guardian of the realm

In days without a king or during a royal minority, a guardian was elected to lead nobles and realm. David II was born in 1329, the year his father Robert I died. A hero father who cast a long shadow. David was too young to rule and it proved too dangerous for him to remain... Continue Reading →

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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 →

for the villagers, not the Hamiltons

Kinneil church Kinneil the village is considerably older than Borrowstounness but it declined while Bo’ness prospered. The church dates back to the 12th century and was a landmark for ships entering the harbour until it was officially supressed in 1669 Kinneil House The Kinneil estate behind which the church and graveyards lie, towers prominently high, sixty... 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 →

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 →

no chivalry, no sanctuary, no mercy

They had in fact every reason to feel safe: they were women, they all belonged to the royal family of Scotland and they had found shelter in a wee chapel dedicated to Saint Duthac, the patron Saint of Tain, a holy man very much revered in medieval Scotland. But they were not safe, not safe... Continue Reading →

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