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.”

ancient gravestone

This stone marks a burial place of importance. Who the deceased was will remain unknown forever. He or she was buried about 1.500 years ago in rural Aberdeenshire. There is nothing spectacular to his place but it is remarkable in many ways. Standing stones rarely mark burial spots. Most of them have been moved to... Continue Reading →

Celtic Christianity

The Old Church of Bona in Kirkton, south of Inverness. A much older church once stood here, no traces are left. The existing church is now used as a private residence. The burial ground is known as Cladh Uradain and is at least 300 years old. It is still in use today. Here was the... Continue Reading →

loveliness, lust and loss

Rescobie is a pretty picturesque graveyard. Rescobie Loch in the distance, ancient gravestones scattered around the 19th century church building in Thomas Telford’s typical austere style. Some of the grave date back as far as the early 17th century, over 400 years have they lasted. Symbols of mortality, death and time decorate the slabs. The... Continue Reading →

the modern twist – Knockando

Sometimes Scotland in all the glory of her tradition, misleads those who tend to romantic views. Not everything is as it seems at first sight, so beware of clichés. Sometimes Tartan is noching but a square pattern and behind what seems to be intrinsically Scottish, lies an English background. Upper Knockando graveyard is not as... 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 →

Bruce’s dead heir

Restenneth’s impressive tower adds grandeur to the modest simplicity of the structure that albeit many additons still feels very much 12th century. It is certainly one of the oldest churches in Scotland. The Picts Angus is the heart of the land of the Picts. If you know where to look, you’ll find their traces everywhere.... Continue Reading →

cursed spirits

In Fodderty people have lived since the earliest times. The remains of a Pictish hill-fort on a ridge next to the graveyard are still visible for those who are energetic enough to climb the crag called Knock Farrill. Nothing much is left to be seen but remains of walls and ditches, there definitely were look-out... Continue Reading →

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