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 →

Kilmorack’s Jacobites

Few graveyards in the Scottish Highlands have rebel graves of the 1745 uprising to visit; for obvious reasons, most of the men killed in the disastrous Battle of Culloden were buried on the battlefield. Rarely were there graves in the home Parish to be visited by the relatives, by mothers, sisters, aunts, by fathers, brothers... Continue Reading →

the Burns connection

The Church of Crosbie has a very special connection with the poet Robert Burns. Its roof collapsed on the stormy January night of 1759, in which the poet was born. Crosbie is just under 40 miles away from Alloway. The ruin was never rebuilt and has now been made inaccessible. Unfortunately, the entire cemetery is... Continue Reading →

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