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 →

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to heirs male of his body

Tingwall is an ancient place that bears a Scandinavian name as many places do on Shetland. The first church stood here as early as 1200, a place of worship and power. The Archdeacon of Tingwall was in charge of all Christianity in Shetland. This office dated from 1215 AD until 1690 when Presbyterianism was established... Continue Reading →

walking over someone’s grave

A shudder, a draft, cold sweat, a hunch of death, a tickling of the spine - the feeling that someone is walking over ones grave. A familiar sensation to many of us. As is the phrase. "Someone walked over my grave!" My grave? A definite point on the map of time? The final grid? My... Continue Reading →

a rather unfortunate accident…..

But what if it wasn’t?? This is the story of Donald Robertson who died at the age of 63 and was put to rest at Cross Kirk Cemetery in Eshaness on Shetland. So far there is nothing sinister or intriguing about the story. It was the year 1848, a time for fascinating discoveries in medicine,... Continue Reading →

grave mounds

It rises out of the turf covered earth like some vast creature from ancient times. The mound at Levenwick faces the sea in a sandy beached bay south of Lerwick on Shetland Mainland. In the midst of sheep filled fields it is a strange sight, the gravestones stand solid on that mound and access is... Continue Reading →

field of the unknown dead

The sea is a dangerous friend, a deadly beauty and an undiscriminating killer. Even on calm days people have drowned in the waters around the islands of the North. When the autumn storms set in, the mighty waves will have had a deadly feast in the past. Many a body washed ashore on Shetland around... 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 →

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