Showing posts from February, 2019

Mary, Queen of Scots

(Above image is a capture of a statue of Mary at Linlithgow Palace.) © Nigel P Cole/Catswhiskerstours Limited Actress in high status costume of the day. Mary was born in the mid 16th century and directly thrust into a vortex of religious change and power politics, both intra-national and international. At just nine months of age Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. At age 5 years was separated from her family and sent to France where she was brought up in the French Court in the Roman Catholic faith. Mary became Queen Consort of France in 1559 but was widowed within 18 months and returned to a Protestant Scotland in 1561 age 18 years with both parents dead. She resumed the throne of Scotland but entered into a disastrous marriage with Lord Darnley in 1565, a union which produced one son, the future James VI (Scotland) I (England). Darnley was murdered in 1567. That same year Mary married the Earl of Bothwell and became unpopular in the country. She was imprisone

Scottish Borders Region

(Above image is a capture of haymaking near Newcastleton.) The Scottish Borders covers an area of 1800 square miles in southern Scotland with the city of Edinburgh and Lothians to the north, Dumfries and Galloway to the west, and Northumberland in northern England to the south.The region is characterised by rolling hills, narrow roads, omnipresent sheep, rivers and streams and seasonal colours.Here, farming is a major industry. Tourism and textiles are also important aspects of economic activity. Landscape view from Ettleton Cemetery, an ancient burial place containing graves of many Armstrongs. Today's peaceful landscape belies a violent past when the region acted as lawless buffer between England and Scotland which gave rise to the Border Reivers era (13th century to early 17th century) when local family groups reigned supreme. Population of the Borders region is 114,000. For the visitor the Borders offers a combination of tranquillity and a choice of attrac

St.Andrews, Scotland

(Above  image is capture of aerial view from atop St Rule's Tower.) Background Information St. Andrews is a fascinating compact town (pop 14,000) positioned on the coast of the North Sea with excellent beaches. The town is very smart and offers visitors a unique juxtaposition of golf, academia and historic visitor attractions including a ruined Cathedral and medieval castle. Not to be overlooked is the town’s association with Scotland’s patron saint. West Sands. This site featured in the film Chariots of Fire.  In effect, the town of St. Andrews has grown since medieval times around the campus of Scotland’s oldest university (established 1413). At the east end is the famous Cathedra l and castle whilst to the west is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club which overlooks the first and eighteenth holes of the world famous Old Course which is patronised by golfing aficionados from all over the world. Access : St. Andrews is easily accessible by road from Glasgo

Anstruther, Fife, Scotland

(Above image represents capture of a beach scene at Anstruther.) This evening, I am posting information on the popular seaside village of Anstruther which is located in the East Neuk of Fife, in the east of Scotland, about 10 miles south of St. Andrews and directly opposite North Berwick across the Firth of Forth in East Lothian. Shore Street, Anstruther  Shell decorated house   The scenic Fife Coast with its many quaint fishing villages is popular with visitors. Here can also be found Lower Largo, Earlsferry, Elie, St. Monans, Pittenweem and  Crail . Tourists can comfortably visit these Fife villages within course of a one day tour starting Edinburgh and finishing St Andrews or central Scotland. Note that Fife is a county and often described as the Kingdom of Fife, which is an historic name. Maritime view. Attractions at Anstruther include: Shops and eateries including the famous Anstruther Fish Bar (Fish and Chip restaurant).  Harbour with marina a

Romans in Southern Scotland

(Image above represents capture of the outer defences of Burnswark South Roman Camp.) Today, we visited two Roman sites: Burnswark Hill (which lies a couple miles east of Lockerbie in the Scottish Borders region) and Birrens Roman Fort  (Blatobulgium) which is about two miles south of Burnwark. Lockerbie will be remembered as the site of the terrorist disaster in 1988 when 270 persons died consequent upon an explosion on Pam Am 103. In viewing the images readers should remember the Roman sites are around 1800 years old and have been subject to depredation of the Scottish climate. The defensive ditches will have been subject to infill due to erosion whilst the defensive earthen banks would, during the Roman era, have been complemented with palisades, maybe six feet high. Remains today represent the basic foundations. Burnswark Hill Burnswark Hill has a height of 942 feet and displays a complex archaeological record. It appears that human occupation of Burnswa