Fast Castle ***
Region: Lothian & Scottish Borders
It takes some effort to get to the scant ruins of Fast Castle but rest assured: It is more than worth the bother! THIS is a real treat and a personal favourite! A shame I have no 4th star in the offing!
The dramatic and very evocative remains of Fast Castle stand on a lonely crag high (48 meters) above the sea and only show when you are almost on top of them. It is not too difficult to cross to the ruins and with the cries of the gulls, the thunder of the waves far below and magnificent views all around......this is quite an experience and the reason why this “castle” gets all three stars!
Due to its unique position, connected to the mainland by only a narrow bridge, this stronghold of the Home’s was near impregnable. The name Fast stands for ‘Fause’ (false). False because the Home occupants used this castle not only as their stronghold, but also to lure ships with lanterns hanging down from the cliffs. The ships, taking the lights for a safe haven, struck the rocks and the Homes callously butchered the survivors and confiscated the goods. You can still see the man-made channel cut into the foot of the living rock. In a later period the Logans occupied it and even Margaret, the 14 years old daughter of Henry VII on her way to marry James IV in 1503, stayed here while her retinue (1500 people!) had to stay overnight at Coldingham (how did they manage that!)
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