I didn't know much about medieval castles when I was growing up; I was more interested in ghosts and UFOs.
But my son David developed an early interest in castles and all things medieval. This motivated me to begin researching the topic. Over the course of many years, I was able to visit many different castles throughout Europe. One day I still hope to write a book that reflects my fascination with these unique fortifications. In the meantime, I have included some of the castle stories that I have written.
When Robert Bruce, King of Scotland in 1306, was under attack by Edward I's son, Prince Edward (later Edward II), he sent his wife and her ladies to Kildrummy Castle for protection.
As Prince Edward besieged the castle, he managed to contact a blacksmith within the walls. If the man would agree to set the castle buildings on fire, he would receive "as much gold as he could carry." The blacksmith took the bribe, and the ensuing fire forced the castle to surrender.
And the blacksmith? Did he live a life of wealth and leisure?
When the Scots discovered that he had burned the castle and helped the English capture their queen, his ultimate reward was to see his precious gold melted, and the hot liquid poured down his throat.