Tales that witness madness blog: Blackness Castle photographs

Photos taken on December 17th, 2021.

Six degrees of separation means that I and Margot Robbie and Chris Pine all share the connection that we’ve been to Blackness Castle. It’s located in a small village just outside Linlithgow, Falkirk.

On a cold, foggy winter’s morning I dug out the camera and got some photographs of the castle and the surrounding areas. The fog was so thick that you couldn’t see further than forty yards ahead of you. Although, when you look at these photos, it seems that the visibility of the castle was much better than the eye perceived.

Strangely enough, for the 90 minutes I was there, I was the only person visiting the castle. Not another single soul was in sight, which made it all the more eerie and forlorn. There was even the haunting sound of the passing ships’ fog horns going off every so often.

Thoughts of existentialism ran through my mind when I was snapping some of these photos, things like, ‘just what if I was the last person on the planet?!’

The castle was built in 1440 and it’s seen a lot of history since then. Cromwell’s army invaded it in 1650 and it was later used as a prison. It was even used by the army during World War I (for what I assume was for holding ammunition and other military supplies).

The castle has appeared in many films and TV shows like Outlander, The Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots. The latter stars Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan. I think it is a very good and underrated film, so check it out if you haven’t seen it!

I’ve uploaded (more of) these photos to my Flickr page (link here) if you want to see them in full resolution – the photos here are compressed and are not the full original size. My camera setup was a Sony A7, using the 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

Above: the road leading away from the castle.

Below: along the wall leading to the castle. The tide is out. The fog horns from passing ships can be heard in the distance.

Below: the cottage beside the castle. I assume a caretaker stays there, although I’ve never actually seen any traces that someone physically stays there.

Below: the castle itself. In fairness, I didn’t get many snaps of the building itself, as I’ve been here quite a few times and have other shots of it. But I’ve never gotten one from this angle, though.

Below: this is another shot of the castle but from a ‘prohibited’ part that is walled off, but the gate isn’t locked. It’s like a garden, and, for some reason, it reminds me of the film Silent Hill, as you’ll see in the next bunch of photos.

Below: reverse angle shot of the ‘prohibited’ garden area. I think it’s the metal poles (are they clothes poles, perhaps?) that remind me of Silent Hill, as well as that small hut-type building which, I assume, is a storage facility of some sort.

Below: reverse angle shot in the ‘prohibited’ garden – you can see the cottage there. To the left, beyond those trees, is where the sea comes up to, although the tide was out when I snapped this.

Below: some snaps of the surrounding field nearby. The fog wasn’t as thick up there.

Here’s the link to my Flickr page again if you want to see more of the above photos!

And just before you-go-go! Below is a video of Blackness I shot myself in 2016. There’s some footage of the castle worth looking at. Excuse the (overly) dramatic music!

-Tony-

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