I just finished beach combing for 2 days in St. Andrews, Scotland and found some incredible bits in the shadow of its castle. I love this quaint little town for so many reasons. Named for the patron saint of Scotland it is home to the oldest university in the country (and that is old) and is also the birthplace of plaid-covered golf. St.Andrews Cathedral, in ruins since the mid 1600’s, was the largest church to ever be built in Scotland and was the center of Medieval Catholicism….and it was massive! This town has been a settlement of one sort or another for thousands of years and you can see it wherever you look….the old cobble under the new cobbled streets, the hand-built stonework of the many university buildings, the ruins of the castle, the cemetery yard of the cathedral, the leaning houses and shortened doorways, clan plaid everywhere….so rich with history.
Just a little bit of history for those who want it. I never cared much for history in school, I prefer to discover it where my interest lies. Speaking of which….sea glass, right?
On the recommendation of a fellow sea glass artist I stopped at beach in the kingdom of Fife (I love saying that I was in a ‘kingdom’!). Kirkaldy, was the center of Scottish pottery in the late 1800’s so the beach is loaded with lots of tumbled shards of all sorts….I can’t wait to sort through all of it!
I had a 4 hour drive down the coast from St. Andrews down to a friend’s house in Sunderland area of northern England. This part of the UK produced glass for most of Europe during the Victorian era so finding sea glass here is common. Since I wasn’t in a hurry and the weather mostly cooperative I took the coastal route and stopped at a few towns along the way. It is safe to say that if there is a town on the coast here…it has a beach.
I am now in northern England in an area famous in the world of sea glass collectors for its ‘end-of-day’ glass….scrap glass discarded after making all sorts of things. There is such a wide variety of the colors you find and after 4 trips here, I am still blown away by the colors and pieces I find….you will see what I mean soon enough…..