After a good night’s sleep in Glasgow, our first day in Scotland this year we drove to Stirling Castle and arrived just before it opened. Even though I’d been to Scotland before, I’d never visited Stirling. I remember on my first trip that my friend and I saw the Wallace Monument in the distance as our tour bus sped by the town several miles away. I decided then that I’d visit Stirling one day. :)
The Wallace Monument (below) is a 220 feet high sandstone tower on the summit of Abbey Craig and commemorates Sir William Wallace. It was completed in 1869 and is of the Victorian Gothic style. Abbey Craig is another volcanic crag. Some say William Wallace watched the gathering English army from this hilltop just before the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Since we were early, we walked around the perimeter of the parking area, where a lot of history can be seen. One of the first things that drew our attention was this pyramid. The Star Pyramid sits outside the Church of the Holy Rude (Holy Rude means Holy Cross) next to the Valley Cemetery. William Drummond commissioned William Barclay to build the pyramid in 1863 out of sandstone. A Bible and Confession of Faith were sealed inside the inner chamber. It is dedicated to those who suffered martyrdom in the cause of civil and religious liberty in Scotland. A garden surrounds the structure. The Star Pyramid contains texts and emblems such as: Union Banner, Rock of Ages, Covenant Rest, Thrown of Right, a marble Bible, a carved circular rosette, a thistle and a crown with references to verses from the Psalms.
We saw the Church of the Holy Rude (below) but I didn't get a photo of the front of it. The first church which sat on this site was built in the 1100s. The oldest part of the current church is from the 1400s. The infant King James VI was baptized here in 1567. And he was also crowned here when he was 13 months old. The catholic Mary Queen of Scots worshiped here and the protestant John Knox preached here. In 1656, when a lot of the country was divided by religion, the church was divided into two parts by a wall. This wall wasn’t removed until 1936.
Thanks for checking it out!
Battle-hardened warrior Dirk MacLerie isn't who everyone thinks he is. He's Dirk MacKay, heir apparent to the MacKay chiefdom and Dunnakeil Castle on the far north coast of Scotland. When he returns home after a long absence, will his clan know him and will the duplicitous enemy who tried to murder him twelve years ago kill him in truth this time?
Lady Isobel MacKenzie is a beautiful young widow betrothed to yet another Highland chief by her brother's order. But when her future brother-in-law accosts her and threatens to kill her, she is forced to flee into a Highland snowstorm. When she runs into a rugged and imposing man she thought dead, she wonders if he will turn her over to her enemy or take her to safety.
Dirk remembers the enchanting, dark-eyed Isobel from when he was a lad, but now she is bound to another man by legal contract—an important detail she would prefer to forget. She wishes to choose her own husband and has her sights set on Dirk. But he would never steal another man's bride… would he? The tantalizing lady fires up his passions, testing his willpower and honor at every turn, even as some of his own treacherous clansmen plot his downfall.
My Brave Highlander is available in ebook from various booksellers such as Amazon and in paperback.