Before I arrived at the Castle of Edinburgh, I was sure it was going to be very similar to Dunluce Castle, a place in which I would go to explore the ruins of an ancient building that once stood long and proud. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve absolutely loved that, but I was pleasantly surprised at what the castle actually was and the amount of attractions it had to offer.
Being that the castle is on a large cliff, the view from the top was undeniably breath taking. Apart from taking in the gorgeous scenery, the captivating part of my visit was the fact that different parts of the castle were broken up into little exhibits, each about different parts of Edinburgh’s history. I wasn’t expecting to be able to roam the grounds and tour the entire castle while learning about an array of things.
While touring the grounds, one part of the castle instantly caught my attention and lured me in seemingly against my will. Before I knew it, I was deeply engaged in an exhibit about prisoners of war and the cells the resided in. The focal points of the room were three large wooden cell doors each covered in a plethora of different carvings and images. The doors showcased the prisoner’s art work that was carved during their time in captivity. The images included things such as ships, names, and sayings.
Similar to some items in Edinburgh’s National Museum, these cell doors acted as forms of mass communication. The carvings of ships indicated that those prisoners sailed in many different vessels. Other carvings such as messages or names indicate that the prisoners were trying to display some form of clue into their personal feelings and identities. I think it’s incredibly interesting that prisoners used whatever means they had in order to use art as a medium for communication to others.
There is so much more to what seems like graffiti and it was amazing being able gain insight into the personal talent these people held with them in their cells. Though the entire tour of the castle grounds was outstanding, this one is the most memorable and I’m grateful I was able to partake in such a rich part of Scottish history.