Monthly Archives: June 2014

Preparing for the Painting


Alistair and Mark have been busy making the platform that the painting will be on while it is getting work done in the Chapel Royal (no nose jobs for Catharine Henry!)

This space will ensure that the painting will have enough room while allowing the public to see what is going on.

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The platform takes shape

Thankfully the local congregation are 100% behind the project and don’t mind losing a 20 chairs for a few months!

The staff have been wondering what the boys will do with all that wood once the project is completed, decking anyone?

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Mark observing his work

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Falkland Palace: power and glory


The Hazel Tree

Falkland entrance 2In 1542, James V of Scotland lay dying in Falkland Palace.   He was still only 30, but he had lived a full and rather stressful life.   The son of the tempestuous Margaret Tudor, he’d been held captive here for two years by his stepfather, he had sired at least seven illegitimate children, and his first wife, Madeleine of France, had died in his arms only weeks after arriving in Edinburgh.

Now, as he lay ill with a fever, his second wife, Mary of Guise, was giving birth to a child in nearby Linlithgow Palace.  They had already lost two infant boys, and another son was dearly hoped for.

When they brought him the news that he had a daughter, he uttered the words which have echoed down the centuries:

“It came wi’ a lass and it will gang wi’ a lass.”

What he meant was that the Scottish crown had…

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Falkland Palace


The Garden Gallery

DSC_1027 View of Falkland Palace with the orchard in the foreground.
Can you see the willow woman sculpture on the left?

Located in the Kingdom of Fife, Falkland Palace is famous for its beauty and history. Continuing to be a family home, the three hectares of grounds include carefully tended perennial beds, terraced gardens, mature shade trees, and orchards.

The first account of the garden dates back to 1451! Primarily used as a retreat, the Stuart Kings would stroll the grounds and hunt in the surrounding forest. Today, the rare Renaissance property is run by the National Trust for Scotland, and its Hereditary Keeper, Ninian Crichton Stuart.

With successive keepers, the gardens expanded, orchards were replanted, and sundials installed. Later, these gardens, like most, would have the iron ornaments dismantled and flowers replaced with potatoes, to support the war effort and the Dig for Victory campaign.

An influential attribute associated with…

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Falkland Palace


Inspired by Scotland

imposing entrance gates for Falkland Palace Falkland Palace gates

In the heart of the picturesque, heritage village of Falkland in Fife, sits stunning Falkland Palace.

A National Trust for Scotland property, this palace is beautiful inside and out. Originally a hunting retreat for the Kings of Scotland, the setting in the fertile Howe of Fife looks out over the Lomond hills where once wild boar and deer would have roamed.

Falkland Palace Entrance to the palace

The Jameses (I to V) were all here (indeed, James V died here shortly after hearing of the birth of his daughter, Mary, future Queen of Scots) and the house is steeped in Stewart history.

There are impressive rooms full of period furniture, tapestries and artefacts to see inside and, outside, the oldest tennis court in Britain (1539).

The entrance to Falkland Palace Ornate lantern, Falkland Palace

For this, the year of Natural ScotlandThe Scottish Countryman‘s WildFife tours can include a stop…

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Visiting Falkland Palace


V's Blog

Visually attractive, Falkland is a quaint little town with an impressive history. Its most famous building is the Falkland Palace

now part of the National Trust for Scotland.

The monument in the middle of the village square looking up towards East Lomond is very ornate. The water was not flowing the day I went there. There used to be a lovely café where I had my first haggis and neeps but it has since closed and is now a pharmacy!!

The MacDuffs owned the castle in the 12th century. But it is really King James IV who completed the castle proper and James V who made some remarkable additions.

The world’s very first tennis court was built in Falkland Palace in 1539. I hadn’t noticed the building when I was wandering around the ponds until a doorway caught my eye. Quite a small doorway and so I went through…

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