where the devil lost a soul

This is a story of the devil hunting a soul and losing it to the sacred ground of Birnie Kirkyard. This is an ancient place, the church itself is one of the oldest in Scotland. Christians have worshipped here since the 12th century and the Celts centuries earlier. Birnie was the cathedral to the Bishop... Continue Reading →

silver darlings

The Banff and Buckie districts were legendary for herring fishing, once a huge source of income in Scotland. In any case, nowhere was as much herring fished as in Scotland and Banff was the most successful of all the herring-fishing regions.   At the beginning of the 20th century, when countless fishing boats caught the... Continue Reading →

bleedy pits

It was at the beginning of the last millennium, the Danes were still threatening the Scottish coast, and the clanchiefs were busy fighting off invaders after invaders. In 1004, the Danes invaded Banffshire and were received with horror as well as courage by the locals. There were not many places along the coast where a... Continue Reading →

heirs and honours

Anyone who has ever tried to google a Scottish town is likely to have made a similar experience: there is always another one with the same name, often significantly larger, in the United States, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. This also applies to the Royal Burgh of Banff in Scotland. There is another one in... Continue Reading →

Adam and Eve Stone

An intricate Adam and Eve stone displays the figures of Adam and eve, angels playing the trumpet, an hour glass, a bible and a plough with oxen complete this interesting example dating back to 1758. The symbolism is complex, the first awareness of death came according to the Bible to mankind through Adam and Eve.... Continue Reading →

epitaph to a witch

Here lyes with Dethe auld Grizzel Grimme Lincluden's ugly witche; O Dethe, an' what a taste hast thou Cann lye with sich a bitche! Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Champbers, Edinburgh, 1990  

eight funeral services

Carluke cemetery Carluke can boast of having been useful in World War II like no other town in Lanarkshire. Since the entire town at that time was on one side of the railroad, it was easy to identify it from the air and used as a turning point for pilots on their training flights before... Continue Reading →

the mutineers‘ end

Tolsta marks the end of an unhappy journey. Francois Gautiez an French cook and the English mate Peter Heaman were on board of the ship Jane, commanded by Thomas Johnson. The Jane of Gibraltar was heading for Bahia de Brazil and among the many things she was carrying were also Spanish silver Dollars, a considerable... 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 →

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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