Friday Photo: Two If By Sea

Tantallon Caste Sea ViewToday’s Friday Photo depicts Tantallon Castle, located in Scotland’s East Lothian region, from its seaward side along the Firth of Forth. Unlike some castles in the UK, such as Bodiam, Tantallon was built not only to look like, but also to function as a military stronghold. From behind its walls, the Red Douglases participated in some of the most turbulent upsets in Scottish politics, from a ploy to hand over James IV to the English to the besieging of the castle by James V. Although built to defend against the cutting edge of military technology–artillery–two of Tantallon’s three towers were substantially damaged by an assault of Cromwell’s forces in the 1650s. Despite its chequered history, though, Tantallon’s most formidable defences never failed it. The sea-cliffs which protected its rear remained impervious to assault for nearly three centuries and provide a spectacular vista for visitors today.

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