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Black Castle by Tom Gomez


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Black Castle House on the High Street, South Queensferry, Scotland is a three storey building, harled and painted black with the date 1623 on the facade. The upper floor has three windows with carved and scrolled detail.

Black Castle House is an Historic Scotland Category: A listed building. Ref 40386. It is the oldest remaining building in the town.

The dormer pediments are all inscribed: the east one with the date, a love knot and hearts; the centre one with WLMS; the west one with WL and a love knot. The initial WL and MS refer to William Lowrie and his wife Marion Speddie. William’s sister-in-law, Janet Lowrie, was condemned to death as a witch and was probably burnt at Ferry Muir, which was where many witches were executed in the 17th century. The house has been much altered: in the 1950s it was used as a Mission Hall; in the 1970s it was owned by a design consultancy; and in the early 1980s it was converted into 3 residential units. It is probable that the front of the house was once arcaded and it is rumoured that there is a secret stairway and tunnel leading to the shore which would have been used by smugglers. However, no sign of this stairway exists today.

Formerly in the county of West Lothian, South Queensferry lies on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, 10 miles (16 km) west of Edinburgh. It has been an important crossing at least since 1071 when Malcolm III granted free passage at the ‘Queens Ferry’ for pilgrims on their way to St Andrews. A ferry service operated until 1964, the year the Forth Road Bridge was opened.

South Queensferry was created a burgh of regality in the 13th century and made a Royal Burgh in 1636. It traded actively with Europe in the 17th century. Buildings dating from this period include Laburnum House, the Hawes Inn, the Tolbooth Tower, the Black Castle, the Old Parish Church and Plewlands House. St Mary’s Episcopal Church (from 1441) was a monastery and hospice before the Reformation. The Hawes Inn features in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel ‘Kidnapped’.

Today, South Queensferry is a dormitory settlement for Edinburgh.

Shot taken during the redbubble day out in South Queensferry on Sunday 31 May 09.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)


Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix Pro.

Related shots can be found at:
South Queensferry, Lowland Scotland and HDR.

All images shown in this redbubble portfolio are owned by the artist, Tom Gomez and are protected under UK and International copyright laws. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any part of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All rights reserved. My images are NOT part of the public domain.

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  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    Tom!!!! What a fabulous image!!!! Oh, how i yearn to visit your neck of the woods … wonderful history and fabulous old stories to delight the mind as much as your beautiful image delights the eye!!!!! Thanks, too, for including the bit of history … always an extra treat!!!!

  • Thank you lois, you are always so supportive …

    – Tom Gomez

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 5 years ago

    beautiful capture

  • Thank you so much Kathy …

    – Tom Gomez

  • joak
    joakover 5 years ago

    i passed that 14 times oan sunday!…ha ha guid yin

  • Stop trying to make me feel bad – hehehe

    – Tom Gomez

  • Denis Molodkin
    Denis Molodkinover 5 years ago

    Like such buildings, stunning capture Tom!

  • Thank you so much Denis, I appreciate your great comments …

    – Tom Gomez

  • RedHillDigital
    RedHillDigitalover 5 years ago

    An interesting find Tom, and superb blue sky!

  • Cheers Howard, the town has many interesting houses. I’m quite lucky to live here …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Stuart  Fellowes
    Stuart Fellowesover 5 years ago

    I bet there is a ghost or twa residing there. Lovely building.

  • I’d be suprised if there were not. Cheers Stuart …

    – Tom Gomez

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyover 5 years ago

    Nice Image, Ta for the writing too!

  • Glad you like it Sonia …

    – Tom Gomez

  • hereforfun
    hereforfunover 5 years ago

    Great image and history Tom :-))

  • Elaine  Manley
    Elaine Manleyover 5 years ago

    wondrful shot Tom !

  • Philip Johnson
    Philip Johnsonover 5 years ago

    good one tom and a great read

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