The Battle of the Shirts – Blàr nan Lèintean

Shirts or Swamp Maybe 15 July 1544 was an exceptionally hot day. The heat would have been the reason why those men who fought the brutal battle here took their plaids off and continued in their shirts. These half-dressed combatants gave the battle its name: The Battle of the Shirts. Maybe. Maybe the second theory... Continue Reading →

stables and steeples

Banffshire was one of the few regions in Scotland that remained Catholic after the Reformation. This also applies to the regions of Barra, South Uist and Moidart. Today, about one eighth of the Scottish population is Catholic. In most cemeteries, the separation is not really obvious, there are some, where it is and there are... Continue Reading →

a holy well and generous offspring

One thing seems to be peculiar about places in Banffshire: they tend to change names over time. This applies to Macduff and Gardenstown as well as to Botriphnie. The name of the village is of Pictish origin (Both Draighnigh), locals still use it to denote the parish. The place itself is now called Drummuir wich... Continue Reading →

bleedy pits

It was at the beginning of the last millennium, the Danes were still threatening the Scottish coast, and the clanchiefs were busy fighting off invaders after invaders. In 1004, the Danes invaded Banffshire and were received with horror as well as courage by the locals. There were not many places along the coast where a... Continue Reading →

The rise of Keith

The reign of King Robert saw the second major division between Aberdeenshire and Banffshire and the rise of the de la Keith family. After the war and the long period of securing his power, the king owed many. In addition to the long-established nobles, new families now came to influence and wealth, lands were freshly... Continue Reading →

the murder victim’s mausoleum

Gilbert Kennedy of Bargany and Ardstinchar, the last laird of the house Kennedy of Bargany, died on 11th December 1601. He was only 25 years old. The laird died no ordinary death - he was murdered. The murderer was his cousin. The murder was part of the long-running feud between the Kennedys of Bargany and... Continue Reading →

tailor, major, and prisoner

Blackmount is a pretty and small graveyard on the border between Peeblesshire and Lanarkshire. The cemetery goes back to the late 18th century. Many stones are very old and somewhere in between these stones a man was buried who left no gravestone to remember him. He was a tailor, a major and a prisoner.  ... Continue Reading →

a hero’s graveyard

Zecharia’s Cemetery (Cill Sgàire) in Bragar, Isle of Lewis Zechariah or Zacharay Macaulay’s father was the Chamberlain of Lewis and owned the land around Valtos, Kneep and Reef. Zachary lived in the first part of the 18th century. He grew up to be a hero and well remembered in the oral tradition of Lewis. The... Continue Reading →

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