Dumbarton Castle / Alt Clut - built on a hunk of volcanic rock, the rock of the Clyde, this fort of the Britons was the seat of power for the early kingdom of Strathclyde. 🏰 Here, one of the oldest remaining structures, the 14th-century portcullis arch. Blog post soon, methinks! #dumbarton #dumbartoncastle #altclut #medieval #castle #strathclyde #portcullis #scotland #historicscotland (at Dumbarton Castle)

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Located on the eastern end of the house, the Orangery is a rectangular building defined by its high, arched, sash windows. Robert Beverly, a previous owner, built it between 1805 and 1812. In the 1860s, Edward M. Linthicum updated the building by adding a monitor roof and an enclosed walkway to the house. He also planted a Ficus pumila in one corner of the Orangery, which continues to grow to this day, draping over the interior of the entire space.

The Orangery at Dumbarton Oaks

The Cutty Sark being built in  Dumbarton 1869

The name Cutty Sark’s name comes from Tam O'Shanter by  Robert Burns. It tells of a farmer who saw a beautiful witch dancing in a short petticoat, which was called a ‘cutty sark’ in ancient regional Scottish. Overcome by the dance, he called out “Weel done 'cutty sark’!” and was then chased by the witch, who was furious to have been spied. She was hot on his heels until he crossed the River Doon and was saved – witches cannot cross running water.


Hermitage Castle, Scotland

Hermitage Castle, in the border region of Scotland, has a reputation, both from its history and its appearance, as one of the most sinister and atmospheric in Scotland.

Supposedly built by Nicholas de Soulis around 1240, in a typical Norman Motte and Bailey pattern. It stayed in his family until approximately 1320 when his descendant, William de Soulis was forfeited on account of witchcraft and the attempted regicide of King Robert I of Scotland. Legend has it that Soulis’ tenantry, having suffered unbearable depredations, arrested him and at the nearby Ninestane Rig (a megalithic circle), and boiled to death in molten lead. In actuality, he died, a prisoner, in Dumbarton Castle.

When James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell held the castle, Mary, Queen of Scots, made a famous marathon journey on horseback to visit the wounded Bothwell there, only a few weeks after the birth of her son. They were to marry shortly after the murder of her 2nd husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, regardless of the fact that Bothwell was implicated amongst the conspirators.

After Mary’s forced abdication following the confrontation at Carberry Hill, Bothwell, facing charges of treason, fled to Norway and his titles and estates were forfeited by Act of Parliament. Whilst attempting to raise an army, to restore Mary to the throne, he was arrested by King Frederik’s men for breach of marriage contract with Anna Throndsen, and imprisoned at Dragsholm Castle in Denmark, where he died in 1578, insane and in appalling conditions. His mummified body can still be seen at nearby Fårevejle Church.

The castle is also one of many said to be haunted by Mary Queen of Scots.


Dumbarton & Ben Lomond by Alanach