Flat Stanley Visited Scotland

Submitted by Dale Hubert
Flat Stanley stayed in the fishing village of Pittenweem.
He stayed at the Giles House.  It was a lovely old building with a spiral stone staircase.
There was beautiful scenery everywhere.
This old mill was used to pump water into the salt basins.  Then the basins were heated and the water would evaporate, leaving the salt behind. 
There were castles all over the place!
This is Stirling Castle.  Most of Stirling Castle dates back to the 100 year period between 1496 and 1583.  The Castle provided a home for Scottish Kings and Queens from the days of Alexander I (and probably earlier) until the Union of the Scottish and English Crowns under James VI.  Even in Roman times there was a fortress on this site.
This is what the kitchen of a castle would have look like.  Flat Stanley was helping make bread.
The Stirling Castle tour guide posed with Flat Stanley.
Flat Stanley liked the pictures of the Highland Cattle.
Sir William Wallace (1267-1305) was a Scottish hero.  In 1296, Edward I of England invaded Scotland and the Scottish Wars of Independence began. William Wallace began a guerrilla campaign against the EnglishOn September 11, 1297, the Scots defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

After defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, Wallace was betrayed and captured.
Wallace was also called Braveheart.
This is the view from the tower of the Wallace Monument.  It is 220 feet (67m) high and was opened in 1869.
There are 246 steps and Flat Stanley was pretty much worn out by the time he reached the top.  But the view was worth it!
This is a statue of Wallace.  Flat Stanley thought it looked quite a bit like Mel Gibson.
 
That's the tower of the Wallace Monument in the background.
Can you guess what this is?  Yes, it's a Medieval toilet.  Ever wonder why kings and queens had so many castles and spent so much time travelling?  Well, one of the reasons was that after a couple of months at a castle the place would get stinky and they'd move on.
The toilet room was called the guarderobe.  The hole was often placed above a stream.  People used to hang their clothes in the guarderobe so the odour would keep moths away.  This was called a wardrobe.
Flat Stanley visited the lesser known Balgonie Castle.  It was a wonderful place and the Laird of Balgonie castle himself gave him a tour.
Not too long ago there was a tax law that made people pay taxes on all liveable structures on their property.  The definition of a liveable structure was if it had a roof.  So, in order to save money on taxes, people smashed in the roofs of these ancient buildings.  That caused them to deteriorate very quickly.  The Laird of Balgonie Castle and his wife, the Lady of Balgonie Castle, are restoring this ancient dwelling.  Many people travel here to get married in the Medieval church within the castle.
Flat Stanley sailed to the nearby Isle of May.  He saw puffins and eiders and thousands of gulls.
They are hard to see, but behind Flat Stanley are many thousands of birds nesting on the rocks.
The puffins nest in burrows.
This female eider is on a nest.  Because it so cold where the eiders live, they grow feathers that are especially warm.  People use the down feathers from the eider to make eider down insulated clothing.
Unfortunately, much of Scotland's history involved wars.  The Catholics and Protestants fought against each other even though they were both Christians.  This is the remains of St Andrews Cathedral.  It was built in 1160 and consecrated in 1318 in the presence of Robert the Bruce.
St Andrews Cathedral was by far the largest cathedral in Scotland and one of the longest in Britain.  It was 109 metres (357 feet) long!
What happened to it?  John Knox, the famous Scottish leader of the Reformation gave a particularly stirring speech at another church and his congregation marched to St Andrews Cathedral and destroyed it.
This figure represents Cardinal David Beaton.  He was part of the bloody history of St Andrews.  In 1528 the Cardinal had John Wishart burned at the stake for preaching the Protestant faith rather than the Roman Catholic.  Wishart wasn't the only one to be burned at the stake, but shortly after his death Cardinal Beaton was murdered in revenge.
John Knox was considered to be a supporter of the murder, so he was sent away to work on a French prison galley ship for two years.  After he returned he gave the fiery speech that resulted in the destruction of the cathedral.
Although it is now a ruin and most of the rubble was taken by townspeople to copnstruct other buildings, one of the towers remains standing.  Flat Stanley had a wonderful view from the top.
This is the tower he climbed.
These medals are from the Bishops of St Andrews.
This was the basement of the cathedral.  It has a barrel vaulted ceiling and is a wonderful example of Medieval architecture.
Of course, not everything in Scotland had to do with war and fighting.  There were lovely gardens and wonderful people.  Flat Stanley is posing with an artist.
If you are ever in Scotland and want to visit one the best tea-houses, go to the Loganlea Resturant in Forestmill, Clackmannanshire.
The oldest tennis court in continuous use is at Falkland Castle.  Mary Queen of Scots played here.
Of course, kings and queens didn't bother bending down to pick up the tennis balls, so their servants did that and put the ball into play.  That's where the word "serve" came from in tennis- from the servant starting the game.
Flat Stanley had never seen a Toad Crossing sign before.
(He didn't see any toads, either.)
Oh, oh- back to the scary history of Scotland.  This didn't happen in Medieval times, though.  This was from the 1950s and 1960s.  This is Scotland's Secret Bunker.  http://www.secretbunker.co.uk/
On the outside it looks like an ordinary farmhouse (except for the solid steel shutters) but underneath it is a tunnel and a command centre.
This corridor leads down to the area that can withstand a nuclear bomb.
It used to be a very secret place and has only recently been opened to the public.
BBC Radio was all ready to take to the airwaves to tell the people what to do in case of a nuclear attack.
And to play soothing music as the bombs fell.
There was a radar centre.
And beds for those who were allowed to go into the bunker.
Have you ever read, "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes?"  Children in Japan sent one thousand paper cranes to the Underground Bunker in a prayer for peace in the hopes that nuclear weapons would never be used against people again.
Ahh!  It's an Eagle Owl!  Do they eat Flat Stanleys?
Fortunately, it was very well trained.
Before the Scots lived in Scotland there was a group of people called the Picts.  Not much remains of them, except for the Pictish stones. 
The Picts carved mysterious shapes in stones and stood them up in fields.  These are preserved in a museum.
The stone on the right was not carved by the Picts.  It was carved by the Vikings.
The Picts used the shape of the cross even before they converted to Chrisitanity.
There are still Pictish stones standing in fields.  The farmers simply plough around them.
This carving is more than one thousand years old!  The Picts battled with the Romans and the Vikings.
Speaking of history, William Shakespeare wrote a play titled, "Macbeth."  This small shrine at the top of a hill is where Macbeth's castle once stood.
And here's some more history- Flat Stanley visited the site where Vanora is buried.  According to legend, she was King Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere.  After Arthur's death, the queen moved to a nunnery and changed her name.
This man is a miller in a mill that still has a wheel that is turned by water.  The mill with its waterwheel was an amazing piece of technology!
Here is some corn that was ground in the mill.  In Medieval times all grain was called "corn."
And now- on to the Narrow Boats!
In the late 1700s the Union Canal was built between Edinburgh and Glasgow to carry coal in barges for the mills and the distilleries.
The railways replaced the barges on the canals, but now tourists can rent narrow boats.
There is a lock system that raises and lowers boats.
This was a long tunnel that didn't really have to be built.  Back in the days when being rich meant you received special treatment, a wealthy landowner didn't want a canal within view of his estate, so he insisted that a tunnel be built instead.
This is the narrow boat Flat Stanley sailed on for a week.  It was called the Ruffed Grouse and was rented by Capercaillie Cruises.
This is an interesting carving by the canal on the way to Edinburgh.
People in narrow boats simply tie up at night and sleep onboard.
This is Edinburgh castle.
Imagine getting hit by one of these stone cannon balls!
Flat Stanley liked the history of the Scottish Stone of Destiny.
And he helped re-enact the creation of the Scottish sceptre and the crown jewels.
Flat Stanley visited Linlithgow Castle.  That's where Mary Queen of Scots was born.
Too bad armour didn't come in a smaller size for Stanley!
This was a the top of a tower of Linlithgow Castle.  Those rocks that stick out were stairs that led up even higher.  No guardrails!  Pretty scarey!
This is a view of one of the walls of Linlithgow Castle.  It was one of Stanley's favourite historic sites.
Fortunately, it's not a crime to be flat.  This police officer gave Stanley a tour of the Linlithgow police station.
 
Then it was back to the canal and through the locks.
To one of the most amazing things Flat Stanley had ever seen...
... the Falkirk Wheel!
This amazing structure replaced many locks.  It rotates and moves a basin of water and two boats from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top.  It is so well-balanced that it can move 4 boats and hundreds of people and two huge basins of water with the same amount of energy as operating 6 toasters!
We aren't in Scotland any more, we are in York, England, at the Railway Museum.  Queen Victoria posed with Flat Stanley in her personal royal railway car.
Yorkminster was very impressive!
Rememer the Vikings that the Picts battled?  These are actual Viking combs and tools.  They were preserved underground in what is today the city of York.  They are on display in an amazing place called Jarvik.
These are Viking tools.
Here are some more Viking tools.
This is the actual skeleton from Viking times.  Marks on the bones indicate where he was injured and what caused his death.
It's hard to believe, but even though these people died more than a thousand years ago, their bones still tell the story of what happened to them.  There were serious injuries caused by weapons such as the battle axe. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 


Thank you for supporting the Flat Stanley Project. www.flatstanley.com