Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Hiking group in Renfrew, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on today’s large group hike around the historic town of Renfrew in S.W. Scotland.

Renfrew, has a population of about 22,000 and is located  five miles west of Glasgow. The town has  a history dating back at least to the 11th century, possibly much earlier. The founders of the Stewart Royal dynasty originated from here. Much of the town’s wealth ( and proud civic buildings) was derived form the (now faded) shipbuilding industry. Prior to 1966 Renfrew was the location of Glasgow Airport.

Today’s hiking route encompassed:

  • Historic civic buildings.
  • Mercat Cross
  • A public park.
  • Spring flowers.
  • Historic Bascule Bridge.
  • Quaint passenger ferry.
  • Shipping.

Renfrew Town Centre

Blythswood House Sphinx, Renfrew

Mercat Cross, Renfrew

Hiking group in Robertson Park


May blossom

River Clyde

Bacule Bridge

Clyde passenger ferry

Grab Hopper Dredger on River Clyde, Scotland

James Montagu Memorial, Bath Abbey, England

This evening, I am posting information on Bath Abbey, Bath, England. This is correctly known as the Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, an Anglican Parish Church.

History of the Abbey site can be summarised as follows:

  • There was an Abbey Church in Bath dating from around 757 AD which was part of a Benedictine monastery. This may have existed alongside the earlier convent founded by Abbess Bertana. The first King of all England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973 . The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England.
  • A massive Norman cathedral replaced the earlier Saxon building in the 11th/12th centuries.
  • After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of King Henry VIII, the Abbey lay in ruins for more than 70 years. In 1616 repair work was undertaken which brought the building into use as a parish church. In the 1830s, local architect, George Manners added new pinnacles and flying buttresses to the exterior and inside, built a new organ on a screen over the crossing, more galleries over the choir and installed extra seating.
  • Famous architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott transformed the Abbey interior during the period 1864-1874 to conform with his vision of Victorian Gothic architecture. At this time the ancient wooden ceiling over the nave was replaced with impressive stone fan vaulting which remains evident today.
  • The church has two organs and a peal of ten bells. The west front includes sculptures of angels climbing to heaven on two stone ladders.

Visitors to the Abbey today are rewarded with an experience of light and space combined with a heritage stretching back about 1200 years.

Nave, Bath Abbey, England

Bath Abbey, Bath, England

Bath Abbey, Bath, England

Greenknowe Tower, Kelso, Scottish Borders

This evening, I am posting information on Greenknowe Tower, an abandoned structure located  close to the A6105, about forty-four miles S.E. of Edinburgh near the village of Gordon and town of Kelso in the Scottish Borders region.

Greenknowe is a good example of a 16th century Tower House, a high status defendable residence occupied by a Scottish Laird.

This property was probably built for James Seton and his wife Jane Edmonstone in 1581. The couple’s coat of arms can be found on the lintel over the entrance.

Inside, the Laird’s Hall occupied the first floor with kitchen and cellars below and bedrooms above.

Remains of a courtyard can be found to left of the Tower.

Side elevation, Greenknowe Tower, Scottish Borders