Sometimes Scotland in all the glory of her tradition, misleads those who tend to romantic views. Not everything is as it seems at first sight, so beware of clichés. Sometimes Tartan is noching but a square pattern and behind what seems to be intrinsically Scottish, lies an English background.
Upper Knockando graveyard is not as old as it may sound but far older than the church itself which was built in the 1990s. There stood an older building here among the graves but that was destroyed by fire. The round white tower is a striking feature of the modern building and has an intriguingly Pictish feel to it, like a modern quote of an ancient tribe.
Knockando – to most Scotland lovers known because of the Whisky of the same name, an icon of Scottishness. Knockando, Gaelic for dark or black hill. The distillery founded in 1898. It is old, it has a Gaelic name, produced in Moray, Scotland. But owned by an international company called Diageo, company seat is London. Diageo owns many a great name in alcoholic beverages: Guinness, Kilkenny, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Pimm’s, Baileys, Gordon’s Gin. Lagavulin, Taliske, Royal Lochnagar, Singleton of Dufftown.
Traditional names with international appeal, not Scottish, but it is the Scottishness that sells the product.
Knockando graveyard, church, and distillery in Moray, all old but with a modern twist.
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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.
Scotland for Quiet Moments is available as ebook and paperback on Amazon.