Friday, October 13, 2017

Brian, Your House Needs Work . . .

The dog-stone and Dunollie
Back in “New” Scotland (Nova Scotia), we have friends with the surname of MacDougall, so when we discovered that the ancestral home of the MacDougall Clan was just down the road, we figured we’d wander over, drop his name and have a visit. It sounded like pretty swanky digs, high on a hill overlooking the mouth of Oban Harbour.

The Dunollie Castle, House and grounds remains the ancestral home of the Clan MacDougall, but the house is now mostly a museum, and the castle a majestic ruin on the
The remaining tower
hill. The house contains some interesting historical artifacts, and allows you to see some of the rooms in the old house. In one room there is a most amazing collection of over 5000 wooden spoons from the collection of Hope MacDougall, and another area displays shoes and shoe makers tools.

The Castle ruins
A climb up to the castle reveals the “consolidation” of Dunollie Castle. This means that the castle is too far ruined to be restored, so it has been stabilized and the remaining structures have been made safe for people to visit and explore. There really is not much left, just one tower, part of another and a small section of wall. It is not surprising, since the history on a handout seem to indicate that the Clan MacDougall ended up on the wrong side of Scotland’s rulers on a number of occasions and lost all their ancestral lands at least twice.

Beautiful View
Walking down from the castle, you can wander through a beautiful willow garden where a local Girl Guide group had decorated a tree with painted wooden spoons, inspired perhaps by Hope MacDougall.

I was hoping to catch my friend Brian MacDougall at his ancestral home and thought I might share a wee dram with him, but mentioning his name did not even get me a reduced admission price, I had to play the “Senior” card to get a discount.
Some spoons for Mrs. MacDougall's collection

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