3 headstones

The Hart Stone The Hart Stone is a heartbreaking testimony to the harsh and often deadly conditions in the time of the Jacobite Rising in Scotland. Romantically portrayed in Diana Gabbaldon’s novels and Outlander, but these times were not easy to survive in, especially when there was no nurse from the future attending the sick.... Continue Reading →

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former glory

Former glory, a term often applied to buildings, to countries, to people and it is hardly less appropriately used for graveyards. Where else to ponder about former glory but on a graveyard on a dreich day, the very place that changes things and signifies the end to almost everything. Bo’ness’s original name is Borrowstouness but... Continue Reading →

and the sea gave up the dead

Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard has a number of very interesting gravestones, interesting for various reasons but there is one that conjures amazing images, smells and sounds of a far away world; it tells of travel, adventures and discoveries. The gravestone of James Muir. Richly decorated stones can be admired throughout the... Continue Reading →

brothers in arms

grave of William Wallace’s faithful friend Sir John de Graeme Mente manuque potens et Vallae fidus Achates, Conditur hic Gramus, bello interfectus ab Anglis. 22. Julii anno 1298 Here lies Graham, strong alike in head and hand. The faithlful friend of Wallace. He was slain in battle by the English, 22nd July 1298. William Wallace... Continue Reading →

chosen isolation

Isolation – the absence of others. A state of mind and body very much sought after by the early Christians. This was not the (splendid) isolation of the 19th century. This was the decision to live as a hermit, a recluse, a man alone with his faith and God. Nothing splendid about that.  Muthill was one... Continue Reading →

the forgotten war

When at the end of the Second World War the United States of America and the Russian Federation divided the Japanese occupied Korea into North and South, the conflict was by no means at an end. North Korea, with the authorisation of Josef Stalin, invaded South Korea to bring the south under communist rule. The... Continue Reading →

for the devil to hide

Scotland has a few round and a few octagonal churches. The thought behind both unusual forms is the same: in a building without corners, the devil has nowhere to hide. It could of course also have practical or aesthetic reasons but the old myth of the devil hiding in corners is very much alive in... Continue Reading →

death and old age

  Killin Old Kirkyard is not in use anymore, the last burial took place in March 1994. Then the graveyard was closed; no more bodies to be interred here. On the banks of the River Lochy, behind the Killin Hotel, Killin graveyard is entered through an old gate. Sometimes hotel staff sneak out here for... Continue Reading →

deadly woman

This is an old and bloody story, told among the people of Brig o’ Turk about a brave Scottish woman fighting an English soldier. The woman was one Ellen Stewart or Stuart, and she defended herself and the other women of the glen in a true Highlands way. Ellen Stewart’s great grandson, who lived in Brig... Continue Reading →

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