the aftermath

Crosbost cemetery, Isle of Lewis The morning of the first day of the year 1919 dawned but despite the light the day was as dark as a day could be for the islanders. Lewis was in shock, the death toll after the sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men... Continue Reading →

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sudden death oddly brought on

Here lies alas! poor Roger Norton, Whose sudden death was odly brought on! Trying one day his corns to mow off, The razor slipped and cut his toe off! The toe, or rather what it grew to, The part then took to mortifying. Which was the cause of Roger's dying. From a Churchyard near Greenock... Continue Reading →

death on the beach

Luskentyre (Losgaintir in Gaelic) is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Western Isles; it certainly is one of the most spectacular ones with a haunting beauty, endless white sand and sparkling emerald water. What a place to bury the dead! Burying near a beach is standard practice on the Island of... Continue Reading →

death by pownie

Here lies a man o' micht, His name was Donald Downie: He lost his life ae market nicht By fa'in aff his pownie. Aged 37 years Cullen Graveyard, Banffshire   Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990

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 →

the mourning girl’s grave

The last Laird of Foyers was born in 1760. The estate still belonged to the family then because his grandfather had bequeathed it to his son, the last Laird's father, before he joined the Jacobite Rising in 1745. It was therefore safe, most of the other rebel properties in Scotland had been confiscated by the crown.... Continue Reading →

fatal Falkirk

Battle of Falkirk, 22nd July 1298 This is the grave if Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll who died a hero’s death in the Battle of Falkirk where he had fought alongside Sir John de Graeme (buried a few metres away) and William Wallace who never got a burial at all. Sir John commanded the Scottish Archers that... Continue Reading →

3 headstones

The Hart Stone The Hart Stone is a heartbreaking testimony to the harsh and often deadly conditions in the time of the Jacobite Rising in Scotland. Romantically portrayed in Diana Gabbaldon’s novels and Outlander, but these times were not easy to survive in, especially when there was no nurse from the future attending the sick.... Continue Reading →

light on untouched graves

  This graveyard is a very peaceful one, snuggling between the river and the old town of Callander, the Parish church is long gone. But there is a small building in the old graveyard wall, that tells a gruesome story. Not by day but by night. Callander old kirkyard once was haunted by very creepy... Continue Reading →

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