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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Castles and Ancient Monuments of Scotland

A Unique Guide to More than 200 Historic Sites

by Damien Noonan

Reviewed July 29, 2003.
Welcome Rain Publishers, New York, 2000, 192 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (941.1 NOO).

This was my favorite guidebook to Scotland, because it focuses exactly on my favorite sight-seeing places:  Castles.  I also like a guidebook to have lots of pictures, and this one is full of wonderful pictures of all the places highlighted.  Since one of my favorite activities at a castle is taking pictures, the pictures in this book quickly show me which castles I will most enjoy.

The book begins with a historical introduction, starting by explaining the different types of prehistoric buildings whose remains are still in Scotland.  It tells about Neolithic houses, chambered tombs, stone circles, brochs, duns, souterrains, crannogs, and Viking settlements before it starts explaining the history of castles themselves in Scotland.

This was the only guidebook I had that mentioned the Scottish Crannog Centre and got me intrigued by including a picture.    My husband especially enjoyed our stop there, thinking it a delightful break from castles.  I wouldn’t have had a clue what a crannog was (an iron age community home of wood, built over a lake) had it not been for this book.

After the historical introduction, the book looks at different regions of Scotland and highlights the most interesting castles and ancient monuments found in that region.  Besides the history of that particular castle, it includes pictures, directions and guidelines to opening hours and entrance fees.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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