The Mason’s Mausoleum

The austere pyramid is an unusual sight and certainly an uncommon style for am mausoleum in Scotland. The reason being not an architectural fancy or fashion but the stong faith of its creator - Francis Wemyss Charteris was a Freemason The mausoleum was built between 1795 and 1798. Thomas Harrison of Lancaster assisted. It was a precicely thought through built. The look of simplicity is devceiving, there is more to it than meets the eye. Tributes have been paid to Masonic symbology, numerology and geometry. Here are just a few examples.

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.

burial place of the drowned

The sea has taken lives all around Scotland and many bodies have been washed on her shores over the centuries. This is a burial ground that takes its origin in lives lost at sea, situated closely to the dazzling and deadly blue waves of Scotland's shores.

one man on an island

Largo Parish Church Scotland has almost 20,000 kilometres of coastline and encompasses almost 800 islands, so naturally the Scots have a very special affinity to water and the sea. The sea has inspired some incredible stories of adventures, monsters and heroes. However, one of the best-known stories was told by an Englishman. Daniel Defoe wrote... 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 →

Bane, bone and stone

This is a graveyard well worth visiting, because of the view of the Sound of Gigha, because of the abundance of beautiful old headstones and because this is an ancient place of worship, established 800 years ago in 1222. A few years later Alexander II gave it to the bishoprick of Argyll.

rock without a grave 

The famous Bass Rock is a small island that sits like a monstrous stone about a mile off the East Lothian coast, a tourist attraction at the beginning of the last century, but the steamer only went out when the weather was good; high winds made it impossible to moor at the small island’s only jetty. This mountain of stone in the sea is impressive. It is populated by thousands of gannets, which were once a part of the region’s diet. A Stevenson lighthouse seems to cling to the steep wall, ruins of an ancient residence crumble in the middle of the rock. Nothing grows here except loneliness.

The Battle of Prestonpans

Scottish battles, like many other battles, scarred the nation’s memory for a number of reasons: many losses suffered on one or both sides, the exploits of individuals, or the length of time they raged. Prestonpans was one of the shortest battles in Scottish history, lasting just under ten minutes.

The Gaelic Chapel – an ambiguous gesture

It is an impressive ruin, a reminder of Cromarty's past and the people that lived in it. There are others in Scotland, one in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen, all built for the Gaelic speaking community that had arrived in these places after being cleared out of their Highland homes. They were Gaelic speakers and found themselves in places where Gaelic wasn't spoken. The Gaelic Chapel was a kind gesture to the Gaelic speaking Highlanders who had come to Cromarty. It was financed by exploiting people and nature in the colonies. However, it did not last long and is now a ruin.

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