This is an image heavy post. I took so many photos, even though I only went to a few places.
I mentioned on Wednesday that I'd gone to Torry Battery and the Lighthouse during the Easter break. I'd been to both places previously but never got to take photos, so I was keen to get back and take some shots. We also stopped by the harbour where I saw a yard filled with the biggest chains and anchors I've ever seen in my life. They were impressive in scale.
The one major Michelle thing we did do during Easter was visit Dunnottar castle, which is located in a small coastal village called Stonehaven. I'd been before but never went inside the castle, instead only seeing it from afar. This time, I was keen to touch those magnificent medieval walls.
As it turns out I never got to see inside this time either as I had looked on the website to see the entrance fee and couldn't find any mention of one so assumed it was free, so I just took my camera and no purse. It turns out it wasn't free but I had no money to get in. I was gutted. Once again I only got to see this stunning castle from a cliff top. Still, at least I got some photos this time so it wasn't a total bust.
The Torry Battery was built in 1860 at the time Britain was at war with France. The defensive position gave views across the North Sea and formed the main defence for Aberdeen Bay and Harbour. The Torry Battery was initially armed with 200lb Armstrong Guns.
It was used as a training area for soldiers during the Great War, and the homeless soldiers returning from the war were housed there.
During the Second World War Torry Point Battery was once more manned as a defensive position, this time against the threat of invasion by Germany and once again it was used to house homeless people and families due to a shortage of accommodation caused by German bombing and air raids. They lived in this make shift community in the buildings, tents, sheds and out buildings.
The shipmaster of Aberdeen requested that a light be established at Girdle Ness following the wrecking of a whaling ship called the Oscar in 1813. There were only 2 survivors from a crew of 45.
The lighthouse was finally built in 1833. The light had a new form of double light, showing 2 distinct lights from the same tower, one above the other, both fixed. The lower light consisted of 13 lamps and reflectors arranged like a garland in a glazed gallery built round the outside of the tower about one third of the way up. In 1890 the lower light was discontinued.
I don't know anything about the little lighthouse on the harbour pier unfortunately.
The red foghorn, known as the Torry Coo, is a bit of an Aberdeen institution. It was completed in 1903 but hasn't sounded since 1987. It actually went up for sale in 2012 by the Northern Lighthouse Board for the sum of £5000. I guess no-one bought the poor, silent foghorn.
A chapel at Dunnottar is said to have been founded by St Ninian in the 5th century and the 'Annals of Ulster' record two sieges of 'Dún Foither' in 681 and 694.
The Scottish Chronicle records that King Domnall II, the first ruler to be called King of Alba, was killed at Dunnottar during an attack by Vikings in 900. King Aethelstan of Wessex led a force into Scotland in 934, and raided as far north as Dunnottar.
The castle is also named in the 'Roman de Fergus', an early 13th-century Arthurian romance, in which the hero Fergus must travel to Dunnottar to retrieve a magic shield.
William Wallace captured Dunnottar from the English in 1297, during the Wars of Scottish Independence. He is said to have imprisoned 4,000 defeated English soldiers in the church and burned them alive. In 1336 Edward III of England ordered Willam Sinclair, 8th Baron of Roslin, to sail eight ships to the partially ruined Dunnottar for the purpose of rebuilding and fortifying the site as a forward resupply base for his northern campaign.
The current buildings date from the 15th and 16th century.
My photos simply don't do this castle justice at all. Walking along the adjacent cliffs, your breath is stolen as the site of castle appears from the mist. It truly has to be seen to be fully appreciated.