finding graveyards in Lochaber

ve often benefitted from references in old guidebooks from the 18th and 19th century, especially when it comes to disused graveyards and burial grounds, but that approach can be problematic as well, since the topography has obviously changed considerably in many areas in the last 300 years.

Murlaggan’s gold

There’s not much left of the ancient graveyard, a few stones possibly marker stones in the past, an overgrown stone wall that could have been an enclosure for graves or for sheep, a giant ash tree bearing the sign: And of course, there is the cairn, erected by Canadian descendants of the MacMillans that once live here and emigrated to Canada after the disastrous defeat at Culloden in 1746.

You have murdered your Prince!

Glenmoriston has seen many tragic events during the course of history but the most memorable is the heroic death of Roderick Mackenzie in 1746. His grave is right at the roadside (A87) not far away from Dalreichart burial ground on the other side of Caochan a' Cheannaich, the river that was named after Roderick Mackenzie,... Continue Reading →

two tunes for two graveyards

never come. There are two graveyards here on opposite sides of the sea Loch, just a few miles apart as the crow flies, the land route takes longer. They have each their very distinct tradition and a very distinct tune being played at funerals.

killed by his own clan

This is a beautiful story of family, power and death and as so many Scottish clan stories, it does not come with a happy ending. the young pretender There was once a young man, the youngest son of Allan MacDonald, 4th Chief of Clanranald, who died in 1505. His name was Ranald and he was... Continue Reading →

the chieftain Hitler wanted dead

St Mary'c chapel was built by Lord Lovat, chief of the clan Fraser, in the early 19th century and is currently being restored. Normally mass is held once a month. Many of the old unusually shaped gravestones in the kirkyard are decorated with fleur de lys crosses, a pattern not very common in the Highlands.... Continue Reading →

one last handshake for the king

The Chisholms came from France originally, as did many nobles in the past; the Normans first settled in the Borders and only later moved to the Beauly area. By marriage of Alexander de Chisholme to Margaret, Lady of Erchless, Erchless castle (now a private property) became the ancestral home of the clan, its chieftains were... Continue Reading →

The Kiltarlity emigrants

In the middle of the 19th century Scots were emigrating in large numbers to what is now Canada. In the early 19th century numbers were considerably smaller and the reasons for leaving were different. In the latter half of the 19th century poor and destitute Highlanders were forced out by the notorious Clearances; the earlier... Continue Reading →

Kilmorack’s Jacobites

Few graveyards in the Scottish Highlands have rebel graves of the 1745 uprising to visit; for obvious reasons, most of the men killed in the disastrous Battle of Culloden were buried on the battlefield. Rarely were there graves in the home Parish to be visited by the relatives, by mothers, sisters, aunts, by fathers, brothers... Continue Reading →

the witch’s grave

The River Moriston is peaceful and idyllic, it can be icy in winter and angry during a flood but it is tame these days. However, deaths have occured here and men have drowned in the river. Local tradition says, twenty men drowned in a rock pool some time long ago. The place is not to... Continue Reading →

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