Leading Visitor Attractions 2017: Historic Environment Scotland

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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%]
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Fort George © David Gill

Whithorn: museum signs

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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.

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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).

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Whithorn Museum, inscription © David Gill

St Martin’s Kirk, Haddington

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St Martin’s Kirk, Haddington © David Gill

St Martin’s Kirk is on the eastern edge of Haddington and dates to the 12th century. It is possible that the kirk was attended by the reformer John Knox who was born in the town.

The Kirk is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

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St Martin’s Kirk, Haddington © David Gill

Hailes Castle: pit prisons

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Hailes Castle, Mid Tower © David Gill

Hailes Castle stands on the banks of the River Tyne (in Scotland). There are two pit prisons in the castle. One stands in the Mid Tower. The second is in the West Tower.

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Hailes Castle, West Tower © David Gill

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.

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.

Dumbarton Castle: Portcullis Gate

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Portcullis Arch, Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

The Portcullis Arch provides access from the lower part of Dumbarton Castle. It probably dates from the 14th century.

The castle is built next to the Clyde.

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Portcullis Arch, Dumbarton Castle © David Gill