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 →

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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 →

Jacobite hideout

Mill Street Old Burial Ground, Ullapool The burial ground in Ullapool’s Mill Street is called old but it is in fact fairly new. Ullapool is fairly new, it was designed and constructed in the late 18th century. This is a burial ground and not a graveyard or kirkyard, where the burial place is part of... Continue Reading →

beautiful Beauly

Beauty of decay, stillness of remembrance,  solitude amongst headstones, what is it people seek on graveyards? It had become popular with the Victorians to drink in the beauty of old graveyards: mist shrouding the past, breathtaking light on ancient stone, the remoteness of hidden places. It was all part of the sublime and the beautiful.... 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 →

the warrior chief

From the first Viking raids right up to the middle of the 17th century Gairloch was nothing but a big battlefield.  First the Norsemen against then Scots, then the Mackenzies, the McLeod, and the MacDonalds among each other, fighting for power and ownership,  retaliating attacks, avenging murders, killing rivals. Many died a brutal death here.... Continue Reading →

on a winter’s day

Sometimes Scotland overwhelms you with an incredible infusion of light, especially in winter when the days are short and the sun is a rare event in grey times. Light that sparks the joy of being. Just like that. Even on a graveyard. Daviot church on an afternoon in January can be breathtaking, in any other... Continue Reading →

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