Here's a lovely combination: Cows and the ruins of a palace1.
This unused postcard shows Linlithgow Palace in Scotland from the north. The cows are clearly not impressed.
The Linlithgow Palace site dates to the 12th century. It has been a manor, a fort and a palace for Scottish royalty through the centuries. Mary, Queen of Scots, was born there in 1542. Today, it stands as a tourism attraction under the care and management of Historic Scotland.
Linlithgow, like all old places, has some ghost stories attached to it. According to the website Scottish Ghosts:
"Linlithgow is said to be haunted by a 'Blue Lady' who walks from the entrance of the palace to the door of the nearby parish church of St Michael. The ghost is believed to be seen mostly in the month of April but also in September, at about 9 am in the morning. Queen Margaret's bower2 is also reputed to be haunted by the ghost of either Margaret Tudor, wife of James IV, or Mary of Guise, wife of James V. Her apparition has allegedly been witnessed standing at the top of the tower waiting on the return of her husband from battle."
Moving on to the postcard itself, it was printed in Britain and it includes the text "Greetings and Good Luck" and "The Best of All Series" on the back. The publisher is listed as:
PUBLISHED BY J.B. WHITE, LTD. DUNDEE
REAL PHOTOGRAPH (COPYRIGHT)
This website offers a nice history of J.B. White Ltd. Some interesting tidbits:
- The business began to print postcards in 1907, with the children of J.B. White appearing in some of the images.
- In the 1920s, the company's "postcard artist" would add clouds to some pictures and, sometimes, remove people from one image and superimpose them onto another3.
- The company's trademark "Best of All Series" ran from 1926 to 1966.
Finally, while Linlithgow Palace is not for sale, there is hope for those of you who wish to own and live in a medieval palace or castle some day. Medievalists.net has a nice rundown of castles for sale around the world for you dreamers. And I especially like their "What to Know When Buying a Castle" guide, which includes this tip: "Many castle sites have only had limited or no archaeological work done on them. You might want to explore the idea if archaeologists would be interested in investigating your property and perhaps discover artifacts."
That's right, one great reason to buy a castle: It might have some medieval ephemera hidden inside!
1. I really wanted to refer to Linlithgow as a castle, but that term would not be technically correct. It was not designed to be used as a military fortress.
2. On top of Linlithgow Palace is a small chamber in which Queen Margaret used to sit and enjoy the view. Here's a cool site where you can check out the 360-degree view for yourself. Make sure you use the zoom function and check for cows.
3. Who needs Photoshop, anyway?