Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Blackness Castle

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Blackness Castle 4x32 Strathspey Norma MacLeod 2016, Published In "Stirling at 90"

1-8 1s+4s turn ¾ RH, dance ½ reel of 4 up/down middle of set, 4s+2s also 1s+3s petronella one place on to the right
9-16 2s+3s ½ reel of 4 up/down middle of set, 4s+3s also 1s+2s petronella one place on to the right, 4s+1s turn ¾ RH to opposite sides. 4321
17-24 All set, 4s+3s also 1s+2s ½ RH across, 2s+3s turn both hands 1½ times
25-32 4s+1s Espagnole. 3142

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Norma MacLeod, 2016)

Dance Information

Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress, near the village of Blackness, Scotland, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth.

It was built, probably on the site of an earlier fort, by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s. At this time, Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch.

The castle, together with the Crichton lands, passed to James II of Scotland in 1453, and the castle has been crown property ever since. It served as a state prison, holding such prisoners as Cardinal Beaton and the 6th Earl of Angus.

Strengthened by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart in the mid-16th century, the castle became one of the most advanced artillery fortifications of its time in Scotland. A century later, these defences were not enough to prevent Blackness falling to Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650. Some years after the siege, the castle was repaired, and again served as a prison and a minor garrison. In 1693, the spur protecting the gate was heightened, and the Stern Tower shortened as a base for three heavy guns. Barracks and officers' quarters were added in the 1870s, when the castle was used as an ammunition depot, until 1912. The castle was briefly reused by the army during World War I.

Blackness Castle is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, in the care of Historic Scotland.

Blackness Castle - Information Video

Blackness Castle
Blackness Castle

Because of its site, jutting into the Forth, and its long, narrow shape, Blackness Castle has been characterised as "the ship that never sailed".

The north and south towers are often named "stem" and "stern", with the central tower called the "main mast".

Blackness Castle, The Ship That Never Sailed
Blackness Castle - The Ship That Never Sailed

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Frimley Green article on Wikipedia.
Upper image copyright Andrew Shiva, Wikipedia.
Lower image copyright Richard Webb under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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