Nether Largie South Cairn


Nether Largie South Cairn © David Gill

Nether Largie South Cairn is part of the prehistoric landscape at Kilmartin. It was excavated by Canon Greenwell in 1864. Its first phase appears to belong to the early Neolithic. Two cists were cut into the outer part of the cairn, probably ion the Early Bronze Age.


Nether Largie Cairns, Kimartin © David Gill


Glenluce Abbey: welcome signs


Glenluce Abbey © David Gill

The Cistcercian abbey at Glenluce was founded around 1192. Other abbeys were located at Melrose (1136), Dundrennan (1142) and Sweetheart (1273). Glenluce was placed in State Guardianship in 1933.


Glenluce Abbey © David Gill


Dirleton Castle: features in the Ruthven lodging


Dirleton Castle © David Gill

The first floor of the Ruthven lodging at Dirleton Castle is accessed by a circular staircase. Immediately inside is a ‘Wall cupboard once fitted with shelves’.


Dirleton Castle © David Gill


Dirleton Castle © David Gill


Dirleton Castle © David Gill

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat Castles


1957 (4th ed. 1978)

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat castles are close to each other in Aberdeenshire. The Ministry guidebook was prepared by W. Douglas Simpson in 1957. Simpson had prepared a series of studies on Kildrummy from 1923 to 1937. The guidebook is separated into two parts, leading with Kildrummy; each contains a section on the history and a description of the two castles. A set of black and white photographs of the two castles, and a plan of Kildrummy appear as a block in the centre of the guide; a fold-out plan of Glenbuchat appears at the end.

Beauly Priory


1954 (1966)

Beauly Priory in Inverness-shire was a Valliscaulian foundation of 1230, by Sir John Bisset. The paper guide was prepared by William Douglas Simpson (1896-1968) in 1954; a second edition was published in 1978. The guide contains a short history followed by a description. A plan of the church is printed on the central pages.

Simpson served as university librarian for the University of Aberdeen (1926–66). He excavated at several castles in Scotland and write several Ministry guides (including Urquhart Castle).

Leading Visitor Attractions 2017: Historic Environment Scotland


Dirleton Castle © David Gill

The figures for the Leading Visitor Attractions 2017 are now available. There are a number of sites in the care of Historic Environment Scotland:

  • Edinburgh Castle [12]: 2,063,709 [+16%]
  • Stirling Castle [63]: 567,259 [+18%]
  • Urquhart Castle [70]: 488,136 [+23%]
  • Glasgow Cathedral [84]: 389,101 [+36%]
  • Skara Brae [173]: 110,028 [+18%]
  • St Andrews Castle [186]: 90,617 [+18%]
  • Linlithgow Palace [187]: 86,596 [+16%]
  • Fort George [192]: 75,798 [+24%]
  • Iona Abbey [196]: 66,224 [+2%]
  • Melrose Abbey [198]: 58,989 [+11%]
  • St Andrews Cathedral [199]: 58,395 [+26%]
  • Tantallon Castle [207]: 49,955 [+17%]
  • Blackness Castle [213]: 42,810 [+42%]
  • Caerlaverock Castle [214]:38,540 [+8%]
  • Elgin Cathedral [215]: 38,201 [+25%]
  • Craigmillar Castle [218]: 31,269 [+35%]
  • Dirleton Castle [219]:30,219 [+8%]
  • Dumbarton Castle [222]: 27,033 [+12%]
  • Jedburgh Abbey [223]: 26,906 [+13%]

Fort George © David Gill

Whithorn: museum signs


Whithorn Museum © David Gill

We have commented on the wonderful Historic Scotland museum at Whithorn. The old Ministry sign is displayed in addition to the new HES information board.


Whithorn Museum © David Gill

Above the door is an inscription in both Latin and English dating to 1730 recording the benefaction of both the parish and town (donis parochiae et urbis structa).


Whithorn Museum, inscription © David Gill