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A Passion for Castles

The Story of MacGibbon and Ross and the Castles they Surveyed

by Janet Brennan-Inglis


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ISBN: 9780859767163
Published: 04 Apr 2024
Format: Paperback
Extent: 256
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: John Donald
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About the Book

In the 1880s two Edinburgh architects began to survey, measure and sketch the castles of Scotland, travelling the length and breadth of the country on trains, bicycles and on foot. Together they produced the five magnificent volumes of The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, an unrivalled work of research that surveys more than 700 of Scotland’s castellated buildings, ranging from great medieval fortresses to small lairds’ houses with pepper-pot turrets, and is illustrated with thousands of sketches and plans.

The first part of A Passion for Castles tells the life stories of David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross and their work as Edinburgh architects before they embarked on their magisterial survey, revealing interesting and previously unknown details about the two men. The second part of the book sets their enormously ambitious castles project in its historical context, and describes how MacGibbon and Ross managed to achieve their pioneering, systematic and comprehensive survey.

The final part of the book provides a regional overview of the current status of all the castles surveyed by MacGibbon and Ross, followed by a thematic exploration of those that have been lost, those that have been transformed and those at risk of collapse, before posing questions about what the future holds for the castles of Scotland.

The Author

Janet Brennan-Inglis

Janet Brennan-Inglis graduated from the University of Edinburgh and gained a PhD in the restoration of Scottish castles from the University of Dundee. After working in education in the Netherlands for 25 years, she retired to live in Dumfries and Galloway, where she and her husband had bought and restored a sixteenth-century ruined castle. She is a former chair of the Scottish Castles Association and is Chair of the Galloway group of the National Trust for Scotland as well as a board member of Historic Environment Scotland, and is the author of Scotland’s Castles: Rescued, Rebuilt and Reoccupied (2014).

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