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 →

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Jacobite weapons and a vanished island

Dunlichity is a Parish church. There was an older building dating back to the 16th century but the faithful have worshipped here for much longer. The close-by loch and its fishing right belonged to the church. It is called Loch a’Chlachain, the lake of the church. Very still with a very remote feel to it,... 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 →

farmers, sailors, and miners

farmers The graveyard of Bothkennar and Carronshore Parish church (founded as early as 1150) seems very rural. This land has been farmed since King Robert the Bruce, possibly even earlier.   Rather remarkable since this was once known as the "Carselands", an alluvial plain around the River Carron, and therefore expected to be water-logged. Carse... Continue Reading →

English Enemies

Torphichen was once headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in Scotland, a place of power and influence. The sign of the order was the v-shaped cross, and its full name Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Their cross is still part of everyday life on St John’s Ambulances. They were a... Continue Reading →

eternal king

Old Olnafirth Kirk lies in ruins and has done so for more than a century. It was once known as St. Olaf`s Church and goes back around 300 years. Saint Olaf is not a traditional name in the Christian world but it is a famous one and one that left its mark through many centuries... Continue Reading →

cold childhood

This church, as probably many others all over the country, has seen decisive events in the history of this nation. A king was crowned within these walls when he was just over a year old; a baby still. The Protestant Church of the Holy Rude (founded at 1129) was the stage where the son of... Continue Reading →

the lion’s rest

A royal burial is a rare and special event in the history of a nation, a political cut after which a new chapter of history needs to be written. That goes without a doubt for most kings, not only the Scottish ones. Royal graves therefore seem of special importance, because they symbolise so much more... 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 →

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