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CastleUK Blog
March 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.

Of this months Scottish castles and a fort, 3 are from Midlothian and 2 are from Fife.

This is a first for CastleUK, live changing of my blog page, after watching Team Time I now know that Tregruk is, Llangibby Castle OS 171/ST 364-974, other names for the castle are Tregreg and Trigruck, it stands just north of Llangybi in South Wales. It's off the Usk to Caerleon road at Llangibby Castle farm, the road to the farm passes a motte and bailey castle called The Bowling Green (must be a later use of the site) at ST 369-973, this site must be the predecessor of Llangibby. After passing the farm the road goes up to the castle, there is a public footpath marked on my Ordnance Survey Landranger 171 map, which goes by the side of the farm road passing the motte and bailey castle and the farm but turns north by the tree line. An other public footpath marked on the map, runs from a crossroads to the west, this one go to the castle, so it can be accessed, click this link for pictures and a write up. If you go to my map here you can see Llangibby, which is Llangybi my OS map, on the map it's just south of Usk, castle hunting from the desktop, another first. Thanks to the hunters who emailed me its name, a couple were before the episode was televised, for me the map gave it away and Castellarium Anglicanum vol. 1 by D.J. Cathcart King did the rest, location on my site at 8:00pm 10/10/10, was that the first on the net?

February, there's not much to report, working, thinking of trips to come and busy on the website, nothing new there.
Looked on the net to find out why Time Team had not start, strangely not a word on the Channel4 site but they have more to say on the unofficial Time Team site. The Time Team return to television screens this year for their 17th season of digging, with the first episode broadcasting date still undecided. They are going to break the 2010 series into two mini-series and for some reason there are concerns about a clash with the Antiques Roadshow on the BBC at 7pm.
This year there are two castles listed, one is a misty Welsh castle called Tregruk, its true name and location are different but the team don’t want them revealed as they are on private land and they must respect the owner’s wishes but I don't think it'll be long before it's location is on the net, you know what castle hunters are like. The other is Hopton Castle, which was the scene of one of the bloodiest massacres of the English Civil War and it's already on the site but I've been updating the 9 year old pages of the castles in that area and about time too.

Click on the pictures, for more information.

Dunure Castle Wallpaper

Dunure Castle, OS 70/NS 252-158 Ayrshire Scotland, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in October 2007 when we hunted in Ayrshire and the view of the castle and the beehive-shaped dovecot, looking south from the waters edge.
Great ruin, perched at the edge of the sea, the castle is bigger than it looks in the picture but this trip was hard going, after my back went, when I was tying up my boots!

 Aberdour Castle
Aberdour Castle, OS 66/NT 192-855 Fife Scotland.
Was originally an early to mid 12th century stone rectangular two storey hall house and courtyard fortress, founded by Alan de Mortimer. With a first floor hall over a vaulted basement, it is arguably the oldest standing stone castle in Scotland. In the 15th century, the Douglases, earls of Morton and lords of Dalkeith, heightened the hall house to create a tower house, of three storeys and a garret. The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, October 9:30-4:30pm, Saturday to Wednesday, November to March 9:30-4:30pm.
Great site here, nice gallery to walk, a rare painted ceiling to look at, 12th century church, gardens and a dovecot, something for everyone.
 Craigmillar Castle
Craigmillar Castle, OS 66/NT 288-709 Midlothian Scotland.
Is a late 14th century stone L-plan tower house, founded by the Prestons of Craigmillar. On a commanding eminence overlooking Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth, the four storey tower stands against a low crag which possibly once supported an earlier fortification. In the mid 15th century the castle was encased by an inner courtyard, with ranges of buildings along three sides of the high curtain wall and round flanking towers at the angles. The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, October 9:30-4:30pm, November to March Saturday to Wednesday 9:30-4:30pm.
Mighty castle with great views, one of the oldest in Scotland, with a fine great hall, great to explore because of the many dark and mysterious chambers and in the grounds are the remains of an unusual fishpond laid out in the shape of a letter P, for Preston.
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle, OS 66/NT 251-735 Midlothian Scotland.
Was originally a 6th century fortification, mentioned in an old Welsh poem the Gododdin of Aneurinan. Standing on a high volcanic plug, there are extremely steep slopes to the north, south and west, only the east side gives a manageable approach. In the late 11th century, the Citadel was held by Malcolm Canmore and his consort Margaret and it was her son King David I who founded the royal stone enclosure fortress, adding to the summit of Castle Rock, St Margaret's Chapel. The Royal Palace, contains the Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-6:00pm, October to March 9:30-5:00pm.
Well a castle not to be missed and if your in the city you can't miss it. For us St Margaret's Chapel, David's Tower and to see the nation’s crown jewels, which are the oldest royal regalia in the United Kingdom was well worth the ticket money.
Inchkeith Island Artillery Fortifications Inchkeith Artillery Fortifications, OS 66/NT 293-828 Fife Scotland.
Were originally a mid 16th century timber and earth fortress, founded by the English during the 'Rough Wooing' invasion. From 1550 Scotland's French allies, probably founded the stone fort when adding thick walls of stone encased by earth.
There is no access to the island but the site is visible from Edinburgh or Kinghorn.
The more I visit Scotland, the more the 'Rough Wooing' fascinates me.
Lauriston Castle Lauriston Castle, OS 66/NT 204-762 Midlothian Scotland.
Is a late 16th century stone rectangular tower house, founded by Sir Archibald Napier. Of three storeys and an attic, the first floor hall is above a vaulted basement and projecting from the north wall is a central stair tower, circular at the base and rectangular above. In the early 19th century, architect William Burn added eastern and northern two storey Jacobean ranges to the tower when constructing of a splendid country mansion. The site is owned by The City of Edinburgh Council and is open for one daily 'no need to book' 2:00pm guided tour, Saturday to Thursday April to October, Saturday and Sunday November to March.
Visited early morning on the way to Fife, so missed the tour, it's a good looking tower and house from the outside, we'll have to call again.

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