Category: holidays

Scalloway Castle, Shetland

Scalloway Castle was built for Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney and Shetland (as was the Laird’s House in Jarlshof) between 1599 and 1600. He spend a lot of money for new residences on Orkney (e.g. The Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall) and Shetland once he became Earl, despite being heavily indebted. And so Scalloway Castle reflects the best building techniques of the time, offering a compromise between security and comfort. The windows had (and still have) glass and shutters, guest rooms had their own fire places and latrine cupboards, the big hall had beautiful tapestries, with everything spread across four floors. The central court of Shetland would meet here for trials and prisoners awaiting trial would be kept in a part of the castle.

Patrick Stewart upheld local law, but often quarrelled with big landowners, making demands of tax and labour on them, flying into a rage when he wouldn’t get his way. Once the Bishop of Orkney was re-instated by James VI, Patrick lost a lot of income and would ransack properties of the richest men of Shetland to cover his debts. Eventually, so many complaints had piled up against him that he was arrested and after instigating his son Robert to regain his properties by force, both men were executed for treason in 1615. 

By 1701 the roof shingles had fallen off, leaving the timber inside to decay, slowly turning the castle into a ruin. Scalloway remained the capital of Shetland for a while longer, but lost its status as centre of administration and commerce to Lerwick by the 19th Century.

Shetland Day 3 – A history lesson on my YouTube channel.

This is my favorite one so far! Still on the 2nd Day: A tour around Jarlshof, Shetland, and visting St Ninian’s Isle. Enjoy!

Photos of Jarlshof are here.

Bode Museum, Berlin

This museum was interesting because it had a juxtaposition of Western and African art and, of course, fabulous architecture.  

Bode Museum, Berlin

This museum was interesting because it had a juxtaposition of Western and African art and, of course, fabulous architecture.