The Castle Thread

Sailed past this one on a CalMac ferry about 20 years ago.

Mingary Castle, near Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. (Image: SWNS)

'Mingary Castle, in the Highlands lay abandoned for more than 200 years. The impressive fortress, which dates back as far as the 13th century and boasts its own drawbridge, is nestled on the top of a rocky cliff, where its windows gaze out to the Sound of Mull.

'In 1588 the castle, which is on the most Westerly point of the Scottish mainland, was the target of an unsuccessful three-day long siege by the ship San Juan de Sicilia - of the Spanish Armada. The ship was acting on behalf of the Maclain and Maclean clans in return for supplies and support - but failed to break through its walls, and eventually sunk off the Isle of Mull, the Mirror writes.

'Since 2013, the site and castle, now a £450-a-night hotel, have been designated as historically important and work is ongoing to preserve and restore the impressive building. But hidden within its walls is a bizarre room, closed to the outside world more than 500 years ago. And when it was finally opened six years ago, historians made a disturbing discovery - bones. Those renovating the castle came across the tiny room, which measures just 6 feet across and is only 6 feet high, by accident.

'Builders had discovered a passageway in the north wall of the imposing building, which is close to the village of Kilchoan the Ardnamurchan peninsula. It was as they started excavating that they came across the chamber - and historians are at a loss as to what it was used for. But the room, which is not believed to have been touched since the 16th century, contained fragments of bone.

'Jon Haylett, a local historian with the Mingary Castle Trust, believes the room will have been sealed off when the walls had to be filled in to strengthen them against cannon fire. He explained: "When cannons started being fired at the castle, they would have soon realised they had a huge weakness in their walls because of these windows. There are lancet windows (tall and narrow arched windows) on the outside of the castle which can’t be seen from the inside, so we assumed there was a room there and that’s now been confirmed." The hexagonal castle's walls are an impressive 9 feet thick and the building is protected. Its position on the seafront meant it held key naval and military significance and King James IV used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. The painstaking excavations also revealed a number of incredible historical artefacts - including ancient graffiti and cannonball fragments. The discoveries hint to the rich and troubled history of the castle - which was originally built for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan.'

 

Londo

LE
Sailed past this one on a CalMac ferry about 20 years ago.

Mingary Castle, near Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. (Image: SWNS)

'Mingary Castle, in the Highlands lay abandoned for more than 200 years. The impressive fortress, which dates back as far as the 13th century and boasts its own drawbridge, is nestled on the top of a rocky cliff, where its windows gaze out to the Sound of Mull.

'In 1588 the castle, which is on the most Westerly point of the Scottish mainland, was the target of an unsuccessful three-day long siege by the ship San Juan de Sicilia - of the Spanish Armada. The ship was acting on behalf of the Maclain and Maclean clans in return for supplies and support - but failed to break through its walls, and eventually sunk off the Isle of Mull, the Mirror writes.

'Since 2013, the site and castle, now a £450-a-night hotel, have been designated as historically important and work is ongoing to preserve and restore the impressive building. But hidden within its walls is a bizarre room, closed to the outside world more than 500 years ago. And when it was finally opened six years ago, historians made a disturbing discovery - bones. Those renovating the castle came across the tiny room, which measures just 6 feet across and is only 6 feet high, by accident.

'Builders had discovered a passageway in the north wall of the imposing building, which is close to the village of Kilchoan the Ardnamurchan peninsula. It was as they started excavating that they came across the chamber - and historians are at a loss as to what it was used for. But the room, which is not believed to have been touched since the 16th century, contained fragments of bone.

'Jon Haylett, a local historian with the Mingary Castle Trust, believes the room will have been sealed off when the walls had to be filled in to strengthen them against cannon fire. He explained: "When cannons started being fired at the castle, they would have soon realised they had a huge weakness in their walls because of these windows. There are lancet windows (tall and narrow arched windows) on the outside of the castle which can’t be seen from the inside, so we assumed there was a room there and that’s now been confirmed." The hexagonal castle's walls are an impressive 9 feet thick and the building is protected. Its position on the seafront meant it held key naval and military significance and King James IV used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. The painstaking excavations also revealed a number of incredible historical artefacts - including ancient graffiti and cannonball fragments. The discoveries hint to the rich and troubled history of the castle - which was originally built for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan.'

Interesting . I have read the blog of the guy converting this place to a hotel although I can't seem to find that blog now
Don't recall mention of the secret room ., wondering who was stuck in there and how long they lived .
.
 

A famous castle that hasn't lasted the test of time
Typical BBC bollocks. Caerlavelock has stood the 'test of time' as a mediaeval stronghold, holding true to its origins, far better than many of its contemporaries and successors that became gentrified country estates or Victorian follies. It was the first Historic Scotland property we ever visited.
 

Londo

LE
Sailed past this one on a CalMac ferry about 20 years ago.

Mingary Castle, near Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. (Image: SWNS)

'Mingary Castle, in the Highlands lay abandoned for more than 200 years. The impressive fortress, which dates back as far as the 13th century and boasts its own drawbridge, is nestled on the top of a rocky cliff, where its windows gaze out to the Sound of Mull.

'In 1588 the castle, which is on the most Westerly point of the Scottish mainland, was the target of an unsuccessful three-day long siege by the ship San Juan de Sicilia - of the Spanish Armada. The ship was acting on behalf of the Maclain and Maclean clans in return for supplies and support - but failed to break through its walls, and eventually sunk off the Isle of Mull, the Mirror writes.

'Since 2013, the site and castle, now a £450-a-night hotel, have been designated as historically important and work is ongoing to preserve and restore the impressive building. But hidden within its walls is a bizarre room, closed to the outside world more than 500 years ago. And when it was finally opened six years ago, historians made a disturbing discovery - bones. Those renovating the castle came across the tiny room, which measures just 6 feet across and is only 6 feet high, by accident.

'Builders had discovered a passageway in the north wall of the imposing building, which is close to the village of Kilchoan the Ardnamurchan peninsula. It was as they started excavating that they came across the chamber - and historians are at a loss as to what it was used for. But the room, which is not believed to have been touched since the 16th century, contained fragments of bone.

'Jon Haylett, a local historian with the Mingary Castle Trust, believes the room will have been sealed off when the walls had to be filled in to strengthen them against cannon fire. He explained: "When cannons started being fired at the castle, they would have soon realised they had a huge weakness in their walls because of these windows. There are lancet windows (tall and narrow arched windows) on the outside of the castle which can’t be seen from the inside, so we assumed there was a room there and that’s now been confirmed." The hexagonal castle's walls are an impressive 9 feet thick and the building is protected. Its position on the seafront meant it held key naval and military significance and King James IV used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. The painstaking excavations also revealed a number of incredible historical artefacts - including ancient graffiti and cannonball fragments. The discoveries hint to the rich and troubled history of the castle - which was originally built for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan.'

The bones in the sealed up room remind me somewhat of Blackness Castle . In IIRC 1928 when they were clearing out the oubliette they found an old iron manacle with wrist bones still inside .
 
The bones in the sealed up room remind me somewhat of Blackness Castle . In IIRC 1928 when they were clearing out the oubliette the found an old iron manacle with wrist bones still inside .
But that was what an oubliette was effectively for; lowered into a bottle dungeon and never coming out again. Potentially sealed into a derelict chamber/room within the walls is a little more intriguing (assuming it doesn't turn out to be the bones of a rat or a pigeon).
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
Actually a lot of castles were very poorly supplied with latrines or garderobes as they were sometimes known which must have pissed off quite a few people .
maybe because it was saved for the tanners and gunpowder mills or for doing laundry so would be carted off to mature and bring the ammonia out.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
The gardens of Raven House Hotel, Yorkshire but bear with me. This is recycled stone to build the garden crenellations from the Roman fortifications and signal light that were here, that we’re in turn based on a pre Roman site.
Robbing out stone from your predecessors is a long standing tradition.
Great place for my childhood holidays as well!View attachment 469013
is that was used to be raven hall - next to the failed victorian holiday destination of ravenscar?

My dads 'apprentice' job was rewiring a block of flats there all on his todd in the 60's and doing the overhead line repairs in the winter.
 

Londo

LE
But that was what an oubliette was effectively for; lowered into a bottle dungeon and never coming out again. Potentially sealed into a derelict chamber/room within the walls is a little more intriguing (assuming it doesn't turn out to be the bones of a rat or a pigeon).
I think it happened more often than we think in days gone bye
 

Londo

LE
maybe because it was saved for the tanners and gunpowder mills or for doing laundry so would be carted off to mature and bring the ammonia out.
It was quite the resource back in the day . Even the Romans had many uses for it (perhaps not gunpowder though as far as we know)
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
Pork Sword calling Danny Boy......

In the background the title music rolls and talks of Dusseldorf can be heard.

The Schloss Adler, otherwise known as The Fortress of Hohenwerfen, one of Austria's better castles. Around 40km south of Salzburg (or 22.7 nm).

View attachment 472784

Best visited when raining or snowing to get the full castle effect.
snowing to get the full eagles dare thing going - I might have to take my little brother there for a birthday seeing as it was his favourite film.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
Not a castle in the classical sense, but well worth a climb up the hill, and sounds like there may be more to see there over time if any dig turns into development of a display.

View attachment 473789

'A team of archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen have revealed that the settlement had up to 4000 inhabitants living in over 800 huts. Essentially making the site a city by standards of the day, rivalling in size to post Roman settlements found across Europe.

'Using Radiocarbon dating, the results suggests that the settlement was built in the 5th- 6th centuries AD and covered an area of around 17 acres. Professor Gordon Noble, who led the research, described the discovery through carbon dating that activity at the site extended into the Pictish period as the ‘most surprising of his career’.'


is that one of the ones where the stones are fused together and nobody can work out how they did it?
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
1590182654425.png


my favourite as a kid was pickering castle, mind you picture two cub packs running riot playing 'army; around the place for a whole sunday - it was ace.

 

sand_rat

Old-Salt
I do really enjoy the design touches of old castles - the thought that went in to them.

People are mainly right handed.

They'll carry a shield in their left hand.

Let's make it so when they approach by the front door, we'll have their right-hand side exposed. Pure, simple, genius.
Back then the use of the left hand was considered the mark of the devil, and was beaten out of you at a young age. EVERYONE was right handed, didnt matter if you liked it or not.
 
Back then the use of the left hand was considered the mark of the devil, and was beaten out of you at a young age. EVERYONE was right handed, didnt matter if you liked it or not.
Sinister, dexter.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
Back then the use of the left hand was considered the mark of the devil, and was beaten out of you at a young age. EVERYONE was right handed, didnt matter if you liked it or not.
something only just relaxed.

I lost half an inch of my right index finger as a baby and there was great discussions as to whether I should be 'allowed' to use my left instead.

I still don't know whether I am left or right handed as tests when I was 9 said I was capable of being ambidextous with surgery on the finger or a different writing style.

it did mean I didn't suffer so much on the SA80 as others though considering we were 20% of the army or something like that..
 

Londo

LE
But that was what an oubliette was effectively for; lowered into a bottle dungeon and never coming out again. Potentially sealed into a derelict chamber/room within the walls is a little more intriguing (assuming it doesn't turn out to be the bones of a rat or a pigeon).
Lowered ? Try thrown and head first if you were lucky enough for a quick death .
 

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