Almond Castle video

Just over 300 metres north of Muiravonside Church are the remains of Almond Castle.  The tower castle is in the middle of a derelict site which has been marked for development . The tractors have moved in but it is not clear what the plan is for the site .

Property videos by Photogold .

In 1928 Manuel Brickworks was set up on this site and it expanded rapidly during the 1930’s and 40’s, but local housing struggled to keep pace. Kenneth Sanderson’s book, Stein of Bonnybridge, notes that in the early years “Manuel had no houses,” so John G. Stein’s grandson made repeated trips to Westminster to petition for an allocation of 80 homes. The new village of Whitecross was the result. Tied housing wasn’t unusual in the brick industry: Allandale village was built at the start of the 1920’s to house Stein’s workforce at Castlecary.

Manuel grew decade by decade until there were 20 acres of buildings, a labour force of 1200 people, and over 200,000 tons of bricks were fired each year. The works offices expanded several times, and housed the first computer to be installed in a British brickworks. Steins even wrote their own computer programmes!

Manuel reached its peak in the 1960’s, but fundamental change came when the oxygen steel-making process was introduced: demand for refractories plummeted. In reaction, Steins merged with General Refractories in 1967, then two years later the group was taken over by Hepworth Ceramics. Manuel won the Queen’s Award for Exports in 1987 although by then production had dropped to less than a quarter of its capacity.

The refractory industry was in retreat: Hepworth was taken over by Alpine in 1997, renamed Premier Refractories, then the firm was bought by Cookson in 1999.  Manuel Works was operated by Cookson’s subsidiary Vesuvius until it finally closed in December 2001. Decommissioning began in the New Year.

Sensing an opportunity, Tom Farmer’s firm stepped in.  Morston Assets bought the brickworks in August 2002, then drew up plans for a £150m redevelopment consisting of 1000 houses and half a million square feet of offices. Objectors argued that the proposals went against the intentions of the Local Plan: after much debate, planning approval was refused.

Morston regrouped and tried again. In 2006, they approached financial institutions to raise £1bn to fund their many brownfield projects, including Manuel – but the Great Recession came along in 2007 and the project was placed on hold. Meantime, the giant sheds were leased out to a catering firm, car repairers, a structural steel fabricator and builder’s merchant.

A couple of years later, the scheme re-emerged as a so-called SIRR or Special Initiative for Residential-led Regeneration, and joined the ranks of the SSCI or Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative projects. Cadell2 formulated a masterplan joining the Manuel site and Whitecross village, which now ran to 1500 new houses, 225 of which were classed as “affordable”. The scheme included offices and industrial units, a science park campus, a primary school and new village centre.

The project represents a five-fold increase to Whitecross, which currently consists of around 340 houses and 800 people; despite that, it was allocated in the Falkirk Local Plan in January 2010.

In June 2010, Farmer’s company announced an architectural competition to lay out the first section of the site, which Malcolm Fraser’s practice won in conjunction with Stewart Milne Homes. In parallel, Morston Assets moved forward with the intention of demolishing the brickworks. In October 2010, the masterplan was agreed, and it achieved planning approval in principle in May 2011. Demolition began swiftly afterwards, but that’s as far as the regeneration of Manuel Works has gone.

Four years later, Manuel remains a wasteland of clay, rubble and clinker. When asked about the future of the Whitecross regeneration, neither Morston Assets nor their administrators KPMG had got back to Urban Realm by the time the magazine went to press.
At this point, it’s worth examining the motives of the main players. Cookson were presumably keen to sell the land and rid themselves of its liabilities, such as ongoing security and maintenance, plus eventual remediation. The site includes old fireclay workings and former Haining tip to the north, as well as the former brickworks.

Morston Assets bought the site and took the role of land developer. They planned to remediate the site, gain approvals, construct infrastructure – then invite other developers to build out smaller parcels of land. Falkirk Council saw an opportunity for the regeneration of derelict land, and potentially many new jobs. By allowing a private developer to carry out the regeneration, they minimised the cost to their taxpayers, although they retained some control over it through the planning process.

This was once the principal seat of the Barony of Manuel and, anciently, the castle and its immediate lands were known as Haining. William de Crawfurde de Manuel is on record in 1417. It remained with the Crawford family until the middle of the sixteenth century. William Crawford, the last of the male line, died in or around 1542. He was married to Margaret Livingston and he was survived by their two daughters, Agnes and Margaret. Agnes was married to Thomas Livingston, third son of Alexander, Lord Livingston of Callendar and, Margaret once she came of age, sold her half to Agnes in 1551. The estate was held by this branch of the Livingstons until the middle of the seventeenth century. Sir James Livingston, the younger son of Alexander, Lord of Callendar and Earl of Linlithgow acquired the lordship of the castle and lands sometime around 1640. He had been honoured with the title of Lord Almond by King Charles I in 1633 for his past services and, as was not uncommon, his title became attached to the property. A writ of 1694 has ‘Hayning now called Almond’. After the forfeiture of the Livingstons of Callendar in 1716 the castle and lands were held by the York Buildings Company until they were purchased by William Forbes in 1783.

The castle appears to have been first built as a tower-house in the fifteenth century by the Crawford family; the surviving part is that earliest structure. Major additions were made in the sixteenth century superficially transforming it into a mansion house. By the time it came into the hands of Forbes it was uninhabited and ruinous. In recent decades the ruin has survived within the work premises of Stein’s of Manuel.  The recent closure of the works and the planned redevelopment of the area offers hope for repair and stabilisation of the castle in the future.

Information about Almond Castle provided by the Falkirk Local Historical Society

Linlithgow Palace entrance HDR image – features as Wentworth Prison in Outlander

Linlithgow Palace entrance HDR.

Linlithgow Palace featured as Wentworth Prison in Outlander.

This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.

Linlithgow palace HDR

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

Over 50 photo gifts of Linlithgow Palace are available including throw pillows , greeting cards, prints, t-shirts, phone cases, mugs and lots more.

Linlithgow Palace is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

Linlithgow palace HDR, Outlander

Almond Castle

Just over 300 metres north of Muiravonside Church are the remains of Almond Castle. This was once the principal seat of the Barony of Manuel and, anciently, the castle and its immediate lands were known as Haining. William de Crawfurde de Manuel is on record in 1417. It remained with the Crawford family until the middle of the sixteenth century. William Crawford, the last of the male line, died in or around 1542. He was married to Margaret Livingston and he was survived by their two daughters, Agnes and Margaret. Agnes was married to Thomas Livingston, third son of Alexander, Lord Livingston of Callendar and, Margaret once she came of age, sold her half to Agnes in 1551. The estate was held by this branch of the Livingstons until the middle of the seventeenth century. Sir James Livingston, the younger son of Alexander, Lord of Callendar and Earl of Linlithgow acquired the lordship of the castle and lands sometime around 1640. He had been honoured with the title of Lord Almond by King Charles I in 1633 for his past services and, as was not uncommon, his title became attached to the property. A writ of 1694 has ‘Hayning now called Almond’. After the forfeiture of the Livingstons of Callendar in 1716 the castle and lands were held by the York Buildings Company until they were purchased by William Forbes in 1783.

The castle appears to have been first built as a tower-house in the fifteenth century by the Crawford family; the surviving part is that earliest structure. Major additions were made in the sixteenth century superficially transforming it into a mansion house. By the time it came into the hands of Forbes it was uninhabited and ruinous. In recent decades the ruin has survived within the work premises of Stein’s of Manuel.  The recent closure of the works and the planned redevelopment of the area offers hope for repair and stabilisation of the castle in the future.

Information about Almond Castle provided by the Falkirk Local Historical Society

Eilean Donan Castle is set to star in a new movie by Oscar winner

Eilean donan castle pictures , edc17680
Eilean Donan Castle
is set to take a starring role in a new movie by Oscar winning set designer Roger Christian .

In 1980 he produced a film Black Angel which told the tale of a knight who rescues a princess while returning home from the Crusades, and was made entirely in Scotland, at locations such as Eilean Donan Castle, Bernera Barracks at Glenelg, Loch Eck in Argyll.

It was shown in 1980 in cinemas in Europe and Australia as part of screenings of The Empire Strikes Back – and became a cult classic.

Now he is going to return to the Highlands to turn Black Angel into a full length film.

He said: “I have to film in Scotland, and in late September and early October as I did the first time.

“The quality of the natural light at that time of year in Scotland is like nothing else in the world.

“It allowed us to shoot scenes that would have required CGI, technology that was not available to us at that time.”

Christian was involved in the original Star Wars movie as well as  Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, as well as Alien.

The original Black Angel was found last year and made available online, ending fears that the film had been lost forever.

Visit Scotland has produced a map of film locations in Scotland .

A number of major film releases in recent years have featured well known locations in Scotland including

the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which appears in the Harry Potter movies, Glencoe, which featured in Skyfall, Braveheart and The 39 Steps, and Eilean Donan Castle, seen in Highlander and Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.

Stephen Spielberg’s latest smash hit  of the BFG was filmed in Skye, the Western Isles and Orkney.

Eilean Donan Castle posters

Eilean Donan Castle poster

Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16.5 by 11.7 inches , just £5.95 including free UK delivery .
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Five castles for sale

The economy in America and the UK is on the up , so we are told , and the property market has signs of improvement . We have found five castles for sale in the UK and America.

Hampton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK, £12m
Near the village of Bodenham, about eight miles north of the cathedral city of Hereford, which has rail services into London Paddington and Euston. The nearest international airport is in Birmingham, 65 miles away. A recently restored, Grade I-listed, 15th-century castle with 26 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms, various state rooms, and a conservatory designed by Joseph Paxton, the architect of the Crystal Palace. The estate, which comprises about 935 acres, also includes a private chapel, a farm and six cottages. The estate was previously owned by Henry Bolingbroke, who became King Henry IV in 1399. He began construction of the castle before giving it to his courtier Roland Lenthall in the early 15th century.
Who Knight Frank, knightfrank.com, tel: +44 20 7629 8171
. . .

Caverswall Castle, Staffordshire, UK, £3m

Where On 20 acres near Stoke-on-Trent. Birmingham airport is 45 miles away.
What A 16-bedroom castle dating from 1275, when its then owner received a “licence to crenellate”, and rebuilt in 1615. The interiors, including drawing rooms, a library and billiard room, retain Jacobean carved wood panelling.
Why During its long history, the castle has been used as a garrison during the English civil war and a sanctuary for Benedictine nuns escaping the French Revolution. Features include a decorative ceiling added by the Wedgwood family, who lived in the house in the 1880s, a recently reinstated moat and a dungeon.
Who Sotheby’s International Realty, sothebysrealty.co.uk, tel: +44 1932 860537
.
Woodstock Castle, Woodstock Connecticut, US, $39m

Just outside the town of Woodstock in rural Connecticut. Bradley international airport is about 45 miles away.
A neo-gothic castle completed in 2009 with nine bedrooms, 12 fireplaces and almost 19,000 sq ft of living space. Entertaining areas include a huge entry hall with a frescoed ceiling, heated outdoor decks and an auditorium with a raised stage.
Why No expense, or whimsy, was spared in the design of this castle, which comes complete with a moat and drawbridge, a turreted 126ft tower and stained-glass windows. The inlaid flooring and woodwork is made from 25 different species of imported hardwood.
Who Christie’s International Real Estate, christiesrealestate.com, tel: +1 860 887 1122
. . .
Castello Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, €9.5m

Castello Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
On a hilltop in the district of Greve in Chianti, close to village restaurants and shops. Florence airport is 35 minutes away by car.
A castle dating back to the 1300s, with 12 bedrooms and two hectares of grounds, plus a pool, tennis court and gym.
Original features include frescoes, painted coffered ceilings and terracotta floors, with an option to buy an adjacent vineyard.
Casa & Country, an affiliate of Aylesford International, casaandcountry.com, tel: +44 20 7351 2383

A nice Castello Chianti , as Hannibal Lecter might say ……
. . .

Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, €4.75m

Where Near the city of Agen and about 90 minutes by car from Toulouse and Bordeaux, both of which have international airports.
What A 16th-century château with nine bedrooms, a guest house, pool and orangery, plus 75 acres of farmland, including a walnut grove.
Why The refurbished castle retains original features such as carved and painted wooden beams, parquet flooring, fireplaces and exposed stonework.

Eilean Donan Castle pictures , January 2016

On Wednesday I drove up to Eilean Donan Castle to take some new pictures of the castle and try some new ideas .  I got there about half past twelve , just in time to catch some shots of the castle before the sun disappeared behind the clouds .
Eilean Donan Castle , edc16133

 

I also took a picture using the miniature effect as you can get quite interesting results with this effect .

Eilean Donan Castle , edc16136

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky looks a bit more interesting and there seems to be a bit of HDR going on .

My plan was to get some pictures of the castle at night which meant I had a few hours to kill before darkness fell . I went up to Kyle of Lochalsh to have a look around for anything interesting to photograph but I had no luck. Usually there are some fishing boats in the harbour but there weren’t any there .

At night the character of the castle changes . It is floodlit and takes on an orange glow .

Eilean Donan Castle tours

Eilean donan castle pictures , edc17680

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eilean donan castle poster
Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16 by 11 inches , just £5.50 including free UK delivery .
[wp_paypal_payment]This image is also available in a larger size as a poster to US and UK customers on RedbubblePictures of the castle have been published in hundreds of calendars , books and websites. Castle pictures.com has ńow published its own castle poster. The Scottish castles collection features pictures of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland by photographer David Rankin.Our original image of Eilean Donan Castle is now available as a poster .Eilean Donan Castle means Island of Donan (a religious figure from the 12th century). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Eilean Donan Castle gifts , posters and ornaments are for sale at Redbubble.

 

Haunted Halloween castles

Scotland is full of ruined castles. Which castles are the spookiest of them all ?. Here’s a list of the spookiest , most haunted castles in Scotland , ideal for a visit at Halloween . If you’re lucky enough to survive a visit one of these castles , why not send a  free Halloween greeting card or download the free ecard app ?

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan is one of the most picturesque and most photographed castles in
the world . Send pictures of the castle in our free Valentine cards app . The castle is on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs . It has featured in several films including Highlander and a James Bond film.  Robert the Bruce took refuge here in 1306 . The
original castle was destroyed in 1719 when 3 English
frigates attacked the Spanish troops garrisoned there. A direct hit on the arsenal  totally destroyed it .
. The castle was rebuilt in the 20th century . This castle is spooky because the spirit of
a Spanish troop is said to haunt the castle.

Send a free Halloween e-card

Eilean
Donan castle screensavers

. More pictures of Eilean
Donan Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle commands the whole of the city centre , sitting on a volcanic rock . The castle is perhaps the spookiest in Britain because it has many ghosts. There is a drummer who only appears when the castle is
about to be attacked. A piper who disappeared in the
tunnels between the castle and the High Street comes back to haunt the dungeons. The castle is Scotland’s biggest visitor attraction with thousands of visitors each year.

edinburgh castle screensavers
Buy Edinburgh
Castle screensaver
£3.95

Send a free Edinburgh Castle Halloween e-card.

Craigievar
Castle

The Blue Bedroom is the haunt of one of the Gordon clan members, who
fell from a window. He had been pushed to his death by “Red”
Sir John Forbes, a noble. Several people heard the step of
the unfortunate Gordon climbing the stairs to the Blue
Bedroom, as if he was living the moment before his death
again and again.One of the
other ghosts is one of a musician, who is very selective (he
shows himself just to people with the name of Forbes). He
fell in the moat of the castle and drowned. Send free Halloween e-cards

Linlithgow Palace

This was the castle of the Stewart kings of Scotland from the 15th
century . In 1512Mary , Queen of Scots was born here .
Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of the stair towers
, is said to be haunted by the Queen’s mother , Mary of Guise , waiting for the
return of her husband , James V .

More pictures of Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow travel guide

Crathes
Castle

In the oldest part of the castle, the double tower, there is a room
known as the Green Lady’s Room, because of the several
apparitions of this unknown woman with a baby. It is said
that she’s a member of the Burnett family, proprietor of the
castle.These
apparitions began after the discover of two skeletons,
during renovation work : one of a woman and one of a baby.
The baby is said to be the child of a man who preferred to
kill the baby and the mother to hide their
relationship.The fact
that the apparitions continue, even after the discover of
the bodies means than the two poor beings will never be able
to rest in peace.

Stirling Castle

The castle stands on volcanic rock overlooking the town of Stirling and
the countryside . Mary , Queen of Scots was crowned in the
old chapel in 1533 . The Pink Lady, a beautiful lady in a
pink silk gown , has been seen many times at the castle . It
may be Mary , Queen of Scots. Others say it is the ghost of
a woman searching for her husband who had been killed when
Edward I captured the castle .

Free Stirling Castle e-cards

More pictures of  Stirling Castle
Free Halloween greeting cards

Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print


[ecard]

tone mapping

high dynamic range
[schema type=”product” url=”www.castlepictures.com” name=”Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print .Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag.” description=”Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print .Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag.” brand=”Castle pictures” condition=”New” ]

New Nikon D600 camera goes on sale, price £1950

The new Nikon D600 camera goes on sale this week at a  price of £1950 in most retailers. The camera fits in between the D3200 and the D800 in the Nikon range, with a 24 megapixel sensor.

The Nikon D600 DSLR is fairly similar to the D800 — including a weather- and dust-resistant magnesium alloy build, fast Exspeed III processor, and AF that works down to f/8 ,  all contained in a body that is a full 15 percent lighter than the D800.

Nikon is also emphasising the fact that the D600 handles wireless transfers and triggers using the new WU-1b widget, which is identical to the familiar WU-1a  on the D3200 except that it plugs into the camera’s USB port rather than the HDMI port. There’s an Android app to allow your mobile device to communicate with the camera, and an iOS app is out by the end of September.

Nikon’s newly developed 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor delivers outstanding levels of detail and tonal range, even in low light situations.

From true wide-angle to super telephoto, the 14-bit A/D conversion and excellent signal-to-noise ratio enable images of remarkable quality with low noise and wide dynamic range even at high ISO sensitivities.

Offering an ISO range of 100–6400, extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent), low light capability is superb. The camera’s intelligent noise reduction systems manage noise without sacrificing fine details, allowing superb flexibility under all lighting conditions: images are crisp and clean, even at higher ISO settings.

EXPEED 3 image processing 
Equipped with the same state-of-the-art EXPEED 3 image-processing engine as Nikon’s flagship D4, the Nikon D600 makes light work of data-rich tasks without sacrificing speed and quality.

16-bit image processing offers richer colours and tones than ever before, delivering smooth gradations with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white, even when shooting in JPEG.

Highly sensitive autofocus system
The Nikon D600 enables superior subject acquisition in most lighting conditions thanks to Nikon’s newly developed Multi-CAM4800 39-point AF system that boasts AF sensitivity inherited from the flagship D4.

A full-frame sensor is equivalent in size to a frame of 35mm film. Larger sensors are better for two main reasons: they potentially allow for larger photosites (light receptors) per pixel for a given resolution, and provide more creative flexibility with respect to depth of field at a given focal length. Larger photosites mean better light sensitivity, which usually means higher-quality photos.

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar’s Brave

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar's Brave

[ecard]
Pixar’s new blockbuster Brave film is set in Scotland and has been inspired by a number of Scottish castles, mainly Eilean Donan Castle and Dunnottar Castle. The film has made $66.7m (£42.8m) in its opening weekend, knocking Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted off the top spot. Brave is the first Disney Pixar animation with a female protagonist. Brave, which will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this week, is the the 13th consecutive Pixar release to open at number one. “Their track record is just unbelievable,” said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience. It doesn’t matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name.”
Brave’s heroine, who rebels against her family’s plans for her to marry, is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, of Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire fame.She was born and bred in Scotland , as were most of the cast, which includes Robbie Coltrane, comedian and now chat show host Craig Ferguson and Macdonald’s Trainspotting co-star Kevin McKidd, better known to American audiences for his role in Grey’s Anatomy.
Send ecards of Eilean Donan Castle .

Eilean Donan Castle inspiration

Eilean Donan has inspired many artists and photographers down the years. Images of the castle have featured in countless calendars and postcards. It is one of my favourite castles in Scotland because of the huge potential it offers throughout most of the year.


VisitScotland marketing campaign

VisitScotland found out that Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart in 1995 brought a whole flood of visitors to Scotland , mainly from America.They have decided to try and capitalise on Brave to promote Scotland and bring a whole new generation of visitors to Scotland.
VisitScotland has launched its biggest ever global marketing campaign, working alongside Disney Pixar to reach millions of potential visitors across the world. The campaign will showcase every corner of Scotland through a new TV and cinema advert, a new website and extensive marketing and events activity in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany. The TV and cinema campaign will reach around 80 million people in the UK and abroad and is expected to boost the Scottish economy by around £140m.
The campaign will see the airing of VisitScotland’s first TV advert in North America for ten years – thanks to a major funding boost by the Scottish Government. The timing of the campaign is crucial, with this market showing encouraging signs of recovery. The number of American visitors increased by 15% last year and it is Scotland’s biggest overseas market, with more than 400,000 visitors spending £311m every year.
UK audiences will also be treated to the new advert in cinemas and TV in a special UK version which will launch when the film opens in August.
The new 30-second advert, which is voiced by the BBC’s historian and presenter Neil Oliver, will be broadcast on some of the world’s largest networks and in cinemas before the film, taking creative inspiration from the theme “Scotland. Where legends come to life.”

First Minister Alex Salmond attends Brave premiere

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has done his bit to promote VisitScotland’s marketing campaign with his attendance at the film premiere and a raft of press interviews.