Friday, 11 November 2016

Autumn in Scotland

Some years are better than others. This year we experienced a mild October which has resulted in a splendid display of Autumn colours.

The tree outside our bedroom:

On the road outside our house :

At the bridge :

Some additional pictures from further afield :

Monday, 1 August 2016

Culross 17th Century sea port

The little village of Culross (pronounced Q-ross) is on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh. It was a prosperous trading port in the 16th and 17th Centuries. The National Trust of Scotland managed to buy 32 of the original houses and the old part of the village is suspended in time.

This is Culross Palace (House) which was owned by a wealthy merchant built in 1597.

 A view from the back of the house overlooking the Firth of Forth

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A trip to Edinburgh

We recently travelled to Edinburgh. It is an ancient city and capital of Scotland with lots of green spaces. The centrepiece is, obviously, Edinburgh Castle, but the whole city is quite magical. Edinburgh is built on old volcanic rock and consists of many levels. Here are some pictures

The Royal Mile runs down from the Castle to Holyrood Palace

Halfway down the road is John Knox House built in 1490. It was the home to the fiery preacher, John Knox, author, reformist and founder of the Presbytarian Church which lived in the house around 1560.

Holyrood Palace and ruined Abbey are at the end of Royal Mile (as is the grotesque modern Parliament of Holyrood)

A little down the road is Surgeon's Museum. Quite facinating. I have sanitised it for you, but Paula was facinated!

Also below the castle is Grassmarket, a square with lots of activity.

It leads onto Victoria Street. I have shown two pictures - the first is looking up the street
and the second is looking down Victoria Street. What is so amazing is that there is a road above the street buildings and more buildings are perched above the upper street giving an impression of a vertical wall of buildings

The place to live in Edinburgh in the reign of Geo III was Charlotte Square. Number 7 is a Georgian house built as part of a row of houses built around the square in 1790. It is now a museum 

Heading out of Edinburgh are the Royal Botanical Gardens.

A memorable visit

Aikenway on Map dated 1654

The earliest map of Scotland that I can find was made in 1558. By 1654 the maps were quite detailed. The earliest map that I can find showing our property is dated 1654. Nearby Aikenway Castle, after which the farm was named, which was built high up looking down on the horseshoe bend of the River Spey was most probably built around 1400, but almost nothing remains. It is likely that the great house and, indeed, our house was built from the stones of the castle.

Our place, Aikenway Lodge, built on part of Aikenway Farm only dates from about 1840.

I thought you might like to see the map which is described as

Duo Vicecomitatus Aberdonia & Banfia, una cum Regionibus & terrarum tractibus sub iis comprehensis / Auctore Roberto Gordonio à Straloch.
Description of the two Shyres Aberdene and Banf, with such Countreys and Provinces as ar comprehended un  

A little more detail

Even more detail. Can you spot Aikenway?

Most country folk in the 1500's and 1600's lived in moss roofed Crofts 
or, later, stone walled Crofts with almost no light. It is reckoned that the peasants who farmed Aikenway most probably lived in such dwellings.