lining up the dead

Alignment and precision are a common feature in war graves but very rarely encountered in graveyards in the Scottish Highlands. This is not true however for Dalreichart burial ground in Glenmoriston. There is a certain order to things here. It has always been a cold part of the country where the river Moriston flows towards... 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 →

ghost of a spinster

Lady Louisa of Traquair was the 15th and last of the Lairds of Traquair. She had remained unmarried for all her long life and when she died at the age of 99 the estate went to the female line of the family, the Maxwell Stuarts. Her predecessor, the 14th Laird of Traquair had no head... Continue Reading →

no space by her husband’s grave

St John’s chapel lies in ruins. The 15th century chapel in the Bragar cemetery stands on a much older site of which nothing can be seen any longer, it was a prehistoric settlement mount. This cemetery has a peculiar atmosphere, the many marker stones give it an overcrowded feel, and it certainly is that, crowded.... Continue Reading →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

graveyard of the kings

If ever there was holy ground, it surely is to be found on a small island of striking beauty and breathtaking light in the Ross of Mull: Iona, burial-place of the kings. To many Iona is an overcoming experience. It was here that Christianity made its way into Scotland. Irish monasteries have existed for centuries... Continue Reading →

Jacobite hideout

Mill Street Old Burial Ground, Ullapool The burial ground in Ullapool’s Mill Street is called old but it is in fact fairly new. Ullapool is fairly new, it was designed and constructed in the late 18th century. This is a burial ground and not a graveyard or kirkyard, where the burial place is part of... Continue Reading →

romantic ruin by the sea

St Bridget’s Kirk is one of the truly magical places in the Kingdom of Fife. The former Abbey is overlooking the Firth of Forth, in good weather you can catch a glimpse of the railway bridge. What used to be the center of the old village of Dalgety lies now on the outskirts of Dalgety... Continue Reading →

stones for Cromwell’s citadel

There are more than enough romantic ruins in Moray but Kinloss is a special one as it was not only one of the greatest religious powerhouses of its time, it was also home to an interesting business idea. The three key words are Cistercians, Reformation and Cromwell. Founded in 1150 by the saintly King David... Continue Reading →

beauty and reality

Ballachulish, the town at the straights of Loch Leven, has always been synonymous with slate. The famous quarry was established in the late 17th century and is not used any longer, but during the heights of the Industrial Age about 800 men worked in the quarry and the connected businesses. They were mainly producing roof tiles. ... Continue Reading →

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