On day 13 in Scotland we went to Urquhart Castle, the Loch Ness exhibit, and Ruthven Barracks. First we went to Urquhart Castle. Urquhart Castle is a castle on the southern end of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle was a significant place and before it was destroyed, it was the largest castle in Scotland. For 2,000 years or more, Urquhart castle was of strategical importance to anyone who wanted to control it. The castle was known in ancient times as "the spine of Britain." Urquhart Castle was given to the Durward family in the 1230s. The castle was given to Sir James Grant in 1509. This is a picture of the castle.
In front of the castle was a trebuchet. This is a picture of Stephen next to it.
Stephen did a speech about Nessy, also known as the Loch Ness monster. This is a picture of Stephen giving his speech.
Then we went to the Loch Ness exhibit. Some people think Nessy real and some people do not. Some people think you just can not know. Some stories of Nessy are very old, and are stories of Nessy attacking ships. Nessy could have been alive before and then gotten killed when she attacked a ship. Nessy could just be an optical illusion, which is thinking you see things when you really don't. There are so many different sightings of Nessy that you could not choose what Nessy looks like if you said he was real. Also, a great sea monster would probably need more waters to find food in than just Loch Ness. There are some "fakes" of Nessy that people have thought were true. This is a picture of an imitation Loch Ness floating in a small pond in front of the museum. The exhibit was very well done, but Daddy said it was a little pricey. Then we went to Ruthven Barracks. There was nothing at Ruthven Barracks but ruins of the Barracks. Ruthven Barracks was first a castle that over looked an important ford over the River Spey. It was fought over in the civil wars of Scotland. The first castle was destroyed in 1451, but rebuilt in 1459 as a much grander fortification. It was greatly damaged by Viscount Dundee and the Jacobites in the first Jacobite uprising.
After the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, the government decided to strengthen its grip in the highlands by building a barrack house there. All of the remains of the old castle were destroyed. The Barracks took longer to build than expected, but they were finally finished in 1721. The Barracks were split into two barrack blocks, each designed to fit 60 troops. To the east of the barracks there is a stable. The stable is designed to fit 28 dragoon horses.
In 1745 about 200 Jacobites tried to capture Ruthven Barracks. A force of just 12 redcoats, commanded by Sergeant Molloy, fought them off with the loss of just one man. By 1746 Sergeant Molloy had been promoted to lieutenant, and was still in command when a larger force of Jacobites arrived, this time equipped with artillery. Then the garrison surrendered. This is a picture of Daddy at one of the watch holes (look for the snowflakes against his coat.)
This is a picture of one of the walls from the outside of the Barracks.
This is a picture of one of the walls from the inside of the Barracks.