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CastleUK Blog
August 2010
The blog page, a place where I can record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.

This months Scottish castles and house, are from Fife.

On the 14th of July we went passed 10 years online, all that time I just don't know where its gone, well come to think of it I do know. Lots of castle hunts and tons of time tickling the keys of 3 computers, to put online the pages and pictures of this website. By the end of the year, the pages on the site will be close to 3000, it's a big old beast now, so big that I don't how many castles I've put on. I'll have to let you know the numbers when I do my full site update at the end of the year.
We went down south to Brighton, more of a holiday than a hunt but I did visit a couple of sites to get new pictures, to update some of my castle pages from the year 2002. So in map 198 I've updated with new descriptions and pictures, Bramber and Knepp castles, I given Edburton Castle a new description and pictures, an extra picture page and its proper name of Castle Ring, new pictures to Lewes Castle and new description, pictures and an extra picture page to Lewes Priory Great Gate and The Mount which may not have been a motte after all but it's a good copy of one. This is on top of the 6 new Scottish castles in the new 59 map square and the new fantastic castle wallpaper, I've been a busy boy this month.
Started in earnest planning the
Inverness/Culloden monster 6 day castle/battle hunt, the hotel and inn are booked. We are stopping for 2 nights in Kinross, with Loch Leven Castle and other big castles on the doorstep, 1 day on the way up and 1 day on the way down and 4 nights in Nairn, which is nice and central for the big castle sites on the coast to the east and west and of course Culloden and Urquhart Castle are a must.

Click on the pictures, for more information.

Dirleton Castle Wallpaper
Dirleton Castle, OS 66/NT 515-840 East Lothian Scotland, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in November 2009 and looking north the view is of the imposing mid 13th century cylindrical keep.
The sun was shining, the light for once was good and when I saw the shadow of the cedar tree on the keep, I thought this is a castle wallpaper picture not to be missed and so far I think it's one of my best.
Aithernie Castle
Aithernie Castle, OS 59/NO 380-036 Fife Scotland.
Is an early 17th century stone tower house, founded by William Riggs. Aithernie was mentioned in a mid 12th century inheritance and in the 13th century it belonged to the Lundin family. Bought by James Watson in 1670, it was described as a fine house in 1710 but sadly a neglected ruin by 1803. The site is visible from the road.
The field was empty of crops, so I took a closer look, there's not much even close too but what left is being respected.
MacDuff's Castle
MacDuff's Castle, OS 59/NT 344-972 Fife Scotland.
Was originally a late 13th century stone courtyard fortress, founded by Michael Wemyss. The site is traditionally associated with 'Macduff, Thane of Fife' but in 1306, King Edward I ordered the Earl of Pembroke to burn the castle. Rebuild in the mid 14th century, Sir John Wemyss added the north-western gatehouse to the quadrangular court. The site is freely accessible in daylight hours.
Corker of a site this one but being called MacDuff's it just had to be. So much left, so much gone, so much rubble and vegetation, do you laugh, do you cry or just wish Time Team could get their teeth into a site like this. Even in November, the brambles made it so I couldn't get round the castle, what a pity, even the castle spotter wants to go back to this belter and that's rare.
Maiden Castle
Maiden Castle, OS 59/NT 349-015 Fife Scotland.
Is a large 12th century circular flat topped motte, founded by Merleswain, son of Colbain. Standing on a natural ridge, the knoll is crowned with traces of undated masonry and a shallow central depression. The site is visible from the dismantled railway line.
Big old motte here and you can get up close, it was cold and a bit late in the day when we visited, so I didn't have a good look, I had bath and beer on my mind.
Pitcruvie Castle Pitcruvie Castle, OS 59/NO 413-046 Fife Scotland.
Was originally a late 15th century stone rectangular three storey tower house, founded by Lord Lindsay of the Byres. Built of dressed stone with rubble filling, its original first floor entrance was sealed, when a small later stair-wing was added to the north-east angle. The site is visible from the road.
First castle of a foggy morning here and the road had a couple of inches of ice on it, couldn't park the smart safely so this was as close as I could get to this tower, that's in a lovely spot.
Wemyss Castle Wemyss Castle, OS 59/NT 329-951 Fife Scotland.
Is a 15th century stone rectangular keep and courtyard fortress, founded by Sir John Wemyss. 'The Hall of the Wemyss' possibly incorporates or was built on the site of, the earlier fortification that was sacked by the English during the Wars of Independence. Wemyss Castle Gardens may be visited by prior appointment Monday to Friday May to July 12:00-5:00pm. The view of the castle from the beach is restricted.
It was a nice walk on the beach but you can only see bits of the castle, would be better to visit the gardens and get a look that way.
West Wemyss West Wemyss, OS 59/NT 319-947 Fife Scotland.
Is a late 16th century stone rectangular tower house, founded by the Wemyss family. Standing in Chapel Garden and of four storeys and a garret, the vaulted basement which contains an eastern kitchen is now below ground level. Boldly projecting from the middle of the south front is a round four storey stair-tower, crowned by the remains of a corbelled-out rectangular caphouse. The site is in the private Chapel Garden, with no public access and the view from the Fife Coastal Path is restricted.
Park at the lovely little harbour and again it's a nice walk by the beach and you can get up close to the round flanking towers but the wall hides the bottom of the tower, with its good looking stair-tower and caphouse, the locked door in the wall was most frustrating.

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