Intriguing rock carvings and decorative crosses are some of the features found in ancient sites located about Scotland that include the Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire and a fortified dun (fort) located at Kilmartin, Argyll.
Travel about Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire and you will encounter Dunnottar Castle, which delivers views of coastal rocks and breathtaking cliffs. Since around the 7th century, the castle served as a defensive base and may have seen life in earlier times. It is thought that the oldest section of this site is more than likely to date back to the 1400s. A handful of the surrounding buildings have a history traced back to about 1600.
The castle has seen many different faces over the years. Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed a stay here, while St Ninian found a place to retreat and constructed a chapel during Pictish times. In later years, William Wallace (doesn’t that name sound familiar , of ‘Braveheart’ fame) would come to burn down this same chapel, as well as the wooden castle that stood at the moment.
During the time that Oliver Cromwell laid siege at the castle for eight months, the Scottish Crown Jewels were stored at the castle. When an ample amount of military backup arrived, the regalia were lowered , using one of the seaward cliffs and the Jewels moved to safety. To this day, you can pinpoint damage that took place on that day.
Cairnfauld Stone Circle
In Banchory, Aberdeenshire, the Cairnfauld Stone Circle consists of three stones situated on a ridge that offers decent views of the countryside that surrounds the land. In the record books, there is mention that five stones made up this circle , thought to measure 22 yards across. However, it is believed that two of the missing stones are now part of a collection of field-clearance stones located at the edge of the field. The remaining features are between four and six feet tall. During the 19th century, an assortment of human bones was discovered buried close to the center of the circle.
Dunadd was the site of the fortified dun (fort) at Kilmartin, Argyll of the leaders of the Dal Riada (or Dal Riata) during the 7th century. However, early in the 8th century, one of the most significant of Pictish kings, Oengus mac Fergusa, captured Dunadd. This victory did not last very long because soon after, Dal Riada recaptured this dun. At the entrance, you will find a collection of rock carvings that lead to the inner citadel. Some of the representations include a bowl, boar, footprints, and an inscription.
Kilmory Oib Village
At Lochgilphead, Argyll – head for the hamlet of Kilmory Oib Village, which is located not too far from Kilmartin Valley to encounter this historic site that seemed to have been abandoned during the medieval time period. At the heart of the village, there is a holy well or spring that has crosses decorating both sides. Other features of this site include carvings of two discs (some think of the sun and moon), two birds, and a couple of animals.