Medieval Monday:

You Can Create A Castle Too

In my office, I have a couple of photos of castles from Scotland and on another wall, a couple of prints of early 1800 lithographs picturing the English countryside–for that Regency I keep threatening to finish. Just looking at those visuals can inspire me when I’m working on setting for my books.

Somehow it’s not the beautiful still-inhabited castles or manors that give me the greatest push. It’s those fallen into disuse, disrepair –and basically fallen to pieces. Something about the solitariness of fragments of wall that remains silhouetted against the sky that fuels the imagination. I can rebuild that shell in my mind, surround it with walls and outbuildings and populate it with the people of my creation. In fact, I usually sketch a layout of the interior of the castle or manor and all the accompanying structures around the interior of the bailey — inner and outer. I can spend hours researching from the several books on castle design and layout that I have accumulated.

All this comes, of course, after I have the characters. Characters come first for me, then their stories, then the rest.

Today I want to share with you photos of a few of the ancient castle remains that have caught my fancy and never fail to set me to designing the setting for my next book.

Midhope Castle, Scotland

The first is Midhope Castle in Scotland. Originally a tower house from the 1500s, it was enlarged later. It’s located a handful of miles from Edinburgh

I haven’t been able to identify this second one which I found online. If someone can help me out with it, I’d greatly appreciate it. But the atmosphere of it really can generate ideas, right?

Unidentified castle remains.

The third one is identified in one place as Brough Castle in England, one of the earliest build after 1066. Obviously the remains below are of later updates.

As you can see, just beginning to look at–and look up–these old structures can set the creative ideas blooming.

Brough Castle

Thanks for sharing some of my passion in medieval surroundsing. Happy imagining.

Don’t forget to check out my fellow Medieveal Monday Authors:



12 thoughts on “Medieval Monday:”

  1. Barb, I agree about the ruins. They are beautiful. But I find it extraordinary that you sketch your own layouts built upon those ruins. No wonder your settings seem so real! Amazing!

    Happy Medieval Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks, Anastasia! It’s really fun doing that. If I were more artistic, I could do mock ups, but I haven’t that kind of talent. So I just do a paper and pencil room layout ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Pamela! Wouldn’t it be great to tour these–and with friends who felt the same about it and could talk everything over at the time??

  2. I love this post, Barbara! Exploring the ruins of ancient castles is always on my bucket list of places to explore when I travel. And I believe your Unidentified castle remains is Ardvreck Castle in Loch Assynt in Sutherland land of Scotland. This was a property of the MacLeods of Assynt who built the castle around the 1640’s.I was fortunate to visit these ruins five years ago! An epic day! I have many photos, too.

    1. Wow! Thank you, Mary! Ardvreck, hmm? And right in your ‘neck of the woods’ of your Heroes. I’d love to tour it sometime. So glad you could provide the answer:)

  3. I love your castle photos. We visited Uhquhart Castle in Scotland on the way to see Nessie at her pond once. Your unidentified castle looks a lot like it (if you take away part of the other ruins).

    1. Oh, I didn’t get to see Uhquhart the one time I was in Scotland. And you went to visit Nessie?? How fun. Have you seen the recent back and forth in the news about a recent fossil find that could look like a Nessie? Thanks for stopping by.

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