Bruce’s dead heir

Restenneth’s impressive tower adds grandeur to the modest simplicity of the structure that albeit many additons still feels very much 12th century. It is certainly one of the oldest churches in Scotland. The Picts Angus is the heart of the land of the Picts. If you know where to look, you’ll find their traces everywhere.... Continue Reading →

the mutineers‘ end

Tolsta marks the end of an unhappy journey. Francois Gautiez an French cook and the English mate Peter Heaman were on board of the ship Jane, commanded by Thomas Johnson. The Jane of Gibraltar was heading for Bahia de Brazil and among the many things she was carrying were also Spanish silver Dollars, a considerable... Continue Reading →

a hero’s graveyard

Zecharia’s Cemetery (Cill Sgàire) in Bragar, Isle of Lewis Zechariah or Zacharay Macaulay’s father was the Chamberlain of Lewis and owned the land around Valtos, Kneep and Reef. Zachary lived in the first part of the 18th century. He grew up to be a hero and well remembered in the oral tradition of Lewis. The... Continue Reading →

no space by her husband’s grave

St John’s chapel lies in ruins. The 15th century chapel in the Bragar cemetery stands on a much older site of which nothing can be seen any longer, it was a prehistoric settlement mount. This cemetery has a peculiar atmosphere, the many marker stones give it an overcrowded feel, and it certainly is that, crowded.... Continue Reading →

Knott funny

funny Scottish epitaphs - Mr Knott from Perth Here lies a man who was Knott born; His father was Knott before him. He lived Knott, and he did Knott die, Yet underneath this stone doth lie. Knott christened, Knott begot. And here he lies, and yet was Knott. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990  

graveless murder victims

Uig is the southwestern part of the Isle of Lewis. Before the Clearances it was well populated, hardly anything of the settlements is left. Mealasta’s ruins at the end of the road remain unvisited by the tourist crowd. There’s not much to be seen but a few old walls. But these walls tell a story.... Continue Reading →

the aftermath

Crosbost cemetery, Isle of Lewis The morning of the first day of the year 1919 dawned but despite the light the day was as dark as a day could be for the islanders. Lewis was in shock, the death toll after the sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men... Continue Reading →

graves of a lost generation

The HMY Iolaire disasterHow can tragedy be grasped and described in all its horror? It is war and that affects people in all areas of their lives. The men are away fighting, none are left on the island of Lewis but the old and the young. Women struggle, they wait and they fear. Then it's... Continue Reading →

death on the beach

Luskentyre (Losgaintir in Gaelic) is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Western Isles; it certainly is one of the most spectacular ones with a haunting beauty, endless white sand and sparkling emerald water. What a place to bury the dead! Burying near a beach is standard practice on the Island of... Continue Reading →

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