Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Malcolm’s Tower with Regan Walker

Malcolm’s Tower: The Royal Seat of Scotland in the 11th Century

At the time of my story, Rebel Warrior, the royal seat of Scotland was in Dunfermline in Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Dun Edin, the early name for the city that would later be called Edinburgh.

In Dunfermline, Malcolm, who became King of Scots in 1057, built a stone fortress of hewn blocks measuring 52 feet by 48 feet, nearly square. It was three stories high (the top being an attic of sorts) and was believed to contain twenty small apartments or bedchambers.

The Tower was located on a rocky plateau, around which on the west and the south was a formidable ravine, seventy feet in depth. The face of the ravine bristled with rocks and at its bottom ran a stream or “burn” which in winter flowed like a torrent with a loud roar.

Behind the tower was a copse of tall trees, perhaps Scots Pines and other trees, that provided shade in the summer for Malcolm and his royal entourage. It was just the kind of fortress a warrior king would need.

The Tower was considered impregnable and, together with the later castle built at Dun Edin (Edinburgh) was used as the residence of the Kings of the Scots until destroyed by King Edward in 1304.

Malcolm’s Tower was first mentioned in 1070, the same year Malcolm married Margaret of Wessex, the Saxon princess who would give Malcolm six sons and two daughters and would later become Scotland’s only royal saint.

In the complex of buildings around the Tower would have been stables, a mews for his hawks, an armory and other buildings that served Malcolm’s men-at-arms. At the time of his marriage to Margaret, there was a small chapel, which Margaret had enlarged. Here, she eventually established a Benedictine priory. Their youngest son, David, who would one day become King of the Scots, enlarged the priory to the status of an abbey during his reign from 1124 to 1153.

The diagram is an artist’s impression of "the Auld Kirk" in Dunfermline during the period 1072-1115. The smaller structure is Margaret's chapel. The lantern tower and Choir were added in 1249 and are outlined around it.

Much of Rebel Warrior takes place at the Tower where the king and queen dined in the great hall and an unlikely golden-haired English rebel, acting as the king’s scribe, fell in love with a noble born, auburn-haired Scottish lass.


“Master storytelling transports you to medieval Scotland!”
          Paula Quinn, NY Times Bestselling Author

When your destiny lies far from where you began …

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

Rebel Warrior on Amazon:
US: http://www.amazon.com/Rebel-Warrior-Medieval-Warriors-Book-ebook/dp/B01DUWOHHQ
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebel-Warrior-Medieval-Warriors-Book-ebook/dp/B01DUWOHHQ
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29807131-rebel-warrior
Author website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104
Pinterest storyboard for Rebel Warrior: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/rebel-warrior-by-regan-walker/