Category Archives: Castles,Houses and Historic Sites

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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Red Castle of Lunan


Red Castle of Lunan is a ruined fortified house on the coast of Angus. It is about 4 miles (6.4 km) south-southwest of Montrose.

The earliest structure on the site was built for King William the Lion in the late twelfth century to repel Viking invasions to Lunan Bay. Evidence shows, however, that William took up residence there on several occasions whilst on hunting expeditions. In 1194, William conferred the castle, and land surrounding the village of Inverkeilor, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of the castle, to Walter de Berkely, the Royal Chamberlain. On his death, his lands of Inverkeilor, with the castle, passed to Ingram de Balliol who had married the heiress of Walter. He rebuilt the castle and the property remained in that family for two generations. When his grandson, Ingram, who flourished between 1280-84, died childless about 1305 the property passed to the son of Constance de Baliol, Henry de Fishburn.

The property was forfeit during the reallocation by Robert the Bruce who in 1328 gave the castle to the Earl of Ross. The castle is referred to as rubeum castrum (Latin for Red Castle) in deeds of 1286, referring to its burnished red sandstone, typical of this area.

In 1579, James, son of Lord Gray, married Lady Elizabeth Beaton, who owned the castle, and fell in love with her daughter. After Lady Beaton threw him out, Gray (with his brother Andrew of Dunninald) laid siege to the castle for two years, ultimately burning the inhabitants out. From then on the castle slipped into decline, and, although it remained partially roofed until 1770, it was never again a residence of nobility. Its last inhabitant was the minister of Inverkeilor, one James Rait.

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Scolpaig Tower


Scolpaig Tower (also known as Dùn Scolpaig or MacLeod’s Folly) is a Georgian folly located near the village of Scolpaig on the Isle of North Uist.
The name probably derives from the Old Norse scolpvik, or ‘Scolp Bay’ (a scolp being a large Hebridean vessel, probably relating to the nearby bay where such boats may have landed).

It was built in about 1830 by Dr Alexander MacLeod, who was the factor of the North Uist estate.
It was erected to provide employment for the purpose of famine relief.
Built over an Iron Age dun on a small islet in Loch Scolpaig, the Gothic-style folly has an octagonal footprint and appears as a two-storey structure surmounted by a crenellated parapet.
The tower is surrounded by a low stone wall that was probably constructed at the same time.
The original dun has disappeared entirely. Today the tower is open to the elements and serves as a nesting place for birds.

It was included in the Ninth Report and Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles (1928) of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland,
and Historic Scotland approved it as a Category B listed building in 1971.

When the water level is sufficiently low, it can be reached via a stone causeway in Loch Scolpaig.
The tower is a prominent feature on otherwise flat ground and is among the most photographed sites on the island.

A group organised by the Council for Scottish Archaeology under its Adopt-a-Monument scheme was in 2008 attempting to raise funds to stabilise and conserve the structure.
 

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Machrie Moor Stone Circles


Machrie Moor Stone Circles is the collective name for six stone circles visible on Machrie Moor near the settlement of Machrie on the Isle of Arran.
Around 1 kilometer to the west is the remains of the Moss Farm Road Stone Circle, (Machrie Moor 10).
 
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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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Dunans Castle


Dunans Castle is a historic structure located in Glendaruel, on the Cowal peninsula, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The property is owned by Lord Daniel Sellers the 1st of Cheadle. A property at Dounens was shown on maps in 1590; Dunans House was elaborated into its present mock castle form in 1864. Once part of a much larger estate the property presently includes 16 acres of ground and in 2001 was ruined by fire.

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Monzie Castle

Monzie Castle

The oldest part of the castle dates from 1634. The main part was completed in 1795 by Robert Paterson, previously clerk of works to the celebrated Robert Adam. In 1908 a serious fire took hold of the castle with only the outside walls remaining. The leading Scottish architect of the day, Sir Robert Lorimer was instructed to restore the castle. His lifelong affinity with traditional Scottish architecture saw him encourage and develop a number of Edinburgh craftsmen and workshops, whose work is on display as part of a harmonious piece of design.

Castle opening times

15th May 2016 until 14th June 2016 from 2pm to 4pm

Entry fee £5

Guests who stay in our holiday cottages for a week or more receive a complimentary tour (subject to availability)

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Dream Scottish Island for Sale

Tanera Mor

Self-sufficient Scottish island for sale:completely off the grid, Tanera Mor comes with 24-hour electricity, broadband and even a post office
Tanera Mor is being sold for £1.95m. Should you not have the means to buy the whole island, it is being offered in three lots, starting from £430,000…

A self-sufficient island hideaway, completely off the grid but with all mod cons, is a rare sight indeed, and this one even allows the owner to issue their own postage stamps.

Tanera Mor, 1.5 miles from the western Scottish mainland near Ullapool, features seven miles of rugged cliffs, sheltered coves and beaches.

Measuring 1.6 miles long and 1.2 miles wide, the £1.95 million island offers stunning views of the other neighbouring Summer Isles and the mountains of the mainland.

The 760-acre island is host to the main house – the Old School House – nine traditional cottages currently run as a tourist letting business, along with a cafe and, of course, the post office.

 

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Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Stonehaven. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages. Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location and defensive strength. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century. The property of the Keiths from the 14th century, and the seat of the Earl Marischal, Dunnottar declined after the last Earl forfeited his titles by taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle was restored in the 20th century and is now open to the public.

 

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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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