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Glasgow, United Kingdom
June 10, 2003
From journal My Isle of Arran
dundee, United Kingdom
August 9, 2002
The Castle is a fairly run of the mill stately home style event – built in the 13th century its home to the Dukes Of Hamilton but has had more famous people in residence – including Cromwell who did some building work.
Some of the more interesting items are however outside – namely a summerhouse / gazebo, a graveyard and an ice house – the graveyard was completely lost until about ten years ago when the ranger service discovered it when clearing vegetation, although it contains some of the family members of past residents of the castle noone even suspected its existence. The Ice House is also a curious addition – this isnt much more than a constructed hole in the ground and was an early attempt at refrigeration – basically they stuffed it full of snow and ice during the winter and hoped that it would last well into the summer months – as if Scotland wasn’t cold enough!
The Ranger Centre looks after wildlife in the Castle grounds and on the mountain area behind. Arran is small enough that they have good displays on pretty much most things that you’ll find whilst wandering about.
The castle gardeners are proud over their ability to grow rhododendron bushes and have won awards for them but the rangers seem to spend a silly amount of time cutting them back to keep trails open – it was Rhododendrons that hid the graveyard, in places the plants have grown so large that they have simply cut tunnels through them.
Entry to Castle is about £7 for adults which seems a bit steep for a museum but its interesting enough.
From journal Out and About on Arran