Threave Castle: the visitor experience

The ferry to Threave Castle © David Gill

Heritage sites need to be understood in their wider setting. And the visitor experience for those making their way to Threave Castle includes a walk along the river and then a ferry across to the island (included in the entrance fee).

Peregrine near Threave Castle © David Gill

Peregrine falcons have been nesting in the castle, and HES staff were more than helpful in pointing out a female perching in a tree on the far bank.

Ospreys on the Threave Estate © David Gill

The Threave estate (NTS) also has an osprey viewing platform.

Threave Castle © David Gill

The ferryman helpfully pointed out a possible archaeological feature emerging from the waters due to the drought conditions. Is this a geological feature or perhaps traces of a ford across the river?

Threave Castle © David Gill

The NTS and HES teams work together to make this a highly rewarding site.

Sounion and #NationalBirdDay

Partridges at Sounion © David Gill

The combination of the end of the Christmas Season and #NationalBirdDay suggests the appearance of a flock of partridges on the slopes below the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, in Attica, Greece.

Raptor at Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall © David Gill

Managing unwanted birds can be be a problem at heritage sites. The team at the National Trust’s Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk has installed a kite raptor on one of the gatehouse towers to deter nesting birds.

Oxburgh Hall © David Gill

This does not seem to have made much of an impact on two pigeons nesting on the top of the adjacent chimney stack.

Thorpeness Mere

Thorpeness mere and boathouse © David Gill

Thorpeness was developed as a Suffolk coastal resort by G.S. Ogilvie in 1909. The mere was created in 1913 although the boathouse, complete with clocktower, had been completed in 1911.


The House in the Clouds, Thorpeness © David Gill

One of the more unusual buildings is the House in the Clouds designed by F. Forbes Glennie and constructed in 1923-24. The watertower is disguised as a cottage.

Thorpeness © David Gill

The village has associations with J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan, 1904) who was a friend of the Ogilvies.

The Crossraguel Dovecot

Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill

The dovecot at Crossraguel Abbey is located in the south court. It was constructed in the 16th century and is claimed to be “one of Scotland’s oldest surviving dovecots”. Nesting boxes were built into the interior of the structure.

Dovecot at Crossraguel Abbey © David Gill
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