About this artwork

Borthwick Castle was built in 1430 by Sir William Borthwick. Today it is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland. It was built as a double tower, with walls twenty-feet thick at the base to protect it from attack. Even after Oliver Cromwell’s bombardment by cannon in 1650, the castle has remained relatively undamaged. However, by the time this photograph was taken in the mid-nineteenth century, the outer wall and defensive towers, visible in the foreground, are ruins. Later in the nineteenth century the castle was restored.

William Donaldson Clark

William Donaldson Clark

William Donaldson Clark was a wealthy cotton cloth printer who used his knowledge of chemistry in his practice as an amateur photographer. He employed the dry collodion process which made outdoor work more practical. Although it required exposure times of up to a quarter of an hour, the technique resulted in subtle effects of light and dark. Clark worked with the landscape painter, Horatio McCulloch, and his own landscape photographs have a similar sophistication. They include some remarkable views of Edinburgh. He died in 1873 when he fell from the top of a tram car travelling from Newington into the city.