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CastleUK Blog 2011

Castle UK Blog 2011 January PageThis is the place where I record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.

This months Scottish castles and mottes, are all from Lanarkshire, it's a nice little castle hunt down the River Clyde. Starting at Crawford and ending at Craignethan, in time for spotter shopping in Glasgow and there's tons more castles in the area if you want to cut out Glasgow.

October its been and gone but still no castle hunts to talk about, we did visit some very big stone buildings but its not castle, it's the Pyramids of Giza hunt. The three main Pyramids, the three smaller ones and the Sphinx, were built in the 4th Dynasty, 2550 B.C. now that's old. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is by far the most famous Pyramid in Egypt, the biggest, tallest, the most intact and the only remaining 'Seven Wonders of the World'. For a period of 4300 years, Khufu's Pyramid was the tallest building on earth and is built entirely of limestone, around 1,300,000 blocks ranging in weight from 2.5 tons to 15 tons. Built on a square base with sides measuring 755ft, it covers 13 acres, its four sides face the four cardinal points precisely and it has an angle of 52 degrees, with an original height of 488ft.
One chap on our hunt, who talked like Peter Kay, had silly hair and flashing lights on his sunglasses, kept saying that pyramids were built by aliens and after getting up close to them, I think he's got a point. How did they move blocks of stone, 5ft high by 5ft deep by 10ft long, over 4000 years ago but its not 1, its 1,300,000 and there not all on the ground, most are high, 450ft high. I know, they kept it simple and used the small 2.5 ton ones for the top, Peter Kay was right, its got to be aliens.
It'll soon be November 5th Bonfire Night, fireworks at the ready, Chris.

For more information, click on the pictures.

Eilean Donan Castle WallpaperEilean Donan Castle, OS 33/NG 881-258 Ross and Cromarty Scotland, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in May 2011, on the 6 day Scottish castle expedition.
The view of the castle is looking south, with the Clan MacRae Roll of Honour 1914-18 memorial below the tower house.
With Armistice Day falling in November, I try to have a picture that will remind us to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. Lt. Col. John MacRae wrote, we are dead short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset grow, loved and were loved and now we lie in Flanders fields.
Bower of WandelBower of Wandel, OS 72/NS 951-288 Lanarkshire Scotland.
Is possibly a 12th century earthwork motte, founded by the Jardines. Standing on the rocky knoll, is a 15th or 16th century tower house but only its defaced basement now remains. The gap in the south-east wall may be a former entrance and there is the springing of a vault on the internal north-west wall. The bases of three internal-splayed windows are the only features of interest.
The site is visible from the road, interesting ruin here but we were on the wrong side of the river, so I don't know if you can walk it.
Tillietudlem CastleCraignethan Castle, OS 72/NS 816-463 Lanarkshire Scotland.
Is an early 16th century stone tower house and courtyard fortress, founded by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart. Standing on a promontory formed by the deep ravines of the River Nethan and Craignethan Burn, is the last great medieval castle built in Scotland.
The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday October to March 9:30-4:30pm. Deep in the middle of nowhere, this was our big stone castle of the day and rightly so, it a monster. You park on high ground that gives you a great first view and when you go down it gets even better, you have to go here.
Tower LindsayCrawford Castle, OS 72/NS 954-213 Lanarkshire Scotland.
Is a 12th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by the Lindsays. The large low motte is partly encased by a ditch and to the south-west are the remains of a quadrangular bailey platform. The Carmichaels of Meadowflat were hereditary constables of the castle, which was occupied by English troops under King Edward I during the Wars of Independence.
The site is visible from the road, stone castle on a big old motte in an empty field, it was to good to miss. It's a lovely spot by the river, only sunshine or snow would have made it better.
Abington MotteNether Abington, OS 72/NS 932-249 Lanarkshire Scotland.
Is a well preserved 12th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress. Standing on the west bank of the River Clyde, the sub-circular, flat-topped motte is encased by a ditch and crowned by a modern stone memorial. Defended on the east by the river, a natural wide gully to the south and a marsh to the west, the motte is located at the south-east angle of the horseshoe shaped bailey.
The site is freely accessible in daylight hours, nice spot by the banks of the river and the layout of the castle is all there. I don't know why the memorial on the motte is to a postmaster who fished.
Roberton MotteRoberton, OS 72/NS 940-270 Lanarkshire Scotland.
Is a large mutilated 12th century earthwork motte, probably founded by Robert the Fleming. Standing above a bend of the River Clyde, the motte is now a horseshoe shape, after a large northern trench was dug in the 1960s. Formerly with steep-sides, a flat-top and encased by a ditch, the possible site of a bailey is now occupied by farm buildings.
The site is visible from the road but you can get close enough to get a good look.

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