Stirling University to the east of the town is an elegant insitution situated with rolling parkland. White moderinst pavillions well spaced within the park are complemented by abstract art. This view shows some of the earliest teaching and accomodation blocks which were completed by 1970. The whole is a fitting and memorable location for student life.
Stirling Castle, at the top of the hill, is protected by much more sophisticated and intact defences. Low thick walls built to withstand cannon fire have projecting bastions for flanking fire to ensure that its entrance is well defended from the town. These defences were added between 1708 and 1714.
The town walls of Stirling, Scotland, dating from circa 1547, remain in part along the south west side of the historic settlement. In this view along the ‘back walk’ they have been interupted by a range of enthusiastic Edwardian public buildings in the baronial style with crow stepped gables, turreted towers and heraldry. These are the Central Library of 1904 (nearest) and the Muncipal Buildings of 1914 with its tall clock tower.
Caerlaverock Castle, Drumfries and Galloway, Scotland, is a facinating place. A triangular site enclosed bay a moat and high walls. Inside is some quite sophisticated clasical decoration aound the main living block. The castle dates from the 1270′s with extensive rebuilding in the 15th century with the classical residence inside built in the 1630′s. The owners the Maxwells however, did not enjoy their classical residence for long. Being catholic, and loyal to Charles I, they were besiged by a Covenanter Army in 1640. Succumbing after 13 weeks, the castle was partly destroyed and never reoccupied
Carlisle Cathedral, Cumbria, England, was commenced in 1122 as an Augustinian priory. It became a cathedral in 1133. The nave of the building was destroyed during the English Civil War by Scottish troops seeking stone to reinforce the castle.
Inland, there is a dramatic industrial landscape at Blenau Ffestiniog. This is the Dinas Incline (1905) and the Lower Qarry Incline (1872) which used to link the slate quarries to the Ffestiniog Railway and stll loom over the village.
Criccieth further south west overlooking Cardigan Bay has a castle which was constructed by the native Welsh copying Anglo Norman precidents. Its ruin is dominated by a twin D tower gatehouse attributed by most to the first Welsh phase of construction from the 1230′s. A second phase in the 1260′s - 70′s extended a ward to the rear and erected a second curtain wall around the castle. The castle was taken by Edward 1 of England in 1283. The towers of the gate house were raised and used as living accomodation and a timber great hall erected in the interior. In appearance it has a striking resemblance to the Gaelic Irish castle of Newtonstewart in Co Tyrone which also copied the Anglo Norman D shaped gatehouse and used it for accomodation. Newtownstewart however does not have direct access from gate to inner ward. This is accessed from the first floor of the tower.
Caernarfon Castle and #walledtown further along the coast is another complex erected by Edward I as part of his conquest of this area. It was constructed between 1284 and 1330 and is a deliberately imposing structure. Its masonry has stripes of coloured brick recalling the walls of Byzantium and thereby reflecting Imperial power. Its poligonal towers are very unusual in their design and form part of the curtain wall. The whole is a constituent part of the same world heritage site as Conway- The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd. Very impressive.
Conway Castle and town walls are a true Medieval construction. Dating from between 1283 and 1289, they were built by King Edward i of England as part of his conquest of this area. Today they are well preserved and form part of a World Heritage Site along with other castles constructed in the same campaign.
On to North Wales. This is Penrhyn Castle near Bangor constructed in the Norman style between 1822 and 1827 to designs by Thomas Hopper. Hopper was also architect for Gosford Castle in Co Armagh. It is well sited looking out towards the mountains and slate mines that funded its lavish construction. Inside, the level of detail is well beyond any medieval precident and is something to behold. Well worth a visit.
Marks of Time
Historic Buildings as illustrations of the past. A blog of watercolour sketches of buildings in Derry~Londonderry, Ulster, and further afield