Monday, 30 August 2010

Hermitage Castle

This was the last full day of my mother's visit and she is flying back to The Netherlands again tomorrow. The sun made another wonderful appearance which meant the drive along one-track roads, around S-bends and up and down hills was well worth the effort and after enjoying a coffee en-route we were on our way to Hawick when I spotted a sign for Hermitage Castle only 7 miles away. It proved to be a very long 7 miles on another single track road with sheep as our only company but we were rewarded by a view of a magnificent and imposing castle. It is a ruin like almost all Scottish castles (a lot of fighting has been done here over the centuries!) but a truely impressive one. As it said on the description: "Hermitage Castle, the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain".

This castle (now part of Historic Scotland) which is located very close to the English - Scottish border has been fought over during the centuries. It dominated Liddesdale, which was for many years a crucial territory on this border. The castle's long history stretches back to the 13th Century (building was begun in the 1240's) and it has lived through an eventful history featuring murderous revenge, power struggles, treasonable pacts and a royal romantic tryst involving Mary, Queen of Scots.

It is frightening and after the bright sunshine outside also send a chill down our veins, not just temperature wise but because the castle itself has a brooding presence and also rises up from impressive earthworks. The walls are at least 1 M wide everywhere you look.

From the castle we walked along a very sunny and grassy path to where the chapel of the castle used to be.

Only the ruins are left although some parts of it have been salvaged and through one of the old window openings which has been propped up along the side of the chapel enclosure we caught our last glimpse of Hermitage Castle.

1 comment:

Lenna Young Andrews said...

I really like the last photo you show Frieda, peeking through the arch of the chapel (I think) across the fields with the pretty wild purple flowers to the castle. Impressive history and buildings in scotland, I really must get over there one day -hmmm, for other reasons too! I hope for a safe trip home for your mom, so lovely she could visit for your birthday. Now did Brush has a small celebration too? maybe some fish?? : )) xo lenna


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