Archive for the ‘Scotland’ Category

Photographs Copyright © 2019 by Antony J Waller



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A former fishing village in the north west Highlands of Scotland on the shores of Loch Gairloch.

Enjoy your visit!

Words and photographs Copyright © 2019 by Antony J Waller





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Once a bustling port on the banks of the Firth of Forth and a busy centre for salt panning, mining and girdlemaking in the 17th and 18th centuries, Culross is now Scotland’s most complete example of an ‘ancient burgh’. However, it is not a museum; it is a community where people live and work. Old cobbled streets and alleyways such as Tanhouse Brae, Back and Low Causeway, Kirk Street, Slate Loan and Sand Haven lead you past the Mercat Cross, Culross Palace, Town House and many more 17th and 18th century cottages and houses.


Culross Palace – despite the name the ‘palace’ was not a royal residence but an early 17th century house built in for a wealthy merchant, Sir George Bruce, an industrialist and mining engineer who revolutionised the local mines.




The Town House – built in 1626 and where the town council met until the mid 1970s,

was previously used as a tollbooth, debtors’ prison,

and where once witches were imprisoned in the attic.








The Study – built in 1610 and so called after Bishop Leighton of Dunblane

who used the room as a study on his visits to Culross and the Abbey.







And finally; Culross has featured as a film set, an ‘extra’ in such films as Kidnapped, The 39 Steps, Captain America: The First Avenger and Outlander.


Words and photographs Copyright © 2018 by Antony J Waller

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Within the grounds of Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, stands a 9 acre walled garden – Hercules Garden, the largest cultivated walled garden in Scotland. It was planned by John Murray, the 2nd Duke and Marquess of Tullibardine, and work began under the supervision of head gardener John Wilson in the early 1740s and took till 1756 to complete, although there was a temporary interruption when the castle was besieged by the Duke’s younger brother during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Built into a shallow valley the centre piece of the gardens is an elongated lake or series of ponds, narrowing in the middle and crossed by a Chinese bridge. Several ‘gardener’s cottages’ and outhouses are built into the external walls, including McGregor’s Folly, a gazebo added in 1888. Sadly, as was the case with the gardens of many large estates during WWI and afterwards, it was left untended and by the late 1940s after WWII it had become overgrown, unkempt and derelict. Subsequent plans to use the garden as a ‘market garden’ were unsuccessful too and the garden’s demise continued until the 1980s.

Then the 10th Duke began a programme of restorative work, which continues today, to return the garden to its former Georgian design and glories. Long herbaceous borders, fruit trees and vegetable beds once again vie for your attention along with statues, stone urns and garden ornaments, swan and duck houses, and all under the stern gaze of a statue of Hercules himself, a fixture there since 1743.

If touring Scotland and Perthshire I hope you find an opportunity to visit. In the meantime here are a few pictures.

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Panorama of the battlefield. The Jacobite lines to the left, the Government lines to the right..

On a windswept Scottish moor with driving rain and sleet blowing into their faces the Jacobite Army led by their Chieftain Bonnie Prince Charlie, resplendent in tartan coat and cockaded bonnet carrying a light broadsword and riding a fine grey gelding, stood in lines from three to six deep facing a well drilled Government force commanded by the Duke of Cumberland. It was one o’clock on the 16th April 1746 and the last pitched battle fought on British soil was about to begin. Within the hour the Jacobite Army was routed, up to two thousand Highlanders lay dead or wounded and their charismatic chieftain led away in bewilderment, distressed and in tears.

To read more go to:


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The industrial town of Falkirk in central Scotland is the home to a most extraordinary and unique feat of engineering:- the Millennium Falkirk Wheel.

This is a rotating boat hoist designed to lift boats 79 feet from the Forth and Clyde Canal via an aqueduct to a canal basin and two further locks to the Union Canal. The 18th century saw Falkirk at the heart of the industrial revolution in central Scotland and at the forefront of new canal construction. The Forth and Clyde Canal was opened in 1790 to join the east coast to the west coast and in 1822 the Union Canal was built to complete a spur right into the centre of Edinburgh. Where the two canals met at Falkirk a system of 11 locks was built for canal traffic to navigate the difference in height of 115 feet between the levels of the two waterways. This series of locks last used in 1902 fell into disrepair and were filled in by the early 1930s.  A regeneration programme to breathe new life into the canals and link the waterways once more for traffic and leisure activities resulted in the innovative design of the Falkirk Wheel. Opened in 2002 this towering structure is a focal point in a newly created canal basin and visitor centre where visitors can enjoy the experience of being hoisted by boat from one level to another or merely watch this feat of engineering in action.

A longer version of this article which includes the nearby Antonine Roman Wall can be found at http://www.squidoo.com/wheels-and-walls-in-falkirk

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