burial place of the drowned

The sea has taken lives all around Scotland and many bodies have been washed on her shores over the centuries. This is a burial ground that takes its origin in lives lost at sea, situated closely to the dazzling and deadly blue waves of Scotland's shores.

Colonising the West

Isle of Lewis Towards the end of the 16th century, the Isle of Lewis was a wild, unruly, and apparently rather vicious place. At least, that’s what King James VI thought. Perhaps this was indeed true, but more likely it was royal propaganda, cleverly circulated to morally justify the actions that followed. If the king... Continue Reading →

one man on an island

Largo Parish Church Scotland has almost 20,000 kilometres of coastline and encompasses almost 800 islands, so naturally the Scots have a very special affinity to water and the sea. The sea has inspired some incredible stories of adventures, monsters and heroes. However, one of the best-known stories was told by an Englishman. Daniel Defoe wrote... Continue Reading →

rock without a grave 

The famous Bass Rock is a small island that sits like a monstrous stone about a mile off the East Lothian coast, a tourist attraction at the beginning of the last century, but the steamer only went out when the weather was good; high winds made it impossible to moor at the small island’s only jetty. This mountain of stone in the sea is impressive. It is populated by thousands of gannets, which were once a part of the region’s diet. A Stevenson lighthouse seems to cling to the steep wall, ruins of an ancient residence crumble in the middle of the rock. Nothing grows here except loneliness.

two tunes for two graveyards

never come. There are two graveyards here on opposite sides of the sea Loch, just a few miles apart as the crow flies, the land route takes longer. They have each their very distinct tradition and a very distinct tune being played at funerals.

The Kiltarlity emigrants

In the middle of the 19th century Scots were emigrating in large numbers to what is now Canada. In the early 19th century numbers were considerably smaller and the reasons for leaving were different. In the latter half of the 19th century poor and destitute Highlanders were forced out by the notorious Clearances; the earlier... Continue Reading →

earth from a graveyard

The Gaelic otherworld is populated by many strange and fascinating creatures: fairies, banshees, witches and animals that are not, what they seem to be. Peculiar to the Isle of Skye is the crodh sith, the fairy cattle, allegedly speckled and red (crodh breac ruadh), and able to cross the sea. These "magic cows" could only... Continue Reading →

fatal women

The belief in witchcraft was probably one of the most common superstitions in Scotland and the rest of the Christian world. Witches were not necessarily evil but when commanding the powers of darkness, they were to be feared like nothing else, for they could leave a deadly trail of destruction. In the graveyard of Lochaline... Continue Reading →

a sight of beauty and joy

A place as breathtaking as Bosta Beach on the island of Great Bernera, looking towards the small islands and Little Bernera. The sun, the sea, and the cry of seagulls in the wind. Whites, greens and pinks in warm summer sands, the waves peaceful tidings of an unknown future. To bury the dead in a... Continue Reading →

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