Thursday began early, but we had a long day ahead and much to accomplish. So we bade a reluctant farewell to Edinburgh and set off northward on our next adventure.
The scenery was stunning, and kept me glued to the bus window. Our ride was filled with lots of songs from the region as we traveled through Fife and Angus on our way to Aberdeen where we'd catch the ferry to Orkney.
We took a wee break at the wonderfully quirky Cairn O' Mohr Winery for tea, a scone, and samples of some Scottish fruit wines. (Please say the winery name aloud)
After we left the winery, we were met a short time later by Jim Malcolm's lovely mum who shared Forfar Bridies with us. Yummy and just what we needed!
A couple of hours later, we arrived at Dunnottar Castle. It's difficult to describe the magnificence of this medieval castle. Perched atop an enormous rock in the North Sea and attached to the mainland only by a narrow strip of land, it appears completely formidable, yet it was captured three times in its history. The first was in the 9th century when Vikings attacked Dunnottar Castle, killing King Donald II. They then destroyed the castle. By 1276, the castle had been rebuilt and a new church erected where St. Ninian's chapel, the original structure built in the 4th century, once stood.
Dunnottar Castle then bounced from Scottish to English control, and in 1297, William Wallace burned out English soldiers who took refuge in the church--then destroyed the castle.
In the early 14th century, the castle became home to the Keiths, one of the most powerful families in Scotland. They built most of what remains today, including the tower and curtain wall. In 1645, a Royalist Army commanded by the marquess of Montrose marched on Dunnottar Castle, demanding a treaty with the Earl. Failing to receive an answer, Montrose destroyed the entire area surrounding the castle, burning homes, fields, the boats in the harbor, and the nearby town of Stonehaven.
Oliver Cromwell's army besieged Dunnottar Castle in 1651, and the castle was surrendered 8 months later.
In 1715, the castle was seized by the Crown after the 10th and final Earl Marishal was convicted of treason for his part in the Jacobite uprising. The castle was sold to York Mining Company in 1717 and stripped of anything of value. In 1925, Lady Cowdry purchased the castle and began its restoration.
As you glance through the photos below, take a moment and imagine the crash of waves far below, the cries of gulls, the tang of sea spray, and the damp wind on your face. Dunnottar Castle once was filled with the sound of voices, the whinnies of horses, the ring of steel. This day, it was full of the passage of time and the ghosts of those who once trod the cobbled paths.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Dunnottar Castle. The path leading to the castle was long and I stopped counting the steps at 200 (I've discovered there are 272 total). But being inside the castle and the views from it were completely worth the journey.
As you can tell from all the photos, I totally fell in love with this castle.
6/22/2019 06:11:03 am
WoW!!! Nothing more says how beautiful these pictures are. The color is eye-popping. I've never seen such glorious pictures of this castle before. I'm PEA GREEN with envy, Cathy!
6/23/2019 05:58:23 pm
Thank you, Cate! I was so fortunate to catch such a brilliant day to visit and photograph this castle. In fact, all the days were lovely--even the dreicht ones.
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This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
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