bleedy pits

It was at the beginning of the last millennium, the Danes were still threatening the Scottish coast, and the clanchiefs were busy fighting off invaders after invaders. In 1004, the Danes invaded Banffshire and were received with horror as well as courage by the locals. There were not many places along the coast where a... Continue Reading →

marriage and death in Portpatrick

Portpatrick is a village in the Dumfries and Galloway council area, formerly Wigtownshire at the southwestern end of Scotland. It has an old burial ground (Old Portpatrick) and an older part to the new cemetery . As the name suggests, the local harbour has for a long time been trading with Ireland, there was a... Continue Reading →

abandoned kirkyard Stoneykirk

Kirkyards all over Scotland have been abandoned for various reasons, some after the Reformation, others because the Parish or village boundaries were changing or because the churches were too old or the kirkyards too full. Whatever the reason, an abandoned churchyard has a sad and slightly eerie quality, especially on a dreich day. Stoneykirk in... Continue Reading →

Kirkconnel – a poet and a partisan

a partisan for the pretender When Charles Edward Stuart came to Scotland in 1745 to conquer his crown and his realm, the young king-to-be landed in the Western Highlands, where he could count on most supporters. There were not many in the Borders who would have given him unwavering support, with one big exception: James... Continue Reading →

tailor, major, and prisoner

Blackmount is a pretty and small graveyard on the border between Peeblesshire and Lanarkshire. The cemetery goes back to the late 18th century. Many stones are very old and somewhere in between these stones a man was buried who left no gravestone to remember him. He was a tailor, a major and a prisoner.  ... Continue Reading →

kirk o’ the forest

They called it "the forest", plain and simple, there was never another one that size and importance. The Ettrick forest is extraordinary in the history of Scotland, its worth was political, biological and geographical. When one spoke of the forest, everyone knew which one was meant. There was only one of these dimensions; it reached... Continue Reading →

the Lockhart blunder

Carnwath cemetery Carnwath is home to the Lockhart family. Sir George Lockhart was a passionate Jacobite and a strong advocate of Scottish independence. Like his father, he died a violent death when he was killed in 1731. His father had been killed by John Chiesely of Kersewell after trying to mediate between his friend and... Continue Reading →

bodies on the beach

Sandwick cemetery, Isle of Lewis Signalman John Alex „Jack“ MacAskill died a few yards from home. He was only 19 years old. And he died a few yards from his grave in Sandwick cemetery. His parents were Hugh and Christina MacAskill. The family lived in 75 Keith Street in Stornoway, a modest grey building, like... Continue Reading →

one lucky man

Ness cemetery, Isle of lewis Norman MacKenzie was one lucky man. His family lived in Cross in the Ness district of the Isle of Lewis. Norman had seen the horrific battles of World War I and survived the ordeal. He was only 18 years old, when he was heading back home, the war was over... Continue Reading →

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