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Today, I collected a small group of visitors from the U.S. who are undertaking a Scotland-wide tour. The group were somewhat tired/jet lagged but we set off in good spirits and visited the following sites:

Bothwell Castle: This magnificent ruin has a history dating back to the 1270s under ownership of Walter of Moray who took inspiration from the great chateaux of Coucy in France. The castle was at the forefront on wars with England and it changed hands about five times and suffered considerable damage as a consequence. It was restored by 1381 but was abandoned by the 18th century and subsequently came into the care of Historic Scotland. The picturesque remains stand high above a bend in the River Clyde. One of the handful of castles in/near Glasgow and worth a visit.

Glasgow Cathedral
: This is Scotland’s most important 13th century building which is located on a Christian site dating back to the 6th century. the present building was begun in the 13th century with the Sacristry and Chapter House added in the early 14th century. This is the only Scottish medieval cathedral to survive the Reformation more or less intact which was due to a division of the interior into three smaller churches. Our visit benefited from a private tour by an expert guide in the Cathedral. Click this link to view the video.

The Burrell Collection: This is a diverse collection of over 8000 art exhibits assembled by Sir William Burrell with proceeds from the sale of his merchant shipping fleet. This remarkable collection was donated to the city of Glasgow in 1944 and is housed within a purpose designed building in the ground’s of Pollock Park.

The tour lasted about five hours in somewhat mixed weather conditions.

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Today, I posting information about Rosslyn Chapel. This now famous Chapel or “The Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew”, was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair. At the death of Sir William in 1484, the Chapel was unfinished and the larger building he had planned was never realised. The building took more than forty years to finish.

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This evening, I am posting information on Dunfermline Abbey. The Abbey and surrounding ruins are all that remain of a Benedictine Abbey founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century. The foundations of the original church are under the present nave built in the Romanesque style by David I. King Robert the Bruce is buried inside, his remains being found during building work in the 19th century.

Outside the east gable is located the Shrine of Queen Margaret, a place of pilgrimage since medieval times and nearby are the remains of the other monastic buildings, including the large refectory and the ruin of the Royal Palace.

Dunfermline means ‘”fortress by the crooked stream”. It is conveniently located just north of Edinburgh and well placed for the Fife tourist route. However, from my experience, tour buses rarely visit so the Abbey and environs tend only to be patronised by private visitors which means that less hustle and bustle than nearby Edinburgh. With the right visibility, rain, views are stunning and offer good photo opportunities. Nearby is the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum.

To sum up, Dunfermline is sidelined from the main tourist trail but benefits from just that. There is a wealth of history and heritage here dating back almost one thousand years and to cap it the Abbey Church holds the remains of King Robert the Bruce, the victor at Bannockburn and who established a royal lineage from which the current British royal family can trace its provenance.

Not to be overlooked on a Scotland tour. You might even encounter the local peacock which acts as a modern-day guardian!

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