Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Dovecot's Namesake

This morning I visited Dovecot's namesake on Dovecot Road. The Doo'cot, as it is known by most Scots, is all that remains of Corstorphine Castle, thought to have been built around 1390. When Marquess of Bute built the original tapestry studio, which began operating in 1912, the Dovecot was included within the plot of land. This is why the studio was often referred to as The Dovecot even when its official name was Edinburgh Tapestry Studio.

It is also the inspiration behind the Dovecot symbol which is woven into every tapestry woven by the weavers. In some tapestries the symbol takes the form of a dove, but it most it is the Doo'cot itself. Though the studio has since been turned into a residence, you can still see the Doo'cot form the street. Hidden inside are 1060 nesting holes for pigeons.

The main purpose of my jaunt to Corstorphine was to visit the Corstorphine Trust. The trust is registered Scottish charity and does amazing research and outreach work to stimulate public interest in the Corstorphine, an area with a vibrant and fascinating history. Their website includes details of the opening hours of the Heritage Centre. The Trust has recently been gifted a Dovecot tapestry (which you can see here) and kindly invited Elizabeth Cumming and I to have a look. It is beautiful. It was woven around 1953 by Harry Wright as an apprentice piece and is very much influenced by the style of Sax Shaw. The Trust is currently deciding where to display it so that members of the public may view it.

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