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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

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A New Digger's Guide post!; Hermitage Castle - forlorn & atmospheric
Topic Started: Mar 6 2013, 12:07 PM (612 Views)
SacoHarry
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Hello WeDig'ers!

After a very long hibernation, I'm pleased to announce something new in the Digger's Guide - a little-known yet amazing place to visit, Hermitage Castle.

Hermitage Castle, just across the Scottish border maybe an hour's drive NW of Vindolanda, has no known Roman associations. It does have some of the most moody, evocative atmosphere of any place I've visited. The raw power & loneliness there really show just how lawless the "Debatable Lands" were, for hundreds of years. The "Reiver" era put a huge stamp on the culture of the whole region around Vindolanda. If you want a flavor for one of the big ingredients that made Tynedale -- and its towns and villages -- what they are today, check out the page and make plans for a visit. It's worth it!
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snowglobe
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Great Choice Harry, even on a sunny day this place has a real air of Menace

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Justin-T
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+1

Nice addition Harry, hard to believe its still so well preserved. Is someone maintaining the stonework?

(Also, nice shot Pete.)
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SacoHarry
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Now -that- is a great picture Pete! The place still just gives me the creeps. So cool. Justin, best I could find is that it was partially restored in the 1800s but still retains its integrity from the 1300s. Don't know how much they have to do to keep it stable. I'll bet it's a ton of work!
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Terry S
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Hermitage was built about 1240 and placed into state care in 1930. Lots of nasty things happened in between. Supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots, who visited in 1566. Due to it's sinister past, no one has dared to spend a night within it's walls. Looks like the perfect place to visit next time Vindolanda is rained off.
Edited by Terry S, Mar 11 2013, 04:47 PM.
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snowglobe
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In 1343 William Douglas kidnapped Sir Alexander Ramsey at Hawick and starved him to death in the cellar of the Hermitage.
In 1566 the Earl of Bothwell ran into Little Jock Elliot a powerful border Reiver and shot him off his horse, standing over him to finish him off Little Jock Lept up and stabbed Bothwell, lucky for Bothwell he survived the revived Little Jocks attack and was trundled back to the Hermitage only to find the Elliot's in charge and had to lay siege to their own castle! One of those days!
More stories in Alistair Moffats book on the Reivers (found in the Vindolanda book shop) or www.birlinn.co.uk

The site is kept by Historic Scotland, Engilsh Heritage members get in free (as well sites on Hadrians wall)

A trip up to Melrose and Smailholm Tower is also worth a trip
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Edited by snowglobe, Mar 12 2013, 01:10 PM.
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snowglobe
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On the way up to the Hermitage is the Millholm cross tradition says it was placed there in c1320 by the Armstrong family after one of them was killed at the Hermitage, the place really has a grim reputation.

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