Duffus Castle – A Motte and Bailey Design

Hello there, friends. I am looking out my den window at a completely joyless day – well, weather-wise, at least. It is 32ยบ F and misting, with more freezing rain expected later today. It’s the sort of day that makes me extra appreciative of my cozy, warm house and that the first day of spring is only about five weeks away! In light of the weather, I thought today I would talk about Duffus Castle, which we visited on a lovely (and warm) afternoon in May 2019.

Duffus Castle (or Doofus Castle as Mr. C and I like to say just to be silly – admit it, you thought it too) sits near the coast of the Moray Firth in the Moray region in northern Scotland. The site lies about an hour to the northeast of Inverness and ten minutes southeast of Elgin.

A stone road leading to Duffus Castle

Duffus Castle is a fine example of a motte and bailey castle, a common design during the 12th and 13th centuries in Scotland. Don’t worry. I had to look that up too. Wikipedia describes this type of fortification as one having “a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by a walled courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.” Duffus was at one time a more defensible castle than it appears today, as it used to be surrounded by the now drained Loch of Spynie.

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Ardverikie Estate – Home of “Monarch of the Glen”

A number of years ago, I discovered the British television show “Monarch of the Glen”. Have you seen it? The comedy/drama comprised seven seasons that aired from 2000-2005. I immediately fell in love with the premise and the quirkiness of the characters and storylines. If you’re not familiar with it, the first five seasons revolve around the story of Archie MacDonald, a young restauranteur in London, who reluctantly moves back to his family’s home in the Scottish Highlands (after being bamboozled by his mother), to assume his role as laird of the severely cash-strapped Glenbogle Estate. In his quest to save Glenbogle, Archie seems to constantly face a barrage of obstacles and disappointments, and his strained relationship with his eccentric father (played brilliantly by Richard Briers) makes things even more complicated. It is because of the teamwork and dedication of the family’s loyal and offbeat estate staff, that Glenbogle slowly begins to emerge from the ashes. Archie even finds love.

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Corse Castle-Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Today’s castle might not be considered a showstopper by some, but this ruin is one of my favorites. This is Corse Castle.

Corse Castle behind an embankment of overgrowth.
Corse Castle in Scotland.

Corse Castle sits alongside a minor road (well, less than a minor road, really), off of the B9119, near the village of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In fact, if you didn’t know it was there, you might well miss it! Formerly a medieval tower house, this sixteenth-century castle is now a lonely roofless ruin, surrounded by deep overgrowth.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

For this week’s challenge, Amy is looking for our photo interpretations of ‘old and new.’ I immediately thought about these photos that Mr. C and I took last year, of the Royal Air Force practicing touch-and-go maneuvers at RAF Lossiemouth, the military airfield located just four and a half miles from Duffus Castle. To see and hear the sleek, loud, fast jets flying past the 14-century castle ruin was quite an extraordinary sight!

Royal Air Force Lossiemouth is one of the largest and busiest military air stations in Scotland. The base is located in the northeast part of the country, on the western edge of the town of Lossiemouth, along the Moray Firth coast.

A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.
A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.
A RAF fighter jet flying past Duffus Castle.

Fordyce, Scotland and Its Fairy Tale Castle

Hey, everyone. How are you today? I hope you all are staying well.

What sorts of things have been occupying your days? I have been teaching myself how to bake bread – along with the rest of the world, it seems -ha! I’m getting pretty good at it if I may say so myself!

Today, I’d like to give you a quick peek at Fordyce, Scotland, and the fairy tale castle that graces the center of the village. This utterly charming and (as locals would say) “chocolate box” town is located in Aberdeenshire, in the northeast section of the country, set among scenic rolling hills and only about a mile from the sea.

Google Maps image of Scotland.

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Culloden House and the Bonnie Prince Charlie Connection

Hello, friends! I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and healthy during this crazy pandemic. How is everyone weathering the quarantine? Has the place where you live begun to reopen?

Today I would like to show you Culloden House, a stately Georgian-style mansion set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Last year, Mr. C and I visited for afternoon tea, before exploring the house and grounds and then heading over to see nearby Clava Cairns.

Front view of Culloden House. Green Virginia Creeper growing all over the  front of the mansion.

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Ballindalloch Castle: Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”

It’s cold. It’s gloomy. It’s the time of year when cabin fever starts to become a very real thing; although, I just realized the official start to spring is only 31 days away! Woop! Anyway, to cheer myself up on this gray Monday (well, this, and maybe watching a few episodes of “The Great British Baking Show”), I am going to take you guys to Scotland’s “Pearl of the North”; the BEAUTIFUL, the GORGEOUS, the OH-SO-STUNNING Ballindalloch Castle.

A tree lined gravel path leading to Ballindalloch Castle.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Hello, all! I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday.

This week’s photo challenge comes from Tina. She has encouraged us to depict something that evokes nostalgia. For my offering, I have chosen to highlight a few photos taken at Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Exterior view of Lauriston Castle in sepia.

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