During the late summer, as building work has been getting going on the site of the new hospital at Little France, Cate and I went to visit its elderly neighbour, Craigmillar Castle, with two families we met at the Hospital. Peering down at the building site from its hilltop, this mediaeval castle knows a thing or two about surviving for several centuries.
We had a fascinating time exploring the Castle and talking about the similarities between the buildings -- both adorned with unicorns. But the differences were greater. The Castle's defensive location and its tiny, hidden away doorway, are designed to keep its enemies out. When it opened in 1895 at Sciennes, the Sick Kids Hospital boasted an 'ever open door'. And the new design has a wide, accessible doorway.
Staci and Grace reckon that these two buildings can be friends, despite their differences. The roofless Castle will keep a watchful eye on its young neighbour and send it occasional envoys of birds with messages.
The girls also noted the dark dungeon of the castle where prisoners were given the waste water to drink and where they would have been tantalised by the scent of bread baking in the kitchen next door. We agreed there would be no dungeons at the new hospital!