Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Scottish heros and the wall to keep them out

Melrose Abbey is superb, I took so many photos. It is believed that Robert the Bruce's heart is buried here, brought back from the Crusades after he died abroad. On his death-bed Bruce charged that his heart be taken to the Holy Sepulchre by a knight on crusade so it was embalmed and off they set. His body was buried in Dunfermline.

Also walked through Harmony Garden, a peaceful garden with herbaceous and mixed borders, lawns, vegetable and fruit areas, fantastic walled garden.

Our next stop was Abbottsford House on the Tweed River, which was Sir Walter Scott's home with a huge collection of historic relics, weapons and armour, and over 9,000 rare books.

We visited the chapel, which was added onto the house in 1855 by Sir Walter Scott's granddaughter Charlotte, and her husband, James Hope-Scott. They added it on as Hope-Scott was a Catholic, while Sir Walter had been a Presbyterian. The Chapel was built at the time of the Catholic Revival. The inscription over the stone mantel At spes non fracta - But my hope is not Broken - is the Hope family motto.

The garden walk was a must and the path led us along the Tweed River, fantastic stuff. The formal gardens were brilliant but I must admit I enjoyed the ramble along the river.

We stopped at the cafe at the entrance of the house and shared our meal with the birds!

Visited Chesters, the best visible remains of a cavalry fort in Britain. We travelled along a narrow road following Hadrians wall but were unable to stop and explore. The wall crossed the River Tyne at Chesters. there is an extremely well-preserved steam rooms and bathing areas of the garrison’s bath house at Chesters and the museum was very interesting. More millstones - must say I think my favourite photo is the millstones in the Cotswolds. Don't know what I like about them but they interest me.

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