Isle of Islay

Kilnaugkhton Chapel & Old Burial Ground, Isle of Islay, Scotland

In May 2016 we visited Islay, a large island off the west coast of Scotland, we were suppose to return this year, 2017, but the ferry was cancelled due to bad weather.  Sorting through some photos, I have realised now, that I have some more Islay photo’s still to post and some of the Isle of Jura.  

When we went to photograph the lighthouse at Carraig Fhada, we passed a burial ground that looked interesting.  After the photo shot with the lighthouse, we came back and I explored this beautiful located ancient chapel and its burial ground.

Kilnaugkhton Chapel sits on the west side of Kilnaugkhton Bay and was most likely built in the 1400’s, there is now only a roofless structure.  As you approach the chapel from its south side it gives the impression of having very low surviving walls. This is the result of the exterior level in the burial ground being raised over the centuries, leaving this side of the chapel almost sunk into the surrounding churchyard.

There are many worn grave slabs and there is a ‘Warriors Grave’, a knight in full armour.  Unfortunately or not, the grass had not been cut and everywhere, the bluebells and primroses were in abundance, more than I have ever seen before, so the knight was well hidden.  

 

Nereabolls/Nerabus Chapel and Carved Stones, Isley, Scotland

Last year 2016, we had a holiday on the Islands of Jura and Isley, off the west coast of Scotland.  Most of the time, the weather was bordering on being nice, but on the day we found the above sign, it had turn just a bit grey and dull.  I hadn’t read about this site, so it was a nice surprise, and also it was great to be the only explorer.   I could take my time and not have to worry about bodies, meaning of course live ones.

As I walked down the track, I wondered what I was going to find, it looked a little bit barren and quite small, but the name sounded interesting……. Nereabolls. Nerabolls is the name of the Hamlet, which is on the road from Port Charlotte to Portnahaven. I passed one stone enclosed burial ground, as I had seen a brown sign that looked very interesting. Very very interesting……’Ancient Burial Ground go Clan Donald’

Inside the fenced off area I found a collection of ancient grave slabs. Many of the slabs were discovered under a plot of turnips by a local farmer. The carved slabs have been cleaned and set on a gravel bed, covered by a protective glass cover to preserve them, but clear enough for visitors to study them.

I have changed all the tomb slabs to black & white, as the protective glass cover, plays havoc with the camera.

 

Several of the slabs are carved with foliated crosses, in the style of the Iona School 14th-15th century. another bears a sword blade and a pair of strange beasts that resemble a griffin and a lion. Another slab shows a galley with sail furled.   A small figure is shown climbing the rigging. Below the galley is a sword, with a lion and dragon figure fighting. Foliage issues from the dragon’s tail and transforms into an interlace pattern at the base.

The above stone could be ‘The Marigold Stone’, such symbols are frequently found in Ireland and most often dated to the 7th century, but they can’t be sure that is, but still a very interesting, carved with a circular pattern like a sunburst, with 16 radiating rays separated by grooves.

I made my way back to the remains of the chapel, which is thought locally to have been dedicated to St Columba and very probably dates to the 14th or 15th century. I had added the notice board, which tells you little more about the site.  The chapel site was traditionally owned by Clan Donald.  

 

 

 

Carraig Fhada Lighthouse, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Scotland

Carraig Fhada LightHouse is quite an unusual shaped lighthouse near Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay, Scotland.  We had gone to find an ancient burial ground, and came away with some images of a rather unique lighthouse.  The lighthouse was commissioned in 1832 by Walter Frederick Campbell the Laird of Islay, in memory of his wife, Lady Eleanor Campbell, who died in the same year 1832, aged 36.  This is a very characteristic lighthouse with two square towers connected to each other and standing 17 meters high.  The light was established in 1832 and the engineers were David Hamilton and son.  The light flashes every 3 seconds, with white, red, and green sectors.

There is an inscription on a plaque above the door reads as follows:

Ye who mid storms and tempests stray in
dangers midnight hour.
Behold where shines this friendly ray and
hail its guardian tower.

Tis but faint emblem of her light my fond
and faithful guide.
Whose sweet example meekin bright led
through this worlds eventful tide my happy course aright.

And still my guiding star she lives in realms
of bliss above.
Still to my heart blest influence gives and
prompts to deeds of love.

Tis she that bids me on the steep kindle this
beacons flame.
To light the wanderer o`er the deep who safe
shall bless her name.

The lighthouse was taken over by the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1924 and converted to operate on propane gas in 1963. The nearby keeper’s cottage, no longer needed since the light was automated, is now a private residence.

 

 

Abandoned on Islay, Scotland

When we were driving on the Isle of Islay in May 2016, I kept a look out for abandoned houses, to be truthful, there aren’t that many compared to other islands.  This little one is situated on the side of a hill and it was a quick point and press as we passed.  I think its Victorian and reminds me of the Fairy Cottage, which is painted blue and white and is on the other side of the Island.  Who knows, maybe one day someone will restore this cute little cottage. 

May 2016

 

Over The Sea To Islay, Scotland

To continue on with our journey after visiting Tarbert, in 2016, we caught the ferry from Kennecraig to Port Askaig on the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland.  The weather was perfect and it felt like a mini cruise, especially as we had a fish & chip supper on board.  We landed at Port Askaig and our hotel was a stones throw away from the terminal.  We settled in at the hotel and after exploring Port Askaig, which didn’t take long, we visited the bar of the hotel.  We had come to Islay and Jura, for the Whisky Festivals. So to get into the swing of it, we had a few drinks in the bar and got to met fellow Whiskey drinkers……they were quite of few……this is something that is taken very seriously, note books came out and drinks ticked off.  The next day we caught the ferry to Jura, on the smaller blue ferry you can see in the photos.  We were now on our way to Jura’s Whisky Festival and to explore this wild and rugged island…….more to follow.

 

 

Island Harpist

Walking around a museum in 2016, on the Isle of Islay, Scotland, we were treated to some beautiful harp music.

A good one for my ‘Occupation Category”  Island Harpist

I am trying to catch up with a few category photos, before we go on holiday and I add more to the pile 🙂