I visited this castle in 1998.
About 1350 Lord William Douglas had a great red curtain of stone built across a formidable rocky
promontory jutting out into the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth east of North Berwick in Scotland.
Secure behind it was a stage on which the 'Red' Douglases, Earls of Angus acted out their role as one
of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland. More than other castles, Tantallon's history
illustrates the conflict between the Crown and its mightier subjects.
Tantallon Castle was at all times a great baronial residence, providing all the accommodation required
by a feudal lord. From time to time it perforce became a wartime fortress. Besieged by King James IV
in 1491, besieged and taken by King James V in 1528, it was occupied by English forces in 1544 and
besieged and taken, again by the English, in 1651, during Cromwell's invasion. The damage caused by
Cromwell's heavy guns brought to a close Tantallon's days as one of the mightiest castles in Scotland.
The foregoing text is taken from a souvenir guide published by Historic Scotland.
This castle is really a 'must-see'. It's beautifully located, on a clear day the colors are striking
and there's still a lot to see. Its outer ward is also protected by a series of earthworks. One of my
favorite Scottish castles.
The pictures below are made by Dave Caw, the webmaster of the website 'Caledonian Castles Hame Page',
which was online until mid-2004. I placed these pictures here as a reminder of the great quality of
that website. They will be removed whenever it goes back online.
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