unfinished business

Pipers had a very dangeroud job in the past centuries for not only were they playing at weddings and funerals but during skirmishes, battles and wars with nothing to defend themselves but the weapons of those by their side who had time end energy to spare. The pipers' tunes would rally the Clan and their... Continue Reading →

Lochcarron and a bloody feud

Donald MacDonald was the 8th of Glengarry and his reign was turbulent and memorable for many reasons, one was violence. A feud was raging between his family and the MacKenzies, a feud that had originated over a quarrel about property in Lochcarron. Blood was spilled, cattle was raided, and property destroyed. One of the MacDonalds,... Continue Reading →

buckets full of thumbs

This is Kilfinichen or Kilfinichan. Once a medieval church stood here. Now it is a private estate. It was merged with the parish of Kilvickeon, whose church was destroyed during the Reformation. The people that ruled and dominated this area on the island of Mull in the past, were the MacLeans, a very powerful clan... 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 →

a hero’s graveyard

Zecharia’s Cemetery (Cill Sgàire) in Bragar, Isle of Lewis Zechariah or Zacharay Macaulay’s father was the Chamberlain of Lewis and owned the land around Valtos, Kneep and Reef. Zachary lived in the first part of the 18th century. He grew up to be a hero and well remembered in the oral tradition of Lewis. The... Continue Reading →

at the end of the road

Harris and Lewis are connected by one long major road, the backbone of the Longisle, really. Any time you detour from it, be it towards the West or towards the East, you are bound to discover things. Heading north from Tarbert, the first junction takes you to the western most point of Harris – Hushinish... 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 →

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 →

the warrior chief

From the first Viking raids right up to the middle of the 17th century Gairloch was nothing but a big battlefield.  First the Norsemen against then Scots, then the Mackenzies, the McLeod, and the MacDonalds among each other, fighting for power and ownership,  retaliating attacks, avenging murders, killing rivals. Many died a brutal death here.... Continue Reading →

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