Friday, August 30, 2013

Castles in the Mist

Long centuries ago Dunnttar was home to men and women who lived out their lives in the Scottish wilderness upon the edge of the sea. Here picts built hill forts (Dun being the pictish word for fort or stronghold) and later Christians built a stone church (5th century). By the ninth century the headland overlooking the sea played host to walls, a gatehouse to block access and a number of stone buildings to house the people who dwelt there. These eventually evolved into a castle whose walls dominated the headland.

The castle was thriving by the 12th century and played host to a quest that involved a magic shield. By the 13th century the castle was sacked twice and burned during the Scottish Wars and the ruins left until rebuilt in the 14th century. Wars continued to plague the castle for centuries, reducing it at times, only to see it rebuilt.

When at last Great Britain settled into her routines the castle, in partial ruins, found a new owner and was dismantled by a building firm, who presumably sold the stone for other works.

In 1925 the property was bought by the 1st Viscount Cowdray. His family has attempted to repair it for years.


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