Scots Roots


RRS Discovery

RRS Discovery 1The 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.

RRS Discovery 2

RRS Discovery 5

Scott’s Cabin.

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.

RRS Discovery 4In 1905, Discovery was sold to the Hudson’s Bay Company and she began working as a cargo vessel.

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.

RRS Discovery 3Following 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.

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St Andrews Castle
August 5, 2016, 9:32 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

St Andrews Castle 1St Andrews Castle 2St Andrews Castle 3Not far from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews Castle stands on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea.

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.

St Andrews Castle 4Bishops were abolished in Scotland following the Reformation so the castle was left without a resident and it fell gradually into disrepair and ruin.

St Andrews Castle 5

St Andrews Castle 6




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