Keeps and Castles
The Tower of Glim
The Tower of Glim was the only castle ever sunk by a submarine.
A Scottish towerhouse in the Outer Hebrides, it was the ancient stronghold of Clan Liarmid, a notorious bunch of reavers and wreckers. Until 1918, that is, when a German U-boat cruising the Irish Sea mistook the turrets for the superstructure of a freighter, launched a couple of torpedos, and blew the tower and its lone inhabitant into the sea.
The whole story can be found in Ian Weekley’s fine book BUILDINGS FOR THE MILITARY MODELER: DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (B.T. Batsford, 1989) That’s where I first read about the tower and saw Weekley’s small scale model of same, which prompted me to commission this larger-scale version from his successor, James Main of Battlements.
The biggest castle in my collection (so far) is this monster, which I found on ebay a few years back. Dating from the 1930s, it was built for Macy’s department store in New York City as part of one of their lavish Christmas window displays. It is made of wood, wire, and plaster, and was originally designed to light up; burned out lightbulbs and very old wiring can still be found in some of the towers. The scale is actually a bit small for my 54mm figures (40mm Elastolins and Mertens might work better), but the overall size of the castle is impressive. You’re only seeing half of it in the picture. There’s another whole piece, half of the size of this one; a mountainside that slopes down from the drawbridge to the ground, with a little Swiss chalet near the bottom. A unique item. If only I could find some place to put it…