Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dundonald Castle Adventure

Entry for 26 September 2009:

This week's Saturday Adventure: A visit to Dundonald Castle, in Ayrshire, an hour's drive south of Glasgow. It’s a ruined castle built by King Robert II of Scotland in the 14th century; Historic Scotland has fixed it up, as they do, shoring up the crumbling walls and putting in decent floors and stairs. Tracy, a young woman, wearing a warm plaid wool duffle coat against the chill inside, gave us a tour of the place, including the Laigh, or lower hall, the dungeon pit or oubliette, and the now-roofless great hall. It was a lovely day and the castle is placed at the top a hill with lovely views; we could see the island of Arran away to the west. The Laigh Hall has a wonderful stone vaulted ceiling. Every August the town of Dundonald puts on the Dundonald Games. Tracy shyly told us that she had been this years’s Queen of the Games.

After a snack in the visitor centre, we explored Dundonald Wood, west of the castle, where found the two ruined houses, Auchans and Old Auchans, left by the Cochrane family, who owned the castle until donating it to Historic Scotland. The castle, centuries older, is in better shape than these houses.

Returning to Glasgow, we parked the car in Hyndland and topped off our Adventure by taking the train to the City Centre and going out to Wagamama for dinner.

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