Signs of Dere Street

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Dere Street © David Gill

Dere Street ran north from York to the Firth of Forth, passing through Aldborough, Piercebridge, Corbridge and Newstead. A section of the Roman road can be followed to the south-west of Soutra Aisle as it cuts across the Lammermuir Hills before it drops down to the Forth.

The road continued in use into the Medieval period.

This section of the road is in the case of Historic Scotland.

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Dere Street near Soutra Aisle © David Gill

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Dere Street near Soutra Aisle © David Gill

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Dere Street at Soutra Aisle © David Gill

Dirleton: Gazebo

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Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

The gardens at Dirleton are a delight. In the corner of the 1860s and 1920s garden is a gazebo, suitably signed.

Dirleton is in the care of Historic Scotland.

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Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

The path to Smailholm Tower

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Smailholm Tower © David Gill

Smailholm Tower in the Borders dates from the 15th century and is now in the care of Historic Scotland. The path is clearly marked with Ministry ‘arrow’ signs. Such signs can also be seen at Caerlaverock Castle and Dunadd, both in Scotland.

Dumbarton Castle: Spur Battery

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Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

The Spur Battery at Dumbarton Castle was constructed about 1680. It lies to the west of the Governor’s House. The Spur Battery was intended to cover the southern approach to the castle.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: Historic Environment Scotland

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Iona Abbey © David Gill

The 2016 figures for Leading Visitor Attractions have been published. They include figures for properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland (Historic Scotland).

The properties are:

  • no. 16: Edinburgh Castle, 1,778,548
  • no. 68: Stirling Castle, 481,970
  • no. 84: Urquhart Castle, 396,397
  • no. 103: Glasgow Cathedral, 296,062
  • no. 177: Skara Brae, 93,375
  • no. 182: Doune Castle, 90,279
  • no. 188: St Andrews Castle, 77,038
  • no. 190: Linlithgow Palace, 74,428
  • no. 194: Iona Abbey, 65,092
  • no. 198: Fort George, 60,924
  • no. 200: Melrose Abbey, 52,073
  • no. 203: Argyll’s Lodgings, 49,197
  • no. 210: St Andrews Cathedral, 46,488
  • no. 212: Tantallon Castle, 42,708
  • no. 215: Caerlaverock Castle, 35,633
  • no. 219: Elgin Cathedral, 30,502
  • no. 220: Blackness Castle, 30,053

Significant rises were seen in the numbers for Edinburgh Castle, Urquhart Castle, Glasgow Cathedral (62%), Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, St Andrews Cathedral, Elgin Cathedral and Blackness Castle.

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Linlithgow Palace © David Gill

Ruthven Barracks

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Ruthven Barracks © David Gill

Ruthven Barracks date to 1719-21, and lie above the river Spey overlooking the Insh marshes (in the care of RSPB). The barracks are contemporary with the Bernera Barracks guarding the crossing to Skye. A stable block was added in 1734.

The garrison was attacked in 1745, with the loss of one of the garrison, but was captured by the Jacobite forces in February 1746.

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Ruthven Barracks © David Gill

Ruthven Barracks are in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. They include the three-storeyed barrack blocks.

Heritage Scaffolding

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Signage at Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

The Governor’s House at Dumbarton Castle was in a state of restoration during a visit in 2015. But Historic Scotland had provided an information panel about the use of scaffolding over time.

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Entrance to King George’s Battery at Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

King George’s Battery was created in 1735.