Funny Scottish Epitaphs: buried in a girnal

Here lies an old woman wrapt in her linen, Mother to James and Thomas Binnen; Who for want of a coffin was buried in a girnal (meal-chest), The earth got the shell, and the De'il got the kernal. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990  

Nether Largie South

Nether Largie South was one of the first monuments in the Kilmartin glen, ancient, holy and mysterious. A sacred place built 5500 years ago. The tomb was a mass grave for the farmers that lived and died here. About a thousand years later the tomb was used again for more burials. This time pots and... Continue Reading →

The archer’s child

Templewood, also known as Half Moon Wood, is an extraordinary graveyard. An ancient burial site, different graves all around, a truly stunning place in Kilmartin in Argyll, a valley full of history, traces of wich still clearly recognizable. People have lived here for 5000 years and you have to think back around 170 generations to... Continue Reading →

stables and steeples

Banffshire was one of the few regions in Scotland that remained Catholic after the Reformation. This also applies to the regions of Barra, South Uist and Moidart. Today, about one eighth of the Scottish population is Catholic. In most cemeteries, the separation is not really obvious, there are some, where it is and there are... Continue Reading →

the murder victim’s mausoleum

Gilbert Kennedy of Bargany and Ardstinchar, the last laird of the house Kennedy of Bargany, died on 11th December 1601. He was only 25 years old. The laird died no ordinary death - he was murdered. The murderer was his cousin. The murder was part of the long-running feud between the Kennedys of Bargany and... Continue Reading →

harsh words

epitaph for a suicide Here lies in earth a root of Hell, Set by the Diel's ain bible; This worthless body damn'd himself, To save the Lord the trouble. Raymont Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990

men only – burials on the Isle of Lewis

On the Isle of Lewis the graves seem shallow and sandy. The cemeteries are often situated close to the sea and sand seems to be more common than earth for a funeral plot. There are regulations of course, coffins are obligatory and once interred they must be covered by at least 3 feet (91cm) of... Continue Reading →

the disemboweled judge

The clan Morrison was strong on the Isle of Lewis, mainly in the area around Ness and Barvas. They held the hereditary office of brieve, meaning they were the judges in the area; a station of absolute power but not always absolute integrity. One John Morrison, brieve of Lewis, had come to the conclusion that... Continue Reading →

in the supermarket’s car park

Saint Clement's burial ground, Dingwall This place feels ancient and somehow out of time with the car park and the neon signs of a big supermarket surrounding it. The church is 19th century but this has been a place of worship for much longer. The dead have been buried here for centuries as is indicated... Continue Reading →

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