Monday, 22 March 2010

Mars Wark

The facade is almost all that's left of a residence built in 1570 by the Earl of Mar. The fact that it still stands at all is due to the good folk of Stirling claiming that it stopped the wind blowing down Broad Street. By today's standards the stonework looks dour and grim, but when new, with all the shields and armourial bearings carved into the lintels painted in bright colours, it would look quite different. Probably looks different when the sun hits the sandstone, too.

I have finally reached the end of my first draft, so my first visit to Stirling in years has paid off. Now I'm ready to incorporate the detail, newly fixed in my mind, into the pages. The visit to the castle wasn't too expensive, perhaps because the Royal Palace is not part of the tour at the moment. The rooms are being refurbished to look as they did in the days of Mary of Guise and James V - almost exactly the time of my story. They should be ready by next April. Pity it wasn't this April, but never mind. The guided tours are free, and there's still lots to see. We spent a good four hours there, both with the guide and on our own, so goodness knows how long we'd have been there if the Royal Palce had been completed.
A frequent phrase in guidebooks and informative plaques around the place now seem to share doubt - statements claim that it was possible that....it may have been....it is likely that....probably with.... and I cannot help feeling that I want positives. I want to know for certain that something was painted red, or that a building stood there in 1472, or that Mary Stewart actually lived there for some time.

My picture of Broad Street looking up the hill to wards Mars Wark shows how effective it would be in blocking the wind!

1 comment:

A J Hawke said...

Hi Jen,
The photoes bring back memories of several visits to Stirling. A lovely place with some lovely people. A friend, who is Scots, took a day and drove us on a wonderful trip north of Stirling, and then I have ridden the train in and out of Stirling several times. You have chosen a great setting for your latest novel. I look forward to being able to purchase it.
Blessings on your writing,
A J Hawke