Scotland 2015: Day 17
Last night I stayed in Broughty Ferry, which is almost to Dundee!
Then back to Dundee… I love this castle! Funny story about this castle from back in 2000. I was visiting Broughty Castle, which is the next castle for today, and they told me that this place was awesome but also showed me a flier that the castle had closed for the summer the day before. Even closed they still told me to go there if only to get a good picture or two. So I hired a taxi to take me there and wait while I took some photos. As I am taking my photos a man comes out of the castle and asks me why I am not coming inside. I explained that over at Broughty Castle that they told me (and showed me on the flier) that he was closed for the season. He got upset because that’s why nobody had come all day and told me to send my taxi away and personally toured me through the entire castle. He even let me see into the rafters and also the modern toilet that they have in the office.
It’s so small and perfect – two towers and a keep – you could really live here! The funny part is that it is situated right in a residential neighborhood. It is like the corner lot in the ‘burbs just happens to be this castle. This is a castle I would own! Castle #52 – Claypotts Castle.
Then off to St. Andrews! No – I didn’t play the Old Course. St. Andrews is a really fun place. The entire city is steeped in history and it is also a college town. When I was in graduate school taking the History of European Photography they showed us this 1846 photo by Robert Adamson in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
And I was like, I was there in 2000 and took the same picture but 150 years later!
This is a great ruin. The castle was mined and counter mined. One way of taking down a castle it to dig a tunnel from the street under one of the walls and then collapse the foundation. This is how you mine or undermine a castle – it is also why they went for round instead of square towers. If you are in the castle when this is happening, you can see that they are digging a tunnel. So to defend against it you start to dig your own tunnel to meet their tunnel and fight them! The problem is that you are digging blindly – just listening for them. Your can dig this tunnel faster because it only has to be people sized. So back in the day the castle was mined and the people in the castle built a countermine and where the two tunnels meet a battle ensued and the castle one. The entire thing was filled in and only later excavated for you to get to explore. Back in 2000 when I visited it was raining. There I am on my hands and knees climbing through this tunnel with water running in it beside me eventually opening up into the cavernous space where a battle had taken place underground several hundred years ago. Pretty epic. Today though it was just tourists everywhere! Castle #54 – St Andrews Castle.
Now the challenge – St Andrews Cathedral – Church #18 – Print #16. I love how these prints are all not the “typical” point of view. It makes me wonder if these were the typical points of view back then and why and how our modern sensibilities might have changed.
Took a while to get the right angle! It is actually from a little around the corner but not easy with the phone because of traffic. I ended up having the camera on the monopod balanced off my chest and a remote triggering it. Church #19 – Print #17 – The Blackfriars’ Chapel.
Ooh a challenge! After being guided by latitude and longitude, I still couldn’t tell if the building was standing or if I was even in the right place . Luckily one of the buildings had a little plaque that said “The Priory”. The drawing is practically orthographic and these are in reality three buildings with a courtyard. As always I was able to do better with the real camera but the view in the print doesn’t exist and probably never did!! Church #20 – Print #18 – Pittenweem Priory.
I have two prints of this tower and it is fun to follow the clues. Note the door in the tower! Then the curved road and wall leading to a small building with a chimney! It’s 11th century and probably was a bell tower so it gets listed as Historic #13 – Print #19. Abernethy Round Tower.
This one is a little more challenging. No door in the print. The windows go all the way around. The clock was added in 1868 so that doesn’t help. The small window in the center might be in this picture but the scale would have this tower be 5 times its size. This print is probably a fiction 🙂 Print #20 – Abernethy Round Tower.
Overall day 16 was pretty productive – did 10 items and have driven over 2,000 miles. Tomorrow should be interesting as two of the castles require boats to get to them! It has rained every day! I’m almost back to Edinburgh to start my quick southern loop! I have 38 more prints to go!!! Since two of my prints the sites have been total demolished I am going to have to cut them off my list to save time. I might also have to lose the 2 museums in Edinburgh – this is about castles and prints!!!