executed in the graveyard

In the days after Culloden the roads were full of refugees and the makeshift prisons full of Jacobites. More than three thousand were recorded, not just men, women and children as well. Not all of them had been fighting of course, some had just been a bit too sympathetic with the cause of Charles Edward... Continue Reading →

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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 →

bullets, burnings and bread

There are three holes in the gravestone of Donald Fraser of Erchite, remains of a funeral that ended in a shooting, the holes are the marks the bullets left. It must have been the second half of the year 1745. The tragic battle of Culloden had left its mark on Scotland and indeed the area... Continue Reading →

for the villagers, not the Hamiltons

Kinneil church Kinneil the village is considerably older than Borrowstounness but it declined while Bo’ness prospered. The church dates back to the 12th century and was a landmark for ships entering the harbour until it was officially supressed in 1669 Kinneil House The Kinneil estate behind which the church and graveyards lie, towers prominently high, sixty... Continue Reading →

strange deaths

Forteviot This small village in Strathearn was rebuilt in the 1920s by Whisky money, the generous supplier being the 1st Baron Forteviot John Alexander Dewar of the Dewar family, eldest son of the founder of Dewar`s Scotch Whisky. In 1920 in the old graveyards of Forteviot another father's sons were buried. Two brothers who died... Continue Reading →

English Enemies

Torphichen was once headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in Scotland, a place of power and influence. The sign of the order was the v-shaped cross, and its full name Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Their cross is still part of everyday life on St John’s Ambulances. They were a... Continue Reading →

former glory

Former glory, a term often applied to buildings, to countries, to people and it is hardly less appropriately used for graveyards. Where else to ponder about former glory but on a graveyard on a dreich day, the very place that changes things and signifies the end to almost everything. Bo’ness’s original name is Borrowstouness but... Continue Reading →

brothers in arms

grave of William Wallace’s faithful friend Sir John de Graeme Mente manuque potens et Vallae fidus Achates, Conditur hic Gramus, bello interfectus ab Anglis. 22. Julii anno 1298 Here lies Graham, strong alike in head and hand. The faithlful friend of Wallace. He was slain in battle by the English, 22nd July 1298. William Wallace... Continue Reading →

the forgotten war

When at the end of the Second World War the United States of America and the Russian Federation divided the Japanese occupied Korea into North and South, the conflict was by no means at an end. North Korea, with the authorisation of Josef Stalin, invaded South Korea to bring the south under communist rule. The... Continue Reading →

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