Thursday, July 4, 2013

UK TRIP #7: Edinburgh Castle Part 2 - Dogs, Governor, Ghosts and Chapels

Governor's House within the castle walls
This is part two of our tour of Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle dates back to the 1100s. The oldest surviving building dates from that time, and we got to experience it. We also saw the former "Governor's House" and a special area that served as a tribute to military dogs (which was our favorite part of the castle).

 THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE - The Governor's House to the south was built in 1742 as accommodation for the Governor, Storekeeper, and Master Gunner,  and was used until the post of Governor became vacant in the later 19th century; it was then used by nurses of the castle hospital. Today, it functions as an officers' mess, and as the office of the Governor since the restoration of the post in 1936.

THE DOG CEMETERY - This was our favorite attraction in the castle.
Army regiments have mascots and  usually, they are dogs. Like today, Scottish military and the Scottish people loved their dogs. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that there was a special dog cemetery in the castle. 
   The cemetery is located high in the castle. The Dog Cemetery has been around since Queen Victoria's time (around 1840) as a burial place for regimental mascots and officer's dogs.

- "Jess" was part of the 42nd Highland Blackwater group. Jess was a band pet in 1881.
- "Dogla" passed in 1893 and traveled around the world. His tombstone said he traveled to China, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
- "Gyp" passed in 1911 and was a "Crown dog" whatever that means!

DOGGONE SPIRIT - Rob sensed that there was a springer spaniel still walking around the castle. The English Springer Spaniel is a breed of gun dog traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game. It is an affectionate, excitable breed with an average lifespan of twelve to fourteen years.

Rob sensed a Springer Spaniel's ghost around

"MY, THAT'S A BIG CANNON" The 15th-century siege cannon known as "Mons Meg" is located just outside St. Margaret's Chapel. Mons Meg was constructed in Flanders, a northern part of Belgium. It was commissioned in 1449 by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy.  SO, how big is it? It weighs 6 tons (13,000 lb.) and the cannonballs or stones that were fired weigh as much as 330 pounds!
  On July 3, 1558, Mons Meg was fired in salute to the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots.
  So, where did they get the "cannonballs" that were stones? The castle paid workers to find and retrieve the stones from northern Edinburgh.
  Does it work now? Nope. The Mons Meg has been defunct since her barrel burst on October 30, 1681 when firing a salute for the arrival of the Duke of Albany, the future King James VII and II.


Confirmation the chapel was built in the 12th century

THE OLDEST BUILDING IN THE CASTLE -  The oldest building in the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel, which dates from the early 12th century and is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh.
The chapel dates to the reign of King David I (ruled 1124–1153), who built it as a private chapel for the royal family. King David the First dedicated it to his mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland, who died in the castle in 1093. You can fit about 20 people inside.

inside St. Margaret's Chapel

 ANY GHOSTS IN THE CHAPEL? - When I (Rob) entered the chapel I sensed there was some energy inside, as their usually is in churches, where there's strong emotion. The residual energy radiated a need for solace from many people who entered the chapel, because of the many wars occurring over hundreds of years.

 SO, WHAT HAPPENS TO OLD CHAPELS?  - Over several hundred years, the chapel was used as a gunpowder store from the 16th century, when the present roof was built. In 1845, when it was "discovered," it formed part of the larger garrison chapel, and was restored in 1851–1852. Today, some weddings are still held there.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next