Intriguing Sights No.1

To celebrate the new year, I thought I’d start a series on Intriguing Sights – things that, for some reason or other, have grabbed my attention when out and about.

Intriguing Sight No.1 is a postbox, and I expect other postboxes will pop up in due course because they often take my fancy.

Intriguing Postbox No.1

One of the strange things about this postbox is that it has a little door next to it. I opened the door to see if it led to the inside of the postbox, but no, behind the door lies a small enclosed cubby hole – dark, dank and littered with feathers, rubbish and the like. As you can see, it has a somewhat elaborate hinge and closing mechanism, but I couldn’t get it to shut tight.

I can only imagine that the cubby hole is there to accommodate parcels or letters too big for the postbox mouth, although the fact that the door doesn’t close properly makes me wonder if anyone would dare to leave a parcel in there. If parcels or large letters are seldom left in the cubby hole, does the postie collecting the mail from this box always check it? I think the only way to find out would be to conceal myself in nearby undergrowth around the time of collection and observe what goes on.

Another curious thing about this postbox is its location, down at ground level next to a quiet junction in the peaceful Angus countryside:

Junction next to Intriguing Postbox No.1

In the above picture a signpost points to Balintore.

If you go up that road you’ll find what could certainly be described as another Intriguing Sight, and which should probably have its own post. I feel sure I’ve taken photographs of it before but I can’t find them, so I’ve found a splendid one online instead (below).

This spooky pile is called Balintore Castle and it was built as a sporting lodge in the mid 1800s. It was abandoned by its then owners in the 1960s, with dry rot and a crumbling structure, and lay empty for about 40 years, until Angus Council bought it. It is currently under restoration by a chap called David, who’s doing it up in a long and no doubt exceptionally trying effort to get it back into use as a dwelling place. (If you click on his name you’ll be taken to the blog he’s writing about his progress.)

image by ClanUrbex on Flickr

image by ClanUrbex on Flickr

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Categories: Angus, Architecture, Balintore, Intriguing Sights, Photography, Postboxes, Scotland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

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49 thoughts on “Intriguing Sights No.1

  1. Wonderful post! Thanks for sending me to David’s blog. Just love that postbox photo. Didn’t realize how small it was until I saw the next photo with the signs. Have a great new year and thanks for sharing-Sandi

    • Thank you Sandi, isn’t it odd to have the postbox at such a low level? I can’t help wondering how many small animals have crawled inside it over the years. Have a great new year yourself! :-)

  2. strawberryquicksand

    Yes that is a rather intriuging sight, isn’t it. That little door would have me interested, too!

    • Most curious, I really would like to know why it’s there.

      • strawberryquicksand

        Haha maybe it is a way to get to wonderland if there is a full moon. lol

        • You know, I hadn’t thought of that, you could be right. Perhaps I ought to try getting inside it on a moonlit night. Trouble is, what if I can’t find the way back? Always a quandary, that, when considering slipping down rabbit holes and the like.

  3. That is the quintessential castle!! I’m glad that it is being restored, but my goodness – what a task! Hope the Angus Council has deep coffers!

    • It’s a bit of a classic castle look, isn’t it? I think this chap David now owns it, he must have bought it from the Council, at least that’s what I gather from explanation on Wikipedia. I’ve peered in the windows and it is an enormous task, I hate to think of the costs involved, not to mention the sheer difficulty of the restoration.

  4. S Joe

    I believe this is the first time you are posting about intriguing place and I must say u nailed it perfectly. Love the postbox photo… I love post boxes.

    • You’re quite right Sukirtha, this is the first such post. I’m glad you like postboxes too, I hope to have more as the year goes on.

  5. Lovely. You’ve got me looking up the history of post boxes! I can’t imagine how much work will go into restoring that castle, but that’s a great blog to follow.

    • How marvellous Marian! Postboxes are fascinating things, a nice brightl red (in this country, at least) and full of envelopes. Splendid! What that chap is doing with the castle is quite mind boggling, it’s an enormous task.

  6. That certainly is an intriguing place…wonder who gets their mail from that postbox and how far they have to come to pick it up? Lends itself to all kinds of questions…love your post and photo! Also the castle, quite an effort to restore, will check out David’s site.

    • Well, it’s odd isn’t it? Maybe people do collect from there, I was thinking it was a delivery place, somewhere you’d put mail you wanted to send, but perhaps it works both ways, I’ve no idea. Most curious. The castle is worth checking out, I should really do a proper post about it some time.

  7. I’m going to ask my husband he’s full of knowledge about just this kind of thing! BTW I have put your blog on my 1st blog list, which I’m doing in place of awards, posted today. I really enjoy reading your posts thank you.

  8. Very intriguing indeed. I love that little post box in the middle of which looks like nowhere! How quaint it is, built into a rock with that little door. Truly it looks no higher than my knee, but I think the sign must engulf it to look smaller than it really is.

    I’ll look forward to seeing the castle restored further down the track, it’s a thing of beauty no less :)

    • It really is very low down, although you may be right about the sign exaggerating it, but the fact that it looks so small and low was what drew my attention to it.

      The castle project is a staggering thing, such a lot of work to do but wonderful that it’s being preserved. I’ll have to go and have another look at it later in the year and take some pictures.

  9. love the postbox story! brilliant! please keep writing about these interesting sights. postboxes are so yesterday and I just think they are terrific. the side box with the door is very interesting and has got me thinking. love the pictures too!

    • Such encouragement Alison, thank you! :-) You’re right, postboxes are old-fashioned, which is perhaps why I like them so much, they are something old and solidly British in this fast paced world I struggle to keep up with.

  10. A very happy 2013 to you Lorna! That is an intriguing sight, and what a fantastic idea for a series. I look forward to more!

    • Thank you Christine, I hope to provide a few more in due course. There are a lot of strange sights about, as you know yourself from your own posts about such things. It’s an intriguing world we live in, and no mistake.

  11. I’m wracking my brains now for an intriguing sight! I’m sure I must have one or two. Happy New Year to you, Lorna.

    • Thank you Jo, I was beginning to feel the pressure myself, but there are definitely plenty out there and I expect they’ll pop out at you when you least expect it.

  12. Happy new year Lorna, what a curious sight. It looks like it could have been part of a building, which has disappeared! Ax

    • Thank you Anne, I hadn’t thought of that but perhaps that’s the answer. Why would the postbox be so low down in the building though? Most odd.

  13. This is going to be a fun series :) I enjoy your pictures so much and I have a feeling you have some interesting ones you’ll be sharing. You’re a good detective too!

    • Ah Meg, thank you, you’ve said what I always wanted to hear! In my teens I wanted to be a detective, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d be much better as the bumbling sidekick than the clever one who works things out. I’d happily take that post though. :-)

  14. Post boxes are interesting, Lorna. There used to be one similar built onto a wall at Corriemulzie near Braemar, but a convenient height off the ground. I suggest this one was built onto a wall higher up when it was in use.
    You may not know but many mailboxes in Scotland were blown up by Nationalists in the early Fifties as they carried the English Crown and Q E II.

    Queen Elizabeth II of England she may be; but NOT of Scotland or of any Commonwealth countries.
    She is Queen Elizabeth I to these! (The first Elizabeth was called Black Bess in school,—- she hanged her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots)
    Have a look at the insignia on our Mail vans. Ours carry the Scottish Crown (the oldest Crown Jewels in Europe) and South of the Border they carry the English crown.
    All interesting stuff!

    • I didn’t know about the blowing up of postboxes, Davey, thank you for the information. I didn’t know about the difference in the crown insignias either, I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. I have noticed that there are a number of postbox designs from different periods, but there’s obviously much I need to learn!

  15. What a gutsy guy to take on the restoration of this building. I have subscribed to his blog as it will be a long on-going project and I look forward to following his progress.
    Love your letterbox picture. We have some really weird RMBs (road side mail boxes) in Australia.

  16. I love both intriguing sights! Both could be used in a story for sure or could even be the basis of a story. My imagination is running wild. Just think of the adventure Amanda could have at Balintore Castle. She really must visit there. I look forwrad to more intriguing sights.

    • You’re so right Darlene, I didn’t even consider the story potential of this but Amanda could have amazing adventures at Balintore. I need to work on my powers of imagination, I worry that I’m too fact-oriented to make a decent novelist.

  17. Post boxes are so often intriguing. I like playing “spot the post box” in other countries where they come in so many different shapes and sizes.

    • I’m nodding in agreement here Lou, I also like to spot postboxes in other countries, the variety of colour and shape is most interesting.

  18. Amazing photos! I dream of living in a place like this :) The area is just gorgeous!

    • Thank you Katie, it is a nice area, much quieter than the more well known bits of Scotland, although less dramatic in terms of scenery.

  19. That is a very intriguing sight! Perhaps it is the only remaining part of a very old building that was demolished? But that doesn’t explain the cubby hole! And Balintore Castle looks as if it is a Gothic novel waiting to be written! Looking forward to more of your posts on this theme!

    • It’s strange isn’t it, if it was part of an old building, why is the postbox so near to the ground, was it always like that or did they just keep a lump of building with the postbox in it and plonk it there? Also, as you say, why the cubby hole? Balintore Castle could definitely be the setting for a Gothic novel, particularly in that most atmospheric picture of it. I must admit, I do find it quite creepy.

  20. What could that cupboard be for? It looks like a different era to the post box, Puzzling indeed!

    Happy New Year Lorna.

  21. That postbox is just awesome!

  22. Novelists need to be fact-oriented as well. We need to use both sides of our brain. It is a tricky balance. I find photographs stimulate the logic and the creative.

    • Thank you Darlene, I have much to work on, and I appreciate any advice you care to fling my way, I’ll certainly bear your comment in mind.

  23. Intriguing sight, indeed. I love that odd little post box with the mystery door next to it. Surely it must be a magical mailbox for all the local wee folk. :0)

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