St. Mary’s Chapel

St. Mary’s Chapel. Professor Richard Oram. A late seventeenth-century engraving of Perth from Bridgend shows the outline of an assuming building standing gable-end on to the River Tay at the east end of the High Street, at the point where the medieval bridge across the river had stood until the early 1600s. The engraving is…

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Methven Castle and Collegiate Church

Methven Castle and Collegiate Church. Professor Richard Oram. In the third week of February 1437, ‘that old serpent and ancient of evil days’, Walter Stewart, earl of Atholl, James’s last surviving uncle, was probably deep in council with his fellow conspirators in his castle at Methven, just 10km west of Perth. It was likely here…

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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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