Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Scottish Castle

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Loretta reports:

Continuing the Illustrated Edition of Last Night’s Scandal

We move on to Scotland, and Gorewood Castle.  Some years ago, I spent a few days (and sleepless nights*) at a wonderful castle in Scotland, which has a very interesting history.  Not just the history history—Mary Queen of Scots escaping from a high window, defying Cromwell and getting a big divot blown into one side of the castle, that sort of thing—but its history as a building.  It turned out that a great deal had been written about this place, and better yet, there were tons of old illustrations and floor plans and descriptions of its state in approximately the time of my story.


The place was Borthwick Castle, and after the usual artistic adjustments to suit my purposes, I turned it into Castle Horrid. 

One fabulous resource was The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland from the 12th to the 18th Century by David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross.  You can read the entry here.

This site, at the Mary Queen of Scots page, has lots of terrific pictures, particularly of the interior.  The photos are far more numerous and interesting than my own collection.

And of course there's Borthwick Castle's own site, which is both beautiful and informative.

In case you were wondering, we stayed in the Mary Queen of Scots room.  And yes, the staff regaled us with *ghost stories, and no, I could not understand what they were saying.

4 comments:

Emma J said...

Nothing romantic than a castle- except maybe a castle in Scotland!
Congratulations on the success of your book!

Trudie said...

I've also had the pleasure of being a guest at Borthwick Castle. It was truly a magical experience. Yes, we were visited by strange drafts and spooky noises that kept us awake, too. But that was part of the fun!
I will be sure to look for your book now to see how you 'transformed' the old castle in your story!

Finegan Antiques said...

I love visiting old castles, churches and cemetaries. I stroll endlessly thru these ancient places imagining who lived here or who was buried here and what their lives were like.

Donna

LorettaChase said...

Emma, thank you. I had visited castle ruins and some castles that were not ruins, but I had never actually stayed in one--and Borthwick really is an experience. And definitely romantic, as all those weddings demonstrate. Trudie, I still long to own the book written by the woman who restored the castle in the 20th century. The old books I perused on Google all lamented the castle's decrepit state--and luckily for me, described its state in detail. I fixed it up a bit and moved some things around, but overall stuck with what is a truly fascinating structure. Finegan, we like to do the same thing. I find graveyards especially interesting.

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