the warrior chief

From the first Viking raids right up to the middle of the 17th century Gairloch was nothing but a big battlefield.  First the Norsemen against then Scots, then the Mackenzies, the McLeod, and the MacDonalds among each other, fighting for power and ownership,  retaliating attacks, avenging murders, killing rivals. Many died a brutal death here.... Continue Reading →

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on a winter’s day

Sometimes Scotland overwhelms you with an incredible infusion of light, especially in winter when the days are short and the sun is a rare event in grey times. Light that sparks the joy of being. Just like that. Even on a graveyard. Daviot church on an afternoon in January can be breathtaking, in any other... Continue Reading →

romantic ruin by the sea

St Bridget’s Kirk is one of the truly magical places in the Kingdom of Fife. The former Abbey is overlooking the Firth of Forth, in good weather you can catch a glimpse of the railway bridge. What used to be the center of the old village of Dalgety lies now on the outskirts of Dalgety... Continue Reading →

the mourning girl’s grave

The last Laird of Foyers was born in 1760. The estate still belonged to the family then because his grandfather had bequeathed it to his son, the last Laird's father, before he joined the Jacobite Rising in 1745. It was therefore safe, most of the other rebel properties in Scotland had been confiscated by the crown.... Continue Reading →

stones for Cromwell’s citadel

There are more than enough romantic ruins in Moray but Kinloss is a special one as it was not only one of the greatest religious powerhouses of its time, it was also home to an interesting business idea. The three key words are Cistercians, Reformation and Cromwell. Founded in 1150 by the saintly King David... Continue Reading →

farmers, sailors, and miners

farmers The graveyard of Bothkennar and Carronshore Parish church (founded as early as 1150) seems very rural. This land has been farmed since King Robert the Bruce, possibly even earlier.   Rather remarkable since this was once known as the "Carselands", an alluvial plain around the River Carron, and therefore expected to be water-logged. Carse... Continue Reading →

beauty and reality

Ballachulish, the town at the straights of Loch Leven, has always been synonymous with slate. The famous quarry was established in the late 17th century and is not used any longer, but during the heights of the Industrial Age about 800 men worked in the quarry and the connected businesses. They were mainly producing roof tiles. ... Continue Reading →

fatal Falkirk

Battle of Falkirk, 22nd July 1298 This is the grave if Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll who died a hero’s death in the Battle of Falkirk where he had fought alongside Sir John de Graeme (buried a few metres away) and William Wallace who never got a burial at all. Sir John commanded the Scottish Archers that... Continue Reading →

Kirkyard Trail

the trail Clackmannanshire has many old and truly beautiful graveyards – one reason for the Ochil Landscape Partnership (OLP) to repair, preserve, interpret, and present a group of historic cemeteries within walking distance, grouped together as the Kirkyard Trail. Muckhart There are seven graveyards amongst the Hillfoots that oficially belong to the trail, one is private,... Continue Reading →

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