Georgian Edinburgh

Georgian House

At last we got around to visiting The National Trust’s Georgian House in Edinburgh at number 7 Charlotte Square. It’s obviously the house on the left of the photo above with the posters on the railings outside it. The house which it is attached to, the central building, is Bute House which is the official residence of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Edinburgh is famous for its Georgian terraces and crescents. These buildings were designed by Robert Adam who was of course born in Kirkcaldy.

Georgian House in Edinburgh

And hallelujah, The National Trust have just changed their policy on internal photos of their properties and you can now snap away, as long as you switch the flash off. Above is a photo of the sitting-room.

Georgian House

Across the landing is the drawing-room, you can see the decorative frieze/cornicing is the same in each room. The drawing room is the one which would have been used for dancing, after the rug had been rolled up. The NT have recently had a fitted carpet installed in the room, apparently they did have them in Georgian times. The window dressing is those fussy, flouncy swag blinds, which I always thought were a Victorian fashion, but you would think that the NT would get the historical details correct so I’m not sure. I do know that I’ve always hated those dust catching ruched blinds and much prefer straightforward simple curtains. I think it was the designer Sir Terence Conran who when those fancy blinds were popular again in the 1980s described them as being like tarts’ knickers. I bow to his superior knowledge!

Georgian House  commode

Between the two rooms there’s a small alcove in which is situated this commode, there wasn’t much space to take a photo and unfortunately it’s blurred as you can see, but you get the idea. There’s just a bucket underneath!

Georgian House in Edinburgh

Above is the main bedroom, which has beautiful and cheerful yellow wallpaper which didn’t really come out all that well in this photo. The bed is gorgeous though, in fact all of the furniture in the house is elegant, so much more stylish than Victorian furniture is.

Georgian House in Edinburgh

More photos of the Georgian House tomorrow, but meanwhile you can take a virtual tour of it here.

Kirkcaldy History

The old building in the photo above is situated at the east end of Kirkcaldy High Street. It must be one of the oldest buildings in the town and a few years ago it was buffed up and refurbished, as was the building adjoining it on the left hand side.

Unfortunately as you can just see the guttering on the left hand building is badly in need of repair as it’s obviously leaking into the traditional lime plaster and must be causing damage to the fabric of the building. It looks a lot worse on the far left but I’ve spared you that sight.

The plaque above is also in Kirkcaldy High Street, unfortunately Adam Smith’s family home was demolished many years ago. This is a depressing feature of Kirkcaldy life. Anything which would have been of interest to tourists has been pulled down, and they did have houses which people would have wanted to visit.

Within a stone’s throw of each other there was the Adam Smith house, Thomas Carlyle’s home and the school he taught in and Gladney House, which was the home of the famous Robert Adam and his brother John. Their father was also a famous architect, William Adam.

On a cheerier note the town is refurbishing an old cottage which is situated behind the High Street and I believe that the powers that be intend to turn it into an Adam Smith museum. I just wonder what they will fill it with as I think they only have a copy of his book Wealth of Nations on show at the moment.

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

Culzean Castle from garden

This is Culzean Castle from the front, the right hand side of the building is the oldest part, dating from the 15th century and the building has been added on to and redesigned over the centuries. The famous Scottish architect and designer Robert Adam made a beautiful job of the whole place, particularly the interiors, some of which you can see here. You can read about the building of the castle here and more about Robert Adam here. He was actually born in Kirkcaldy, not far from where I live but sadly his home, Gladney House, was pulled down some years ago. They’ve got rid of everything which would have been of interest to visitors to the town, including the economist Adam Smith’s home and Pet Margery’s home and the school which Thomas Carlyle taught in. Shame.

Culzean Castle sea view

The photo above is the view from the castle, over to the isle of Arran, on a very clear day you can apparently see down as far as Ireland, but not on the day we visited, despite it being a beautiful day.

Culzean Castle garden + fountain

Culzean is set in beautiful parkland with gorgeous trees but there’s plenty to be seen in the way of formal gardens. These are a couple of photos showing the fountain.

Culzean Castle fountain

At first we thought that this cormorant was a model but it eventually moved. I can’t make up my mind about it, it is a sort of mixture between comical and sinister, a wee bit vulture-like somehow. It was crouched over Swan Pond, we didn’t see any swans at all though.

Culzean Castle cormorant

The walled garden below is quite a walk away from the castle but it’s worth visiting and there are nice benches to have a rest on.

Culzean Castle walled garden gate

The top storey of the castle has ben turned into a very upmarket hotel. It’s handy for the golf course at Turnberry but I think it would be a bit too expensive for my liking. President Eisenhower was given a set of apartments for his lifetime, as thanks for his wartime contribution, but since his death it has been incorporated into the hotel.

This was a really enjoyable castle to visit, although here’s quite a lot to see, unfortunately they don’t allow you to take photos inside the castle. I can’t understand why the National Trust has this policy at all of their properties. They would get more publicity if people could see what the interiors are like. It costs £15 to get in but you can easily spend the whole day there. Joining the National Trust is the best way to go about it because at a cost of £64 or so for a double membership, we’ve already saved ourselves a lot of money just in the last month.

Unfortunately we didn’t realise that there was too much to see in this area in one day, otherwise we would’ve arranged to stay overnight. We could have visited Robert Burns’ birthplace and Souter Johnnie’s cottage too. Alloway turned out to be a lovely village, as you’ll see tomorrow.