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Ackergill Tower

"Winter Light on Ackergill Tower" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm

Scotland has many examples of tower houses, dating from medieval times to the 17th Century. They consist of tall, tower-shaped structures, with thick stone walls and small doors and windows. Surrounding the tower there would have been wooden service buildings and maybe a curtain wall or stockade. They were the strongholds of clan chieftains and local warlords at a time when parts of Scotland were fairly lawless.

Ackergill Tower seems a bit unusual to me in that it stands in an area of flat land next to the sea. Usually tower houses were built on rocky promontories or on higher ground. Perhaps the surrounding land was marshy at one time, which would make approach more difficult.
Even if it wasn't good for defence, it is ideal for the present hotel, which stands at the end of two miles of sandy beach, with a view out across the bay. 


  1. Unbelievable what a sight, and what a watercolour, ... Splendid! The subdued colours, the composition the sky, the soft and hard edges everything's just right.


  2. Good Morning Keith!... This one is the crowning jewel on the Tilley crwn Keith!

    Everything that makes a watercolour fine... is present in this one! Warmth... mood... flawless design and composition... perfect execution in the tradition of fine English transparent watercolour tradition!


    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. The colours are beautiful, Keith. I hope that, in its new life as a hotel, the tower will continue to retain the air of mystery and even foreboding, which seems to be so much part of your painting.

    1. Thanks Diane. The tower is such a solid and dominant structure that it still retains its character outside. However the luxury of an exclusive hotel must have softened the interior a lot.

  4. Keith, this is a wonderful painting and possibly your best yet. Your sky is masterful and I love the way you used the sun trying to break through to highlight the Tower, reinforcing it's dominance over the landscape. You've created a great sense of distance with the other buildings and the loose brushstrokes in the foreground have created a marvellous rocky beach. Yes, definitely one of your best and certainly one of my favourites.

  5. Thanks John, I'm glad you like it.

  6. Keith, I have not visited your blog in a while, and am loving all of your skies. So nice to look at your paintings again.


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