Crail probably dates from at least as far back as the Pictish period, as the place-name includes the Pictish/Brythonic element caer, ‘fort’, and there is a Dark Age cross-slab preserved in the parish kirk, itself dedicated to the early holy man St. Maelrubha. Crail East Neuk Burgh and became a Royal Burgh in the 12th century. Robert the Bruce granted permission to hold markets on a Sunday, in the Marketgait, where the Mercat Cross now stands in Crail. The decision caused such outrage in religious circles that John Knox delivered a sermon at Crail Parish Church in the Marketgait damning the fishermen of the East Neuk for working on a Sunday. (Given that Robert the Bruce died in 1329 and John Knox wasn’t born until 1514 this seems a tad unlikely.) Despite the protests, the markets were a huge success and were amongst the largest in Europe.
St Mary’s Abbey, Melrose is a partly ruined monastery of the Cistercian order in Melrose, Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders. It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks on the request of King David I of Scotland, and was the chief house of that order in the country until the Reformation. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland.
Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Balmoral has been one of the residences for members of the British Royal Family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were purchased privately by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria. They remain as the private property of the royal family and are not the property of the Crown.Soon after the estate was purchased by the royal family, the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned. The architect was William Smith of Aberdeen, although his designs were amended by Prince Albert.The castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building.The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.
St Andrews is a former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. The town is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and the oldest in Scotland. The University is an integral part of the burgh, and during term time students make up approximately one third of the town’s population. St Andrews has a population of 16,680, making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife.There has been an important church in St Andrews since at least the 8th century, and a bishopric since at least the 11th century. The settlement grew to the west of St Andrews cathedral with the southern side of the Scores to the north and the Kinness burn to the south. The burgh soon became the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, a position which was held until the Scottish Reformation. The famous cathedral, the largest in Scotland, now lies in ruins.
Photo by JmsSplln.
Elgin Cathedral is a historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland. The cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II outside the burgh of Elgin and close to the River Lossie. It replaced the cathedral at Spynie, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the north, that was served by a small chapter of eight clerics. The new and bigger cathedral was staffed with 18 canons in 1226 and then increased to 23 by 1242. After a damaging fire in 1270, a rebuilding programme greatly enlarged the building. It was unaffected by the Wars of Scottish Independence but again suffered extensive fire damage in 1390 following an attack by Robert III’s brother Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, also known as the Wolf of Badenoch. In 1402 the cathedral precinct again suffered an incendiary attack by the followers of the Lord of the Isles.
Photo by Marck Wells.
Oban is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William and during the tourist season the town can play host to up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a beautiful setting in the Firth of Lorn. The bay is a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera the Isle of Mull. To the north is the long low island of Lismore, and the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour.
Culzean Castle is a castle near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. It is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa, the chief of Clan Kennedy, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The clifftop castle lies within the Culzean Castle Country Park and is opened to the public. Since 1987, an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.