Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I is for Inveraray Castle, Argyll, west Scotland

Inveraray Castle is the home of the Dukes of Argyll and headquarters of Clan Campbell since the 15th century.
Inverary Castle - the Aray Bridge

The present castle, greatly admired by Sir Walter Scott, was built in the late 18th century in the French chateau-style, with corner towers and conical turrets. 

There are extensive gardens, while the castle contains old masters, tapestries, fine furniture and plate, as well as early Scottish armaments.

The castle is believed to be haunted by the “ghost of a harpist who was hanged in 1644 for peeping at the lady of the house”.  Castle visitors have reported to have heard the sound of a mysterious harp being played.

The 'Nef' salt or spice cellar
This picture shows a ‘Nef’ an extravagant table ornament and container made from precious metals used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, formed into the shape of a ship.  As well as being a decoration, it could hold salt or spices, the latter being a very expensive commodity.

The Castle is first and foremost a family home; however its existence reflects the part played by the Campbells in the rich tapestry of Scottish and British History. 

The kitchen at Inverary
The contents of the Castle span many generations and give a glimpse of the Campbell heritage and the way their ancestors lived.

History can often be lost through the years, but the Campbells have chronicled the past in order to share it with future generations. 

They take great pride in their achievements, yet are conscious of their mistakes, something reflected in their family motto: ‘Ne Obliviscaris’(Lest We Forget).

The Armoury Hall Fireplace in the entrance at Inverary
The Castle is open to the public and they look forward to welcoming you onto their lands and into their home.

That is I for Inveraray Castle – a family home ensuring that the recording of Scotland through the ages is not forgotten ... part of the ABC series of Aspects of British Castles

Bob Scotney featured Huntington Castle, Ireland for his H castle.

The beautiful photos came from the Inverary Castle website

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Juliet said...

Hi Hilary, you are really going well on the A-Z challenge. I always learn something new from your blog, and today I know what a 'Nef' is. I'm intrigued by the big circle above the fireplace.Are the spokes of the wheel really guns, as they appear? And what is the centre?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - many thanks .. I found the 'Nef' fascinating ..

It is the Armoury Hall Fireplace .. they look like muskets, various swords, perhaps 'lances' .. but a pretty impressive arrangement

There's a better view here - if you'd like to visit

Good to see you - many thanks for asking .. others will be pleased to know .. cheers Hilary


You're going great guns here Hilary, Looks a lovely place to visit.

Have a good day...actually got some sun today.


Old Kitty said...

A ghost!! I love that there's a ghost! Awww but poor harpist man!!

Despite of the ghostly harp - this castle sounds really welcoming! Yay for the clan Campbell!!

Nef is a most wonderful word!

Take care

Lynn said...

I've never heard of a nef! That is so wonderful and I love that last photo of the fireplace and the decoration around it.

Blond Duck said...

I want a castle.

Bob Scotney said...

Another great post, Hilary. I did not turn up Inverary when researching 'I'.
Funny that you have a ghost this time and I do not, especially as I was trying to feature haunted castles.

Jo said...

Fascinating. I have never heard of a Nef. Incredible castle. I think its great that they are preserving their history.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yvonne .. seems to be going well - I'm rather liking my castling tour!

Yes - sun here, but cold ..

@ Old Kitty - I think I put a few hauntings in when someone mentioned they hoped I'd have some ghosts .. not realising Bob was doing Haunted Castles too .. though today his I doesn't have a ghost ..


Isn't 'Nef' great - I had to include it .. it's so beautiful ..

@ Lynn - as I said above to Old Kitty - I hadn't heard of a 'Nef' .. and the armoury fireplace is amazing isn't it ..

@ Blond Duck - me too

@ Bob - co-incidence .. I'm wondering if the spectres are wandering around the Yorkshire Dales and East Sussex - influencing us!!

Your Inverness Castle has so much history - loved the post ..

@ Jo - these castle posts are giving us so much history to learn about .. I'm loving writing them up ..

Cheers Yvonne, Old Kitty, Lynn, Blond Duck, Bob and Jo .. great seeing you ... Hilary

Unknown said...

Wow, a haunted castle. I just love the look of the fireplace, it's so unique.

Matthew MacNish said...

What a gorgeous place!

Luanne G. Smith said...

That is just beautiful. I'd love to go visit that one.

Linda said...

Hilary, I am loving the castles. They are magnificent, and someday I'd like to visit one. Thanks for doing this series and giving us a glimpse into another era.

Suze said...

Great, so the peeping Tom now gets all-hours phantom access.

Julie Flanders said...

I love ghost stories, and this story of the harpist is so creepy! Love it.

The photos are beautiful, and I'm particularly taken with the Aray Bridge. I'd love to be standing at that very spot, how gorgeous!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

I love ghost stories. Hanging seems a bit harsh for peeping. Thanks for another lovely post, Hilary!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful. I especially love that Armoury Hall Fireplace! And now I know what a "Nef" is. I am becoming more and more interested in the Middle Ages, which was my first husband's specialty. I took one course from him, and it was all so intriguing. Thanks for another awesome post!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

A Lady's Life said...

Amazing and kudoos for the Campbell family to keep history alive and well.:)
Would love to hear the cheeky ghost playing the harp.:)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

That castle looks massive and grand. I think all castles need a ghost or two.


Jenni Steel said...

Castle's are wonderful and there's nothing like a ghost or two or more!

You don't need a castle to come up against them but the history of it all is simply magic!

Great post.

Ruth said...

That is a gorgeous castle.
That is interesting about people hearing a harp being played.

welcome to me

yummy stuff

MunirGhiasuddin said...

The castle is a beautiful piece of architecture as well as sturdy looking. The landscape is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing a great post as always.

Lynn Proctor said...

beautiful--such a sad story about the poor harpist--it was only a look!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Clarissa - many thanks .. it looks an amazing place ..

@ Matthew - I couldn't agree more ..

@ Luanna - me too .. on your next visit ..

@ Linda - many thanks .. I'm so glad you're enjoying the posts and stories around the castles ..

@ Suze - oh yes .. clever thought!

@ Julie - the harpist is one of the lovelier spectres. Thanks Inverary Castle had some wonderful photos, which I used ..

@ Monti - it does doesn't it - but that was life. Thanks for the visit ..

@ Ann - glad I'm helping you with some of your back history .. if we can see things we can understand them can't we .. The Fireplace and the Nef - are just beautiful ..

@ A Lady's Life - yes it's good that a family is totally involved in preserving their and the country's history .. I think I'd love to hear the harpist too ..

@ Teresa .. I'm sure all castles have a brace or rather a lot of ghosts tucked away somewhere .. the castle is imposing isn't it ..

@ Jenni - good to meet you - thanks for coming by .. as you say ghosts are around aren't they .. but the history in castles is amazing ..

@ Ruth - isn't it gorgeous .. and the poor peeking harpist ..

@ Munir - the whole castle looks beautiful and the estates, but the treasures within are awe inspiring ..

@ Lynn - I know poor harpist .. yes I agree only a peek!!

Cheers everyone - many thanks for visiting .. Hilary

Golden Eagle said...

I love the setting of this castle. :) And the Nef is amazing--it looks like all the ropes are done out of metal, which must have taken a lot of work!

jabblog said...

That's a warning to all musicians - keep your eyes on your instrument, not the lady of the house (castle)

Robyn Campbell said...

All these castles make me wish I lived in one in Ireland. *sigh* I would love to tour it and dream. :-)

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
What a fabulous castle in a fabulous location. What I really admire about your postings in the alphabet challenge and any time, for that matter, is your attention to detail.
Excellent and fascinating article in your ongoing theme of castles.
All the best and happy writing.
In kindness, Gary

Martha said...

Another wonderful post Hilary. So many interesting places you've been blogging about!

Alexandra Heep said...

Another beautiful post. Loving your theme.


Jannie Funster said...

Meet me there, Hilary! I'll bring my guitar and we can join up with the ghost harper.


Sue said...

Hilary, I do love that nef - it'd look perfect on my chiffonier :)

The kitchen is wonderful, with the light coming through and the polished copper pots.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I'm amazed by the number of castles!

How nice that it's still a family home.

Susan :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the harpist ghost posessed the harpist at our wedding. This lady had a serious attitude problem, and ran over my brother in law's foot as she wheeled her harp to her van after the wedding.

And I'll be doing a shout out for your blog on my post tomorrow.

Chuck said...

Another beautiful castle Hilary. So many to choose from for a visit.

Symphony of Love said...

I would surely love to visit one of these castles during my lifetime. What magnificent building. It great that they have chronicled the past in order to share it with future generations. It is important to learn from the past; I view it as a form of gratitude and appreciation.

Susan Scheid said...

There is just no end of exquisite and fascinating castles in the UK. Two more beauties in your collection--and there for all of us as a wonderful reference.

Ella said...

Wow, this is amazing! I so want to visit, no move in! lol

Thank you for show casing castles. So fun to see their unique features and the history! Wonderful
Thank you Hilary!!!

Cheers :D

scarlett clay said...

This one's so incredible! Out of all the one's I've seen so far, I may just want to see this one the most up close. So much history there!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Golden Eagle - the setting looks amazing; the Nef is a work of art at a time the British were building their empire - and I'm sure the whole thing is made out of precious metal ..

@ Janice - great comment .. thank you!

@ Robyn - check out today's post! I've moved across there ..

@ Gary - lovely to see you .. thank you - I just include things that interest me and thus I hope you .. delighted to read you're enjoying the posts and the theme ..

@ Martha - many thanks .. it's been find selecting the castles!

@ Alexandra - glad you're enjoying the posts ..

@ Jannie - sounds like a wonderful idea .. so many places to dream in there .. and music to wrap our thoughts around .. harp and guitar together perhaps with a distant bagpiper ... fun xoxoxo

@ Sue - I was fascinated to find the 'Nef' .. and it would look wonderful on your chiffonier .. did you know it was a rag-gatherer?! Mind it would suit our smaller houses ..

The castle looks to be a model for history .. with much preserved I'm pleased to say ...

@ Susan - there are lots and lots of castles .. and isn't it wonderful that it's still lived in ..

@ Steve - oh dear .. that sounds a 'sorry' story for the day - hope it didn't dull the rest of the proceedings .. but what an amazing entertainment to have for your wedding. I hope your brother-in-law's foot recovered?! Those instruments look heavy ... Thanks re the shout out ..

@ Chuck - ah yes - if selection time comes .. there are plenty of castles, let alone all the other history!

@ BK - posting these has rekindled my desire to visit a few of them - possibly all of them at some stage.

I love your summary of their work putting 'their house in order' as such .. so that it's available for future generations ...

@ Susan - thankfully I can post some exquisite photos c/o of the site's own promotional pictures .. and which we can all use as a reference point ..

@ Ella - they'd love to have you I'm sure .. you could bring your craft with you ...

Delight you're enjoying the castles and all their attributes ..

@ Scarlett - you might be right .. it's difficult to chose - but the photos show how amazingly set out the castle is for visitors ..

Thank you so much everyone - wonderful to see you all here and I so appreciate your comments .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

Hilary, I took a look at the fireplace image, and I think it's a shield hanging in the centre of all the guns. Quite a display. Thanks for the link.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet .. it does look like a shield doesn't it .. as you say it is quite a display .. cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

Lovely castle and I especially like the tale of the "ghost of a harpist! Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie - yes me too - the harpist is fun, but the poor chap who peeked! Cheers - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, I'd love to visit this castle. We're hoping to go to Scotland too, but I doubt we'll get that far north. Unfortunately!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Do you suppose every little girl dreams of being a princess and living in a castle? I'm sure I did, even if I was generally covered in animal hair and up to my eyeballs in mud. I grew up on a farm, but I could see myself living in this castle. Lovely post, Hilary!

Grace said...

Once again our dear Hilary teaches us gently on the tour of castles.
I too now have a new vocabulary word: NEF

Who knew such a word existed?
My husband the scrabble player will LOVE this new word.

Have a wonderful day Hilary.
I am off of work again today...tending to my parents...will be back in the saddle again on Monday though.
Thank you again for writing your blog...it is helping me pass the time when they are needing quiet.

In Him,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deniz - oh excellent that you're coming over - you'll love your visit, even if you can't get to this Castle.

@ Joylene - I'm sure we all did .. I certainly wasn't inside dressing up in girly clothes - I was climbing trees, riding my bike etc .. we had a good sized garden, but not a farm. Must be lovely to be brought up on a farm though ..

Well it would suit your Canadian roots - quite cold and long days, or long nights!!

@ Grace - great that Nef will feature in your game of scrabble. There were a few Q words around the A-Z blogosphere that might suit too?!

Looking after elderly parents is a blessing, but it's also good to know you have something to do as well - I'm delighted my blogposts help you pass the time ..

Thanks Deniz, Joylene and Grace - appreciate your comments .. cheers Hilary