until the break of day

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 tragic sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men to their death. Few... Continue Reading →

where the devil lost a soul

This is a story of the devil hunting a soul and losing it to the sacred ground of Birnie Kirkyard. This is an ancient place, the church itself is one of the oldest in Scotland. Christians have worshipped here since the 12th century and the Celts centuries earlier. Birnie was the cathedral to the Bishop... Continue Reading →

Funny Scottish Epitaphs: The Surgeon’s Bones

A serious friend my drop a tear On these dear bones and say These once were strong as mine appear, And mine must be as they. Garrel Churchyard, Dumfries, John Henry, Surgeon, 1798 Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990

Chapel of Sand

Chapel of Sand or chapel of Sand of Udrigil, is an almost forgotten but somehow mystic place in Torridon, tucked away between a caravan park, a river, and the sea, close to the village of Laide. In the 18th century the chapel was still in use, then worship came to an end at the chapel... Continue Reading →

lining up the dead

Alignment and precision are a common feature in war graves but very rarely encountered in graveyards in the Scottish Highlands. This is not true however for Dalreichart burial ground in Glenmoriston. There is a certain order to things here. It has always been a cold part of the country where the river Moriston flows towards... Continue Reading →

mothers and sons

Chiefs of the Clan Grant were the Lairds of Grant, who succeeded to the Earldom of Seafield and to the extensive lands of the Ogilvies, Earls of Findlater and Seafield. The coat of arms of Ogilvie Grant Earl of Seafield can be seen on the mausoleum closer to the church but not on the second... Continue Reading →

stables and steeples

Banffshire was one of the few regions in Scotland that remained Catholic after the Reformation. This also applies to the regions of Barra, South Uist and Moidart. Today, about one eighth of the Scottish population is Catholic. In most cemeteries, the separation is not really obvious, there are some, where it is and there are... Continue Reading →

a holy well and generous offspring

One thing seems to be peculiar about places in Banffshire: they tend to change names over time. This applies to Macduff and Gardenstown as well as to Botriphnie. The name of the village is of Pictish origin (Both Draighnigh), locals still use it to denote the parish. The place itself is now called Drummuir wich... Continue Reading →

one holy and two frightened men

The year 566 is long, long gone. So long, one can no longer imagine what people's lives were like back then. But every now and then, often in very surprising places, Scotland gives us a little look back in time, such as in Mortlach (Dufftown). A small, inconspicuous place in the middle of never ending... Continue Reading →

the failed resurrection of Mother Buchan

Fordyce is beautiful. If you had to paint an idyllic Scottish village, it would look exactly like that: stone houses, winding streets and well-kept gardens. There is nothing here that disturbs the idyll, not even a pub. There used to be a boisterous annual market, but not anymore. A small castle on the corner of... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑