Met at the inspiring Glasgow Historical Landmark, AKA Easterhouse.
From Doune Castle to Dunblane, Kinbuck, Braco, then towards Comrie. We took the south of river road to Crieff- fab road, will use in Spring Run.
Returned from Crieff via Lochearnhead, Trossachs, Duke’s Pass & Aberfoyle
If I were picky, I’d have to say that David’s delivery on the history of Doune Castle was a bit disappointing by his high standards. In fairness, it was interrupted a few times by insensitive Members who dived off to the toilet while David tried his best. Then, I noted some yawning- which is downright bad mannered. As I say, his delivery didn’t contain his normal passion nor conviction- more L—ian than Thespian
Overall a great day out. Fab views, great roads, & mostly great weather.
To ensure that those present took it all in (questions at next Club Meeting), included below the text referred to.
Doune Castle was the home of Robert Stewart, the 1st Duke of Albany. He was ruler of Scotland, in all but name, from 1388 until his death in 1420.
The castle was long thought to have been entirely built for Albany, but recent research has shown there are significant remains of an earlier castle incorporated into the structure. The oldest parts of the castle probably date to the 1260s when Walter Stewart acquired the earldom of Menteith through marriage. A later Stewart, Robert, gained the castle too in 1361, through his marriage to the countess of Menteith, Margaret Graham.
Doune’s most striking feature is the 100ft high gatehouse which includes the splendid Duke’s Hall with its musicians’ gallery, double fireplace and carved oak screen.
This impressive architecture has made it popular with production companies. It was Swamp Castle, Castle Anthrax and Camelot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and more recently a location in the pilot for Game of Thrones and the fictional Castle Leoch for the TV adaptation of the Outlander novels.
Discover the following:-
- the views from the battlements – looking down on the fast-flowing River Teith and out towards the Menteith Hills and Ben Lomond.
- The cathedral-like great hall – one of the best preserved in Scotland. It measures 170 sq m and it rises 11m to the roof. Standing inside it, the visitor begins to appreciate why Albany was described as a man noted for his ‘large tabling and belly cheer’!
The form in which the castle survives today mainly dates to the period, when it was the seat for Robert Stewart, the 1st Duke of Albany, Earl of Menteith and Fife. Albany’s astute political manouvering enabled him to become the effective ruler of the kingdom from 1388 until his death in 1420. He is known to history as ‘Scotland’s uncrowned king’, and his seat at Doune was virtually a royal castle.
Only after Albany’s death in 1420, and that of his son, did Doune Castle finally gain the status Albany had perhaps desired – it became a kingly residence. However, it never rivalled the great royal castles at Stirling and Edinburgh. Rather, it was used as a royal retreat from the burdens of state, a pleasant summer residence where the royal family could relax and hunt in the nearby forests in the Trossachs.