Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Castle of the Week: Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle --
view from driving in at the front gate
Welcome back to another rousing castle of the week! This week's castle is Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, which happens to be the setting in several of the books in the Stolen Bride series. I had a chance to visit the castle earlier this year, and I was mesmerized. It is GORGEOUS. And still a residence.

Dunrobin was built in the 13th century and has been home to the earls and dukes of Sutherland since. In THE HIGHLANDER'S REWARD, my hero, Magnus, Laird Sutherland, is created earl at the end of the book. Dunrobin is situated overlooking the North Sea on the east coast of the Highlands. The sound of waves lapping at the beach can be heard from atop the hill where the castle sits, and you can see the sea for miles. The original castle was a fortified square keep--in stark contrast to what you see today, a magnificent, enchanting stone chateau. In my series, the castle is being partially rebuilt from the square keep to a grander structure. In actual history however, the square keep stood alone for about 200 years until it was added to.

The castle boasts beautiful gardens and grounds that I could sit in for DAYS, literally, without moving.

In my upcoming release, THE HIGHLANDER'S SINS, Duncan kidnaps Heather Sutherland, youngest sister of Magnus, from the family chapel at Dunrobin...

Here are some pics from my visit earlier this year. Due to the date I was in Scotland, I wasn't allowed to go inside. That is #1 on my list of must sees when I return there sometime in the next couple of years.

LOVED this sign! Captured it while driving by, hence the blurriness.

This is the view of the castle from driving in. The castle is a residence, and continues to be the seat of Clan Sutherland. I found the mix of history with the present fascinating--gorgeous medieval castle with trash and recycling receptacles and vehicles.

The left tower, and what appears to be a main door.

Loved this clock tower. Just gorgeous.

Check out this weather vane complete with a mountain cat (wildcat), which is part of the Sutherland crest.

Look at the detail work in the stone.

I thought this picture capture well the front of the castle and the back, a mix of two different eras. The front is very much medieval and the back more chateau-like.

This is a pick of the back of the castle as I walked down the hill toward the beach.

A gate into a lush park where the castle practices falconry.

Another view of the back of the castle closer to the beach. You can see the road heading back up toward the front of the castle and entrance.

A view of the gardens of Dunrobin in winter. I've seen pics of it when in full bloom, and I imagine it is just jaw-dropping in person.

Loved these stairs leading up to a huge stone-walled patio in the garden.

More of the gardens. I love all the huge trees and pathways.

More of the gardens. Ignore the long orange extension cord :)

This is a tiny tower that sits at  corner of the wall around the gardens. It wasn't very high up, you can tell by the door.

A view of the north sea, and some of Dunrobin's wall in the distance. Immediately to the right was a building I'm assuming is home of the gardener or grounds' keeper.

Look at this view! This is the beach at Dunrobin.

Those black logs poking out of the shore are from an old pier that has since collapsed.

A view to the left of the beach. Love it!

More of the shore and the wall.

Me on Magnus' beach!!! I never felt a stronger connection to my characters then when I walked on their sand.

Captured the water lapping at the shore.

A close-up of a huge stone. Loved the way time carved designs into it.

My footprints in the sand at Dunrobin.

A pic of the gates upon leaving--cool arrows, right?

Hope you enjoyed the pics of Dunrobin Castle!!! Stay tuned next week for another enchanting tour of a castle!

Check out my Stolen Bride series!

Out now in ebook, print and audio from Amazon, B&N, ITunes/Books, Kobo, Sony, Audible:

and releasing later this month... The Highlander's Sin!

Visit my website, www.elizaknight.com to sign up for my newsletter and find out more about upcoming releases!


Vonda Sinclair said...

Awesome pics, Eliza! You showed me some parts of the castle I hadn't seen. Also the beach. Hope you get to go at a warm time of year soon and see the incredible gardens.

Eliza Knight said...

Thanks, Vonda!!! That is the plan! They are open for tours inside, too, from April to Sept, so I'm hoping to go during their "open" season. So glad you enjoyed the pics!

Amy Jarecki said...

Fantastic pictures, Thanks for sharing! Hey, I'm taking your S.E.X. class...so looking forward to it :-)

Lana Williams said...

So cool! What an amazing experience to walk on the beach where your characters did! Love it! Tweeted as well.

Tabatha said...

Always enjoy your history undressed series!
I can't wait to visit Scotland!!

Laura said...

Eliza! What beautiful pictures! It looks like an intriguing castle - the old and new look so different from each other!
Thank you for sharing

Barbara Bettis said...

Love those Pictures!!! The front with all those turrets, etc., as you say, looked later than the back. Big Sigh.

Lyn Horner said...

Wonderful photos, Eliza! If I ever get to go back to Scotland, Dunrobin Castle will be on my list of places to see.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing Eliza. Love the gate with arrows and the pic with your footprints in the sand!Dunrobin Castle is a must see:)

Eliza Knight said...

@Amy -- Thank you! And awesome :)We'll have a blast!

@Lana -- Thank you for tweeting! The beach was gorgeous!

@Tabatha -- thank you! It is such a beautiful country!

@Laura -- isn't that amazing? I love seeing the blend. It was all over the place!

@Barbara -- thank you! Turrets are my fav!

@Lyn -- Yes, it definitely should be! Gorgeous!

@JC -- Thank you!!! I left a piece of me there, even if only until the water washed it away :)