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 →

ancient gravestone

This stone marks a burial place of importance. Who the deceased was will remain unknown forever. He or she was buried about 1.500 years ago in rural Aberdeenshire. There is nothing spectacular to his place but it is remarkable in many ways. Standing stones rarely mark burial spots. Most of them have been moved to... Continue Reading →

Funny Scottish Epitaphs: without a sob

In hope to sing without a sob the anthem ever new, I gladly bid the dusty glob and vain delights adieu. From Strichen, Aberdeenshire Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990    

shoon and sheets – the Sutor of Selkirk

A cobbler's profession is generally not a particularly exciting or scary one. A shoemaker in the early 19th century had an upscale clientel and was a respected citizen. The cobbler of Selkirk (Sutor of Selkirk) brought it to a certain fame but not because of his shoes but his greed and his nosiness. He was... 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

the shepherd and the poet

James Hogg was one of Scotland’s major writers and is (especially in the Scottish Borders) a celebrated author of poetry, essays and novels, his books belong to the curriculum in the upper grades at schools and literature courses of universities. But internationally he is far less known as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns or Robert... Continue Reading →

bodies on the beach

Sandwick cemetery, Isle of Lewis Signalman John Alex „Jack“ MacAskill died a few yards from home. He was only 19 years old. And he died a few yards from his grave in Sandwick cemetery. His parents were Hugh and Christina MacAskill. The family lived in 75 Keith Street in Stornoway, a modest grey building, like... 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 →

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 mourning parents

Our sons they sleep down in this grave, We will not weep to wake them; We will wait till death do come, And we will overtake them. Kelton graveyard Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990

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