black monks

The original Celtic church had no organization, as the new Church of Rome gained in influence, things changed in Scotland. The medieval church saw much innovation. With the beginning of the 12th century influences from abroad began to shape its structure. The Celtic monks disappeared, the Benedictine monks gained influence. The Culdees were the last... Continue Reading →

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stones for Cromwell’s citadel

There are more than enough romantic ruins in Moray but Kinloss is a special one as it was not only one of the greatest religious powerhouses of its time, it was also home to an interesting business idea. The three key words are Cistercians, Reformation and Cromwell. Founded in 1150 by the saintly King David... Continue Reading →

Dunfermline – saint, king and cholera

the saint In the late 1040s a little girl was born in exile, in Mecseknádasd in Hungary to a family of royal English blood. Margaret should become one of the most famous women in Scottish history. She came to England with her family but had to leave for Scotland after the Norman invasion. She met... 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 Snow Kirk

What is now a graveyard, hidden away in the grounds of the University of Aberdeen, was once a church: The Snow Kirk. A rather unusual name for a church in Scotland. It goes back to Rome and the Basilica Santa Maria Magggiore, also known as Sancta Maria Maggiore ad Nives, Saint Mary of the Snows.... Continue Reading →

Ardchattan’s Murder Victim

This is an ancient monastery, founded nearly 800 years ago by Duncan Mac Dougall, Lord of Lorn. thriving on the shores of Glen Etive it was the center of ecclesiastical life in this area for centuries until Cromwell’s troops burned it down in 1654. The adjacent house and beautiful garden are in private ownership. Here,... 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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