Southwest Canyonlands and New Orleans

Before I set off on my North Atlantic trip last year, I entered some prints and digital images in the Australian Photographic Society Interstate Competition.  To my great surprise, when I returned I found I had been awarded overall best image and won a Photographic trip for two to New York, sponsored by UDesign Photo Tours.  I swapped that (with some adjustment) for Southwest Canyonlands and at time of writing I am about to leave with my partner Jools (or Julie).  This is the image that won me the trip:

 

Michael Hardy at Canberra Blues Society Xmas Party, 2011

 

Here is the itinerary:

19 October Fly from Canberra to Las Vegas, Nevada.

20 October Helicopter ride over Hoover Dam, Colorado River and Grand Canyon West.  Back to Las Vegas.  Neon Graveyard Museum at night.

21 October Zion National Park (staying at Springdale, Utah).

22 October Zion National Park

23 October Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park (staying at Tropic, Utah).

24 October Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park (staying in Torrey, Utah or Hanksville, Utah).

25 October Factory Butte to Arches National Park (staying in Moab, Utah).

26 October Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

27 October From Moab via Newspaper Rock petroglyph site to Monument Valley (staying in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park).

28 October Monument Valley to Page Arizona.

29 October Horseshoe Bend and Canyon-X.  (Jools leaves for a conference in Orlando, Florida)

30 October Page Arizona to South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

31 October Grand Canyon National Park.

1 November Grand Canyon National Park to Flagstaff Arizona.  I pick up rental car from airport and drive to Phoenix Arizona via Sedona.

2 November Fly Phoenix Arizona to New Orleans (and meet up with Jools at the airport)

2 November to 12 November New Orleans

12 November Return flight to Canberra, arriving 14 November due to time zone curiosities.

 

Canyonlands Map

Here is the canyonlands route, from Las Vegas to Phoenix (click for larger size)

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According to my usual method,  I will make some temporary posts during the trip, probably images only.

Then, when I return I will have to finish processing images from Narooma Blues Festival.  I then expect to complete posts for Lofoten Islands, Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland before making the final posts for this trip.

 

Narooma Blues Festival 2014.

This is a quick preliminary overview post of some images from Narooma Blues Festival, 3rd to 5th October 2014.  It will be another month before I can resume processing the images from this Festival.

Rick Estrin

Rick Estrin (USA)

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Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes (Paraguay)

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Ash Grunwald

Ash Grunwald (Australia)

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Linda Bull

Vika Bull (Tonga/ Australia)

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Alison Penney

Alison Penney (Australia)

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Kelly Richey

Kelly Richey (USA)

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You can also see another eighteen images here.

Monochromes from Shetland and Dunnottar Castle

Shetland and Stonehaven, Scotland. Days 26 to 31, 26th to 29th July 2013.

 

Here is a selection of monochromes from the Shetlands, and from Dunnottar Castle near Aberdeen.  For more information on the images, click on the relevant link, which goes to the post that contains the colour version.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Mousa Broch

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Clickimin Broch

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Stanydale Temple

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Culswick

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Culswick Broch

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Dore Holm (the Drinking Horse)

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Calder’s Geo, Esher Ness

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Esher Ness

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Burrastow

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Uyeasound

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Muness Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Muness Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Muness Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel

Uyea Breck or Clivocast Standing Stone

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Viking longhouse, Haroldswick

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Viking galley, Haroldswick

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Dunnottar Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Dunnottar Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Dunnottar Castle

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Archaeology, Architecture, Black and White, Castles, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel. Edit

Dunnottar Castle

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That’s the last of the images from Scotland.  1,150 images and 40,000 words in 93 posts.

There will be very few posts in the next couple of weeks.  I have to make headway on processing the images from Narooma Blues Festival last weekend, my computer is dead and needs resuscitation (I’m posting this from my laptop) and I’m heading off overseas in less than a fortnight.  More on that before I go.

I still have to make final posts from my North Atlantic journey for Lofoten Islands, Spitzbergen, Greenland and Iceland.  I will resume those in November or December.

Old Aberdeen

Aberdeen, Scotland. Day 31, 29th July 2013.

On the way back to the airport I stopped off in Old Aberdeen. Originally separate, it was included in Aberdeen City in 1895. It includes a University dating back to 1495, the fifth oldest in the English-speaking world.

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

The cobbled streets and the stone houses are signs of the age of the area.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Not everything is old, though.  This is Sir Duncan Rice Library, the University library.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

The Powis Gate, erected in 1834, originally the entrance to an estate.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

King’s College, dating from 1495.  So, quick general knowledge question – which King would that be?

 

Now, I got this wrong.  I immediately thought of Henry VII but that’s the English King, not the Scottish one.  It’s James IV, who married Margaret, elder sister of Henry VIII (as he would come to be) and thereby created the claim for his great-grandson James VI of Scotland to become James I of England.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Old Aberdeen, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Part of an internal courtyard in King’s College.

 

Posts will slow down for a while.  I have a Blues Festival to attend over the weekend and I expect lots of processing, then another expedition in a few weeks….

 

Dunnottar Castle

Stonehaven, Scotland. Day 31, 29th July 2013.

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Since I needed to visit Aberdeen to catch a connecting flight to the Lofoten Islands, I made sure I made the short drive to Stonehaven to visit Dunottar Castle, one of the most remarkable castles in Scotland.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Dunnottar Castle is obviously situated on a commanding natural fortification so it is no surprise that there was a fort here in Pictish times, though no-one knows much about that.  In 681 and 693 there were sieges here as part of what appears to have been a Pictish civil war.  In 934, Constantine II of Scotland withstood here a month-long seige by Æthelstan, first King of England.

 

_1383447 Here is an aerial view from an information board at the site.

The English took the castle in 1296 when Edward I was crushing John Balliol.  A year later, William Wallace took it back and burned the English garrison alive in the church.

The English took the castle again in 1336 and it was then visited by Edward III but the Scots recaptured it later the same year.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

This is the Keep, part of new stone fortifications built from the late fourteenth century, replacing previous fortifications that were probably mainly of wood.  There was only one way into the castle so with that fortified in stone, it became much more difficult to attack.

In 1645, Montrose besieged the castle for the loyalists in the Civil War but was unable to take it.  So, instead, he laid waste the countryside.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

In 1652, the castle held out for eight months under siege by General Monck for Oliver Cromwell’s forces.  Charles II had landed in Scotland to stage a rebellion against Cromwell.  Castle Dunottar was the last place to hold out.  It eventually surrendered following ten days of bombardment when Monck brought up the heavy artillery.

The English were expecting to secure the Scottish crown jewels “the Honours of Scotland”, comprising a crown, a sword and a sceptre.  The castle also held important papers of Charles.  Both were smuggled out of the castle before it fell.  The papers were smuggled out concealed in a woman’s clothing and the Honours were lowered over the cliff to a woman gathering seaweed.  Both were concealed in a nearby church until the Restoration.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Have you worked out what you are looking at here?

Well, this is the view looking up.  We are inside the Keep, looking up towards the Great Hall.  I think we are in the basement and the Great Hall was on the first floor.  (For American readers, the first floor is the one above the ground floor).

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

I think this is the end of the stables.  In the middle is a chimney with fireplaces on two levels.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

The notice says this is a 16th/ 17th century garden though it is inside a building that would originally have been roofed.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

This is the oldest part of the castle, the shell of a stone church dedicated to St Ninian from the late thirteenth century.  This is where William Wallace burned alive a defending contingent of English troops in 1297.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

This is the kitchen, as for the previous image.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

The Marischal’s chamber, with magnificent views out over the water.  The Keith family who built much of the castle and held it for hundreds of years, were Marischals of Scotland.

The Marischal (or Marshall) was originally a minor Court position but came to be one of the three main Court positions.  It was primarily tasked to settle Court disputes but also had a military function at least up the the Battle of Bannockburn though command of the military went to the Constable.  After Bannockburn the Marischals were less important but retained influence by virtue of now being Earls and due to their large land holdings.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

A view from the Marischal’s chamber.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

I think this is the “East Range”, nearby.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

A view of the Marischal’s chamber from outside.  At the bottom edge of the frame is a breach in the wall labelled “Thief’s Hole”.  I do not know the story behind that.  However, the room behind it is the Whig’s Vault.  In 1685, in the aftermath of Monmouth’s rebellion, 167 covenanters were imprisoned here, including 45 women.  Covenanters were hard-line Presbyterians who renounced Church hierarchy and these people refused to accept a new prayer book.

They were held for two months with poor food and inadequate sanitary facilities.  25 escaped though a window above the cliff but 15 were recaptured and two died.  37 agreed to take the oath of allegiance and the remaining people were deported to the Americas.  Seven had died by then and another 70 on or shortly after the voyage.  That only left 45 survivors in the Americas.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, Dunnottar Castle, History, Landscape, Photography, Scotland, Travel

This is the way out.

The Earls Marischal lost possession of the castle after one of them supported the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion.  The castle in any event had never recovered from the Cromwellian bombardment.

I may be lucky I visited when I did.  Dunnottar Castle is currently closed “indefinitely” as urgent maintenance work is underway on the structures over the entrance and it is not known how long this will take to complete.

 

Northern Unst

Unst, Shetland, Scotland. Day 30, 28th July 2013.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

Not far from Muness Castle, this is Eyea Breck or Clivocast Standing Stone, around ten feet high.  According to local legend, it marks the spot where a son of the Viking King Harold Harfager (or Harold Fairhair) died around 900AD and he is buried nearby.   When Harold became King of all Norway, many of his opponents fled to other lands including Shetland, Orkney, the Faeroes and Iceland.  His son probably died in one of the battles subduing a rebel lord.   I don’t know the name of the son and Harold had around twenty.  However, the stone is of course Neolithic and probably four to five thousand years old.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

Here, on the side of the road, a bus shelter converted to a charming community art gallery.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

Near Haroldswick, close to the northern end of Unst, a recreated Viking longhouse.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

.. and next to it, a replica Viking galley.  I can’t find the reference now but I recall reading that a crew rowed it from Norway and had intended to row further but ended up abandoning it here.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

As you can see on the deck, it is starting to rain.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

Not the easiest of vessels to steer I would surmise.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

A little further on, the ruins of a church beside the road.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

This was my intended destination, Hermaness Nature Reserve, and you can see the Visitor Centre in the distance.  By now the rain was quite constant.

I had hoped to go for a walk and catch a glimpse of Muckle Flugga, a picturesque group of rocks with a Stevenson lighthouse on top, at the northernmost tip of the Shetlands.   I had raingear, a raincover for my pack and one for my camera.  However, at the Visitors Centre there were signs warning against going for a walk in the rain wearing rain gear.  Someone in the last few years had fallen over on the path in the rain and slid on the smooth grassy surface over the edge of a cliff.  So I desisted and turned back.  It may have been just as well because I still had a long way to drive to return to Sumburgh at the south end of Mainland, where I was staying that night prior to a flight the next morning.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

The drive from the top of Unst to the bottom of Mainland is a voyage across Unst, Yell and Mainland together with two ferry rides.  This is the Ness of Sound, an “island” connected by a tombolo to the south western coast of Yell.

 

Archaeology, Architecture, Haroldswick, Hermaness Nature Reserve, History, Landscape, Ness of Sound, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst, Viking galley, Yell

Here is an interesting sight next morning, on the plane to Aberdeen.  An image of the plane, created by the sun and layers of clouds like a giant camera obscura, and surrounded by a rainbow.

 

References for Shetland:

  • Jill Slee Blackadder: Shetland
  • Robin Holmes: The Holiday Planning guide to Shetland
  • David W Moore: The Other British Isles
  • Undiscovered Scotland .

Muness Castle

Unst, Shetland, Scotland. Day 30, 28th July 2013.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Muness Castle is named after Mu Ness, a nearby headland.  It was built in 1598 by Laurence Bruce, half brother to Earl Robert Stewart (sharing the same mistress of James V as mother).

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

In 1571 Earl Robert appointed Laurence as Foud (anglicised as Sheriff) of Shetland.  Laurence developed an unenviable reputation for corruption and cruelty.   He undertook acts of piracy on passing shipping, changed weights and measures to increase his income and fathered 24 local illegitimate children by imposing feudal “rights” on local women.

He was removed from his post in 1577 after complaints from residents led to a Commission that visited Shetland and took evidence from 700 male Shetlanders.  Notwithstanding this finding and a prohibition by the Commission of his further living in Northern Scotland (i.e. north of the River Tay), Laurence returned the next year when he was appointed Sheriff-Depute by Earl Robert.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

After Robert died in 1593, Laurence did not have such good relations with Robert’s son Earl Patrick Stewart and this led to building Muness Castle in 1598.  In 1608, Earl Patrick turned up with 36 men and artillery, intent on destroying the castle, but withdrew for unknown reasons before completing the task.  Laurence was amongst those who testified against Earl Patrick in his trial in 1610 and he died in his bed in 1617.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is a cottage very close to the castle, with an adjoining dry wall shed that seems to have fallen into disrepair.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

The castle was sacked by French raiders in 1627 and though rebuilt was no longer occupied by the end of that century.  It was finally abandoned in 1750 and the roof had disappeared by 1774.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

The way in to the gate is mown and you can see the entrance door behind the wall to the right of the gate.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is how the castle may have looked in 1600.  The top floor and the roof are now missing.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Above the main door is a nearly obliterated coat of arms and an inscription that reads (after translation from archaic spelling):

Listen you to know this building who began
Laurence the Bruce he was that worthy man
Who earnestly his heirs and offspring prays
To help and not hurt this work always.

He had good reason to be nervous about the longevity of the castle.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is the kitchen, on the ground floor.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is a chamber, or bedroom, also on the ground floor.  You can see from the circular walls that it is in one of the towers at each end of the building.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Stairway to the second floor.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is the main fireplace in the great hall on the second floor.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Here is what that hall may have looked like when in use.  I would think that peat was a more likely fuel than logs, though.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is a chamber or bedroom on the first floor, once again in one of the towers.  You can see where the floor was for the floor above.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

This is probably the smallest window you are ever likely to see, on the first floor, intended for use by musketeers.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Looking through to the Great Hall, and the doorway to the room beyond.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

A double window this time, one for the view and one for the musket.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

The Lord’s Private Withdrawing Room, off the Hall with a private staircase leading to his chambers above.  The gaps in the surface of the wall are where the front of a chimney has fallen away.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

A different “double window” in the larger circular tower.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Looking straight up in the tower.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

Probably the stairway to the no longer extant second floor.

 

 Archaeology, Architecture, Castles, History, Landscape, Muness Castle, Photography, Scotland, Shetland, Travel, Unst

A different stairway, also closed, looking down.