The Bass Rock

The Bass Rock. Professor Richard Oram. This bleak island fortress – now best known as home to the biggest colony of gannets in the world – stands at the outer limits of the Firth of Forth off the East Lothian coast. A place where early Christian hermits had once found isolation from the temptations of…

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Kenilworth Castle – Warwickshire

Kenilworth Castle – Warwickshire. Professor Richard Oram. In 1418 the captive King James I was brought from London to the sumptuous splendour of one of his captor’s most magnificent castles, Kenilworth. Standing at the edge of a great man-made lake or mere and surrounded by parks and chases for hunting, it was a fortress-cum-palace where…

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The Tower of London

The Tower of London. Professor Richard Oram. At the end of March 1406, the twelve-year-old James was brought to London by his Ipswich captors and handed over to King Henry IV. Child though he was, James was a rich prize for the English king and needed to be kept safe and secure until the best…

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Rothesay Castle and the Island of Bute

Rothesay Castle and the Island of Bute. Professor Richard Oram. When James I’s grandfather, Robert Stewart, succeeded to the Scottish throne in 1371 as King Robert II, he was already lord of a great heritage that was scattered from the Firth of Clyde in the west to East Lothian and the Borders in the east,…

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The Perth Charterhouse – James I and Queen Joan’s Tomb

The Perth Charterhouse – James I and Queen Joan’s Tomb. Professor Richard Oram. Foremost amongst the reasons why James chose to found a Carthusian priory at Perth was his desire to create a generator of spiritual power that would be channelled towards securing the future salvation of his mortal soul. The austere Carthusian monks, whose…

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Roxburgh Castle

Roxburgh Castle. Professor Richard Oram. Almost invisible amongst the trees and scrub on the summit of the long ridge between the rivers Tweed and Teviot just west of their confluence at Kelso, the fragmentary ruins of Roxburgh Castle are a sad remnant of what was once one of Scotland’s greatest royal fortresses. We do not…

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