This is the Dalkeith Palace where we stayed while we were in Scotland. This manor house was constructed with parts of a castle that stood in the area that had been destroyed. It really is something else, its like as if you went on a tour of a big palace still decorated with old paintings and then were allowed to stay overnight with basically no one there. It was at times very spooky and very cool. In the basement was a pool room and a TV room which I described as the "Ultimate Man Cave" because well it pretty much was a cave.
We also went on a tour of the first Carnegie library in Dunfermline. Andrew Carnegie was as most know a Scottish born immigrant to America who made a vast fortune and then gave it all away building libraries. The libraries speak for themselves and they are really elaborate. The Dunfermline library also specialized in geneology which with the masses of immigrants from the nation over the years has caused many people to visit around the world to research their own past. Of course we were told that records are usually scarce for those in the 'lower' tier of society.
Finally on to the Scottish National Archives which has a massive metal sculpture of Wellington rising on his horse directly in front. Incidentally nearby is the apparently "largest monument to a writer in the world" made for Sir Walter Scott. Anyway the National Archives are again rich in architectural splendor and idiosyncratic history. For one thing I learned that the stone construction of the original building was smoothed over later on in the front, while additions that sealed in parts of this stone kept it in its original form. As part of the tour we were able to look at some original documents and copies, including a poster for emmigrants to Canada, South Africa, and Australasia.