3 headstones

The Hart Stone The Hart Stone is a heartbreaking testimony to the harsh and often deadly conditions in the time of the Jacobite Rising in Scotland. Romantically portrayed in Diana Gabbaldon’s novels and Outlander, but these times were not easy to survive in, especially when there was no nurse from the future attending the sick.... Continue Reading →

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former glory

Former glory, a term often applied to buildings, to countries, to people and it is hardly less appropriately used for graveyards. Where else to ponder about former glory but on a graveyard on a dreich day, the very place that changes things and signifies the end to almost everything. Bo’ness’s original name is Borrowstouness but... Continue Reading →

and the sea gave up the dead

Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard has a number of very interesting gravestones, interesting for various reasons but there is one that conjures amazing images, smells and sounds of a far away world; it tells of travel, adventures and discoveries. The gravestone of James Muir. Richly decorated stones can be admired throughout the... Continue Reading →

brothers in arms

grave of William Wallace’s faithful friend Sir John de Graeme Mente manuque potens et Vallae fidus Achates, Conditur hic Gramus, bello interfectus ab Anglis. 22. Julii anno 1298 Here lies Graham, strong alike in head and hand. The faithlful friend of Wallace. He was slain in battle by the English, 22nd July 1298. William Wallace... Continue Reading →

the forgotten war

When at the end of the Second World War the United States of America and the Russian Federation divided the Japanese occupied Korea into North and South, the conflict was by no means at an end. North Korea, with the authorisation of Josef Stalin, invaded South Korea to bring the south under communist rule. The... Continue Reading →

for the devil to hide

Scotland has a few round and a few octagonal churches. The thought behind both unusual forms is the same: in a building without corners, the devil has nowhere to hide. It could of course also have practical or aesthetic reasons but the old myth of the devil hiding in corners is very much alive in... Continue Reading →

death and old age

  Killin Old Kirkyard is not in use anymore, the last burial took place in March 1994. Then the graveyard was closed; no more bodies to be interred here. On the banks of the River Lochy, behind the Killin Hotel, Killin graveyard is entered through an old gate. Sometimes hotel staff sneak out here for... Continue Reading →

the last of all her race

The name Ollaberry derives from Old Norse Olarfsberg, the hill of Olaf. It is a small settlement on the Northmavine peninsula of Shetland Mainland, the land north of the isthmus Mavis Grind. Northmavind offers spectacular views. There is arable land around Ollaberry but the sea still is and always has been both livelihood and death... Continue Reading →

morthouse, bell and pelican

morthouse A morthouse (the name implies it) houses the dead, but only for a short period of time. In the days of body-snatcher and resurrectionists (19th century) who would dig up freshly buried courses to sell them for good profit to surgeons for clinical studies, they were a means of protecting the dead. They were... Continue Reading →

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