Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Monday, 18 January 2016

Scottish Castles - Andrew Spratt

Tantallon under repair after one of the periodic unpleasantnesses - this
time in 1529, repairs commissioned by King James V.
Artwork by Andrew Spratt.
I've recently been attempting to give my chiropractor (no, really) an overview of the history of Tantallon Castle, which happens to be next door to where I live, and the history has been a bit violent (nothing to do with me - mostly before my time, in fact).

In the course of some background reading, I came across a useful and attractive resource - the work of Andrew Spratt. Mr Spratt is a graphic artist who works for Historic Scotland, and he is Custodian of Dirleton Castle (which is also near here). He has produced a fascinating series of paintings of reconstructions of Scottish Castles, and also some Scottish battle scenes, which may be found from the link above.

Knights at Bannockburn  - Andrew Spratt
His work is all copyright, so please treat with due respect - anyone interested in medieval warfare, or Scottish history, or castles and fortifications should have a look.


  1. You have forever redefined "cracking artwork" for me! Hope all went well with the chiropractor.

    1. Did you tell him about the ghost?

    2. You mean the ghost at my house? - we never mention that now...

      Oh - I see - at Tantallon - it's become a bit of a tradition, but most of the scary photos I've seen just look like a stray tourist looking down from a different level - it's noticeable that the spooks only ever appear at barred windows, with an accessible room behind them.

      On the other hand, the castle has a long and bloody history, and the fact that I see it several times a day should not alter the fact that it is quite a dramatic place. Last time I made a formal (paid) visit there with my son (must be a few years ago now), the uniformed gentleman in the gift shop asked me how far I had come to visit, and I said "about a mile". He obviously thought I had misunderstood, so he asked me again. I took him outside, showed him the wood on the other side of the little bay, and said "our house is in those woods". So maybe the place is haunted by me?

    3. Hi Jonathan - the chiropractor helped me a lot about 10 years ago, and since then I just go once a month to keep things in tune. This month I seem to have tweaked something in my lumbar region - I can't remember hurting it or doing anything particularly exciting - so I had a couple of extra sessions to calm things down. I am now 3 inches taller, of course. The incumbent chiro is a new chap - the previous was a lady who has gone away to Sussex, I understand - the new man is from South Shields, near Newcastle.

      I was discussing with the new chiro my interest in military history and wargames, and he commented that he wished someone had shown him a Roman army on the tabletop when he was at school, rather than having to read Caesar. He is very keen to come round one weekend and sample an ECW game - I've lent him some books about Montrose and about the Dunbar campaign. I am nervous about upsetting a man with a full repertoire of Volkan nerve-holds, so I shall be careful not to offend him...

    4. Perhaps your chiropractor should win the first game as a safety precaution?