Scotland

1746 The Battlefield of Culloden, Scotland

About this time last year 2016, we walked the Culloden Battlefield Trail, we were late arriving, but we did have the whole site to ourselves, apart from the end when two dog walkers passed by.  I am not going to go into great details about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Rebellion just a few facts to accompany my photos.  The battlefield had been on my list to visit for a long time, but I wasn’t too sure if visiting the site would be a let down, had it become too commercialised.  I should imagine it could be quite busy in the summer, but the week before Christmas and arriving in the late afternoon, with the light fading, was perfect.  It was so quiet and the feeling of the past was really quite over whelming, I felt a great sadness, but I will let the photos take you on the walk.

On 16th April 1746 the most ferocious hand-to-hand fighting took place at the height of the battle.  Historians believe that about 700 Jacobite soldiers were killed or wounded here in just a few minutes of fighting.  The Jacobites’ charge had broken the government front line but they were then forced back, which catastrophic consequences.  Today, Archaeologists have found many items, hacked muskets parts, pistol balls and ripped off buttons.  All these are clear evidence of a desperate close range fight.

In the years after Culloden, interest in the story of the battle continued to grow.  The memorial cairn and grave marker of clans were raised in 1881 by Duncan Forbes, the local landowner.

Leach Cottage – After charging, the Jacobites clashed fiercely with the government’s left wing.  The government second line move around the buildings here in support, forcing the Jacobites to retreat.  The cottage that stands here now was built on the site of the farm buildings shown on almost every contemporary battle map of Culloden.  A cannon ball is said to have been recovered from the turf wall of the building more than a hundred years old.

 

 

 

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.  

 

Through The Car Window – Glasgow, Scotland

Last December 2016, we were in Glasgow, Scotland, very near to Sauchiehall Street, which forms one of the main shopping sectors of the city.  The visit was work related, but I managed to grab a few early morning shots through the car window.  The city was just starting to wake up, although the photos could be better, the window wasn’t too clean, I hope they give a sense of a large city on the verge of having its breakfast 🙂

 

Re-Visit -The Corran Point Lighthouse, 1860 (Corran Narrows) Ardgour, Highlands

Just a few new photos from a re-visit of the lighthouse at Corran Point, taken earlier this year, May 2017. 

 Corran Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located at Corran Point on the west side of the Narrows of Loch Linnhe. It was built in 1860 on project by Thomas and David Stevenson; it is a masonry tower with gallery, lantern and keeper’s house which has become private property. The lighthouse emits an isophase light white, red or green according to the directions and was the first lighthouse to be automated in 1898.

Carragh an t-Sruith Lighthouse, Isle of Jura, Scotland

Last year, 2016, we visited the Islands of Islay and Jura off the West Coast of Scotland, we went for the whisky festivals.  This photo is taken from one of the distilleries, I was just taking random shots of the beautiful scenery, when in the distance I saw a white shape.  Right in the centre of the photo you will see a tiny white lighthouse……now, as this will be the nearest that I will ever get to this lighthouse, it’s going in my lighthouse category.  I made a rule in the beginning, that I did’nt have to visit, although it it’s nice to do so, but just photographing the lighthouses would be ok.  I have zoomed in for a close up, it just gives you a general idea of the shape.   

The lighthouse was built in 1960 and is an octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Not an old light, but what a wonderful location.

 

 

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.