Chapel of Sand

Chapel of Sand or chapel of Sand of Udrigil, is an almost forgotten but somehow mystic place in Torridon, tucked away between a caravan park, a river, and the sea, close to the village of Laide.

In the 18th century the chapel was still in use, then worship came to an end at the chapel of Sand. It deteriorated ever since and now long, strong metal braces are needed to hold the crumbling stone walls together.

Who built the chapel is a matter of debate. Local lore insists Saint Columba founded one of his churches on this very spot, wich would date the chapel’s history if not the actual building back to the 6th century. The ruin is medieval and repairs were undertaken by George Mackenzie of Gruinard before the first Jacobite rising, probably around 1713. The Mackenzies supported the Jacobite cause.

The graveyard though is still in use, the sea and the ruined chapel give it a rather romantic appeal, especially on a dark and dreary day.

Rather sad is the small burial enclosure with a single gravestone. It comemorates William J. Tattersall, seven-year-old son of the factor of Laid who drowned. The gravestone does not look out towards the sea but is set as far away as possible within the graveyard from the deadly water of February 26, 1866

Liked the read? There’s more here...

Scotland is a country full of history, stories and secrets. Often, the three cannot be separated. That is what makes this country so wonderful and unique. The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for Erkenbach’s blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years. 

Her main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share the author’s passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.

The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.

sources and further reading

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