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small colour graphic of mermaid undersea ~SEAGLASS FROM SCOTLAND~  small colour graphic of mermaid undersea

  ~ about Blackness ~

Further up the Forth Estuary from South Queensferry, the little village of Blackness has a pretty  beach close to Blackness Castle, where I’ve found some lovely seaglass and shells. 

Many years ago, Blackness was a seaport village in the E of Carriden parish, Linlithgowshire, on a small bay of its own name on the Firth of  Forth. It lies  3½ miles ESE of Borrowstounness ( the town now known as Bo'ness), and about 2 miles NE of Linlithgow. It was originally  the port of Linlithgow, and a place of extensive commerce.  it was superseded as a port, in 1680, by Bo'ness, which  was then made the port for Linlithgow. It was allowed to sink into almost total disrepair:    "...its harbour went to ruin, its custom house was converted into lodgings, and its only commerce became a trivial exportation of bricks and tiles, and as trivial an importation of lime and manure." It had fame then also - and still has to this day - because of its proximity to Blackness Castle. which is supposed by some antiquaries to mark the eastern extremity of Antonine's  Wall, and was long one of the most important fortresses in the South of Scotland.

Inside the walls of Blackness Castle


Blackness Castle stands beside the Firth of Forth, at the seaport which in medieval times served the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow.  It's often referred to as  the ship that never sailed. This is because of its appearance,   for from the seaward side it looks just like a great stone ship that has run aground.  

       The castle was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s more powerful families, the Crichtons.  Blackness was not destined to serve as a peaceful lordly residence. In 1453 it became a royal castle and its enduring roles were those of garrison fortress and state prison.  . BLACCKNESS CASTLE FROM THE PIER IN THE RIVER FORTH. YOU CAN SEE THE BOAT SHAPE FROM THIS ANGLE.

 It was adapted and strengthened between 1537 and 1543, to become one of the most formidable artillery fortifications in Scotland. It was in use by the military for various roles right up to the end of WW1, when certain modern additions were removed, and the Castle returned to its medieval grandeur.

Today, visitors to the castle can explore areas such as the prison tower and the great hall. From the towers and curtain wall around the castle you can see fine views across the Firth of Forth and the rail and road bridges.

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