Sunday, May 25, 2008

Culzean on a Windy Day

Spent a few hours at Culzean (pronounced Cullane) Castle today and as you can see from the picture, it was brilliantly sunny but windy beyond belief. Not a good day for sailing though husband points out that it is on days like this that people tend to remark 'nice day for a sail' as if anyone would enjoy bouncing along in the teeth of a screaming gale with white horses on all the waves... But it was beautiful at the castle. Son and I walked and talked and sat outside the little cafe near the castle, (in a brisk wind) drinking coffee and eating scones and dropping crumbs for the cheeky chaffinches. Then we went to the poetry reading in the walled garden and then we walked down to the beach and back, mainly to discuss a wee literary project we're considering which will involve a certain amount of collaboration. Culzean is a National Trust property and very beautiful though it seemed surprisingly quiet today, the sunday before a May bank holiday monday. Perhaps it was just that we were there quite early and left before mid afternoon. Also, the estate is so big that it can swallow large numbers of people and still not appear busy. We're members of the National Trust so visit the place regularly, but it isn't a particularly cheap afternoon out for a family. Not that it's not worth it, because it is. But if I wasn't a member of the Trust (and perhaps if I didn't live so close to one of its major attractions in Scotland, I wouldn't be) I doubt very much if we would have gone there today. Instead, we would probably have gone to Maidens or Dunure or Girvan and walked along the beach looking at the same lovely view.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a beautiful day. The picture is beautiful. I hope to visit Scotland some day!

annbow said...


I am looking for some advice concerning an antique Scottish textile that I have been asked to appraise. The owner is a Scot living in Canada.I would like to know whether you have seen anything like it: a woven linen table scarf, measuring 18" x 48". Both ends are fringed and have a woven red stripe near each end. Within the body there are woven motifs relating to the life of Robert Burns, including the words to Ald Lang Sine, a landscape of his home and others. The owner received it from a Scottish auntie in the early 1970's and it was reputed to date from near 1800. She has looked on ebay and done some other investigations but has not found anything comparable. I saw your blog and thought perhaps you can give us your thoughts as to others in the know andwhether youhave experience with this sort of textile.
Many thanks in advance,
Ann Bodle Nash, Bow, WA USA

Catherine Czerkawska said...

Hi Ann, I've never seen anything like this (it sounds charming) but it must be a linen damask 'table runner' as they tend to be called in Scotland, made either in Northern Ireland, for the Scottish market or possibly in Scotland itself where there was a damask weaving industry. I'm a wee bit dubious about the 1800 date - it sounds as if it is more likely to be Victorian, but these linens are quite hard to date. The linens with figures and landscapes rather than the usual floral motifs are always interesting. You could try contacting the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, where there is a dedicated textile department. There is also a linen museum somewhere in Northern Ireland - you'll find them online and they might be able to give you more information. If I find out any more, I'll post on here!