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 →

the mutineers‘ end

Tolsta marks the end of an unhappy journey. Francois Gautiez an French cook and the English mate Peter Heaman were on board of the ship Jane, commanded by Thomas Johnson. The Jane of Gibraltar was heading for Bahia de Brazil and among the many things she was carrying were also Spanish silver Dollars, a considerable... Continue Reading →

death on the beach

Luskentyre (Losgaintir in Gaelic) is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Western Isles; it certainly is one of the most spectacular ones with a haunting beauty, endless white sand and sparkling emerald water. What a place to bury the dead! Burying near a beach is standard practice on the Island of... Continue Reading →

from Sea God to Saint

Barvas cemetery Cladh Mhuire, Isle of Lewis Lewis differs in so many things from the rest of Scotland but the most obvious to visitors is faith. Religion plays a very prominent role on the island and the church certainly has more influence on life and death than anywhere else in Scotland. Even the smallest of... Continue Reading →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

graveyard of the kings

If ever there was holy ground, it surely is to be found on a small island of striking beauty and breathtaking light in the Ross of Mull: Iona, burial-place of the kings. To many Iona is an overcoming experience. It was here that Christianity made its way into Scotland. Irish monasteries have existed for centuries... Continue Reading →

vast nothingness

Elphin burial ground, Sutherland This is probably one of the tiniest burial grounds in Scotland. Elphin, a small crofting community in Sutherland. It is so small and apparently so insignificant, that even Elphin’s Wikipedia entry does not count much more than that the village phone and post box to its attractions. In the vast and... Continue Reading →

in the supermarket’s car park

Saint Clement's burial ground, Dingwall This place feels ancient and somehow out of time with the car park and the neon signs of a big supermarket surrounding it. The church is 19th century but this has been a place of worship for much longer. The dead have been buried here for centuries as is indicated... Continue Reading →

black monks

The original Celtic church had no organization, as the new Church of Rome gained in influence, things changed in Scotland. The medieval church saw much innovation. With the beginning of the 12th century influences from abroad began to shape its structure. The Celtic monks disappeared, the Benedictine monks gained influence. The Culdees were the last... Continue Reading →

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