the witches of Dirleton

Dirleton can claim to be one of the most beautiful villages in Scotland, and in fact, visiting this wee beauty you might start to wonder how you ended up in a Scottish episode of Midsomer Murders. Gardens are blooming everywhere, little houses are well-kept and people live happily ever after. Murders exist on TV only, in Midsomer Somewhere. Think again again, Dirleton has murder connections of its own....

Black Agnes – the Silky Defendress

Agnes was the daughter of a great father who had fought with King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, and in the following decades, continued to make military forays into England. He was a hero. After Bruce’s death, he was Regent of Scotland for a while.

Like her father, Agnes’s husband was in constant combat against the English. If he was on one of his military forays, then it was up to Agnes to manage the castle, and if necessary, to defend it. She was put to the test in 1338, when an English army under the command of the Earl of Salisbury approached, trying to take castle. A castle in which there were hardly any men left, just women and children.

Funny Scottish epitaphs – the mason

headstone of James Humphrey (1755 - 1844) Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes' O Death, It's my opinion, Thou ne'er took such bleth'ran bitch Into thy dark dominian. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Edinburgh, Chambers, 1990

the Abernethy mysteries

cross-shaped gravestone in Abernethy graveyard Considering the abundance of historical graveyards in Scotland, Abernethy does not seem of utmost importance at first sight. But, as you might know yourself, looks might be deceiving and Abernethy is indeed an exceptional graveyard. Not so much because of its headstones or famous people buried there but because of... Continue Reading →

clan burial customs

MacSorlie graveyard Glen Nevis MacSorlie graveyard in Glen Nevis A Scottish clan is a group of people wo believe they share the same ancestor. A clan is far more than family. In the Highlands they were a political unit as well, a source of support and defence. A sept or a branch, however, is somthing... Continue Reading →

Bane, bone and stone

This is a graveyard well worth visiting, because of the view of the Sound of Gigha, because of the abundance of beautiful old headstones and because this is an ancient place of worship, established 800 years ago in 1222. A few years later Alexander II gave it to the bishoprick of Argyll.

the horrors of Lindores Abbey

Lindores Abbey is now not more than a few crumbling walls. However, signs within the romantic ruin point to a darker past. Many a death has occurred here. Many bodies were take to this place. This was once a graveyard to the rich, the famous and the ill-fated. These are the horrors of Lindores Abbey.

keys to the graves

It is not unusual, to find a Scottish graveyard locked up overnight, especially in city centres. Too much damage and destruction has happened in the past and is still happening today. Vandals causing even more grief for the families of the deceased by damaging ground and headstones alike. Drug and alcohol use are also frequent problems on graveyards in urban environments. Historical churchyards are often locked by the councils and taphophiles will often try in vain to gain access. Locking them up of course often seems feasible, after all, there is no need to visit a churchyard for example at night.

Funny Scottish Epitaphs – the carpenter

William Fettes the Carpenter, Montrose, 1809 The handicraft that lieth here For on the death truth should appear Part of his bier his own hands made and in the same his body is laid. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Edinburgh, Chambers, 1990

Dunino’s pagan past

Dunino church is ancient and has been an ancient place of worship. In the long past days of old Celtic faith, a stone circle marked forgotten rites. It was, as have been many Celtic customs, incorporated into the church. But there are more traces of the past to be found here and more intriguing ones at that.

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