When is a Castle not a Castle ?

 

Floors-Castle

Floors Castle, Kelso, Roxburghshire,  The Sottish Borders

High above the famous River Tweed, on the fringe of the Scottish Border town of Kelso, stands the rather fine Scottish Floors Castle. It is an imposing building in an equally imposing location of gardens and a wider Country Estate.

But this is not a traditional Scottish Castle.  Built in 1721, for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe, to a design by the architect William Adam, it was in fact  designed as a rather fine ‘Country House’.  Those castle like features of Turrets and Battlements were added later in the 19th century., but it was never designed as a fortress.  No matter it is still a rather grand building.  Today I am told that Floors Castle is the largest inhabited ‘castle’ in Scotland.   It is also the  family home of the  11th Duke of Roxburghe.

The name Floors is rather intriguing.  I was told of two possible meanings.  Floors being the adaption of the French word  Fleurs  or flowers.  Todays  magnificent gardens would be a fitting tribute to that name.   The other possibility is the interpretation that Floors means Terraces, and Floors Castle is certainly built on  a high terrace above the Tweed.

The Scottish Borders are rich in history.  Nor can you travel far without tripping over a Castle or Abbey all in great scenery.  All well worth exploring …. if you do take a tour put Floors Castle on the top of your list.

As always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

7th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

An Inspired Link……

SCOTLAND ARGYLL

Crinan Canal Basin, Argyll, Scotland

Crinan is the western end of a nine mile canal  opened in 1801.   Designed to create a short cut for  small inland steam ships, ‘The Clyde Puffers” and for Fishing Vessels. linking the Clyde (and Glasgow) with the North West Coast of Scotland and the Hebridean Islands.  Time saved, and the possible trauma, of  navigating the often turbulent and exposed Mull of Kintyre were a vital bonus.

The Crinan canal  cuts a scenic route from Lochgilphead,  on Loch Gilp in the east, to Crinan. It is here by  the means of sea locks, that the  traffic along the canal  regains open water into Loch Crinan and the Sound of Jura, then onwards to the Isles. Whilst today the ‘Puffers’ are gone, fishing vessels still use the route.  However it is Leisure Craft that are todays prime users.

It is also a great little tourist spot for visitors  to this part of Argyll and Bute.  Lovely on a sunny day, even rather Mediterranean ….. it would have been a busy,  noisy, smoky world in its  heydays.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

6th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

Wordless Wednesday …… Another Favourite Place

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Location.    Dawn overlooking Letterewe Forest from Leathad Daraich Pass above Poolewe, West Ross, Scotland.

(  I know its Wordless Wednesday, but the back story made this picture….. A favourite view of the wildland behind Slioch to the north of the Torridons.  Apart from the view, I love this shot because it is not the shot I had intended. The previous afternoon I was at this location and thought it the ideal spot for a dawn sunrise.  The forecast was good, so an early start with Buster and off we headed.  Got there in good time….but as we reached the location,  this thin layer of cloud came over and we lost the sunrise.  Hung around for awhile but this was as good as it was going to get…  so nothing for it but to head back for breakfast)

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

5th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

A Highland Waterway……….

Scotland

Loch Lochy, The Great Glen, Lochaber, Scotland

More than just a Highland Loch, Loch Lochy is one of several Lochs that have been linked to form the Caledonian Canal.  Stretching  for over 60miles from Corpach, just outside Fort William on the west coast, it heads north east to Inverness on the East Coast.  Constructed in the days when the Scottish Fishing Industry  was at its peak and shipping a key means of transportation. It opened in 1822 ,thus saving days of sailing round the coast, to cross Scotland.   We say ‘constructed’ but less than a third of the canal is man made. Thomas Telford skilfully linked the  Lochs, that  lie along the natural geological feature of the Great Glen, into one waterways link.  Grand scenery and a grand feat of vision and construction.

Today a major contributor to the Tourist Industry…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th July

(C) David Oakes 2020