silent watch

Beneath Craig Dhu, which to the clouds doth rise, Beside the Spey, a grassy graveyard lies. The great grey hill its silent watch doth keep O'er those lying in their last long sleep. Many men of the pen and of the sword came out of Badenoch, a history of battles fought and lost; great Clan... Continue Reading →

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smoked out

smoked out One day, long in the past, sometime between the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, the Morrisons of Ness were resting in the mighty Dun Carloway, cattle grazing peacefully outside. It was summer and the days were long, birdsong filled the air. But peace was evanescent and this was... 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 →

The Fife Adventurers

Towards the end of  the 16th century, the Isle of Lewis was a wild, unruly, unhealthy and recalcitrant place. At least according to its King, James VI. It might have been quite a few of these things but educating his people was not what was really on the King’s mind when he took measures to... 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 →

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 →

trysts and leylines

History Albeit feeling rather small, Crieff is one of the largest towns in Perthshire. The dominating force behind the settlement were the Earls of Perth. The Earl being traditionally the chief of clan Drummond, therefore Crieff was known as Drummond in the 17th century.  After having been destroyed in 1716 by Jacobites fighting at Sheriffmuir... Continue Reading →

guardian of the realm

In days without a king or during a royal minority, a guardian was elected to lead nobles and realm. David II was born in 1329, the year his father Robert I died. A hero father who cast a long shadow. David was too young to rule and it proved too dangerous for him to remain... 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 →

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