Return to the Wheel – 27th May 2022

What we thought was going to be a slow day turned into an extremely busy and rewarding day. Our first call to action was to make our way back to the locks above the Falkirk Wheel which only took us just over an hour.

Once we went down the two locks and through the first tunnel it was then into the second tunnel. You are met with this vista of where you think you are going to cruise off the edge of the canal into oblivion.

The skies are just huge in Scotland and being up so high you get a great view.

This video show us coming out of the tunnel heading towards the caisson in the top of the lift.

This video is just a fun video demonstrating just how windy it was up the top.

Here you will see the separation of the caisson from the top of the wheel as it goes sideways and starts dropping down to the canal below.

Finally is the caisson that we are in, dropping down and the trip boat that was in the bottom caisson rising above us to go onto the Union Canal.

It is a 35 metre drop from the Union Canal down to the Forth and Clyde canal. Prior to the wheel, it use to take 11 locks.

The wind had picked up substantially and we did think for a while that maybe they might shut the wheel down but we were still within safe limits.

We went past the visitors center, down one more lock and back to the marina where we started off.

It was time to give Yasmin a good clean up. The jobs were divided up according to expertise. We needed to do the laundry, change all the bed linen and towels, fill up with fuel and water, vacuum her and important but not least, get a pump out. All this took approximately three hours.

Next plan for action was to go out and do some further exploring regards to the Kincaid clan. We had been provided with further information as to where the Kincaid mausoleum was which was an approximate 30 minute drive from the marina. As we had left Wolfgang’s car at the marina, we used it as our mode of transport.

We drove west from the Falkirk Wheel in a slightly northerly direction to the church ground where were to find the mausoleum. Di had been thinking that it was a small structure with maybe a couple of the Lairds buried there but low and behold it was one mighty great edifice.

Blimin heck! It was three stories high with a verandah out the back (does that sound like part of a well known Aussie song). One might wonder what the verandah was all about. From what we could gather from the dates, it was opened in 1690 and closed in 1815. No idea where they have buried the lairds of the clan since 1815. There was no Kincaid name on the outside of the tomb but there was the Kincaid coat of arms on the front – very worn down by the weather though.

The rest of the grave yard was very old and over grown. It didn’t look like anyone had been laid to rest there since about the 1830’s.

Back down the road to a lookout which we were told gave you a great view of what had been the Kincaid lands. It was very lush and you could imagine in the early times the farming that went on there. You won’t be able to see it in the photo but there is the ruins of the Lennox/Kincaid castle which sadly is in such a bad state of repairs that it is unsafe to visit it. It was used for many years as an asylum, maternity hospital, education center and finally abandoned in the early 2000’s. Then of course came the obligatory fire which did most of the damage.

Our final port of call was Kincaid House Hotel in the village of Milton of Campsie.

There have been many renditions of Kincaid House. Although records show that a substantial part of the present building was reconstructed around 1812, its oldest part dates from 1690 and there is evidence of a house being on the site as far back as the 12th century. The date of 1690 ties back to the mausoleum.

Currently it is a hotel along with a wedding venue. Out the back it had a great sun lounge where we decided that we would partake in an evening meal.

We found the prices of the menu very palatable indeed.

So all in all, a very good day for us all. We were all very weary and poor Fraser is starting to come down with a cold, which considering he has traversed three continents in a two month period, is not surprising.

2 thoughts on “Return to the Wheel – 27th May 2022

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