the witch’s grave

The River Moriston is peaceful and idyllic, it can be icy in winter and angry during a flood but it is tame these days. However, deaths have occured here and men have drowned in the river. Local tradition says, twenty men drowned in a rock pool some time long ago. The place is not to... Continue Reading →

gallow’s hill

Sometimes clues to the past lie within the place names. That is especially true for Scotland where the Gaels were very descriptive in their naming of landscape as well as man-made places. A map often tells you many things about a place before you even visit. It is down to the proper translation though, to... Continue Reading →

sin – allegations of child abuse

Fort Augustus Abbey, Catholic center of power Fort Augustus Abbey - once one of the ancient Catholics homes of Scotland. The impressive building belonged to the Lovat family for generations, they lost it and regained it, only to give it away again for good. Catholic centres of worship and power were rare in Scotland after... Continue Reading →

the only one

Sir Hugh Innes was the only ever existing Scottish baronet of that name, the first and the last, the only one. However, there were three other Baronetcies created for that name, but in Nova Scotia and not in the United Kingdom. The only Scottish one was created on 28 April 1819 and the new Baronet... Continue Reading →

childhood memories

Lady Norah Fairfax-Lucy was the youngest of a family of eight living at Calgary, born in 1895. She was a Mackenzie of Mornish by birth, her father an elder of the established Church of Scotland. Sundays on Mull Both parents observed the Sunday "with great reverence" and as austere as these Sundays now seem, Lady... Continue Reading →

earth from a graveyard

The Gaelic otherworld is populated by many strange and fascinating creatures: fairies, banshees, witches and animals that are not, what they seem to be. Peculiar to the Isle of Skye is the crodh sith, the fairy cattle, allegedly speckled and red (crodh breac ruadh), and able to cross the sea. These "magic cows" could only... Continue Reading →

Danish Prince or Irish Saint?

Most sources cite each other and eventually the New Statistical account of Scotland that “the origin of the name is uncertain. Tradition makes the burying-ground, which gives its name to the parish, to have been the burying-ground of Irenan, a Danish prince who fell in battle on the northern confines of the parish, where cairn Irenan still exists.”

Garyvard cemetery, Isle of Lewis

Gearraidh means fertile land and Gearraidh a’ Bhàird (Garyvard) suggests it could be the fertile land of the bard. Whereas on the shore the place name is Gaelic in origin the sea loch isn’t. Loch Erisort is derived from the Old Norse Eiríksfjorðr (Eric's fjord). Just looking at the graveyard of the small settlement outside... Continue Reading →

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