Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In the steps of James V


It's been such beautiful weather that we set out yesterday for another river walk, this time along the Almond, which flows into the Forth Estuary at Cramond, about ten minutes' drive from where we live.


Come with me as we pass the weir, originally constructed for the mills that were built along here.

Then climb with us (puffing slightly) up to the paths along the rock cliffs which rise above the river.


 
Now, use your imagination: in this house, it's said, there once lived a chap called John Howieson, a bondsman farmer who heard someone being attacked on Cramond Bridge (below). He rushed to the man's aid and it turned out that the victim was James V (of Scotland, 1512-1542), who was travelling in disguise around his kingdom. The king rewarded John by giving him the farm where he worked as a serf. I do hope this is true and it all worked out well for John. James, however, seems to have continued not to be very good at looking after himself, dying at the age of 30, poor chap. He was the father of Mary, Queen of Scots.
 

 The bridge dates from the 1400s.


Further on, this is the Grotto Bridge, which is a mere youth - built in 1757 - but frankly feels as if it's been given less care and attention than the Cramond Bridge.


I hope you have a good head for heights: you can't really tell from my photo but it's a long way down, much higher than the previous bridge. I wouldn't have liked to be the builders, in 1757, wobbling about on wooden scaffolding (or however they did it then).


And then we plod back along the other side of the river, enjoying the autumn colours.


Though it's only half-past four, the sun's going down and it's quite dark among the trees.


Back at Cramond Village, the clouds are romantically pink-tinged...


... it's getting chilly...

 
and the red moon is taking over from the sun. Time to go home.

10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful walk! I love the little bit of trivia for a history lesson -- you're so lucky that you're surrounded by it. Clearly ... I'm going to have to return LOL!

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  2. Utterly lovely. Ireland and Scotland will be my first bucket list trip, so is October generally a good time to come? :) I am Scottish on my dad's dad's side, thus my name is as well. (Grieve)

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    1. I would say that October generally isn't a good time to come. This autumn has been unusually mild and sunny. But then... British weather is completely unpredictable so... who knows? But June to August is on the whole a safer bet.

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  3. How kind you are, a lovely walk and a history lesson, two of the nicest things in my world.

    I have generally had good weather (in Argyll) in May and September, also, no midges either.

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  4. Thank you for inviting me on this beautiful walk with you! I enjoyed it very much, especially the story of John Howieson.

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  5. I'm enjoying these walks. You really are making up for the dismal summer.

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  6. Yes, I, too, enjoyed walking with you, Isabelle and having that interesting chat about the history of the place along the way. Definitely my sort of day (although long walks are now difficult and have to give way to cycling these days)

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  7. Yes, I, too, enjoyed walking with you, Isabelle and having that interesting chat about the history of the place along the way. Definitely my sort of day (although long walks are now difficult and have to give way to cycling these days)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, I, too, enjoyed walking with you, Isabelle and having that interesting chat about the history of the place along the way. Definitely my sort of day (although long walks are now difficult and have to give way to cycling these days)

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