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Archway detail, Lady Chapel

This evening, I am posting information on Glastonbury Abbey in S.W. England.

There is a rich tradition of legends surrounding the history of Glastonbury Abbey pointing to the site as one of the earliest Christian churches in western Europe.In the 12th century Glastonbury was closely connected with European court culture whilst in the 13th century is featured in an early map of the world. The monastery accrued huge wealth during the late Saxon and medieval periods.

Monastic life at Glastonbury came to an end in 1535 when it was dissolved by King Henry VIII. Subsequently, the site experienced various changes of ownership and use. Today, the site is in the care of an independent charitable trust which preserves the site for public benefit.

View from High Altar.

The Crossing.

Lady Chapel.

Lady Chapel.

Inside St Patrick’s Chapel.

Crannog, Loch Tay, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on crannogs in general and the reconstructed dwelling on Loch Tay in particular.

The Loch Tay crannog is located at Kenmore, in central Scotland, about eighty miles north of Edinburgh. This is the heart of a visitor experience known as the Scottish Crannog Centre.

Fire place inside Crannog

Crannogs were timber buildings built on wooden stilts or man-made islands and were high status homes for extended families and their (valuable) animals for some 2000 years, from prehistory through to the Iron Age and even into medieval times. Crannogs are widespread in Scotland and Ireland. There are over six hundred recognised crannogs in Scotland alone.

The crannog featured here is a reconstruction based on diligent underwater archaeology at Oakbank on the opposite side of Loch Tay. Tours are available at regular intervals which allow participants to join in some experimental archaeology, such as wool spinning, fire lighting and wood-turning.

Turning wood in the iron-age

Fire lighting

Today, we focused on a walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and a city well endowed with history and heritage. Weather was tolerable, being dry but overcast.

First we called at the famous Castle which dominates the city sitting atop an ancient volcanic plug. Here we visited the key aspects including One o’Clock Gun, Mons Meg Cannon,St Margaret’s Chapel, Crown Jewels, Great Hall and prison.

Inside Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle

Crown Square, Edinburgh Castle

Firth of Forth from Edinburgh Castle

Inside prison at Edinburgh Castle

One O’Clock Gun.

Next, we walked down the Royal Mile calling first at the Old Parliament building where the Scottish Parliament met until merger with England in 1707. A fine interior which is now occupied by the Scottish legal profession. No photographs, however.

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

Next, a brief visit to St Giles’ Cathedral where choral practice was in process.

Inside St Giles’ Cathedral

Inside St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh

Next, on down the Royal Mile past World’s End which was the old, medieval city boundary, to Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament, both of which sit at the foot of  the famous street.

After a light lunch we walked up to Calton Hill on which sits many old and important buildings and which offers superb views of Edinburgh city and the Firth of Forth.

View of Firth of Forth from Calton Hill

View of city from Calton Hill

View of city from Calton Hill

Finally, we returned to the Royal Mile where guests visited the attraction known as Mary King’s Close.