Dirleton Castle, Dirleton

Dirleton Castle, Dirleton, Scotland

This morning, I collected my guests from their Edinburgh lodgings and then proceeded to Direlton Castle which is situated S.E.of Edinburgh close to the coast. This is a magnificent castle originally dating from the 13th century but with many additions over the subsequent 400 years. Its military function came to an end in the 17th century following a cannon bombardment by Oliver Cromwell’s forces. In more recent times focus has been developing the extensive herbaceous garden which now ranks as the world’s longest and was resplendent in sunshine today

Herbaceous Border, Dirleton Castle

Herbaceous Border, Dirleton Castle, Scotland

 

Entrance to Dirleton Castle

Entrance to Dirleton Castle, Scotland

Dirleton is also noted for its large and well preserved Dovecot which housed some 2000 birds (pigeons) in medieval times and provided a valuable food supply for the castles residential population.

Dovecote at Dirleton Castle

Dovecote at Dirleton Castle, Scotland

Next we headed south to Melrose, a famous Border Abbey which was ruined by military attack by Henry VIII in the 16th century and lapsed into ruin after the combined effects of the English attack and the Reformation. The Abbey originally dates from the 12th century but superseded a much earlier 7th century building.

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

 

After lunch at Melrose we drove back towards Edinburgh to visit the Rosslyn Chapel. Here we arrived in time for the last guided tour of the day at 3.45pm. A fascinating site dating from the 15th century and very popular with visitors following release of the Da Vinci Code book and film. The Chapel is heavily endowed with a concentration of very high quality carvings. Construction took approximately 40 years in the 15th century subsequent to which the Chapel has experienced a chequered existence through the Reformation and abandonment for long periods. Now substantially restored for future generations. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the interior.

Having some time in hand, on arrival back in Edinburgh we undertook a brief exploration of Calton Hill with its many monuments and spectacular views over Edinburgh city and the Firth of Forth. Below is an image of the National Monument, a memorial to the dead of the Napoleonic Wars

National Monument, Calton Hill

National Monument, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

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