Mildred M. Tassone
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Wild Eyed Southern Celt
The chess pieces consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks. They were probably made in Norway, about AD 1150-1200. At this period, the Western Isles, where the chessmen were buried, were part of the Kingdom of Norway, not Scotland. It seems likely they were buried for safe keeping on route to be traded in Ireland.
Scotland Rising Neidpath Castle is an L-plan rubble-built tower house, overlooking the River Tweed about 1 mile west of Peebles in the Borders of Scotland. An early castle was probably founded here by Sir Gilbert Fraser about 1190. He already owned Oliver and Fruid Castles on the upper reaches of the Tweed.