two tunes for two graveyards

never come. There are two graveyards here on opposite sides of the sea Loch, just a few miles apart as the crow flies, the land route takes longer. They have each their very distinct tradition and a very distinct tune being played at funerals.

the minister’s grave

Reverend Donald MacInnis was the third minister to serve in Glenmoriston after the Disruption for eleven years, from 1879 until his death on September 24th 188.   The two men before him also had the charge of the Free church in Fort Augustus, where they lived. Donald MacInnis was a Glenmoriston man and he would... Continue Reading →

killed by his own clan

This is a beautiful story of family, power and death and as so many Scottish clan stories, it does not come with a happy ending. the young pretender There was once a young man, the youngest son of Allan MacDonald, 4th Chief of Clanranald, who died in 1505. His name was Ranald and he was... Continue Reading →

Funny Scottish Epitaphs – William Cruickshank

William Cruikshank was a Latin master in Edinburgh High School. Honest Will to Heaven is gane, And mony shall lament him; His faults they a' in Latin lay, In Englis nane e'er kent them. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990  

temple to a goddess

Driving north along the A 832 from Achnasheen to Dingwall, you pass Kinlochluichart and Strathgarve Church. The unpretentious first look is deceiving for even though there are only about a dozen graves in this small kirkyard, one is very special; a classical temple, a bit out of character with the simplicity of this Highland scene.... Continue Reading →

more deadly still

But death lurks off the shore. A little treeless Island, obviously uninhabited. The seagulls are circling it, their loud screeches travel across the waves like warnings never heard. The view is good from Gruinard graveyard. Here, where the dead are buried, is the island close, just over a mile away, and it is more deadly than is thought possible: Gruinard Island. Anthrax Island.

the chieftain Hitler wanted dead

St Mary'c chapel was built by Lord Lovat, chief of the clan Fraser, in the early 19th century and is currently being restored. Normally mass is held once a month. Many of the old unusually shaped gravestones in the kirkyard are decorated with fleur de lys crosses, a pattern not very common in the Highlands.... Continue Reading →

one last handshake for the king

The Chisholms came from France originally, as did many nobles in the past; the Normans first settled in the Borders and only later moved to the Beauly area. By marriage of Alexander de Chisholme to Margaret, Lady of Erchless, Erchless castle (now a private property) became the ancestral home of the clan, its chieftains were... Continue Reading →

The Kiltarlity emigrants

In the middle of the 19th century Scots were emigrating in large numbers to what is now Canada. In the early 19th century numbers were considerably smaller and the reasons for leaving were different. In the latter half of the 19th century poor and destitute Highlanders were forced out by the notorious Clearances; the earlier... Continue Reading →

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