Strathpeffer was a flourishing hot spot in the Victorian era. It was fashionable to visit the Spa, to listen to concerts, to watch and be seen. The town was buzzing in summer.
Quite apart from the throbbing town life of Strathpeffer lies Kinettas graveyard, an old burial ground on the fringe of town. There must have been a church here at one time, but no traces remain. It was probably one of the Culdee order, an old Celtic order, that slowly disappeared as orders from the continent were introduced into Scotland. However, there is no documentation to prove that theory.
The graveyard is still in use, has been for centuries.
It is quiet among graves and snowdrops drink in the weak January sunshine. Did the Victorians turn up here during their summer visits to picknick? A past time many enjoyed, as strange as it may seem today.
Or did they just wander among the graves as we do today to ponder about life and admire the snowdrops? Just as Candlemas was approaching, the first flower to appear after the snow war the snow white snow drop.
The Fair Maid of February loves shaded places, woods and graveyards, spreading out like a white carpet among the fresh green.
The Victorians believed the flower to be an omen of death. Stay away from it, don’t bring it into the house. There is reason connected to that superstition, snowdrop bulbs are poisonous.
For most, a snow drop symbolizes purity and simplicity. No wonder. The name Galanthus Nivalis combines the three meanings milk, flower, and snow.
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Scotland for Quiet Moments is available on Amazon!
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.
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