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Re: Castle at the Cross

Dear John and Michael;
"THe Sinclair Castle" at the cross Nova Scotia needs to be
introduced to some of our clan. For Sinclairs that are
interested in the Sinclair expedition this site is initially
mentioned in Michael Bradley's book Holy Grail Across the
Atlantic, Honslow Press 1988. In this book it was put
forward that there was a settlement created which became the
Castle at the Cross in the middle of Nova Scotia by Henry
Sinclair and the site has received some mention in his other
books and other writings of the expedition.

I visited the site which is on private lands in 1996 and
there is little evidence remaining of any edifices but what
what there was became certainly significant. I saw physical
remains of a well, and stone foundations that were certainly
old. It was not a castle in the sense that we would think of
castles. Anything built and referred to as a castle in 1398
or so referred to more correctly to a building or buildings
that could be fortified but really used as habitation. There
may have been a buildings that were constructed but from eye
level one did not see a huge area being involved. However in
my uneducated eye it was very old, located on a height of
land and in the middle of Nova Scotia between the Bay of
Fundy and the Atlantic. It was a logical site for an old
habitation and certainly far removed from water access. That
sid some backyard digging had occurred. I had the
opportunity to write the owner and speak to them with the
following advice;
First that the site should be closed and left as is until
experts could be found to properly conduct an examination. I
further urged that while the site was interesting and
controversial (there are many skeptics) it should receive
proper designation as an historical site. Again the property
is on private lands and no site preservation was undertaken
from day one. To make matters worse there was speculation as
how to make money from the site and should anything be of
historical interest then the worst one could do would be to
commercialize it with no evidence of what existed. I would
add that the Government of Nova Scotia is not only short
sited on historical matters but when it came to historical
preservation it was grossly negligent. I only hope the site
is "preserved" and not dug up until a proper archeological
study can be made. The lead of Clan Sinclair in Nova Scotia
may have some more insights.

I also have no insight whether the site is still rapidly
found. It was known to locals and was the very dickens to
find from any published material and it was not on the
historical sites being stuck in the middle of nowhere. If
you are interested in the NS Sinclair Historical tour you
may want to check out another travesty to historical
preservation, Oak Island. While I have satisfied myself that
Henry Sinclair did not bury any treasure there this site is
one of the most significant mysteries on the eastern
seaboard and should have been preserved from an historical
perspective, and again the people of Nova Scotia and their
government let that site get destroyed too with no care or
preservation of artifacts no study of any kind and a
terrible treasure hunt that turned up nothing. What I did
leave this site with is a curiosity as to how Red Oaks came
into the region. Planted from 1398? Again no studies and
hence only books of speculation.

If anyone is following the History in Nova Scotia this
summer a couple of spots are interesting and worth visiting.
Louisburg has plaques suggesting that Prince Henry landed
there, and the cannon mentioned in Sinclairs book are there
mostly replicated but they did exist. Of most historical
interest is that the Basques had been visiting Nova Scotia
well before 1400 for the Fish and the Grand Banks. I would
not be surprised if others did as well. This area as a
fishing destination was not a surprise to every European. By
the way of interest, Guysbouough NS has also laid some plans
for significant celebrations and the most recent published
history of Nova Scotia by Lesley Choyce does mention the
Henry expedition as historical fact.

Hope this helps. Because this network runs on shared
information is it helpful for all of us, if some background
is put forward when making an inquiry so we may all be
educated at the same time.
Keep up the fine work, it is a most interesting
communication network of clansmen.
Neil Sinclair, Toronto
Descendant of Argyll Scotland

Michael Pincus wrote:

> Michael Pincus responds:
> Please fill me in. Is there a sight here I missed?
> Thank you, MSP
> John Duguid wrote:
> >
> > Does anyone out there have any recent information on the
> Sinclair "Castle at
> > the Cross" in Nova Scotia. The last I heard there was
> talk of carrying out some
> > excavations to ascertain whether or not the structure
> could be dated to the
> > visit of Prince Henry in 1398.
> >
> > John Duguid