Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Dundonald and Crossraguel

Recently a very successful Scottish Branch outing to Dundonald Castle and Crossraguel Abbey in Ayrshire.

Not the destinations we had intended but circumstances rather conspired against us . The intention had been a visit to Rowallan Castle and to Dean Castle in Kilmarnock with their associations with Mary. However access problems to Rowallan and literally only a few days beforehand intimation that Dean Castle was closed to all after masonry fell from the peel tower and the site considered dangerous.

Full credit for Society member Ann McMillan for reorganising everything at very short notice and as seems commonly to happen in these circumstances everything went so smoothly and a most excellent day out enjoyed by all.

In fairness not too much to do with Mary, although she may have visited Crossraguel when she stayed at Dunure Castle on her progress to the west and south west of Scotland in 1563.

Dundonald much more associated with King Robert 11 of Scotland who probably rebuilt it on his accession to the throne in 1371, almost certainly his favourite castle and where he died in 1390.

Crossraguel a finely preserved mediaeval monastery of the Cluniac Order which emerged virtually unscathed from the Reformation.

Two excellent guides with lots of background information from Ann herself. Good company, good meals and a splendid day out.

To view images of the day; -

above; Looking down from the Gatehouse at the Abbey to the Cloisters

below; Ann hold court in the sedilia and three members look on enrapt.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Friars in Haddington

Jean Fairbairn and Isobel Brown have arranged a most interesting visit to Haddington on 13th.
July and am sure we are all looking forward to that - fuller details on the website

Meantime though Jean has also brought to our attention a talk which will be taking place  in Holy Trinity Church (below) on the Monday immediately prior to out visit (8th. July at 7.30 p.m.). Holy Trinity Church is situated on the site of the Franciscan Friary at Haddington (the first 'Lamp of Lothian')

The talk is being given by Dr. Colman O Clabaigh OSB, an expert on mediaeval monasticism who has published widely on the Franciscan mission to Britain and Ireland and who has agreed to visit Haddington while in Scotland on a lecture tour.

His lectures will be illustrated with reference to the extensive remains of Franciscan friaries in Ireland where more evidence of both the friars and their activities have survived as the Franciscans built their friaries to common plans and lived a common rule of life.

Admission £5, payable at the door.