Travels round Scotland...
...Wullie has been indulging
himself again; away to Scrabster , right at the top of the civilised world, for a days' sea angling- hence this snap
of Dunnet Head from the
...Dunnet Head is, as you
know, the most northerly point on
mainland Scotland - not John o'Groats, though that wee
place has the northernmost shop, and house, in the British mainland - (and we'll be following with a page
about John o' Groats in the website to show these). The Head is the big lump on the extreme left; you can just
see the lighthouse on the top.)
Now,Mrs Wullie had decided to go along, so
they decided to spend a couple of nights there, and then work their way down via John o' Groats, to Aviemore for a few days. So Wullie had a grand
chance to see a wee bit more of our homeland and heritage. And take a wheen o' foties (large number of photographs)
we can use on find-it-in-scotland to pass on to yourselves, our brothers and sisters across this sair trauchled world
(sair trauchled? - sorely
troubled, burdened with hardship).
They saw a fair few bonny sichts: John o'Groats, of course;
the Highland Wildlife Park;
the Gunn Clan Heritage Centre; Dunkeld Cathedral; the Clan MacPherson House and
Museum ; Cairngorm
National Park (bits of - it's a muckle place) - all of which will
soon appear on the website but, just for a wee taste, let us tell ye aboot
The Hill o' Many Stanes...
...The Hill O' Many Stanes
...(Wullie tells) we were gently wandering down the
east coast, on the A99 road about halfway between Ulbster and Lybster, when we chanced to see a
brown signpost (brown is the colour used by Historic Scotland to indicate sites of interest) naming this
"Hill o' Many Stanes".
Being of curious dispositions, we said
to ourselves "Weel now...", and turned back (by this time we were a wee bit down the road from the sign), turned
left into this skinny road which rapidly became single track, and very soon came to the sign-posted entrance to the
Hill. We had NO idea what this might be; there's nothing to tell its story - till you get there. It's only a few
yards up a gentle slope and... there you are! It's a fair-sized patch of gorse - lovely in bright yellow bloom at
this time of year - covered with these Stanes, or stones; each one about 18 inches above ground. The Stanes
appeared to be in no pattern, but from the in-situ board with historical details we learned they were actually set
in straight lines - and as we walked round, this became apparent as the perspective changed.
These stones were laid down around
4000 (yes, four thousand) years ago. About 200 stones are arranged in at least 22 rows running north and south, fanning
out slightly towards the south end. The site has lost around 50 stones over the past 100 years, and a lot more
before that; it's reckoned the site would have about 600 stones if the pattern were complete.
There is no certainty as to the reason
for or function of these stones, but considerable time, effort and organisation must have gone into creating this
monument, device, or religious site - whatever it was/ is. It's certainly worth a visit. And we'll have more
pictures and info on the website, shortly.
Visiting places of interest again, we've been at
South Queensferry, sandwiched between the two famous bridges, and Stirling Castle.
South Queensferry has a much older claim to fame, though; it's home to a Carmelite Priory
that goes back to around 1440 AD AND it's the site of - wait for
it... the ORIGINAL QUEEN'S FERRY, set up by Queen Margaret in the
11th century. A lot of the original building remains at the Priory, and careful & tactful restoration work has
the wee church looking magnificent; a
must-see if you're in the area.
And just a few yards from the Priory is the site of
the Queen's Ferry; the rocks
on the shore formed a natural landing point for the ferry service set up by the Queen to take pilgrims, free of
charge, across the River Forth to holy shrines, in Dunfermline and elsewhere.
...Stirling Castle is MAGNIFICENT! Its great defensive walls protect many fine buildings, among them some of the finest examples of
renaissance architecture in Europe. And it overlooks the sites of two of the most famous battles in Scottish
history - Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn.
We'll have full-length features of the Castle and South Queensferry on the website, further down the line.
Meantime, you might like to look at our magazine pages - Wee Bits, Scots Firsts and Scots Myths