Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countdown to St. Andrew's Day - Scotland's Icons

Above is Glamis Castle, the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore. It is also the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Scone Palace is home of the Earls of Mansfield.   Scone was the gathering place for the Picts.   Alexander I founded Scone Abbey where Scotland's kings were crowned, sitting atop the Stone of Destiny.  The abbey was destroyed by reformists in 1559.   The current palace is a classic of Georgian Gothic.

Above is a replica of the Stone of Scone.   In 1296, Edward I claimed the stone and placed it in Westminster Abbey where future English kings were crowned (a symbolic measure that the Scots would always be ruled by the English).   In 1950, Scottish students returned to Stone of Destiny to Arbroath Abbey where Robert the Bruce signed the Declaration of Scottish Independence.   The weathered stone is now on display in Edinburgh Castle.  It will return, temporarily, to Westminster Abbey for future coronations.

The memorial cairn was erected in 1881 to remember the slain clans at Culloden - the last stand of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rebellion.   As the winds blew over the moor, I could hear the wails of sorry for Scotland's loss.

The Jacobite Railway is a fun diversion for kids from Fort William to Mallaig.   It follows the same tracks as the Hogwarts Express across the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Harry Potter movies.

Built for the new millennium, the Falkirk Wheel is a boat lift with gondolas.   It connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, 35 meters above it.  The boat lift replaces the 11 "step" locks that were dismantled in 1933.  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 1, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 2.


Kim in Hawaii

Highland dancers in Pitlochry


  1. I saw an episode of Legend Quest where they were trying to discover the Stone of Destiny's true location.

  2. Great pictures and I love the history with it.

  3. Love the pictures and the history.

  4. Culloden is another of my Bucket List must do's. Your description gave me goosebumps.

  5. Oh wow... wish I am there....

  6. Such great pics with fascinating facts to go with them!!

  7. Excellent pictures and history lesson.

  8. I enjoyed all the great pictures!

  9. The Falkirk Wheel looks very interesting!