Scots Roots


Attadale Gardens
August 14, 2017, 10:27 am
Filed under: Photographs | Tags: ,

Attadale Gardens 1Attadale Gardens 2Situated on the shores of Loch Carron in Wester Ross with views over the loch to the Isle of Skye, Attadale Gardens have been developed over many years. Attadale House itself was built in 1755 and some of the trees date from that period.

Attadale Gardens 3Attadale Gardens 4The gardens boast a rhododendron walk, water gardens, an old sunken garden, Japanese garden, kitchen gardens, a peace garden and a fernery.

An extensive sculpture collection can be stumbled upon lurking in the undergrowth throughout the gardens.

Attadale Gardens 5Attadale Gardens 6If you need some refreshment, a small help yourself café is based in one of the outbuildings by the house.

Part of the 30,000 acre Attadale Estate, these gardens are a great day out.

Attadale Gardens 7

Attadale Gardens 8



Scone Palace
July 27, 2017, 9:30 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

Scone Palace 1Scone Palace 2Scone (pronounced Scoon) was an Abbot’s Palace rather than a Royal Palace. The priory at Scone, near Perth, was granted abbey status in the 12th Century and the residence was built for the Abbot at that time.

The early kings of Scotland were crowned here at Moot Hill on the Stone of Scone (often called the Stone of Destiny) until the Stone was carried off by Edward I of England to Westminster Abbey in 1296. He built a Coronation Chair to fit over the Stone and it has been used at the coronations of English and British monarchs through the centuries. The Coronation Chair still sits in Westminster Abbey but the Stone of Destiny is now on view in Edinburgh Castle until it is needed again.

Scone Palace 3

Moot Hill – crowning place of the Kings of Scots. The small chapel was a later addition.

Scone Palace 4

Replica of the Stone of Destiny.

Even after the removal of the Stone of Destiny, the Moot Hill continued to be the crowning place of the Kings of Scots.

Scone Abbey was severely damaged by a mob from nearby Dundee during the Reformation in the 16th Century and now nothing of the abbey can be seen above ground.

Scone Palace 5In 1600 the abbey estates were granted to Sir David Murray and have remained in his family to the present day. Much of the work on the Palace as it can be seen today was commissioned by David William Murray, the 3rd Earl of Mansfield, around 1802.

Scone Palace 6

Scone Palace 7



Container Growing
July 2, 2017, 11:37 am
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Container growing 1It’s amazing what you can grow in an old tub in the Highlands with a bit of tender loving care and some good peaty compost.

Container growing 2



MacLeod’s Tables
June 24, 2017, 1:00 pm
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MacLeod's Tables 1MacLeod's Tables 2As you drive around the Isle of Skye there’s a good chance you’ll see two flat topped mountains in the distance. These are Healabhal Bheag (1601 ft) and Healabhal Mhor (1538 ft), also known as MacLeod’s Tables.

MacLeod's Tables 3MacLeod's Tables 4Legend has it that, when he was at a banquet in Edinburgh given by King James V, the Chief of Clan MacLeod boasted that he had a much grander table.

When MacLeod hosted a banquet some time later, he took his guests onto the hilltops on a clear night, with clansmen standing round the edge of the plateau holding torches.

MacLeod's Tables 5It can be a bit of a slog getting to the tops of the Tables but the views are spectacular.

MacLeod's Tables 6

MacLeod's Tables 7



Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
May 15, 2017, 10:11 am
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Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 1Built in 1862 by David and Thomas Stevenson, this lighthouse is situated at the northernmost tip of the Isle of Lewis, one of the windiest spots in the United Kingdom.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 2The red brick tower stands 37 metres tall and its light has a range of 25 miles. Like many lighthouses in Scotland, it was automated in 1998.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 3

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 4



Almondell
March 24, 2017, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History, West Lothian | Tags: ,

Almondell 1Almondell and Calderwood Country Park in West Lothian was once the setting for Almondell House, the country retreat of the Honourable Henry (Harry) Erskine (1746 – 1817), a younger son of the 10th Earl of Buchan. Almondell was then a private estate belonging to the Erskine family and here, in stunning surroundings of woodland and a river valley, Erskine designed and built his mansion in 1786. The building had major flaws in its design and construction however, and was demolished in 1969.

Almondell 2Almondell House had a two-storey centre section flanked by pavilion-roofed wings and stood where today the car park for disabled visitors is situated. This is a short distance from the Visitor Centre which occupies the former coach house and stables. Next to this, part of the walled kitchen garden still stands.

Almondell 3

Old stable block, now a Visitor Centre.

Almondell 4Erskine was an outstanding lawyer and politician with a great social conscience and was known as the “poor man’s advocate”. His illustrious career included two spells as Lord Advocate for Scotland, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and Member of Parliament, first for Fife, and then for Haddington and Dumfries. But an architect Erskine certainly wasn’t.  “The roof would not keep the water out,” said his son, “and the foundations would not let it away.”

Almondell 5Almondell 6All the same, a young relation of Erskine, Henry David Inglis Esq., always looked forward to holidays at Almondell. He wrote in the Edinburgh Literary Journal of the mail coach setting him down (always with his fishing tackle) at Almondell gate, about three quarters of a mile from the house, and “the beauty of that secluded domain.” And, best of all, a melon from the garden’s melon-bed.

To get to the house from the south, Henry Erskine commissioned Alexander Nasmyth, the Scottish painter, architect and landscape designer, to build a bridge over the river Almond. Parts of the bridge collapsed into the river in 1973 but it was restored in 1997.

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Nasmyth Bridge

The house and estate remained in the family until the 1950’s. A fire caused extensive damage to the building in the 1960’s which hastened its end.

In 1971, the estate was officially designated as West Lothian’s first country park.

Almondell 8Copyright © Yvonne MacMillan and Scots Roots 2017



Trumpan Church, Isle of Skye
March 13, 2017, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

Trumpan Church 1Trumpan Church 2Trumpan Church 3

Another church with a gruesome past, Trumpan Church sits peacefully on a hill overlooking Ardmore Bay, near Waternish Point on the Isle of Skye.

But in 1578, under cover of mist, several boatloads of MacDonalds from the Isle of Uist sailed into the bay and attacked the church, setting fire to its thatched roof and burning the Clan MacLeod worshippers alive.

Trumpan Church 4Trumpan Church 5Trumpan Church 6One young girl apparently escaped and raised the alarm leading to the massacre of the MacDonald men before they could leave the island.

The triumphant MacLeods dragged the bodies of the dead to a nearby wall and buried them by simply pushing the wall over the top of them.

The township of Trumpan never recovered and the church has remained a ruin to this day.

Trumpan Church 7

 




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