Scotland

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.  

 

 

 

Inveraray From The South, Scotland

One more photo of Inveraray, this time from the south, it’s the view we always see when leaving the town.  The dark building on the right is the jail and it looks like it was quite a forbidding building, one building to try and keep out of, in days gone pass.

Taken May 2016 

Inveraray Castle, Scotland

This is the view of Inveraray Castle, that you see from the bridge on the road into Inveraray.   For some reason we have yet to visit, even on holiday last year 2016 it didn’t happen.  So for the moment its just the exterior, and in black and white, because it was a grey day and the castle is grey/green …… so it just got lost in colour.  

A little history…The castle was built on a rectangular plan with a sturdy crenellated tower at the centre and circular towers at each corner. The new house bristles with mock-military features including turrets, moats, and slit windows. To provide an uninterrupted view from the castle, the entire burgh of Inveraray was destroyed and rebuilt half a mile away in its current location.   Construction of the castle began in 1743 but took 43 years to complete.

All Saints Church & The Dukes Tower, Inveraray, Scotland

On holiday in Scotland 2016, we visited Inveraray, Scotland, and that one thing you can see from quite a distance, is the Dukes Tower, which was added to, All Saints Church, built in 1886.  The freestanding tower was added between 1923 and 1931. This was built as a war memorial and accommodates a ring of 10 bells, reputedly the second heaviest peal in the world. 

The church was for some reason closed, although the sign side it was open, but thats nothing unusual, or its just that I have go use to them being closed.  So next time we are passing I will try again.  It is not as old as some of the churches I visit, but it is in one of the most beautiful locations for a church, so worth a visit next time.

A little history ……..Gothic-style church built 1885 in local red granite, designed by Wardrop and Anderson of Edinburgh. Many of the interior furnishings given by Niell Dairmid, 10th Duke of Argyll. Belltower, in Gothic revivial by Hoare & Wheeler, built 1923-31 as a Memorial to Campbell dead of First World War and previous wars. Peal of ten bells by John Taylor of Loughborough, 1926. 

 

Inveraray, Loch Fyne, Scotland

 

We have had a very busy week-end, showing some visitors around Norfolk, well a little bit of the North Norfolk coast.  So blogging time has been zero, but I did manage to sort a few photos.  Following is a postcard of Inveraray, Scotland, a small town on the western shores of Loch Fyne and the home to Inveraray Castle, which I still haven’t visited.  There are a mixture of black & white and colour photos, these were taken over two holidays that we had in Scotland last year, 2016.  We have passed through the town so many times, if it’s sunny we stop, if it’s raining, then on we drive, but this is the first post about this really interesting little town.

Established in 1745 by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, head of the powerful Clan Campbell, the town is an absolute set piece of Scottish Georgian architecture. Key buildings that are worth visiting include the neoclassical church, and Inveraray Jail and courthouse, now an award-winning museum that graphically recounts prison conditions from medieval times up until the 19th century.

Kilmartin Church & Large Cross, Scotland

This is the last post on Kilmartin, Scotland 2016, for this year, hopefully we will return next year to visit the sites of a much earlier period than the stone crosses and churchyard of Kilmartin Church.   I have saved the best to last, well I think so, ‘The Large Cross’.  One of the most magnificent medieval stone crosses in the West Highlands.  Carved about 1200, on side is the robed Christ sitting with arms raised to show his wounds.  On the other side is the crucified Christ with a winged lion, symbol of St Mark, to his left, and angel for St Matthew above and a winged bull for St Luke below.

 

 

Taken from one of the notice boards……..This cross is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent of the great crosses carved in the Western Highlands in the Middle Ages.  Its form is unusual for the area, and the quadrant brackets which originally helped to support the widely projecting arms must have given it something of the appearance of a wheel-headed cross.  Until recent years only the shaft and side arm were known to survive, but in 1973 the upper arm was found built into a culvert.  The three pieces have been secured together in what is thought to have their correct relationship, with out attempting to replace the missing parts for which there is no evidence.

The cross originally stood 400 metres away, but was later moved to the Kilmartin graveyard.  The arm which was found in the culvert, was fixed back when the cross was brought inside.

The following photos are from a display inside the church.

The shaft and arm of the cross in the graveyard of Kilmartin Church.

The top arm of the cross replaced back onto the shaft.

The reserve side of the cross, once the top arm was fixed back to the shaft.

A little history on Kilmartin Parish Church………..On the site of earlier churches, the present building opened in 1835. The architect was James Gordon Davis. The church is Gothic in style with nave, aisles and a square tower. Three interesting memorial panels from the 18th and 19th centuries to members of the family of Campbell of Duntroon. The church has two outstanding early Christian crosses, with explanatory panels provided by Historic Scotland. The kirkyard contains the mausoleum of Bishop Neil Campbell and medieval tomb slabs. Extensive views over Bronze Age burial cairns, a photo shows one at the bottom of the page.