three bones taken from a grave

This a well known Gaelic love charm, mostly scribed to Blind Allan, the Glengarry bard. The translation is taken from JG Campbell. It is a recipe how to gain the love of a man and it has to be performed on a Wednesday on a broad level flagstone with a wooden shovel on your shoulders. For the love of the man you like - ach gràdh an fhir thig riut.

Victorians in Strathpeffer

Quite apart from the throbbing life of Strathpeffer lies Kinettas graveyard, an old burial ground on the fringe of town. There must have been a church here at one time, but no traces remain. It was probably one of the Culdee order, an old Celtic order that slowly disappeared as orders from the continent were introduced into Scotland. But there is no documentation to prove that theory to be correct.

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 →

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.

never green and no mondays

nd had crossed the Ord, the southern border of their country, on a Monday, it was from now on an unwritten law that no Sinclair should wear green or possess the stupidity to cross the border on a Monday.

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

brothers, lies and tartan revival

Here he lies, the alleged grandson of a king and not just any king, the famous, romantic, tragic so called Pretender - Charles Edward Stuart. This is the grave of John Sobieski Stuart also known as “The Chevalier”, both names weren’t real, you could indeed call them his stage names because he went into the... Continue Reading →

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