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Inverness Castle Scotland

Inverness Castle sits high on a rocky cliff overlooking the beautiful River Ness in Inverness, Scotland. The beautifully crafted red sandstone foundation is the product of some very bold and talented architects, who designed the reconstructed building in the 19th century. It was built as part of a justice facility comprising a Sheriff Court, bastioned enclosing walls and a prison , which later became the District Court. Each architect designed one part of the whole: William Burn – the Sheriff Court, Joseph Mitchell – the walls and Thomas Brown – the prison.

This correctional facility was started in 1836 on the site of an old defensive structure, dating back to the 11th Century and on which a number of Castles have been built, destroyed and rebuilt over the intervening centuries. The castles have seen a large part of Scottish history over the centuries. The first castle is said to have been built in 1057 by Malcolm the Third of Scotland and burned down by King Robert the First, more popularly known as Robert The Bruce in the winter of 1306 to 1307. Mary Queen of Scots was refused entry to a rebuilt Inverness Castle in 1562 and supporters took the castle and installed her there.

The Duchess of Inverness was a Duchess in her own right (rather than because of her marriage to a Duke). This is an interesting story relating to Inverness Castle and needs a little background to understand it. Part of the Law of Britain requires all members of the British Royal Family  to gain permission from the Sovereign (the King or Queen ruling at the time) before marrying, otherwise the marriage would be considered “Morganatic” or illegal. (This law still applies and is why The Princess Margaret, the now deceased sister of Queen Elizabeth II of England was unable to marry her first love, Group Captain Peter Townsend. Permission was denied at the time because he was divorced. Times have changed and Prince Charles has legally been able to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, a divorced woman, who will become Queen consort when Prince Charles becomes King, after his mother’s death. This law did not apply to King Edward VIII who abdicated because he wanted to marry the twice divorced American, Wallis Simpson. The English Sovereign is head of the Church of England which at that time disapproved of a marriage where a divorced person’s spouse was still alive and this would have created a conflict and could also have led to a constitutional crisis. He abdicated so that he could marry Wallis Simpson. That led to his younger brother becoming King George VI, and his daughter then became Queen Elizabeth II after his death.) OK, now back to Inverness Castle and the Duchess of Inverness. 

After the death of her first husband, Lady Cecilia Gore married Prince Augustus Frederick, King George III’s sixth son in 1831. But King George III did not give permission for this marriage, so it was declared unlawful but she and the Prince continued to live together. Lady Cecilia could not take part in any Royal Functions because of this. When Queen Victoria (the niece of Prince Augustus Frederick) came to the throne, she created Lady Cecilia as Duchess of Inverness in her own right, with the right for any legitimate male heirs to succeed to the title after her death. The title of Duchess of Inverness was chosen because this was what was known as a subsidiary title of Prince Augustus Frederick who held the title of Earl of Inverness, as well as the title of Duke of Sussex.

Many historic artifacts surround Inverness castle and can easily be seen by anyone that visits the area, with a special interest in the Battle of Culloden . 

Today, the town of Inverness is known for its great attractions and natural scenery. Many tourists and visitors visit Inverness, as it offers them beautiful scenes of natural wildlife and beautiful buildings.

Maisie loves travelling to different parts of the United Kingdom to visit all the beautiful and historic places there. Scotland and the Highlands are very beautiful and Inverness is a gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

Is the Loch Ness Monster Real?

The Loch Ness Monster, also called Nessie, is an aquatic animal of unknown gender, shape, and type which is believed to live in Loch Ness, a fresh water lake in Scotland. It is most often described as large, long-limbed, and with a number of black humps protruding from its body. The monster is said to resemble a small, dog-like monster, though other reports from the 1930s have described it as a large “beast” or “whale-like fish”, that made waves big enough to have been made by a large steam boat. 

Loch Ness is a large body of water in the Great Glen in the Scottish highlands. Deeper than the North Sea, Loch Ness is very long and narrow and never freezes, even though Scotland can be very cold in winter. It is the largest lake in the UK by volume, though not by surface area. The Great Glen is a rift valley 60 miles long that splits Scotland in two. It contains three famous lochs; Lochy, Oich and Ness. The most famous of these is Loch Ness because of the monster said to ‘lurk’ in its deep waters. 

There have been numerous alleged sightings of the monster, affectionately known as ‘Nessie’ but Nessie has never been proved to exist, although there have been many attempts to find it, including with submarines equipped with sonar. These found a huge underwater cavern off Castle Urquhart, where the water is nearly 1,000 feet deep. This castle is where most sightings of Nessie have taken place

The Loch Ness monster has a lesser known cousin, called Morag, said to inhabit Loch Morar which is in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland, about 70 miles away from Loch Ness. Loch Morar is the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles and is over 1,000 feet deep in places. There are conflicting accounts of Morag’s appearance, from a mermaid type to a black ball moving slowly like a waterlogged boat. Morag does not attract as many monster hunters as Nessie because she is said to appear only when a death is about to happen and her appearance is seen as an omen of that death, especially a drowning.

Scotland has a great deal of myth and mystery about it and the monsters are part of this.

Searching for mythical monsters is an interesting part of a holiday, perhaps especially with children, though most of the dedicated hunters have been adults. Some weddings have had their photographs taken at Castle Urquhart, where most sightings have been made, with the Bride and Groom hoping that the Loch Ness Monster would appear in the background.

Tips for Hiking in the Winter

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

Continue Reading
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