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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. 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’.

Black Castle House is an Historic Scotland Category: A listed building. Ref 40386.

Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm
ISO: 200


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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  • 1stImpressions
    1stImpressionsover 4 years ago

    excellent work tom…looks a great place

  • Thank you kindly Steve/Lesley, this is in the town where I live …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Jadon
    Jadonover 4 years ago

    Lovely shot Tom..

  • Cheers Jase …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Sean Farragher
    Sean Farragherover 4 years ago

    great catch,,,,,,,,

  • Cheers Sean …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Clive S
    Clive Sover 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your artwork with the Photomatix HDR Group!

  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawover 4 years ago

    Super shot Tom – sure is black!

  • It certainly is Bob, thank you my friend …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brownover 4 years ago

    Mmmmm I now need to look through my SQ pics to see if I got this one Tom. That’s The Ferry Tap Next door int it? Cracking wee place, excellent capture :o)

  • Cheers mate, yes indeed, that is the Ferry Tap next door, a super little pub, oozing charm …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 4 years ago

    A great shot Tom, and I really enjoyed reading the history.x

  • Thank you kindly dear Catherine …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Tim Denny
    Tim Dennyover 4 years ago

    Nice find Tom, this baby ought to be real hot when the sun is beating down on it

  • Hehe, this is Scotland mate, it never gets that hot …

    – Tom Gomez

  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 4 years ago

    Sure is black! Good one, Tom.

  • Cheers David, it really stands out on the High Street …

    – Tom Gomez

  • David Smith
    David Smithover 4 years ago

    Excellent Tom, they certainly knew how to build them in those days,excellent historical narrative gives one a far better insight of the back ground to your home town, Regards Dave.

  • Cheers Dave, the town is very old and has a very interesting history. It is very much on the tourist trail in this part of Scotland …

    – Tom Gomez

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