3 headstones

The Hart Stone The Hart Stone is a heartbreaking testimony to the harsh and often deadly conditions in the time of the Jacobite Rising in Scotland. Romantically portrayed in Diana Gabbaldon’s novels and Outlander, but these times were not easy to survive in, especially when there was no nurse from the future attending the sick.... Continue Reading →

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and the sea gave up the dead

Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard Larbert Old Parish Kirkyard has a number of very interesting gravestones, interesting for various reasons but there is one that conjures amazing images, smells and sounds of a far away world; it tells of travel, adventures and discoveries. The gravestone of James Muir. Richly decorated stones can be admired throughout the... Continue Reading →

chosen isolation

Isolation – the absence of others. A state of mind and body very much sought after by the early Christians. This was not the (splendid) isolation of the 19th century. This was the decision to live as a hermit, a recluse, a man alone with his faith and God. Nothing splendid about that.  Muthill was one... Continue Reading →

the forgotten war

When at the end of the Second World War the United States of America and the Russian Federation divided the Japanese occupied Korea into North and South, the conflict was by no means at an end. North Korea, with the authorisation of Josef Stalin, invaded South Korea to bring the south under communist rule. The... 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 →

always missed

funny Scottish epitaphs - the Milton Rifle Club Erected in respect of David Dawson By fellow members of the Milton Rifle Club Honorary president for eighteen years 'Always missed' Hamish Brown: A Scottish Graveyard Miscellany. Exploring the Folk Art of Scotland's Gravestones. Birlinn; 2008

Scottish epitaph fail

Erected to the memory of John McFarlane Drown'd in the Water of Leith By a few affectionate friends Hamish Brown: A Scottish Graveyard Miscellany. Exploring the Folk Art of Scotland's Gravestones. Birlinn; 2008

no place for flowers

Shetland – windswept archipelago north of the Scottish Mainland. It is in many ways closer to Norway than it is to Scotland or the UK. Geography, history, and culture make Shetland feel more Scandinavian than Scottish. But whatever it feels like to its inhabitants, it certainly feels remote to visitors. wet and windy The islands... 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 →

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