a bard’s quest for vengeance

Ian Lom - the poet who cut off the heads of seven murderers It is a long and gory story that emerges from this beautiful graveyard near Roy Bridge. Stunning scenery surrounds the ancient burial place and the remains of a 15th century Roman Catholic church, Cille Choirill, a spot as beautiful as it is... Continue Reading →

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Lunna’s Norwegian connection

Place names of Shetland are almost all Norwegian in origin. Local boats descend from Viking built ships, Shetland belonged to Norway for centuries in the past. The Norwegian connection is strong. Particularly in Lunna churchyard. A tall building towers above the small graveyard by the edge of the sea. Lunna House dates back to 1663 and... Continue Reading →

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date

Shakespeare’s sonnet Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? is all-encompassing, expressing love and evanescence, life and death. A more than apt poem for a beautiful graveyard on sunny Scottish summer’s day: Dervaig burial ground.       And summer’s lease hath all too short a date The temptation of monochrome is easily desisted... Continue Reading →

grave of a teenage hero

In 1746 the 18-year old Donald Livingstone (Domnhull Molach) rescued the Stewart of Appin regimental banner at the Battle of Culloden and lived to tell the tale. Even though he was shot various times. The Livingstones weren’t the traditional standard bearers for the Stewarts of Appin. That honour belonged to Carmichaels and was passed down... Continue Reading →

Clava Cairns

This is certainly one of the oldest cemeteries in Scotland. People buried their dead here for 4000 years and the markers of these tombs remain to this day, like headstones on a contemporary cemetery. A reminder of a distant and little known past. sacred site These Bronze Age graves near Inverness are amongst the best... Continue Reading →

no place for flowers

Shetland – windswept archipelago north of the Scottish Mainland. It is in many ways closer to Norway than it is to Scotland or the UK. Geography, history, and culture make Shetland feel more Scandinavian than Scottish. But whatever it feels like to its inhabitants, it certainly feels remote to visitors. wet and windy The islands... Continue Reading →

to heirs male of his body

Tingwall is an ancient place that bears a Scandinavian name as many places do on Shetland. The first church stood here as early as 1200, a place of worship and power. The Archdeacon of Tingwall was in charge of all Christianity in Shetland. This office dated from 1215 AD until 1690 when Presbyterianism was established... Continue Reading →

dying with a song

Nae Day Sae Dark Nae day sae dark; nae wüd sae bare; Nae grund sae stour wi' stane; But licht comes through; a sang is there; A glint o' grass is green.   Wha hasna thol'd his thorter'd hours And kent, whan they were by, The tenderness o' life that fleurs Rock-fast in misery? William... Continue Reading →

Dunfermline – saint, king and cholera

the saint In the late 1040s a little girl was born in exile, in Mecseknádasd in Hungary to a family of royal English blood. Margaret should become one of the most famous women in Scottish history. She came to England with her family but had to leave for Scotland after the Norman invasion. She met... Continue Reading →

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