Designing the inside our model of Dunvegan Castle is taking a great deal of time due to the research involved and the limited amount of actual details on it. I have found some excellent photos of some of the areas to use as a guideline. Those photos are extremely helpful, but in some ways they make my job even more difficult as I then feel as though I do need to make some attempt to recreate or represent that view!
One of those views that I truly wanted to capture and recreate is that of the Entrance Hall staircase and second floor landing!
My recreation of this space
I did have a very basic guideline to use for the layout of main floor.
As well as an old drawing detailing some of the spaces from an exterior view
In coming up with a plan/layout for our representation of the interior spaces, I made use of those two photos along with some additional research and thoughts on what might be plausible for our Castle. This is what the current layout looks like now for the main floor.
The inspiration photos/plans were helpful in defining some of the space but I needed to make adjustments according to what would work for our space limitations. In my design, I tried to create a layout that might represent areas that have under gone changes through centuries of remodels in any given typical Castle. Our finished Castle will be set in the present day so we need to keep that in mind while designing spaces and decorating throughout. It does have a rich, detailed and extensive history which also must be represented. And, one last thing to keep in mind… Castles are a money pit, even for wealthy vampire sims! Restorations and renovations can be extreme in their costs and nightmares for contractors. For those reasons, and to retain some the history, some areas might not get refurbished as much as others. What many owners might choose to do over time is focus their attentions on what they deem the most important, most highly visible and most interest to paying tourists!
Our restoration project is no different in that respect. The main floor will of course be the most visible and the most important. It will be used for a variety of purposes, from clan gatherings to historical tours and special events-which bring in the most cash! Our layout includes spaces mentioned on the old drawing of the exterior space such as the Chapel and the Piper’s Gallery. Dunvegan Castle has long been associated with the MacCrimmon Pipers.
THE MacCRIMMON PIPES
The bagpipes are associated with the MacCrimmons, hereditary pipers to MacLeod for thirteen generations.
On a clear day as you stand on the castle gun court looking across the loch you can see Borreraig, the area where the Chief gave them a farm and upon which they erected the celebrated Piping College.
The finest pipers in Scotland would come to receive tuition from the famous MacCrimmons there.
Dunvegan remains a place of great renown in the world of piping. Each year there is a piping recital, in honour of the ancient tradition of the Chanter upon which the Fairy Lady assured the first MacCrimmon that he would play the finest music in the world.
Even today pipers from all over Scotland and indeed the world make a very special pilgrimage to Dunvegan Castle where the hereditary pipers to the MacLeod clan Chiefs once played the finest pipe music in Scotland for thirteen generations.
Dunvegan Castle remains a “Romantic” and very special place in the heart of many a piper.
Because of that association, we have dedicated a space on our main floor as a music gallery honoring them.
In our design of the Great Hall/Dining space, I chose to go with a design that would reflect the uses of the Great Hall throughout the centuries. In addition to a dining space for the Castle inhabitants and guests, it would have served as a meeting and gathering space in earlier times. Our version reflects this multi-function use and we have put on display some of the Clan Tartans and Banners as well as tapestries which would have been of high value and significance. All of the various clans who were united by blood or oaths of allegiance would have their colors, their plaids and their banners represented proudly in this meeting space.
This photo is of dining space within Dunvegan Castle, but it does not suit the purposes of what we needed to represent with a Great hall/Gathering space.
We have chosen instead to go a different route with our dining space. It is by no means finished yet, but you can get a good idea of it’s purpose from these photos. One important factor and difference to keep in mind with this space as compared to say, an English Royal Court Dining and gathering space… The dining and seating would have been less formal and class or status oriented than the English Royalty. There is no raised platform with separate seating here such as would have been in a English space. A Clan Leader may have sat at the head of the table but would not have placed him or herself at a level above clan members. Much of the time, the seating arrangements would have been informal and based on interests or ongoing conversations or discussions from some earlier meeting.
Of course, the seating presented here would represent more formal gatherings where higher members of the clan might have dined together. There would be additional spaces included for other guests around the sides of the space.
The side gallery type room off from this gathering space might have been used as an over flow space, a sunroom or solar for ladies to use as a sewing room or other hobbies. They could enjoy some added sunlight here to make their sewing a bit easier to see!
This back area of the main floor is one of the spaces that will somewhat retain it’s old world, more rustic feel. It will be a more informal dining area and kitchen space which has connecting stairs to the lower old kitchens and servants area as well as an old stairwell up to the second floor space. The design is based on the idea that in much earlier times, this stairwell would have went up to the second floor courtyard.
Some of the inspiration for design of this back kitchen portion is based on this photo taken inside of the real Dunvegan Castle. It is a part of the tour of the older sections of the castle and the old kitchens.
The old kitchens in lower section would have been in use for a great many years and this would have been a servant’s access from those kitchens to the upper levels of the Castle. We will updating the kitchens in some of the space provided in that back portion of the main floor! I am quite sure it will be appreciated by all!
In addition to all of this work, Eric spent some time at the Castle overseeing a bit of the work and adding a small bit of outdoor décor. He insisted that there must be a memorial to his old friend, Guinivere Pendragon, and all of the other fallen Fairies through out time.
He also spent some time on his own in the Castle lost in his own thoughts and memories…
In the present day, Eric North has set aside his ancient Norse and Scottish Clan warrior past. He now enjoys a highly successful public persona as a much sought out actor of acclaimed fame and uses his vampire blood to his advantage in this role. Underneath all of that fame though, he still thinks back to his past, his history when he’s alone. He does have one person to thank for his current popularity and his success. Even though he is stuck in the Highlands of Scotland right now, he wanted to send a heartfelt message of gratitude and appreciation to his first agent who saw his on screen vampire potential and took a chance on promoting him!
A belated Happy Birthday to Kimwriter!
Previous Behind the Scenes post: