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 →

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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 →

Dunsyre

In an vault underneath Lie several of the Saunderses Late of this parish - particulars The last day will disclose. Amen. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Edinburgh, Chambers; 1990

Rhynie’s Gothic grave and sarcophagus

Rhynie is first and foremost known for its Pictish symbol stones, on display next to the graveyard in the adjacent car park under an open wooden construction. The graveyard itself is old, too. The place-name Rhynie or sometimes also spelled Rhyny derives either from the French word roinneau, meaning a small promontory or from the word rig, meaning... Continue Reading →

grave warren

The bass of Inverurie and Inverurie cemetery face a furry and rather cute danger – rabbits. They seem to be everywhere in this large ground between the wild banks of the river Ury and Reithhall Road.     The Norman Motte and Bailey castle that once stood here must have commanded the glen with power... Continue Reading →

fairy hill

Entering Inverness from the South, the traveller passes a small, wooded hill with a peculiar shape that rises steep behind the Caledonian Canal: Tomnahurich. A large burial ground with old graves on the hill and newer ones circling it. Nothing spectacular seems to hide behind the high gates of Tomnahurich. For those who do not... Continue Reading →

moss and lichen

The words moss and lichen made it very early into my vocabulary, I am not a native English speaker and moss and lichen seem rather unusual words for a foreigner to know. But then again, for a foreigner who delights in Scottish cemeteries, it is not such an unusual vocabulary after all, because moss and... Continue Reading →

Burn the church!

“Bar the door and burn the church down.” murmured the MacDonald through the sound of singing, that oozed through the walls of the little church. The sun was out, the wind forcefully as ever, making the long haired raiders look even more fierce. They held their weapons ready, at the back of the church, away... Continue Reading →

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