Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History, West Lothian | Tags: Linlithgow, St Michael's Church, West Lothian
Built in the 12th century, the church has seen many changes. It was used as a garrison storehouse by King Edward I of England in the years prior to the Battle of Bannockburn. It was badly damaged by a great fire in 1424 and took more than a hundred years to rebuild. Much of the money for its rebuilding came from the Stewart monarchs who liked to worship there.
In 1646, Oliver Cromwell’s roundhead troops arrived in Linlithgow and men and horses were billeted in the church.
Further repair work was needed in the early 1800s when it was realised that some of the ceiling beams were rotten. In 1821 the old stone crown which sat on top of the tower had to be removed because it was too heavy. This crown was eventually replaced in 1964 with a 58 feet tall crown made of light anodised aluminium.
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: Great Bernera, Iron Age Village, Outer Hebrides
The site was excavated in 1996 to reveal a Norse settlement but further digging brought to light an earlier Iron Age village dating from around 500 – 800AD.
Archaeologists removed various animal and fish bones, shells, plant remains and combs from the dig and some of these can be seen at the museum in nearby Breaclete. The site was then covered over with sand once more to preserve the structures.
In 1998, a replica of one of the Iron Age huts was built just inland from the beach. It is comprised of a larger circular building with a central hearth, connected to a smaller circular building which was probably used for storage. A single turf roof covers both buildings. The inside is laid out as it would have been and visitors are welcome for a small fee.
Filed under: Photographs | Tags: Abriachan Gardens, Inverness, Loch Ness
Stunningly situated in the Great Glen by the shores of Loch Ness, just 8 miles south of Inverness, this 4 acre garden will lead you up the woodland path and provide you with fantastic views over the loch.
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: Isle of Lewis, North Lewis Poppy Trail, Outer Hebrides
These photos aren’t exactly picturesque but the story they tell is quite interesting. Large poppies have been placed beside the homes or crofts of the men of North Lewis in the Outer Hebrides who lost their lives in World War One.
It’s shocking to look down whole streets and see these reminders outside nearly every house – not always single flowers but often two, three or four outside individual dwellings. Some villages have 20 to 30 poppies.
The loss of so many young men – sons, brothers, husbands, fathers – must have been devastating to such a rural community. Around a quarter of 900 people from the north of Lewis who served in the war didn’t return. The Trail is a very moving memorial to the men who died.
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: Antarctica, Discovery Point, Dundee, Robert Falcon Scott, RRS Discovery
The job of building the Royal Research Ship Discovery was given to Dundee’s shipyards because of their long experience of building whaling ships that were strong enough to sail through the Arctic pack ice. It was commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society for the 1901 British National Antarctic Expedition to be led by Lieutenant Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy.
Setting sail from the Isle of Wight on 6th August 1901, the Discovery made her way to the Antarctic by way of New Zealand carrying enough provisions for three years – including a flock of 45 sheep. Life on board can’t have been easy considering that they also had 23 sled dogs to look after.
Antarctica was finally sighted on 8th January 1902. A base was established at McMurdo Sound and this would be home to the members of the expedition for the next couple of years. The expeditions main purpose was scientific so magnetic surveys and geological, biological, meteorological and oceanographic research were all carried out. Many new species were discovered and hundreds of miles of coastline and mountain ranges were mapped.
On February 16th 1904, having been blasted free from its icy prison with help from two relief ships, Morning and Terra Nova, Discovery began the long voyage home arriving at Spithead on 10th September 1904.
Scott returned to the Antarctic in 1910 on board the Terra Nova in a bid to become the first man to reach the South Pole. His group made it to the Pole only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it by five weeks. Scott and his party all died in blizzard conditions while returning from the Pole to the ship. Scott is presumed to have died around 29th March 1912, his body and those of his companions being found by a search party several months later.
Following a period running munitions to Russia during the First World War, the Discovery was refitted in 1923 and in 1925 again set sail for Antarctica as part of the Discovery Oceanographic Expedition to research whale stocks. From 1929 to 1931 she served in a research role as part of the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition.
After a period as a training ship for the Sea Scouts in London, Discovery passed into the care of the Maritime Trust in 1979 until ownership transferred to the Dundee Heritage Trust in 1985. In 1986, Discovery returned to Dundee to form the centrepiece of the Discovery Point Visitor Centre.
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: Scottish castles, St Andrews Castle
Originally built in the 1100s as the residence of the bishops of the newly built cathedral, the castle suffered significant damage during the Wars of Independence (1296 to 1356) and was substantially rebuilt in 1385 by Bishop Walter Trail.
Mines and countermines dug during the religious tensions of the Reformation in the 16th century when the castle was under siege can still be visited deep in the castle’s underbelly.
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: Balerno, Edinburgh, Malleny Garden
At Balerno, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is a wonderful walled garden surrounded by woodland. Malleny Garden has around 150 varieties of rose including a National Collection of 19th century shrub roses.
The borders are wide and contain a large selection of shrubs and herbaceous perennials with two Victorian greenhouses sheltering some of the more tender plants.
Next to the garden stands Malleny House. The current house was built in 1637 but records of the site date back to 1330.
Four tall 400 year old yew trees, known as the Four Evengelists, dominate the entrance to the garden.