11 May Dunnottar Castle, Kincardineshire, Grampian
Perched on cliffs, roughly 200 feet high, and a deep chasm on the landward side, it is plain why Dunnottar Castle, 2 miles south of Stonehaven on the east coast, was for centuries a favourite stronghold of the power-hungry Scottish nobility (and, on occasion, of the even hungrier English).
Dunnottar was the stage for many conflicts until the 1715 rebellion, after which it began to deteriorate. Some years before that, 167 Covenanters – members of a Presbyterian resistance – were held in the Whigs’ Vault, a barbarous dungeon open to the sea. During a mass breakout, about ten of them escaped and the rest where killed or recaptured and punished. How times change; it is now a museum.
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