Scots Roots


Mons Meg
July 2, 2015, 8:56 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

Mons Meg 1Mons Meg 2One of the largest cannons in the world, Mons Meg was gifted to King James II of Scotland in 1457 by Duke Philip of Burgundy, probably in the hope that it would aid the Scots against the English.

The cannon, which could fire 150kg stone balls for up to two miles, was used in sieges until the middle of the 16th century. She could only be fired 8 – 10 times in a day because of the heat generated by the charge. James II was himself killed in 1460 during a siege on Roxburgh Castle when another of his cannon exploded.

Mons Meg 3After the mid 16th century, Mons Meg was only fired on ceremonial occasions but her own barrel burst in 1681 during a birthday salute to the Duke of Albany.

She remained in Edinburgh Castle until 1754 when she was taken to the Tower of London following the Jacobite uprising.

Mons Meg returned to Edinburgh in 1829 after a series of campaigns by Sir Walter Scott and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

The restored Mons Meg can still be seen today on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

Mons Meg 4



Dunrobin Castle
June 18, 2015, 9:50 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

Dunrobin CastleDunrobin Castle, the largest house in the north of Scotland, was originally built in the 15th century, probably on the site of an earlier medieval fort although most of the present building and the gardens were added by Sir Charles Berry between 1835 and 1850.

The castle is the family seat of the Earls of Sutherland and Clan Sutherland. On the death of the 18th Earl in 1766, the house passed to his daughter, Elizabeth, who married the politician George Leveson-Gower, later created 1st Duke of Sutherland.

Dunrobin Castle

Falconry at Dunrobin Castle

Leveson-Gower is estimated to have been the wealthiest man of the 19th century and remains a controversial figure for his role in the Highland Clearances.

The castle’s gardens, completed in 1850, were inspired by the gardens at the Palace of Versailles.

The castle and gardens are open to the public and falconry displays are regularly held in the gardens by a resident falconer.

Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle

To see more, please click on Scottish Castles.



Linlithgow Palace
June 8, 2015, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History, West Lothian | Tags: , ,

Linlithgow PalaceLinlithgow PalaceSituated 15 miles west of Edinburgh, Linlithgow was a royal palace built and developed mainly by the Stewart kings and queens over the 15th and 16th centuries.

The palace provided a convenient stopping point on the journey between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle.

James V was born at Linlithgow in 1512 and his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, was born here in December 1542.

The palace fell into decline after James VI moved his royal court to London in 1603 following the union of the crowns.

Linlithgow PalaceFire destroyed much of its interior in 1746 and today it is maintained as a visitor attraction by Historic Scotland.

Linlithgow Palace

To see more, please click on Scottish Castles.



Ben Wyvis, Easter Ross
May 31, 2015, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Photographs | Tags: ,

Ben WyvisBen Wyvis stands on the northern edge of Clan Munro country. It is a vast, sprawling mountain dominating a wide area of the Highlands with several tops and a high whaleback ridge.

Its mossy plateau provides habitat for the Dotterel, a rare migratory bird which nests along the summit ridge.

Ben WyvisThe summit of Ben Wyvis is Glas Leathad Mor, a Munro (mountain over 3,000 feet) at 1046 metres.

The site has been designated as both a National Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area.

Ben WyvisCopyright © Scots Roots Research 2015



St Maelrubha’s Well, Isle of Skye
May 15, 2015, 9:01 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

St Maelrubha’s Well

St Maelrubha’s WellBeneath the vegetation lies a stone-lined structure into which water flows through a channel from an earlier stone-lined spring.

Archaelogical evidence suggests that the site, near Broadford on the Isle of Skye, has been important to local people for more than 10,000 years.

A piece of limestone engraved with a cross was found near the well and it is thought that a chapel stood about 30 yards to the south and west, where the old burial ground is still in use.

The site is closely linked to St Maelrubha (c.642 – 722), who was based in nearby Applecross, and sailed across to preach using the rocky crag above the river as a pulpit.

St Maelrubha’s Pulpit

St Maelrubha’s Pulpit



Kildrummy Castle
May 10, 2015, 11:41 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags:

Kildrummy Castle

Kildrummy Castle, in Aberdeenshire, was built in the mid-13th century and became the stronghold of the Earls of Mar.

The castle was abandoned in 1716 following the failure of the Jacobite rebellion.

Although now in ruins, the remains of its curtain wall, round towers, hall and chapel can still be seen.

Kildrummy Castle

To see more, please click on Scottish Castles.



St. Clement’s Church, Rodel, Isle of Harris
April 30, 2015, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

St Clement’s Church St Clement’s Church was built in the early 1500s by Alasdair Crotach MacLeod of Dunvegan and Harris, 8th Chief of MacLeod, who also built the ‘Fairy Tower’ at his ancestral seat of Dunvegan Castle in Skye.

When Alasdair died in 1547, his body was laid to rest in St Clement’s in a tomb he had built on the south side of the choir in 1528. His son, William, 9th Chief, was buried in another tomb in the nave in 1552.

St Clement’s Church

Alasdair MacLeod’s tomb

There are grave slabs leaning against the wall of the north transept and the graveyard surrounding the church contains a number of MacLeod tombs.

St Clement’s was a Catholic church before it fell into disuse not long after its completion around 1560 mainly due to the Reformation, although the churchyard continued to be used as a MacLeod burial site. In the 19th century it was used as a cow byre before being restored by Catherine Herbert, Countess of Dunmore in 1873.

St Clement’s Church Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2015




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