Saturday, July 11, 2015

Scotland: Dunblane

Dunblane was the first place in Scotland that we connected with our family history. My mom grew up hearing stories about her grandmother, Christina, and having Christina's two sisters, the Scottish aunties, come visit for lengths of time (taking my mom on very long walks each day!).

Here is a picture of Christina and her childhood home known as "Pitcairn" in Dunblane.

One Saturday we stayed put at Melville Lodge to catch up on schoolwork and housework and spend a lot of time with the farm animals (next post). In the evening we piled in the van and drove north to Dunblane for dinner. 

Dunblane is an ancient town with a very large, medieval cathedral. It is directly north of Stirling.

First stop was the family house, Pitcairn, which is now a rental property.

It is semi-detached and this shows the length of the whole building. It is situated on Old Doune Road in the new part of town.

Then we drove across to the old town, towards the Cathedral.

The old town has narrow streets and lovely old buildings.

And of course the Cathedral dominates the scene. You can see the color change in the lower bell tower -- it dates to the 11th century.

View from the cathedral to the surrounding buildings:

I love this door and how OLD the stonework looks. It is old -- probably 15th century.

View towards the front:

Although this cathedral is not huge compared to others it seems quite large set in a small town.

Lovely flowers nearby:

Picturesque places everywhere you look:

The kids brought their capes for a little imaginative play:

Christina's parents attended St. Blane's which, during those years, was a United Free Church. In fact, I believe William Winton was an elder in the congregation. 

More house pictures:

And little narrow streets:

Christina's parents, William and Georgina, and her two sisters (my mom's visiting aunties) are buried in the cathedral churchyard.

After a good walk around the cathedral grounds we headed to a restaurant across the street. Here is my appetizer: salt beef and apple salad.

Michael had steak:

I had roast lamb:

And Rachel had fish and chips:

Eating out as a family is such a rare treat. Because of the grant, it was possible for us to eat out regularly while we were in Scotland. Boy was that fun! Although it was quite an education for the children and provided a whole new training ground -- how to order, what to choose, how the whole system works. Special memories!

In just a small way our trip to Dunblane, on an ordinary sort of day, with no rush, made it feel like we were going home.


Anonymous said...

Lovely post. How wonderful that you've been able to trace your ancestors' house and grave. Dunblane is a beautiful village. For a long time its name has been synonymous with the dreadful massacre at the school that happened in 1996. (People here will say, "It was around the time of Dunblane".) Now, however, a much happier association is being forged for the town in the person of Andy Murray the tennis player. He was recently married in the Cathedral, to the jubilation of the locals and many other people across Scotland as well.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Your posts make me want to visit Scotland!

Anonymous said...

Curious about what kind of grant you got for such as this? Sounds very interesting. Pics are beautiful.