Scotland anti-clockwise #1 Crathes

From the Borders to the North East and two castles: Crathes and Dunnottar.Crathes Castle

This is Crathes, home of the Burnett family for almost 400 years. It has remarkable painted ceilings and original furniture, including a four poster bed dated 1595. The oldest object on display, however, is the ivory hunting horn given to the family by Robert 犀利士
the Bruce.  They family kept the castle intact by keeping out of civil wars and rebellions as much as possible.

William Wallace, not Braveheart!

Of the many inaccuracies in the film ‘Braveheart’ number one must be that William Wallace was never called ‘Braveheart’. There are some grains of truth in the film, i.e. he did fight for Scottish independence against the English and the execution in London is actually a sanitised version of what happened. This is the Wallace statue in the Borders. Not the most flattering portrait but not the worst. The staring bulging eyes are probably the least appealing feature.


On top of Dunadd, ancient hill fort.

Me, i.e. the one in the kilt, with a lovely group from Finland a few days ago on Dunadd hill fort. In the 6th century A.D. this was the capital of the kingdom of Dalraida. On the hill top there is a foot shaped hole which was said to be where the king would place his foot during the coronation ceremony. Nearby is Kilmartin Glen which had the largest quantity of prehistoric monuments in Scotland, around 350 in a ten mile radius.

I couldn’t find my time pin, my tie always seems to blow away during photos. I have ordered a new one with a Celtic design.

The Burrell Collection is back! #2

I like the objects which you don’t get to see in Scotland, especially religious carvings from Spain and Germany. At the time of the Scottish Reformation, 1560, when Scotland broke from the Catholic Church, around 98% of religious art was destroyed, according to the Second Commandment’s injuction against the worshiping of images or idols. This is German, early 16th century. The Virgin Mary and  remakably uninjured Jesus, just taken down from the cross. Maybe most of the blood has faded over the centuries.