The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland
The Castles of Scotland 


Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle with Joyce in silhouette (© Martin Coventry)

Joyce is usually with me when on visits, and takes a delight in photobombing my carefully framed photos. One of her most infamous successes was mingling in the clutter outside Westminster Abbey then putting up her arms with a huge grin. I never noticed at the time. When we returned home I found all the photos of Westminster Abbey were unusable for various reasons, lighting, vehicles, pedestrians, until I found one decent one. On closer inspection I then found Joyce had photobombed the image. How we laughed, especially as I had no photos I could the use in a book that was late for publication.

Drumlanrig Castle, an impressive baronial mansion and castle in expansive landscaped parkland and gardens of the Douglases and then the Scott Dukes of Queensberry with fingers Drumlanrig Castle and fingers (© Martin Coventry)

Since then Joyce has delighted in ruining as many photos as possible, and has encouraged family to do the same. Mostly these are quite obvious, staged and straightforward, although quite amusing; however in others she has been very cunning and creative, especially as I am concentrating on framing the photo so do not notice what she is up to.

Crichton Castle, a fine old ruinous castle of the Crichtons and then the Hepburn Earls of Bothwell above the River Tyne Crichton Castle (© Martin Coventry)

Joyce does stray into some photos just by accident, of course, but on inspection of one of the photos on the website I just found she has done an excellent job. This is a very subtle one for her, not just a straying into shot.

View of Crichton Castle, a fine ruinous castle on a pretty spot above the River Tyne, near Patthead in Midlothian, with an extra arm Crichton Castle: kitchen fireplaces and arm

We are offering a free copy of the harback edition for the first person that can identify the photo into which she has intruded. She has one of her arms out and has a big grin on her face. I only noticed this yesterday, and had either not noticed at the time or had forgotten. She may have also bombed other photos, of course.


The offending photo has finally been found (see Gosford House) and the free book has been despatched off to Diederick Hoekstra in The Netherlands. 

Arniston House, the impressive Adam mansion incorporating part of an old castle of the Dundas family with extra arm and leg Arniston House with arm and leg (© Martin Coventry)
Castle Campbell Castle Campbell with two fingers (© Martin Coventry)
Inveraray Castle Inveraray Castle (© Martin Coventry): all this is mine…or should be…

New sixth edition in preparation: more than 1,500 additional sites, hundreds more illustrations, comprehensive online maps and indexes, and much much more.

Due for 2024, and still a huge amount of work to do … more info to follow soon.

Check any and all opening and access information with the sites themselves…



Cockenzie House
22 Edinburgh Road

EH32 0HY




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Spring is here, Red tulips from Cockenzie House Spring is here…
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