Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Theme Thursday - Castle

There are several ways to approach this week’s Theme Thursday’s “launch” word. I suppose that, mostly, when we think of a “castle” we think of a very large building that housed many people (most of whom were not related to each other) and with battlements for protection against enemies – such as this one:



This is Peel Castle on the Isle of Man. It has seen better days, I’m afraid. It is mostly tumble-down, cold and uninviting. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in it.

Here is a castle more to my liking:


This is Lewis Castle on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Lewis Castle brings to mind damsels in distress or yearning young female hearts in romantic gothic novels. Maybe Mr. Rochester lives there. Or, maybe he lives here:


This is Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum in the Inner Hebrides and invokes all manner of flights of fancy when I allow myself to just take it in from the distance at which I photographed it.

Of course not all castles are huge. Some are rather small and humble – at least by our standards today – and don’t even bring to mind the word “castle”. However, two thousand years ago when this structure was built, I’m thinking it was deserving of being called a castle:


This is the best-preserved Broch in the world. It is located on Mousa in the Shetland Islands. The figure standing beside it is that of my better half. He is just over 6 feet tall – to give you an idea of the size of this structure. It is about 43 feet high with walls about 15 feet thick at the base. The Broch is built of stacked stone and without any mortar whatsoever to hold it together – yet it has stood on this spot for over two thousand years.




I am lucky enough to have been inside and even on the very top of this structure. I must say it’s a bit frightening up there on a misty grey day when the whole world is shrouded around you.


I walked this narrow walkway there at the top. I can reveal to you that I did it VERY gingerly as I could see between some of the stones into blackness. It was a sobering experience – and exhilarating. I can tell you that I was very happy to come down again.






We learned so many things on this particular trip about the archaeology of Scotland from Britain’s wonderful Graham Ritchie who is shown on the right in this photo:







You can find Graham Ritchie’s books about the wonderful ancient archaeology of Scotland on the Amazon website.

All of the photos (above) were taken in August of 2001.

Of course there is another kind of “castle” with which I am familiar:






This particular castle can cause no end of trouble – and pleasure – depending upon the circumstances under which you currently “own” it. When I first met my better half I found myself in a game of chess with him and soundly defeated him in about 7 moves. Ahhhhhh! That’s a nice memory. Over the years, however, he got better and I got lazy and today he can beat my socks off.

Finally, this whole castle idea has me thinking of one of my favorite films:



I think I will add it to my queue at Netflix and enjoy it once again.
Happy “castling” everyone!


31 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

A great selection of castles. I am glad you enjoyed your trip over here. Happy TT

AngelMay said...

Thanks, Alan! The same to you! (I hope to get back over there one of these days)

otin said...

I like White Castle! LOL!

Brian Miller said...

great pictures! i love castles! i wanna go!

Skip Simpson said...

Beautiful pictures, and fantastic commentary! You really "hit one out of the park" for this TT! Very well done!

Gladys said...

Great commentary! Loved the castles

JeffScape said...

That's a rook! ;)

First visit here. Love the photos.

Ronda Laveen said...

We just don't have castles of such an era here in the states. Most are modern and replicas. Great addition of chess to the theme.

California Girl said...

love the chess angle; another good take!

Betsy said...

Lovely! I can almost see Rapunzle in a turret!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Wonderful info, On and off the castle! -Jayne

Poetikat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poetikat said...

Sorry. Spelling error.

That IS a wonderful film!

Loved your historic tour, AngelMay. That Broch looks a good site for a murder (mystery). Am I right?

Leah said...

How neat that you thought of a rook!

Dreamhaven said...

I wish someday
That I could stay
In a castle with it's ghosts.
My heart would pound,
My fear profound
Awaiting my ghostly host.

Wonderful photos. Happy TT

R.J. Edwards said...

I tried learning chess when I was in high school but sadly I gave up without putting too much effort in it. lol

reyjr said...

Chess! Haha. That was a good ending. But what is that movie?


Here's my take on the theme: El Rey(jr) visita los castillos!

Jasmine said...

love the chess connection :)

Dot-Com said...

Happy Theme Thursday, what a great collection of castles. So different, all of them!

Wings said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing them!

AngelMay said...

JeffScape: Har har! I knew that! (Hope you come back often.)

PoetiKat: You are not suggesting that I fling Margaret from the tee-ninetsy Broch parapet, are you? What a delicious idea....

DreamHaven: Did you write that poem? It's wonderful.

R.J. Edwards: There is always time to learn. You might really enjoy playing!

reyjr: The film is "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

To everyone: Thanks for the lovely comments. I appreciate you all more than I can say.

CatLadyLarew said...

Lovely castles! Isn't it amazing that they let you walk unfettered on the top of the battlements? Here in the states, they'd have them all roped off so you couldn't get to them.

e said...

Lovely post and commentary. I'm wondering about the title for that film...can't seem to remember it. Happy Theme Thursday.

Kate Hanley said...

Loved Searching for Bobby Fischer and the post - makes my feet itchy to travel.

Colette Amelia said...

looks like a grand trip and lucky for us that you went and took all those grand photos!

I often wonder why we think we are so much smarter than those who lived back in the day...how many of our building last past 50 years?

Baino said...

I think that's why so many Australians love Europe, the history there is something we just don't have here unless you count aboriginal history but they weren't much into building castles . . nobody to invade! Well except us of course.

...mmm... said...

i've not seen that movie but anyway, love your pics--especially the Shetland islands one. interseting.

Ocean Girl said...

Thank you for posting full interesting documentary on castle. Castles represent that magical dreams.

Betty said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I enjoyed your post and especially liked the bit about the Broch. Lovely, misty photos.

Megan said...

I'd have a hard time walking up there! Thanks for the travelogue and for playing along!

Jaime said...

great collection of castles in this post.