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Browsing Posts in Castles

Today, I am posting a video and images taken during a tour/visit to this historic castle which has played a pivotal role in Scotland’s history.

The castle is located on a conveniently situated volcanic plug which affords a superb defensive position for guarding access to the Central Highlands of Scotland.

First records of a castle on the site date from the 12th century. During subsequent centuries the castle suffered sixteen major sieges and oscillated between Scottish and English control.

Two major battles occurred in the vicinity of Stirling Castle:

Read more on Visit Stirling Castle, Scotland…

Today, our group visited Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland. Prime reason for the visit was to participate in a guided tour of the caves which are located at foot of the castle and which are officially classified as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and normally closed to the public.Exploring the caves proved quite exciting and verged on potholing at one stage.We all emerged covered in mud but very satisfied with this unusual experience. Will post video of the caving tomorrow.

This evening, I am concentrating on the castle proper which has evolved from a Tower House to a grand house which mainly dates form the 18th century from a design by master architect, Robert Adam. Construction of the building bankrupted the 10th Earl of Cassilis who died of stress in 1796, just one year after Robert Adam’s death.

Catalyst for the design was a ‘Grand Tour’ visit to Rome by Sir Thomas Kennedy which resulted in a neo-classical building which ranks as one of the best examples of Enlightenment architecture in Europe.

The Castle also benefits from a superb cliff top location with views across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran and Mull of Kintyre, aspects of which can be seen in the video clip.

Inside, the castle boasts a spectacular Oval Staircase, impressive armoury and the Circular Saloon with panoramic views.

Culzean is managed by the National Trust of Scotland ( a heritage organisation). One of the apartment’s was gifted to General Dwight Eisenhower in 1945.

Apart from the caves and grand house the grounds have much to offer including a deer park, swan pond and a wide choice of gardens.

Read more on Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland….

This evening, I am posting a video clip of Balmoral Castle which has been the official Highland residence of the Royal Family since Prince Albert bought the estate in 1852, a purchase which acted as a catalyst to tourism in Scotland. The original castle was too small for royal needs, and demolished in favour of a new building.The new castle was designed by Prince Albert and William Smith of Aberdeen and was completed in 1855. Whilst the extensive grounds and gardens are open to visitors at prescribed times, only the ballroom is accessible to visitors.. This features an exhibition of paintings, tartans and a selection of royal items. The garden contains a glasshouse, conservatory, water and kitchen areas.

The River Dee flows through the area which, because of the Royal connection, has become known as Royal Deeside. Here is a clip of the River Dee at Balmoral.

Overall, Balmoral Castle is worthy of a visit but visitors should remember that the Castle proper is not open to the public.

Read more on Balmoral Castle,Scottish Highlands…