Old Photograph Whig's Vault Dunnottar Castle Scotland

Old photograph of the Whig's Vault in Dunnottar Castle, Scotland. One of the darkest chapters of Dunnottar's history is that of the Whig's Vault. In 1685, one hundred and twenty two men and forty five women, whose crime was their refusal to acknowledge the King's supremacy in spiritual matters. They were imprisoned with little food and no sanitation from 24 May until the end of July in the gloomy, airless cellar. Thirty seven Whigs finally agreed to take the oath of allegiance and were released. Twenty five escaped, however fifteen were recaptured and two fell to their deaths during the attempt. A further five prisoners also died.



Tour Scotland video of Dunnottar Castle, Scotland. The ruined medieval fortress situated upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about two miles south of Stonehaven. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th to 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been an early fortress of the Dark Ages. Dunnottar played a strategic role in the history of Scotland from the Middle Ages through to the Enlightenment, because of the location: it overlooked the shipping lanes to northern Scotland; and is situated on a narrow coastal terrace that controlled land access to the coastal south via Portlethen Moss to Aberdeen during the medieval period. Both the Jacobites and Hanoverians used Dunnottar Fortress. In 1689 during Viscount Dundee's campaign, fourteen suspected Jacobites from Aberdeen were held in the fortress for approximately a year, including George Liddel, professor of mathematics. In 1715 the Dunnottar cannons were utilized by the Jacobites; following this uprising all the possessions of the Earl Mariscal were forfeit, and the fortress was dismantled three years later. Dunnottar Castle was the runaway winner in an 8th Wonder of the World competition. Elsinore Castle in the film Hamlet was in part Dunnottar Castle.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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