Sometimes when you can't find what you are looking for you end up finding something far more intriguing.  While on the hunt for an abandoned mansion in the east of Scotland, we became turned around in the woods and i ended up seeing a strange spire that did not match any photo of the mansion.  After we reached it, it appeared to be a 40 foot tower attached to an old stone wall.  Only much later would I realize its importance.

Apparently having been built in the 1400s the tower had seen many uses.  First as the dwelling for Andrew Wood, who began his naval career as a Scottish privateer under James III and later served James IV and V. Wood was known for a series of skilled naval victories against the English against long odds, and was captain of the Great Michael. The ship was the largest in Christendom at the time and built by the Scottish to use to help recapture the Holy Land.  After his death the tower became part of a mansion that was later mostly demolished.

While the house is lost to time, Wood is known as the “Admiral Nelson” of Scotland for his work building a national shipbuilding industry, his great victories and the saving of Scotland from an economic blockade.  Somehow the tower remains today, a lone spire and forgotten monument to a lost hero amidst the deep undergrowth and ivy.     


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