Mar’s actions, and he moved his army of about 4,000 to Sheriffmuir, near Dunblane.
The two armies met on the battlefield on 13 November 1715.

The Battle was the subject of “The Battle of Sherramuir”, one of the most famous songs written by Robert Burns .
The song was written when Burns toured the Highlands in 1787 and was first published in The Scots Musical Museum, appearing in volume III, 1790.
It was written to be sung to the “Cameronian Rant”.
 

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Duke’s Pass


Aberfoyle has become the alternative route to the Trossachs and Loch Katrine; this road, known as the Duke’s Road or Duke’s Pass, was opened to the public in 1931 when the Forestry Commission acquired the land.

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Smailholm Tower


Smailholm Tower is a peel tower at Smailholm, around five miles (8 km) west of Kelso.
Its dramatic situation, atop a crag of Lady Hill, commands wide views over the surrounding countryside.
Is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of Historic Scotland.
In June 2007 it was awarded the maximum “five-star” status as a tourist attraction from VisitScotland, a rating bestowed on only eight other sites in Scotland.
 
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Glen Lyon


Glen Lyon is a glen in the Perth and Kinross region of Scotland.
It is the longest enclosed glen in Scotland and runs for 34 miles from Loch Lyon in the west to the village of Fortingall in the east.
This glen was also known as “An Crom Ghleann”, (the bent glen).
The land given over to the MacGregors was Scottish Gaelic: An Tòiseachd.
 
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Queensferry Crossing

Queensferry Crossing
Queensferry Crossing
The Queensferry Crossing (formerly the Forth Replacement Crossing) is a road bridge under construction in Scotland. It is being built alongside the existing Forth Road Bridge and will carry the M90 motorway across the Firth of Forth between Lothian, at South Queensferry, and Fife, at North Queensferry.

Proposals for a second Forth road crossing were first put forward in the 1990s, but it was not until the discovery of structural issues with the Forth Road Bridge in 2005 that plans were moved forward. The decision to proceed with a replacement bridge was taken at the end of 2007; the following year it was announced that the existing bridge would be retained as a public transport link. The Forth Crossing Act received Royal Assent in January 2011, and construction began in September 2011.

The Queensferry Crossing will be a cable-stayed bridge, with an overall length of 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles). Around 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of new connecting roads will be built, including new and upgraded junctions at Ferrytoll in Fife, South Queensferry and Junction 1A on the M9. It will be the third bridge across the Forth at Queensferry, alongside the Forth Road Bridge completed in 1964, and the Forth Bridge completed in 1890. The bridge was due to be completed by December 2016, however that date has been put back to May 2017 due to weather delays slowing construction, with 25 days lost due to high winds during April and May 2016. Following a public vote, it was formally named on 26 June 2013.

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Kirk of the Canongate

Cannongate Kirk
Cannongate Kirk
The Kirk of the Canongate, or Canongate Kirk, serves the Parish of Canongate in Edinburgh’s Old Town, in Scotland. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The parish includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. It is also the parish church of Edinburgh Castle, even though the castle is detached from the rest of the parish. The wedding of Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter, and Mike Tindall, took place at the church on 30 July 2011.

The Canongate Churchyard is the resting place of several Edinburgh notables including the economist Adam Smith, the philosopher and Smith’s biographer Dugald Stewart, Agnes Maclehose (the “Clarinda” of Robert Burns), by tradition David Rizzio, the murdered private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the poet Robert Fergusson, whose statue in bronze by David Annand stands outside the kirk gate. Bishop James Ramsay is also buried here.

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Tioram Castle

Tioram Castle
Tioram Castle
Castle Tioram is a ruined castle that sits on the tidal island Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart, Lochaber. It is located west of Acharacle, approximately 80 km (50 mi) from Fort William. Though hidden from the sea, the castle controls access to Loch Shiel. It is also known to the locals as “Dorlin castle”.

The castle—a listed building and scheduled ancient monument—appears to have originally been a principal stronghold of Clann Ruaidhrí. The island the fortress sits upon is first recorded in a charter of Cairistíona Nic Ruaidhrí (fl. 1290–1318), daughter of Ailéan mac Ruaidhrí (died ×1296). According to early modern tradition, the castle was erected by Ailéan’s granddaughter, Áine Nic Ruaidhrí (fl. 1318–50) in the fourteenth century. The castle served as the seat of the latter’s Clan Donald descendants the next four hundred years.

Castle Tioram is the traditional seat of Clan MacDonald of Clan Ranald, a branch of Clan Donald. Castle Tioram was seized by Government forces around 1692 when Clan Chief Allan of Clanranald joined the Jacobite Court in France, despite having sworn allegiance to the British Crown. A small garrison was stationed in the castle until the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 when Allan recaptured and torched it, purportedly to keep it out of the hands of Hanoverian forces. It has been unoccupied since that time, although there are some accounts suggesting it was partially inhabited thereafter including storage of firearms from the De Tuillay in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising and Lady Grange’s account of her kidnapping.

The castle is now in extremely poor condition and in 1998 was closed to the public at the request of Highland Council; a major structural collapse occurred at the north west curtain wall in 2000.

Controversial proposals to restore the castle by the new owners, Anta Estates, were announced in 1997 and received planning consent from Highland Council. This included the creation of a clan centre/museum, domestic apartments, and public access. However, Historic Scotland refused Scheduled Monument Consent—a decision upheld after a local public inquiry.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland holds a substantial archive of research information, drawings, and photographs lodged by the current owners.

The castle can be reached on foot across the tidal causeway, but there is no access to the interior because of the risk of falling masonry.

Eilean Tioram is one of 43 tidal islands that can be walked to from the mainland of England, Wales & Scotland and one of 17 that can be walked to from the Scottish mainland.

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Neidpath Castle

Neidpath Castle
Neidpath Castle
Neidpath Castle is a tower house, overlooking the River Tweed at Peebles. The castle is closed to the public.

An early castle was probably built here by Sir Simon Fraser (d.1306) of Oliver Castle between 1263 and 1266, while he held the office of High Sheriff of Tweeddale. The barony of Neidpath was acquired by the Hay family, through marriage to the Fraser heiress in the early 14th century. Sir William de Haya (d.c.1390) probably built the present castle in the late 14th century. It was held by them until the 17th century, although Sir William’s grandson, Sir William Hay, married the daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh Gifford of Yester, acquiring Yester Castle, which became the principal family seat, although Neidpath continued to be used. It was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563, and by her son James VI in 1587.

In 1645, Neidpath was garrisoned against the Royalist forces of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, although the following year, John Hay of Yester joined the King’s party, and was created 1st Earl of Tweeddale by King Charles II. During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked. Mike Salter states that the castle was surrendered without a fight, although other sources suggest that it required the longest assault on any stronghold south of the River Forth to force it to surrender. James Taylor, writing in 1887, states that the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery during the siege. During the 1660s, the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale remodelled the castle, and constructed outbuidings. The 2nd Earl was an agricultural “improver”, who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686.

In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. His son William, the 2nd Earl, made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. The 3rd Earl inherited the title and estates of the Duke of Queensberry in 1778, and subsequently let Neidpath to tenants. These included the philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson. The castle suffered neglect, however, and by 1790 the upper storeys of the wing had collapsed. William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott both visited the castle in 1803. On the death of the Duke in 1810, the castle, along with the earldom of March, was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, although the dukedom went to the Scotts of Buccleuch. Neidpath still belongs to Earl of Wemyss; the Earl’s heir takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from it.

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Lady of Lallybroch

Lady of Lallybroch
Lady of Lallybroch
Legally in Scotland anyone can call themselves ‘what they want’.

A Ladyship is, in itself, a title which is linked to the Land, but for it to become a title and part of the name of the individual who owns the land, it is necessary to petition Scotland’s supreme herald, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, for the title to be officially recognised. The Lord Lyon does not actually recognise anyone as a Lady. Rather, he recognises their right to a territorial designation. For example, if someone buys a Scottish Estate or Farm ( more than 5 acres ) which is known as Lallybroch, She is also entitled to call herself “ Lady of Lallybroch ”.

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Kelburn Castle

Kelburn Castle
Kelburn Castle
Kelburn Castle is a large house near Fairlie. It is the seat of the Earl of Glasgow. Originally built in the thirteenth century (the original keep forms the core of the house) it was remodelled in the sixteenth century. In 1700 the first Earl made further extensions to the house in a manner not unlike a French château which is virtually how it appears today. In 1977 the house and grounds opened to the public as a country park. It is one of the oldest castles in Scotland and has been continuously inhabited by the same family for longer than any other. The castle is protected as a category A listed building, while the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.

In 2007 experts told the owners of Kelburn Castle that its concrete facing would eventually need to be replaced to avoid further damage to the stonework. At the suggestion of his children, Lord Glasgow invited four Brazilian graffiti artists (Nunca, Nina and Os Gêmeos twins) to paint the walls. Historic Scotland agreed to the project, on the basis that the graffiti would be removed when the castle was re-harled. The project was featured on the BBC television programme The Culture Show. Also in 2007, Kelburn featured in another BBC programme, Crisis at the Castle which documented the financial problems of running the castle.

In September 2010 it was reported that Historic Scotland were putting pressure on Lord Glasgow to remove the graffiti, although this was later denied by both parties. In August 2011 it was reported that the Earl had formally written to Historic Scotland asking permission to keep the graffiti as a permanent feature.

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