Located on the west bank of the River Ness in Inverness, Scotland, this Palladian style building was formerly the Queen Street Free Church, c.1893-1895. It has been occupied by D. Chisolm & Sons Funeral Home since 1978.
Rait Castle – A Hall House Design
Howdy, strangers! How are you guys? It has been AGES since I have been here. I really don’t have a good reason why I haven’t published, other than that life took over, and I got lazy. Funny how that can happen, huh? I realized over the weekend, that today, August 11, is the fourth anniversary of this blog. So, how could I possibly let the day slip by without posting something, and maybe, just maybe?…spur myself on to get back into the groove.
In light of that, today, I would like to tell you about an interesting ruin located 3.5 miles south of Nairn, Scotland (about thirty minutes northeast of Inverness).
This is Rait Castle.
It is so much fun to drive the narrow, single-track roads through Scotland’s countryside. Not only is the scenery beautiful, but it’s along those routes that you often find the best surprises. On this day, the surprise was Culloden Viaduct.
Culloden Viaduct (also known as Nairn Viaduct) lies about seven miles east of Inverness and about a half-mile from the popular Clava Cairns site. The massive red sandstone masonry viaduct is the longest of its kind in Scotland, at 1,800 ft. Built by the Highland Railway and engineered by Murdoch Paterson, Culloden Viaduct opened to rail traffic in November 1898. Today, it is still in use and is the largest structure on the Highland Main Line (scenic rail) between Perth and Inverness.
The viaduct was built on a subtle curve with a 100 ft. wide central arch that spans the River Nairn. Ten 50 ft. wide arches and eighteen 50 ft. wide arches flank the center arch on each side, respectively (twenty-nine in all). Though the structure was built with a double-track width, only one of the tracks remains.
You can see our car and Mr. C in the photo above. Suffice it to say, we felt very tiny next to the giant columns! This was definitely a fun find. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to see a train make the crossing. Maybe next time.
That’s it for today, friends! Have a good one.
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.
Dunlichity Church and Cemetery-A Hidden Gem In the Scottish Highlands
Nestled within the gorgeous Scottish Highlands, on a very minor road about ten miles from Inverness, sits a lovely hidden gem – Dunlichity Church and Cemetery.
Mr. C and I discovered Dunlichity Church by accident in 2019. Dunlichity is an example of “what I call” the real Scotland (any “Miranda” fans out there? 🙂 ) You might be wondering what I mean by that because obviously, it’s all real, of course! What I mean is that Dunlichity isn’t one of the uber-popular and (sshh, dare I say it?) overpromoted sites that draw in people from near and far. It will probably never appear on a list of the “Top 10 Things to Do In Scotland” (well, that is unless someone like Dana Gabaldon makes it famous). I could be completely wrong – but I’d be willing to bet that nearby residents and history enthusiasts are maybe some of the only individuals aware of its existence. A small hidden gem, Dunlcihity Church and its cemetery are a wonderful, authentic, off-the-radar testimony to Scottish lives past and present that only a lucky few curious visitors and residents will ever stumble across.
The Fingal of Caledonia
It was one of those perfect ‘at the right place at just the right time’ moments. Mr. C and I were driving south on Scotland’s A82 on our way to Invergarry Castle when we came to the Aberchalder Swing Bridge on the Caledonian Canal. As we crossed over, we noticed that there was an interesting looking barge approaching in the distance.
We were quite curious about it, so we pulled off at the Bridge of Oich car park a short way away and scuttled back to the bridge to get a closer look. By then, the safety gates had been lowered and all traffic temporarily halted.
A Walk Through Milton Wood
Well, hello there! How are you? Bet you thought I had disappeared. I assure you, friends, I haven’t. The last six weeks have just been completely, utterly, absolutely, and positively BONKERS. Unfortunately, blogging has taken a back seat. But here I am, back with you today and ready to take you on a walk through beautiful Milton Wood. Grab your backpacks – don’t forget to take some water – and let’s be off.
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.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Future
One really never knows what surprises life will bring. We could have never imagined this accidental find in our past, or how we are going to experience it first-hand in our very near future. Someone pinch me!
Coming Spring 2020.
This week’s challenge is from Ann-Christine at Leya.
The Centre of Scotland-A Surprising Find
Aside from soaking up buckets of gorgeous scenery, one of the best parts of motoring around Scotland are the surprises. It was an afternoon in May, and Mr. C and I were out for a leisurely drive through the Highlands. We were about four miles east of Laggan, having randomly diverged off of General Wade’s Military Road onto an itty bitty single-track road with a sign that pointed towards Glentruim (near the village of Newtonmore).
We were casually cruising along, lost in thought when we suddenly spotted a massive boulder with a yellow plaque. Curious, we pulled over to take a look.