ghost of a spinster

Lady Louisa of Traquair was the 15th and last of the Lairds of Traquair. She had remained unmarried for all her long life and when she died at the age of 99 the estate went to the female line of the family, the Maxwell Stuarts. Her predecessor, the 14th Laird of Traquair had no head... Continue Reading →

kirk o’ the forest

They called it "the forest", plain and simple, there was never another one that size and importance. The Ettrick forest is extraordinary in the history of Scotland, its worth was political, biological and geographical. When one spoke of the forest, everyone knew which one was meant. There was only one of these dimensions; it reached... Continue Reading →

seven slain brothers

The Douglas clan was a powerful one in ancient Scotland, respected and sometimes feared. Mothers would use the name to pressure their children: Be good or the black Douglas will get you. They were called Black Douglas, for their inclination as well as their complexion; they were a rather dark-skinned family. One of the many... Continue Reading →

romantic ruin by the sea

St Bridget’s Kirk is one of the truly magical places in the Kingdom of Fife. The former Abbey is overlooking the Firth of Forth, in good weather you can catch a glimpse of the railway bridge. What used to be the center of the old village of Dalgety lies now on the outskirts of Dalgety... Continue Reading →

for the devil to hide

Scotland has a few round and a few octagonal churches. The thought behind both unusual forms is the same: in a building without corners, the devil has nowhere to hide. It could of course also have practical or aesthetic reasons but the old myth of the devil hiding in corners is very much alive in... 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 →

Rhynie’s Gothic grave and sarcophagus

Rhynie is first and foremost known for its Pictish symbol stones, on display next to the graveyard in the adjacent car park under an open wooden construction. The graveyard itself is old, too. The place-name Rhynie or sometimes also spelled Rhyny derives either from the French word roinneau, meaning a small promontory or from the word rig, meaning... Continue Reading →

Aberlemno – sculptured stones and kirkyard

The Aberlemno sculptured stones are a main tourist attraction in Angus. Ancient and easily accessible right by the side of a small country road, the B9134.   Beautifully carved with intricate detail and magical names (Serpent Stone) they date back more than a thousand years. Impressive as well as intricate and not to be missed.... Continue Reading →

first body

There is something special and sad about the first body interred in a graveyard. Local legend has it, that the first body in the graveyard of Quarff on Shetland Mainland was a stranger. Nobody knew who he was. A dead body the sea had brought in. The local fishermen buried him more or less where... Continue Reading →

alleged grave

The story of Rob Roy MacGregor is well known in Scotland, it is part of the old lore, history and childhood. A man who had joined the Jacobite Rising at the age of 18 and was badly wounded in the battle of Glen Shiel 1719. He was a fighter and a cattleman, selling rich Lowlanders... Continue Reading →

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