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 →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

trysts and leylines

History Albeit feeling rather small, Crieff is one of the largest towns in Perthshire. The dominating force behind the settlement were the Earls of Perth. The Earl being traditionally the chief of clan Drummond, therefore Crieff was known as Drummond in the 17th century.  After having been destroyed in 1716 by Jacobites fighting at Sheriffmuir... Continue Reading →

guardian of the realm

In days without a king or during a royal minority, a guardian was elected to lead nobles and realm. David II was born in 1329, the year his father Robert I died. A hero father who cast a long shadow. David was too young to rule and it proved too dangerous for him to remain... Continue Reading →

Jacobite hideout

Mill Street Old Burial Ground, Ullapool The burial ground in Ullapool’s Mill Street is called old but it is in fact fairly new. Ullapool is fairly new, it was designed and constructed in the late 18th century. This is a burial ground and not a graveyard or kirkyard, where the burial place is part of... Continue Reading →

Jacobite weapons and a vanished island

Dunlichity is a Parish church. There was an older building dating back to the 16th century but the faithful have worshipped here for much longer. The close-by loch and its fishing right belonged to the church. It is called Loch a’Chlachain, the lake of the church. Very still with a very remote feel to it,... Continue Reading →

executed in the graveyard

In the days after Culloden the roads were full of refugees and the makeshift prisons full of Jacobites. More than three thousand were recorded, not just men, women and children as well. Not all of them had been fighting of course, some had just been a bit too sympathetic with the cause of Charles Edward... Continue Reading →

the warrior chief

From the first Viking raids right up to the middle of the 17th century Gairloch was nothing but a big battlefield.  First the Norsemen against then Scots, then the Mackenzies, the McLeod, and the MacDonalds among each other, fighting for power and ownership,  retaliating attacks, avenging murders, killing rivals. Many died a brutal death here.... Continue Reading →

bullets, burnings and bread

There are three holes in the gravestone of Donald Fraser of Erchite, remains of a funeral that ended in a shooting, the holes are the marks the bullets left. It must have been the second half of the year 1745. The tragic battle of Culloden had left its mark on Scotland and indeed the area... Continue Reading →

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