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> Castles, Have you been to any?
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sjboren 
Posted: 30-Nov-2003, 10:41 PM
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I have a special interest in Castles and Medevil Architecture. I thought I would share this web site with you. Its Celtic Castles and has many good web sites about Castles through England, Ireland and Scotland. Some of you may already know of this site and its a great one!

Have any of you had the opportunity to stay in a castle? I would love to visist several throughout the UK while visiting. Maybe someday I will be able to!

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McHaggis 
Posted: 30-Nov-2003, 11:05 PM
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I've only been to the Hearst Castle near Big Sur, California.....oh, and White Castles. Seriously, the only castle I saw while in Germany was from a distance....I was in the back of a garbage truck-- new guy rides in the back!-- hauling Army crap to the dump outside Hanau so have no idea what that big castle off in the distance was.

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Catriona 
Posted: 01-Dec-2003, 03:49 AM
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Everytime I walk along Princes Street, I only have to look up - and there it is - Edinburgh Castle biggrin.gif It dominates the Edinburgh skyline, and is probably one of the most photographed castles in the world. Edinburgh also has Holyrood Palace and a couple of ruined castles on the outskirts, such as Craigmillar Castle.

There are lots of Scottish (and English, too) castles that now operate as hotels. One of the most popular for popstar weddings seems to be Skibo Castle.

Other castles are merely ruins, but dramatic to look at.

Glamis Castle was the family home of the late Queen Mother. It is open to the public and well worth a visit. It has many legends attached to it.

In England, one of the most impressive castles is Warwick. I saw a jousting match there - some re-enactors dressed in full medieval armour and mounted on horses - very evocative - the jousting was held in the old moat which is now a grassy area.
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 01-Dec-2003, 02:32 PM
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been to loads and loads of castles and the basic architecture will always be the same I presume..

I just live 5 minutes (by foot) from MacDuff Castle (It still had 2 towers in the first half of the 20th Century but in 1967 The Fife Council decided to tear the older one down due to instability *grrr* stabilising it didn't cross their minds I guess wink.gif )
It is one of the earliest castles around here, I don't know the century of building but I know it was burnt down by Edward I in the 14th century (peculiar story behind it: he was guest there in 1304 and felt he was not treated in a grand enough manner and when he heard that Sir Michael Wemyss supported Robert the Bruce he ordered to have it burnt down). It housed the Wemyss Family and the last time it has been known to be lived in was in 1666 when the plague raged in Edinburgh and the Duchess of Sutherland (a member of the Wemyss Family before her marriage) requested to bring her children there. (The Wemyss Family descended of the Mucklejohns of (something, can't mind) and changed their name in the time to "de Wemyss" when it was fashionable to have a "de" in the name.

Just up the road is Wemyss Castle (built later by the same family because MacDuff Castle wasn't grand enough). Begun in the 15th century (possibly around the 1420s, nobody is quite sure).

Going further on that road you will encounter Ravenscraig Castle, just 10 minutes (I'm talking about cars now) in Kirkcaldy. Initially building started to house James II 's wife Mary of Gueldres in 1460. Work stopped 3 years later after she died but was resumed again. Later it was granted to William Sinclair, Earl of Caithness (it's got a peculiar architecture, the two towers of the castle have the same layout but one has been built lower than the other.

(That's only some of the coastal castles of Fife and there is masses more. Driving inland there is Balgonie Castle, not far away (in the Lomond hills) an iron age fort, behind the Lomond hills Loch Leven and (I think) Kinloch Castle, Falkland Palace (not very celtic, but worth a visit) is not far away, neither is St Andrews.

One story I liked in particular is the one of the "Lady's tower" near Elie. They said that the wife of the local Noble had a particular liking for nude bathing. And she used the tower to undress herself. While she was enjoying her swim a servant would walk about the vicinity ringing a bell, warning that the Lady was bathing.

(That'S just a few places I visited around here)

Catriona: I just love Edinburgh Castle.. I love the look up sitting in Princes Street Gardens in the summer.. or spring.. or anytime..
You must know the mound and where some of those parliamentary buildings are.. I was waiting on the bus of my BF to accompany him home and stood in that Doorway so i didn't get even more wet as I already was. Someone pulled up next to me and lowered the window and with a broad American accent asked "Ya know where the castle is?" After I told him and he was away I thought that it was rather cute asking someone for the way being on the way up to the castle already *grins*


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 01-Dec-2003, 06:58 PM
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Been in a few castles myself. Although I would require research now to find all of the names (and the correct spellings of those I remember). There are some here who would probably know 4 of them by simple mentioning the (dangerous?) name of Ludwig II if Bavaria. I would like to go back and see them with the changed etes I have now. I enjoied the tours as a child and now that I care about history I feel I would enjoy them more. It has only been... *counts* 17 years since I was there. I can remember snippits of it, and remember some of the floors specifically. Viewing the old video my dad shot on the tours, I could point out some of the things I do remember, but I would not remember most of what would be found on the videos....

As far as being in any perticularly old castles, I probably have and don't remember or realise what it was... I remember one enclosed, spiraling, stone passageway that I found myself in quite often. It is one of the places I could pick out probably from either an interior or exterior shot still today.

Ohh dear, perhaps I should view some of this footage that dad has been moving over to DVD and see how much I can remember. So many holes, so many holes.


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Cpl. A.J. 
Posted: 01-Dec-2003, 09:12 PM
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I've only been to one castle, but I can proudly say that I not only visited it during its construction, but was personally acquainted with the builder.

The castle is "Loveland Castle," in Loveland, Ohio, near Cincinnati. It was built by Harry Andrews, a somewhat excentric (although brilliant) hermit-like gent who started his dream castle in 1929, at the age of 38 (born in 1891). He built the entire thing by hand alone, carrying limestone himself. The castle is based on his rememberances of a castle in which he did medical duty during World War I, in France, I think, but am not sure if I remember accurately.

Anyone within 50 miles of Cincinnati knew of the castle, and although it was not a tourist thing of any kind -- it was the guy's *house* at the time, for crying out loud, not a tourist attraction -- many would venture out to take a peek at it. Harry welcomed any and all to come look, at nearly any hour of the day or night. If he was working, he would stop and talk or show you around. If it was night, he'd crawl out of bed and let you in, and then either give you a tour or let you wander around if he knew you as he went back to bed. (He had a tiny chamber that was his bedroom with a hand-lettered sign that said it was off-limits, but every other part of the castle was open to his "guests.")

I visited him maybe eight or nine times between 1969-1972. The first time was on a "double date" in '69, when the guy driving said, "Hey let's go visit the crazy guy with the castle." Well, I was just 18, and even though I had no idea what he was talking about, I was game. We drove up to his door on a Friday or Saturday night around 10, and knocked on the huge door. Sure enough, he came to the door, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, and welcomed us in (he recognized the guy driving from an earlier visit). He gave us a tour, showed us what he was working on that week, rolled out his drawings of the next portion of the castle, and even showed us his bed chamber.

To make a long story short, I was blown away. Yeah, he was excentric, but he had a vision that was rising majestically around him. No tilting at windmills here; this guy was three-quarters of the way to finishing his dream. My date that night, as well as the other couple, pretty much giggled and laughed the whole time we were there. Crazy old fart, they thought. They didn't get it.

I drove back the next afternoon by myself, to find Harry lugging a sh*tload of flat limetone slabs up the hill to a pile near the latest wall he was building. He remembered me from the night before (but didn't indicate whether or not he had noticed the laughing from my companions -- truth be told, I don't think he noticed), and was truly glad to see me again. We talked for a few minutes, he answered all my questions -- I had it seems hundreds -- and he finally apologized to me and said he had to get back to work. I asked if I could help, and he said sure and held out his hand, giving me a long, firm shake. For the next two or three hours, we hauled flat limestone up the hill to build a huge pile at his work site. Geez, it was summer, and it was hot, but that guy wore me into the ground (remember, he was about 80 then!). We finished up in late afternoon, and he brought out some iced tea (not very cold; and it had way too much sugar), and sat on the pile and we talked for a couple of hours. About the castle. About WWI. About architecture. About the Cincinnati Reds (he was more interested than I.) We talked till dark, and he again apologized and said he had to get some sleep. He gave me another firm shake -- the strength in those hands! -- and trudged off to his castle.

I visited him several more times after that, but there was always someone else there, and I never had the time with just him again. I moved from Cincinnati in 1972, and never saw him, or the castle, again.

Harry died in the early '80s -- 1981, I think -- and I have no idea if he ever finished the castle by himself before he died, or if someone else finished it for him. It's finished now, and it belongs to I-have-no-idea-who.

I hadn't intended to go this long, but in the middle of this post I did a quick Google on the castle, and found that it is now a big ol' tourist attraction open to anyone and everyone, and they offer tours and even rentals if you want it for the night.

And no one who goes there has a clue who Harry was. *sigh*

There are pictures on the home page at www.lovelandcastle.com. The part I helped with -- the "back wal" -- is on the Web site, I was surprised to see.

A.J.


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sjboren 
Posted: 02-Dec-2003, 03:39 AM
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Very interesting post all of you. I am envious of those especially who can walk or drive a few minutes to view a castle. I hope to spend some time in those Castles that now serve as hotels. Thank you for sharing a piece of history with me all of you. smile.gif
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Derfel 
Posted: 02-Dec-2003, 08:49 AM
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There are really a lot of castles where i live. Many of them are ruins.
I love to visit them, it´s almost such a great atmosphere there.....

One I love is "Burg Gleichen". The name came from a celtic word, that means
rock, so it´s the "Castle on a rock".
Now it´s a ruin, but really, really nice.

Sláinte! beer_mug.gif
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Annabelle 
Posted: 02-Dec-2003, 11:37 PM
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Castle and Abbeys are one of my favorite things to go to. Here is a list of a few of the ones I've toured.

On the borders:
Jedburgh Abbey
Melrose Abbey (Robert De Bruce's heart is buried here)
Dryburgh Abbey( Sir Walter Scott buried here)
Dunferline Palace and Abbey
Sterling Castle
William Wallace Monument (great view)
Cambuskenneth Abbey
Argylls Lodging
Linlithgow Palace off M9
Stalker Castle
Glencoe Monument ( not much there but worth going)
Glencoe Abbey
Dunvegan Castle
Glenfinnan Monument
Dunstaffnage Castle ( a wonderful 13th century castle that was involved in the War of Independencealso Flora McDonald was held prisoner there)
Blackness Castle (located on the Firth of Forth off A904)
Inverness Castle
Eileen Donan Castle
Urqhart Castle
Huntley Castle (home of my family - Gordon's)
Edinburgh Castle
Duff House
Glouchester Abbey (Edward II buried there)
Warrick Castle (which is one of my favorites)
Canterbery Cathedral

these are a few of the ones I can think of right off of the top of my head...most of these can be seen just by typing in the name and a site will come up for each...

Good traveling!
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 03-Dec-2003, 03:16 PM
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well... I used to have castles within walking proximity in Germany as well.. one is now a riding stable *grins* it's a lovely "Watercastle" as it is called. I also was near "Schloss Benrath" a lovely little Baroque castle.

I remember being impressed by "Mad Ludwig's" castles myself, Aediwen =) We went to visit Herrenchiemsee and Neu Schwanstein... in Neu Schwanstein there is not one bathroom (which was built in the time when the castle was built! Nor was it lived in).

Also very impressive is when you drive up next to the Rhine or take a shiptour on it. There's a castle on just about every other ridge *grins*

The same it is with the Fife Coast, I mean it was an important line in the lives of early medieval people (even before that the Romans had a few little forts here, not coming in from the south but rather from the Tay). But most of the real early castles don't stand anymore, they were built from wood rather than stone.

You don't have to envy me btw... I mean, I am rather used to castles, so I usually see them as something belonging to my life. I'm quite sure you have things within walking vicinity I would be interested in, things I don't see just about every day =)
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Annabelle 
Posted: 04-Dec-2003, 12:24 AM
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Yes, the German Castles are equally beautiful. It Amazes me how it seems like as you go down the Rhine River how everytime you think it will be a while before you see another since you just pasted one, suddenly there's another bigger than the last...

Very impressive country....amazing architecture.

Annabelle
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Posted: 04-Dec-2003, 10:55 AM
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I just wanted to post a link for the "Burg Gleichen" and the other two castles of this ensemble. Unfortunately this page is only in german....but maybe you understand it or translate it....

Webpage about these castles

Translation page

By the way the saga about the thunderbolt that stroked all three castles at the same time is possibly not true....

Sláinte! beer_mug.gif

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Derfel 
Posted: 04-Dec-2003, 11:00 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to login! *gg*

Sláinte!

Derfel
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RavenWing 
Posted: 04-Dec-2003, 12:21 PM
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The closest I have been to a castle is the castle-house outside Lexington Ky. I can;t remember what it is called. I do know that the Queen Elizabeth looked at it and was considering to buy it.


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Danann 
Posted: 04-Dec-2003, 12:29 PM
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I've been to that Castle too, RavenWing. We parked across the street at a gas station and walked to it, hopped the fence and just looked at the outside of it. It wasn't very smart of us, but we were college kids, not very smart to begin with! That castle was built by some actor guy for his wife after fabled Camelot, but she hated it because it was so drafty. She left him and the Castle, and now it stands for sell.. At least that's the story I was told while I was in School in Georgetown, Ky.

I always thought they should sell it to a Ren Fest or something, it would have been an awesome setup... except for the Airport so close.

The only other Castle I've been to was somewhere in Germany. My mom tells me I went to several actually, but only one outside the womb.


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