Castle Scenes: Part 3

This is Part 3 and final installment of a series of posts about how I’ve been inspired by Scottish castles to create scenes in my novels.

We visit Dirleton Castle in Dirleton, East Lothian for this one. Here I introduce Lord Faintree’s solar:

From Dirleton Castle. Photo: Diane Magras

The solar is where the lord, lady, or master of a castle lives. It’s the bedroom where they sleep, wash up (a basin on a table, and there’s usually a garderobe), and keep their chest of linens and clothes. This bedchamber appears briefly in The Mad Wolf’s Daughter in a battle scene. I imagined this vaulted ceiling and walls lined with tapestries. The stones beneath the hangings would be painted white and patterned with blue decoration. (You can even see traces of the old whitewash on these stones.)

And this is a window that I adapted for that scene (in my scene, the window is a bit wider and the space shallower):

At Dirleton Castle. Photo: Diane Magras

I’ve taken considerable fiction license here. This is actually Dirleton’s expansive Lord’s Hall,  a room meant to impress guests and visitors. But that’s what I wanted for this chamber: a dramatic, vaulted-ceilinged space much larger than most lords would need for their bedroom.

I did this for a reason: The Lord Faintree who had this castle built saw his solar as yet another way to exert his power. He’d hold private meetings and his own lessons for his son here and use this room to enforce his authority. That Lord Faintree knew how to use space to intimidate. When you read the solar scene, go ahead and think of that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these examples of castle-to-fiction scenes in the first book of Drest’s adventures.

Thanks once more to Historic Scotland Environment for its masterful stewardship of Dirleton and all its other incredible heritage sites.

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