Friday Photo: Spamalot

Doune Castle ScotlandToday’s rather foreboding photo continues with our Scottish theme by depicting Doune Castle. Commissioned around the turn of the 15th century by Robert Stewart, younger brother to King Robert the III, Doune may appear bleak today. During it’s heyday, however, it was a royal residence and retreat, offering the comforts of the landscape and a withdrawal from the rigours of courtly life in Stirling or Edinburgh. In this sense, it’s role is reminiscent to Linlithgow, but realised on a much more intimate scale. Despite it’s importance during the Middle Ages, however, the castle’s fame now rests on something much less serious–its use in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Although can-caning knights in armour may never have been among Doune’s actual entertainments, the hall used by the filmmakers undoubtedly saw many revels…. I can also confirm that the audioguide at Doune, featuring Monty Python comedian Terry Jones, is the best Historic Scotland has (and probably will ever) produce–so visit this great historic property if you can!

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