It was a very cold but yet again beautifully sunny day. Autumn has done its best to make up for our miserable summer. And I suggested a visit to Craigmillar Castle after reading about it in the Member's magazine of Historic Scotland that owns and runs the place. We're both members and although I definitely make it worth my while by visiting as many of their properties as I can manage, John doesn't go to quite as many. However he was game today and didn't regret it.
The walls of the old tower can be seen behind the newer outer walls and it's possible to get all the way to the top of it even now! If there are stairs I will always climb them, they are one temptation I simply can't resist!
The outer walls were added and much of the castle added to and rebuilt in 1660 when the Gilmour family took over the place and as a result the castle has become a maze of passages, re-purposed rooms and stairs.In the courtyard you get to by going through the above door there are 2 old and very large trees growing.
And this is the shield above that door. The unicorn is a symbol of Scottish royalty and Mary Queen of Scots visited this castle at least twice (verified by documents) but probably many more times. She came here in November 1566, suffering from depression, having given birth to her son James (the future James I of England and VI of Scotland) in the June of that year, only 3 months after witnessing the murder of her secretary by her husband Henry, Lord Darnley. The plot to kill Darnley was also decided by her supporters at Craigmillar Castle and became knows as the Craigmillar Bond.
As I mentioned above we climbed all the way up and were rewarded with stunning views in all directions. The above one is towards the river Forth and you can just about see the shores of Fife on the other side as well as some passing ships.
This is the very top of the tower and I was struck with the resemblance of this roof to that of St. Mary's Aisle in Carnwath which we visited quite some time ago.
my blip for today.