Dunino’s pagan past

Dunino church is ancient and has been an ancient place of worship. In the long past days of old Celtic faith, a stone circle marked forgotten rites. It was, as have been many Celtic customs, incorporated into the church. But there are more traces of the past to be found here and more intriguing ones at that.

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.

a traditional Highland funeral

Christina Cochran Blacklock’s funeral was the last traditional Highland funeral in the Kingairloch district. On Christmas Day 1924, Christina Cochran, nee Blacklock, died in Fort William at the age of 82. She had survived her husband, master mariner Alexander Cochran, her daughter Helen and her son James Duncan. Her granddaughter died a few years after the grandmother. Her grandson, Rev Henry Dyall, did not attend the funeral, but he had often heard the accounts of family and neighbours.

when darkness slowly spreads its wings

Because of its proximity to the sea and the staggering beauty of the maltitude of skulls and crossbones on the table stones, St Regulus graveyard is sometimes called the pirates' graveyard. There is, however, no evidence of pirates buried here. It is nevertheless an amazing place of rememberance and well worth a visit.

finding graveyards in Lochaber

ve often benefitted from references in old guidebooks from the 18th and 19th century, especially when it comes to disused graveyards and burial grounds, but that approach can be problematic as well, since the topography has obviously changed considerably in many areas in the last 300 years.

Fatal Glen Nevis

The list is long. So many have died in this area. They perished hiking, driving, training. They died on Ben Nevis, in Glen Nevis and in the surrounding area. They died rock climbing, in avalanches, falling from ridges, crashing into mountains with planes, they were struck by lightning, they drowned, they were killed by explosions. Some of those are buried in Glen Nevis cemetery opposite the Glen Nevis Visitors Center. Helicopters and mountain range rescue teams are operating all year round.

killed by his own clan

This is a beautiful story of family, power and death and as so many Scottish clan stories, it does not come with a happy ending. the young pretender There was once a young man, the youngest son of Allan MacDonald, 4th Chief of Clanranald, who died in 1505. His name was Ranald and he was... Continue Reading →

the Burns connection

The Church of Crosbie has a very special connection with the poet Robert Burns. Its roof collapsed on the stormy January night of 1759, in which the poet was born. Crosbie is just under 40 miles away from Alloway. The ruin was never rebuilt and has now been made inaccessible. Unfortunately, the entire cemetery is... 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 →

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