the disemboweled judge

The clan Morrison was strong on the Isle of Lewis, mainly in the area around Ness and Barvas. They held the hereditary office of brieve, meaning they were the judges in the area; a station of absolute power but not always absolute integrity. One John Morrison, brieve of Lewis, had come to the conclusion that... Continue Reading →

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smoked out

smoked out One day, long in the past, sometime between the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, the Morrisons of Ness were resting in the mighty Dun Carloway, cattle grazing peacefully outside. It was summer and the days were long, birdsong filled the air. But peace was evanescent and this was... 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 →

The Fife Adventurers

Towards the end of  the 16th century, the Isle of Lewis was a wild, unruly, unhealthy and recalcitrant place. At least according to its King, James VI. It might have been quite a few of these things but educating his people was not what was really on the King’s mind when he took measures to... 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 →

brawl over a dead child’s body

Carriden Old Churchyard The mansion-house of Carriden is the principal seat in the parish of Carriden. It sits on the high bank above the shore overlooking the Firth and Royal Dunfermline, the ancient capital of Scotland. Carriden House is a private property, erected about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Like many mansions it came... Continue Reading →

morthouse, bell and pelican

morthouse A morthouse (the name implies it) houses the dead, but only for a short period of time. In the days of body-snatcher and resurrectionists (19th century) who would dig up freshly buried courses to sell them for good profit to surgeons for clinical studies, they were a means of protecting the dead. They were... Continue Reading →

light on untouched graves

  This graveyard is a very peaceful one, snuggling between the river and the old town of Callander, the Parish church is long gone. But there is a small building in the old graveyard wall, that tells a gruesome story. Not by day but by night. Callander old kirkyard once was haunted by very creepy... Continue Reading →

a pale white hand that started bleeding

Edzell is a quaint wee village, its graveyards peaceful and pretty, but appearance can be deceiving, especially here in Edzell. For a start, the village Edzell is not really the village Edzell at all. Edzell was lost during the centuries and the Georgian planned town of today, was originally called Slateford. It took the name... Continue Reading →

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