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This evening I am posting some images from a recent ancestry themed tour based around the Scottish Borders.

We had a brief foray down to Hadrian’s Wall. Here are some images taken at Housesteads Fort.

This is one of the granaries where the floor level is elevated to protect the grain against damp and vermin.


View of the Wall snaking across the landscape. The Romans made use of a natural escarpment.


Another view of the Fort foundations.


The following are images of Alnwick Castle (pronounced Annick), home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. This castle is popular with film makers and was used a set in Harry Potter films.Hence the Castle is very popular with Harry Potter fans. Visitors can also see the impressive State Rooms.


View of Norham from Norham Castle

The following two images are of Norham Castle, a magnificent ruin which dates from between 1121 and 1559 after which it fell into disrepair and was eventually taken into State ownership. For more information see yesterday’s blog posting.


This is the village of Swinton where the Wheatsheaf Inn is located.


The following two images are of Norham Church, a very impressive building and a “living” place of worship.The church is dedicated to St. Cuthbert and may sit on the site of a much earlier Saxon place of worship. In the graveyard are buried members of the Makins family.


John Robson


Richard Makins died at Murton June 26 1870 age 65. Jane Kirkwood, wife died at Berwick April 23 1914 age 97 years.
In memory of Margaret, wife of William Makins of Thornton Mains who died Jan 12th 1847 age 28.Elizabeth second wife died March 20th 1873 age 63.Margaret Pringle (daughter) who died at Thornton Mains Dec 31st 1860 age 4 months. William Makins died at Berwick Aug 8th 1886 age 73 yrs. Sophia, eldest daughter born Oct 21st 1844 died Feb 21st 1901. Mary (daughter) died at Berwick Dec 24th 1915 age 64.
The inscription on this stone is faded but may read: Edward Makins died at Auchencrow Mains April 29 1859 age 56. Also Mary his wife died at Shoreswood July 20th 1895 age 77. Charles Makins younger son died at Mainsfield, Tweedmouth April 27th 1928 age 76.


Here are a couple of images of Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott‘s own creation of his version of Scotland and its heroic past. The House dates from the early 1800s. Worthy of a visit if in the area.


Garden at Abbotsford.

Read more on Makins Ancestry Tour Scotland…



Here are some pictures of the day trip with a group of 3 visitors from the U.S.A. We went to the Stirling Castle, The Wallace Monument and to the Gleneagles falconry.
Then, we went to St Andrews for a meal, and in the afternoon we attended the Highland Games in Ceres.
We made a final visit to the Huntingtower near Perth.
Huntingtower near Perth

Read more on Personalized Day Tour Scotland…



This afternoon I am posting images from a round Scotland tour just completed.

This is an image of the Abbey Church of Dunfermline. The Abbey and the ruins around are all that remain of a Benedictine Abbey founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century.Inside is the tomb of King Robert the Bruce.


Here is a view of Edinburgh (with Castle in the background) taken from the vantage point of Calton Hill.

very popular owing to The following are images of the famous Rosslyn Chapel which dates from 1446 and is currentlyconnection with the Da Vinci Code book and film.

The scaffolding and roof are temporary-to allow the stone work to dry out and thus preserve the fabric of this historic building.



The famous and quaint fishing village of Crail situated in the East Neuk of Fife.


Beneath this innocuous looking building is a very deep Cold War era command and control centre which is now a tourist attraction known as the Secret Bunker.


This is beach at St. Andrews where the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire were shot. It is surprisingly close to the famous Old Course.


A medieval building at St. Andrews.


Evening shadows at St. Andrews Cathedral. This building dates from about 1160 and was the focal point of the Scottish Church throughout the Middle Ages.


This is Castle Campbell in Clackmannanshire. A small castle set high in the Ochills which affords great views when the visibility is right.

Aspect at Castle Campbell


This is the famous Doune Castle where scenes from ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ were shot. It is a fascinating attraction in its own right, being a former royal hunting lodge of the Stewarts.


Our visit at Doune was fortunate to coincide with a local event which entailed a Pipe Band.


View of Loch of the Lowes where Ospreys are nesting. We were able to view the chicks on CCTV .

Tour guide and group at Edradour Distillery. This is Scotland’s smallest distillery which provides an excellent free guided tour. The single malt is highly acclaimed.


The following are images at Balmoral, a private highland estate owned by the Royal Family.




This is Cawdor Castle which dates from the 14th century and is connected with Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle on British soil in 1746.

This redcoat has just captured an American revolutionary!

View of Culloden Battlefield


Aspect of Inverness, capital of the Highlands. The castle actually dates from the 1830s but fits in with the local scenery. The building houses various administrative functions of the local Council and judiciary.


Piper at Castle Urquhart at Loch Ness. a fascinating castle which sits on a promontory on LochNess. Sadly the monster was sleeping at time of our visit.



Views at Dunvegan Castle on Isle of Skye. This has been the home of Clan MacLeod since the 1270s.



This is a view taken at the Quaraing on Skye. Image affected by heavy rain.


The following are images of the remains of a Broch on Skye. Brochs are distinctive settlements found only in Scotland and date to the Iron Age. The y comprise dry stone built towers 33 or more feet in height and about 82 feet in diameter.Shape tends to be slightly conical and built with a double skin so that stairways and chambers can be fitted on the core of the wall. There is a suggestion that the double skin is actually a very sophisticated heating system.



This is Hotel Eilean Iarmain on Skye, which has great water-front location.


During our tour we were shadowed by a procession of Morgan sports cars also on a tour of Scotland.They seemed to originate mainly from France.

Here is the famous Jacobite Steam Train in the run up to Mallaig. Also known as the ‘Harry Potter’ train (Hogwarts Express).
Here is an image of the ruins of Kilchurn Castle at the head of Loch Awe. This dates from 1440 and was an integral part of the Clan Campbell control of the West Highlands.


This could be the Catswhiskers Tour Guide-but is actually a scarecrow at Auchindrain Township near Inveraray. Auchindrain comprises a number of dwellings which display life in a Highland community in bygone years.



Maritime museum at Inveraray.
Reflections on Loch Fyne at Inveraray.


Church of Scotland at Inveraray
More reflections on Loch Fyne

View of Loch Fyne taken from the north end close the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.


Inchmahome Priory
which is located on an island on Lake of Menteith. The Priory is now a ruin and dates from 1238. It ceased to function at the Reformation in 1560. The Priory is only accessible by boat.



Images from the famous Burrell Collection in Glasgow.



Images from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s ‘House for An Art Lover‘, Glasgow. Fascinating design and architecture dating from the early 1900s.



Images of the Gallery of Modern Art in Central Glasgow.




Inside of Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house which dates back to the 1400s.


Image at Glasgow’s Necropolis with a memorial to John Knox (centre of image).

Glasgow Cathedral viewed from the Necropolis.This is the only mainland cathedral in Scotland to have survived the aftermath of the Reformation without major structural loss.The building dates from the 1200s and succeeds an earlier cathedral dating to around AD 600.

The Blackadder Aisle at the Cathedral

Nave of the Cathedral
Overall., a good tour aided by the fact that the weather mainly dry and sunny, with exception of our sojourn on Skye.

Read more on Scotland Grand Tour…