Saturday, November 24, 2012

Countdown to St. Andrew's Day - Dundonald Castle, Doune Castle, Newark Castle, Huntingtower Castle, and Caerlaverock Castle

We traveled to Scotland without a plan - I assumed we would just bump into castles.   We bumped into Dundonald Castle, (above) which is maintained by Historic Scotland (at this link):

Imposing Dundonald Castle was built by Robert II in the 1370s to mark his succession to the throne of Scotland.

Historic Scotland offered a "passport" to visit all its properties, including Doune Castle (above):

A castle for ‘Scotland’s crowned king’Doune Castle was built around 1400 by Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany, Earl of Menteith and Fife. Younger brother of the weak and feeble Robert III, he was the effective ruler of the kingdom from 1388 until his death in 1420. He is known to history as ‘Scotland’s uncrowned king’, and his seat at Doune was virtually a royal castle.

Doune Castle is also a film star - do you know which movie?   Think a comedy with coconuts ....

Newark Castle (above) is a hidden jewel among the Clyde's shipyards:

Newark is a Maxwell house. A junior branch of this powerful southern Scottish family acquired the lands through marriage in 1402. They remained lords until 1694.  The name ‘new wark’ (meaning new building work) came into use in the later 15th century, when the oldest part of the present complex was built.

Huntingtower Castle (above) is home to a Medieval painted ceiling that was admired by many:

Huntingtower has hosted some famous visitors, and been associated with some dramatic events. Mary Queen of Scots stayed here in 1565, during her honeymoon with Lord Darnley. In 1582, Mary’s son, James VI, was held here against his will by the 1st Earl of Gowrie, in a famous episode known as the ‘Ruthven Raid’. 

David and Andrew dressed up for the piper at Huntingtower!

Our pictures may be blurred (as our camera broke) but my memory is clear of Caerlaverock Castle (above).  It is a three sided fortress near the English border:

With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, Caerlaverock Castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold.   The castle’s turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which brought it into border conflicts.

One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 1, 10  pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 2.


Kim in Hawaii

Andrew and David play checkers at Caerlaverock.


  1. Have a great journey Kim, Scotland, wow

  2. Wow... such a great trip. Wonderful photos as usual. The kids are so cute!


  4. Love the castles. It's fun seeing the pictures of the kids then compared to now~~

  5. I love Scotland! It's amazing how much your boys have grown! I've appreciated looking at the pics. Thanks for sharing them!

  6. Love te pics thanks

  7. The castles must have been an impressive sight in person.

  8. I would love to see a castle one day!

  9. I've always wanted to see a castle.

  10. It's just a flesh wound! ;)

    Caerlaverock Castle has always been on my "Bucket List". Thank you for highlighting these beautiful castles today.

  11. Thank you so much for letting us share!!

  12. Looks like a fun place to visit.

  13. I think it would be a lot of fun to visit castles.

  14. Looks like you guys had fun :)