Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Dunstaffnage Castle stands at the point where Loch Etive and the Firth of Lorn meet.
Sir Duncan MacDougall was a powerful lord with large forces and fleets at his disposal. He moved easily between the two realms competing for his loyalty.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
King James IV was obliged to invade England in order to honor the Auld Alliance with France, because France had been attacked by Henry VIII of England who was in cahoots with the Pope.
King James IV was brought to battle by the Earl of Surrey, Earl Marshal of England, and totally routed. King James IV, nine earls, thirteen barons and thousands of others were killed in Scotland's most disastrous battle. King James IV had never wanted war against Henry VIII and had done everything in his power to prevent it. The Auld Alliance, which was extremely useful to France on occasion, was a disastrous union from the Scots point of view.
The following Clans fought at Flodden for the King: Buchanan, Campbell, Fraser, Gordon, MacFarlane, MacKenzie, MacLaren, MacNaughten, Sinclair, Skene and MacLean.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Dunvegan Castle stands at the head of Loch Dunvegan, clan seat of the MacLeod chiefs from the early 13th century to present day. Dunvegan is the longest continuously occupied house in Scotland.
The oldest parts of the castle were the reconstructed seaward-facing curtain wall and sea gate. They were built by Leod himself, who lorded it over northern Skye and the Outer Hebrides under his king, Haakon IV of Norway. Through the centuries, other parts were added to the stronghold, such as the great tower to the right of the main entrance, and the 'fairy tower' to the left of the main entrance.
Alasdair Crotach MacLeod was the eighth chief. He also built himself a tomb in St. Clement's Church at Rodel, across the Minch on Harris, mountains of which are visible from Dunvegan.
More parts were added and changed over the centuries. In 1790, Lord and Lady MacLeod hired architect Walter Boak to convert the decrepit medieval castle into a modern mansion. Over the next fifty years, some parts were taken down, heightened, larger windows were put in and mock embattled parapets put on. The most significant change was a new, much grander, main entrance facing the land.
This is what welcomes visitors today. In MacLeod's day, there would have been no front door facing the land and visitors would have arrived at the old sea gate, by boat.
I don't think modern day Dunvegan looks too shabby! Verra nice!