Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Scottish Castle!

Hi there boys
Remember the last time I posted I said I would tell you about a great castle, well here we go.
It is on the west coast of Scotland. It is called Culzean Castle. Culzean, a magnificent eighteenth-century castle in Maybole South Ayrshire, is just twelve miles from Ayr and Prestwick. It stands majestically like a medieval castle on a cliff above the Firth of Clyde. Culzean was originally a rambling fortified L-shaped tower house dating from 1590. When it was inherited by David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassillis, he appointed Robert Adam to convert the old fashioned fortress into a grand and romantic castle in prevailing style.
Adam worked on it from 1777 and 1792 and created a masterpiece. It includes a large drum tower with a beautiful red circular saloon inside, overlooking the sea and the Isle of Arran. He added battlemented towers and turrets to complete the aura created by its cliff-top location. Its grand oval staircase and exquisitely furnished rooms are in a pristine condition even today. Visitors can enjoy its fine collection of paintings and furniture and its Armory displaying flintlock pistols and swords.
The castle stands on five hundred acres of formal gardens, beautiful wooded countryside and pleasant walking paths. The terraced gardens have charming follies and a walk on the estate reveals gems like the Camellia House, pagoda, Adam’s ruined arch and the ‘Roman’ viaduct. One can wander through the Deer Park or the Cliff Walk or admire the Fountain Court, the Walled Garden and the Victorian Vinery. Surrounded by the sea, Culzean Castle has inviting sandy beaches open to picnickers.

It sits on a cliff and has lots of big canons which would have helped protect it from invaders many years ago. I had my photo taken on one of the canons. I am glad it didn't go off or I would have been fired all the way home!!!

 Can you see me? It is like Where’s Ned and not Where’s Waldo.
There is a very special link between Culzean Castle. There was a war many years ago called World War 2. At the end of it, the owner of the castle gave President General Dwight D Eisenhower a gift from the people of Scotland for the support of America in the war. President Eisenhower visited it a lot of times. There are lots of photographs of him in the castle. Eisenhower Apartment
There is a winding steep path down to the beach where the views out over the Firth of Clyde are beautiful.
There is an island you can see called the Isle of Arran. Craig and Heathers dad used to go his vacation there when he was young. He stayed on a farm.
It is amazing that Lainey and her family stay only 1 or 2 hours away from all these great places.
Ian takes lots of photographs, especially flowers and gardens. That is why he takes a lot of me beside beautiful plants and flowers. These are ones from the gardens at the castle.
This pretty flower is called a Thistle but you don;t want to get too close too it as it has really prickly thorns. It is known as the National flower of Scotland. A very long time ago when Scotland was attacked by Viking invaders a group of men were resting overnight in a field. Unknown to them they were about to be attacked. Under the cover of darkness the attacking Vikings approached the field. As they moved along on their barefeet they stood on a patch of Thistles. They began to cry out in pain as the thorns dug deep into the soles of their feet and toes. This awoke the Scottish soldiers and they were able to fight their attackers. From that day on the Thistle was known as the Flower of Scotland.
 The national drink of Scotland is whisky. As you know, I am very very old so I had a sip to see what it tasted like. Don’t tell Mom!!! I must admit, I like orange juice better.
 On the way home we went through a town called Ayr. It is a popular seaside town where lots of people go on vacation. As it was a lovely day, Ayr was very busy. Heather took my photo near the beech, where you can see lots of people having fun.
Do you know something? I was so tired after the great day out that I slept in the car all the way home. Hope I did not snore too loudly.
Take care boys and will post  more soon.
Love Ned the Gnome


  1. Oh Ned!! What an amazing adventure you are having!! I really wish I could trade placed with you - of course, I'd miss the boys terribly!
    I'll show them your post this weekend - I just know they will love the castle!

  2. Is a beautiful place !!!! I love this castle.