Posts from the ‘Still Life’ category

Stirling Castle

Often referred to as the key to the kingdom of Scotland because of it’s strategic location at the heart of the country, there has been a castle on this site since at least the early 12th century when its first mentioned in the written record.

The castle has endured an often turbulant past, at one point changing hands 8 times in 50 years during the Scottish Wars of Independence from English rule. During this period the famous battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn were fought within sight of its walls.

In later years, especially during the reign of the Stuart dynasty in both Scotland and England during the 16th and 17th centuries, the castle was transformed into a royal household with the addition of the Great Hall, the Chapel Royal and most notably the Palace of James V.

Despite the heavy overcast and wet conditions when we visited, it’s still one of my favourite castles of all time:

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland, UK

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

The Wallace Monument

Opened in 1869 to honour William Wallace (popularised by Mel Gibson in the film “Braveheart”) The National Wallace Monument stands on the outcrop of rock known as Abbey Craig. It overlooks the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge where Wallace defeated an English army in 1297.

Inside, the monument contains exhibitions to William Wallace himself (including his mighty two-handed sword); the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Hall of Heroes with it’s sculptures and stained glass depicting other famous Scots including Robert the Bruce amongst others.

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, UK

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

The Kelpies

The Kelpies near Falkirk are huge 100ft tall metal sculptures created by Scottish artist Andy Scott. Named after the equine water spirits of ancient Scottish myth (but modelled on two beautiful Clydesdale horses) they rise majestically above the Forth and Clyde Canal and pay homage to the areas industrial and working past.

I’ve wanted to see these for ages, and they lived up to all my expectations:

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

 

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, UK

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

Verdant Works

For much of the 19th century Dundee was famous the world over for the manufacture of goods made from Indian jute. So much so that it became known as Juteopolis. At it’s height the industry employed 50,000 people in hundreds of mills throughout the city.

Verdant Works was one such mill which has now been converted into a museum dedicated to telling the story of Dundee’s industrial textile heritage. Victorian Dundee was very much a tale of two cities – on the one hand the incredibaly harsh and dangerous conditions suffered by the mill workers and on the other the Jute Barons, with their wealthy and privilaged lifestyles.

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Verdant Works, Dundee, Scotland, UK

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

RSS Discovery

Right next door to the V&A in Dundee is the fascinating Discovery Museum.

The RSS Discovery has two main claims to fame. First and foremost it was the ship that took the world reknowned artic explorers Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their first expedition to Antartica in 1901.

Second she was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in the United Kingdom.

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

 

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

RSS Discovery, Dundee, Scotland, UK

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

St Peter’s Basilica

The original church built on the site where St Peter is supposed to be buried, dates back to AD349 during the reign of the Emperor Constantine, Rome’s first Christian Emperor. However the church we see today (easily the richest and most spectacular Church I’ve ever visited….and I’ve seen a few) was largely built during the 16th and 17th centuries. 

If the Sistine Chapel was a bit of a disappointment – see previous post – St Peter’s Basilica made up for this in spades. It is quite simply magnificent. Although, like the Vatican Museums, it attarcts a lot of tourists, because it is so vast you never really feel crammed-in and that certainly helps to create a positive impression.

© Mark Simms Photography (2019)

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