Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kelvin Walkway

Yesterday I decided to walk along the Kelvin walkway again. The Kelvin walkway can actually be walked up to Milngavie, which is a distance of almost seven miles. I only walked along a very small portion of it, starting my walk in Garriochmill Road, just off of Queen Margaret Drive, and ending up in Belmont Street. A very short walk indeed. But I saw some lovely things along the way.

Daffodils - not quite 'a crowd a host' but pretty nonetheless.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Antonine Wall in Glasgow

It seems as though the Antonine wall is everywhere! This past Saturday Rachel and I went and helped Patsy and Scott Roy(they're the ones who hold the amazing dinners every fast Sunday). They are soon to build a house, and needed some work done on their property. We weren't there for long at all, and the bishop of the Glasgow ward, Bishop McLaughlin (who was also there helping with his son and another of the young men), drove Rachel and myself home. We got to talking about archaeology on the way home, and he told us that there was a cemetery on our way home that had part of the Antonine wall in it, and when his children were young and first learning about Rome, he would take them  there and say they could stand with one foot in Rome and one foot in Scotland! As we had a few minutes to kill, he took us there, and we got out and luckily Rachel had her phone with her so she was able to take some pics. The Antonine wall had a stone foundation, and the rest was timber and earthwork. What remained in the cemetery was the stone foundation. It was very fun scampering about.

Oor Cety!

There have been lots of students protests around uni, on account of proposed cuts (modern languages; combining archaeology & history among others) and re-instating tuition for Scottish students. There was one last week that made it onto the TV. There were police and helicopters and 14 students were arrested! I was leaving my Celtic tutorial when it happened, and got a couple pics.

One of the things they were chanting was:
"Whose city?"
"Our City!" in lovely Scottish accents!

The students eventually drove the police (and the police vehicles) back.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bar Hill, Roman Fort

Our last stop of the day was another area of the Antonine Wall, a Roman fort. I feel that in all the fieldtrips, the last site always suffers the most, as by that point everyone is tired, and the evening is coming on, so it is usually colder too, and people just want to go back to the bus. This may have been the case, but notwithstanding, it was a very interesting spot, more so than the other area of the Antonine Wall we saw last semester. Here there were the stone foundations of the buildings: the headquarters, the store-rooms, and the baths. There was also a well, of gigantic and terrifying depth. We were all amazed when we were told what all was pulled out of the well when this area was being excavated in 1906 (by a fellow named MacDonald, who taught lectures in Greek at Glasgow University!). Such things as: leather shoes, jewellery, tools, stone work (such as the many distance slabs erected by the workers on the wall) and 61 feet worth of broken up columns from the courtyard of the headquarters!
The foundations of the headquarters.

The bath house.

Sitting on the heating ducts that ran beneath the floors.

On the walk back to the bus.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tappoch Broch

For the last two sites we visited, our guide changed to our current teacher: Dr Huggett (very popular, especially with the graduate students). Tappoch Broch was a fascinating place. We walked through a thick wood to get to it, which glowed with an almost phosphorescent green. When we reached the ruin, Dr Huggett told us that hardly anything is known about this site. Brochs are most often found in the north of Scotland, so it is a bit of a mystery that it is here at all. He also said that most of his colleagues aren't aware of its existence - it is a somewhat hidden and magical place. And I agree. It dates from the Iron age, roughly around 100 B.C. to 150 A.D.
A view down into the broch.

All of us standing on the wall listening to Dr Huggett inside the broch. He told us the wall is about 20 feet thick.

The stairway going into the broch. This stair is within the wall.

Faded heather growing on a ledge inside the broch.
The entrance.

A better view of the stairs.

Up on the wall again.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Doune Castle

This castle was built around 1400 by Robert, Duke of Albany. Interestingly, it was never completed. Another feature of this castle which is unusual is that it has had very little alterations or additions over the years, so is the same, more-or-less as when it was first built. It was built on a large earthwork, probably the site of an earlier timber castle. The Duke of Albany never was king, but did rule Scotland for about twenty-five to thirty years (part of that time James I was imprisoned in England). The Duke of Albany died in 1420, and his son took over, but was executed when James I returned to Scotland. The castle wasn't an important structure after that, and was used as  a hunting lodge and such. But it was seized by the Jacobites during the Jacobite Rebellion.

And of course, I must add that its greatest claim to fame is that it was used in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

A view of the river Teith from the roof.
You can't tell, but I'm up on the roof in this picture.
In the kitchen: the place where they'd sharpen their knives!
The stones sticking out from the wall indicate where more building was going to take place - but never did.

The Great Hall, purposefully built to be old-fashioned: no fireplace, just a huge brazier in the middle of the hall.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I had a little fun making a couple of my skull pictures black and white. Before I move on to the rest of the field trip, I want to add them!

Next stop: Doune Castle!

The Churchyard

There were so many fabulous gravestones - many of which were from the 1700's, and most of them had skulls on them, so I had to take pictures!
Notice the lovely thistle at the bottom of this stone.

One of my fellow students asked me what the skull & cross-bones symbolised. I told her I supposed it was Momento Mori. "Oh," she replied, "I was hoping it had something to do with pirates."

Not a grave, I know. But I hope this came out - seeing the stained glass windows on the other wall, through the plain windows. It was a lovely effect in real life, I'm not sure if the picture captures it.

Inside the Cathedral

detail on some of the remaining choir stalls

The nave, where the regular people would have been. In medieval times there were no pews, and there were alters for saints.

I didn't see a date on this, but I thought it was pretty fabulous.

Lovely effigies of a man and wife.

Another view. I thought it was quite interesting how part of the cloth from the man swoops down and touches the woman's dress. (Earl & Countess of Strathearn)

This is inside the square tower - a place for an alter.

This fellow was Bishop Clement, I believe.

The square tower from inside.