Boreraig – Cleared Township on the Isle of Skye 🌊

🗓️ This week is Gaelic week! As part of that I recently saw a post with two stories from Boreraig, so I thought in addition to linking it I’d also share some more of the history and my own photos from when I visited it myself all the way back in 2016.

🗃️ From Canmore:

“Boreraig and Suisinish Clearance villages on Loch Eishort’s northern shore, with rich evidence of settlement and land use spanning centuries. Boreraig is particularly haunting, surviving almost as it was when cleared in 1852…

…NG 619 164 Boreraig: cleared by Lord MacDonald in 1852, (Nicolson 1930) – still partly occupied in 1901, (OS 6″map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., 1903) but totally deserted by 1954-5 (OS 1″map, 7th series)

A Nicolson 1930.”

From the Canmore Website search results for Boreraig

ℹ️ The Highland Clearances took place from the late 1700s into the mid-1800s and beyond, when thousands of Highlanders were forced off of their ancestral lands by the landowners, many of whom were former clan chiefs, to be replaced by more profitable sheep. In the case of Boreraig we can see from the quotes above that it was Lord MacDonald, Chief of the MacDonalds of Sleat who was in involved.

🪦 The above photo shows Cill Chriosd (Kilchrist), the Church that’s often the starting point for the walk to Boreraig. One of the flimsy excuses given for clearing the township was that they were too far from the church and so it was being done for benevolent piety. However, having a bit of a trek to get to church – including for funerals and having to carry a coffin all the way – was not uncommon in the countryside at the time. Also, Lord MacDonald had gotten himself into debt and needed the money.

💬 Here’s the first of the stories from aforementioned post I saw shared by Coast (English follows Scottish Gaelic):

“Chan eil Heasta ach 3 mile air falbh bho Boreraig. Bha torr dhe na daoine a bha a’ fuireach ann an Heasta, thainig iad a Boreraig agus thainig mo shin-sheanair a Boreraig. Theich iad a Boreraig mus do chuir iad tene ris a bhaile. Bha teaghlach a’ fuireach ann am Boreraig ris an canadh iad na Kellys. Bha e a’ cur an iognadh orm co as a thainig na Kellys. Thug na Kellys cuideachadh do na Jacobites aig Cul Lodair. Tha an teaghlach ann an Heasta chun an latha an-diugh. Bha boireanach Kelly ann am Boreraig nuair a thainig na maor trath ‘s a mhadainn. Chunnaic i iad is dh’aithnich i gun robh an bairligeadh gu bhith ann. Thainig iad dhan dorus aice is dh’iarr iad oirre bobhla de dh’uisge fuar a thoirt dhaibh. Thug i a-mach le bobhla falbh ach bha cuman aice ri taobh an dorais. Chuir i am bobhla anns a chuman ach thuirt iad rithe “Cha dean sin an gnothach idir. Bha an t-uisge anns a chuman ann fad na h-oidhche is theirig dhan tobar. Dh’fhalbh i dhan tobar, is nuair a bha i leathach rathad a’ tilleadh air ais bhon tobar, chunnaic i an ceo agus bha sin an taigh aice na theine. Dh’fhag i creadhal a-staigh nuair a dh’fhalbh i agus càraid ann (twins), agus ‘s e dithis ghillean a bh’anns a chàraid. Ach thug iad an creadhal a-mach mus do chuir iad teine air an taigh. ‘S e Kellys a bh’innte-sa. A chàraid a bha sin, iad fhein is a mathair, theich iad a Heasta. Dh’fhas iad suas ann a Heasta agus dh’fhuirich fear aca agus phos e te ann a Heasta. Chaidh am fear eile dhan Druim Fheàrna agus phos e boireanach as an Druim Fheàrna agus bha e an sin gus an do chaochail e.

Above in Gaelic is a story from the time when the village of Boreraig was forcibly cleared in 1853 to make way for sheep. The Kellys were a family living in Boreraig. The Kelly woman, a mother of twins, spotted the eviction agents/factors arriving at the shore early in the morning. They knocked on her door and asked for a bowl of cold water. She returned with an empty bowl and went to fill it from the wooden pail outside but before she did, she was ordered to go and collect fresh water from the well. When she was half way home she saw the flames of her house on fire. She had left her twin boys in a cradle inside, but they had taken the cradle out of the house. The family relocated to Heaste, as did some of the families from Boreraig.”

From the Coast website & originally spotted on Facebook – click/tap through to the Coast website to read the other shorter story, just in English this time, under the longer one.

📖 Additionally, you can read more about the Boreraig clearances on Electric Scotland:

“…The only plea made at the time for evicting them was that of over-population. Ten families received the usual summonses, and passages were secured for them in the Hercules, an unfortunate ship which sailed with a cargo of passengers under the auspices of a body calling itself “The Highland and Island Emigration Society.” A deadly fever broke out among the passengers, the ship was detained at Cork in consequence, and a large number of the passengers died of the epidemic. After the sad fate of so many of those previously cleared out, in the ill-fated ship, it was generally thought that some compassion would be shown for those who had been still permitted to remain. Not so, however. On the 4th of April, 1853, they were all warned out of their holdings. They petitioned and pleaded with his lordship to no purpose. They were ordered to remove their cattle from the pasture, and themselves from their houses and lands. They again petitioned his lordship for his merciful consideration. For a time no reply was forthcoming. Subsequently, however, they were informed that they would get land on another part of the estate—portions of a barren moor, quite unfit for cultivation.

In the middle of September following, Lord Macdonald’s ground officer, with a body of constables, arrived, and at once proceeded to eject in the most heartless manner the whole population, numbering thirty-two families, and that at a period when the able-bodied male members of the families were away from home trying to earn something by which to pay their rents, and help to carry their families through the coming winter…”

From the version of The History of the Highland Clearances uploaded by Electric Scotland

🎧 The above extract mentioned the voyage of the Hercules – if you want to know more about that, I highly recommend listening to the Stories of Scotland podcast episode on it here or wherever you get your podcasts. They have an excellent episode on the later “Battle of the Braes” too which also took plant on Skye with the involvement of Lord MacDonald. Celebrated Scottish Gaelic bard Màiri Mhòr nan Òran composed a song about this “battle”.

⬆️ While exploring the remains of Boreraig, I happened to look up when entering the house pictured in the Featured Photo at the top of this post, and noticed these wee bits of shell embedded into the underside of the lintel stone. Since doors are liminal places I wondered if they had been either deliberately pushed in, or even if they’re naturally occurring fossilised shells that particular stone may have been used because of that. However, so far I unfortunately still haven’t been able to find any reliable folklore/folk tradition sources that talk about this – I will definitely post about it if I do in future. In the meantime, here’s an ominous wee bit of lore regarding whelk shells I came across while looking:

“Empty whelk shells (faochagun failmhe) should not be allowed to remain in the house for the night. Something is sure to come after them.”

From the book The Gaelic Otherworld by John Gregorson Campbell, edited by Ronald Black

🥾 Lastly, for the walking route my husband & I took to Boreraig, plus some more great photos taken at a different time of year and before it was quite so overgrown, have a look at We went at the end of September so not too cold, but as you’d expect very changeable weather! It had just stopped raining when we set out and unlike more famous sites in Skye there was no-one else around, which made for quite an eerily atmospheric walk. If you go wear appropriate footwear and waterproofs – the path gets narrow and slopes in places as a proper road/path was never completed while the township was still occupied. The walk itself isn’t too difficult though so don’t be put off by that ☺️

📸 Featured Photo credit & all other photos: taken by myself on a – far too short – visit to the stunning Isle of Skye in 2016. Hopefully the remains of Boreraig are still accessible and visible through all the vegetation etc now.

Paisley’s Gaelic Graveyard 🪦

🗓️ Following on from my previous blog post on the cleared village of Boreraig, I think Gaelic week is a good time to write about the former St Columba’s Gaelic Chapel Graveyard in Paisley, which I was also able to visit but much more recently – in December 2022! One of the destinations for those forced off of their land due to the Clearances was of course Scotland’s towns and cities, so this is where many ended up whether directly or after having to leave poorer land they were first pushed on to due things like famine. Below I’ll detail some of the history of Paisley’s Gaelic population, the graveyard and highlight some gravestones in particular with photos.

Information Board on the wall of the former graveyard, unfortunately in a poor state…

ℹ️ The above photo shows the information board on the wall of the former St Columba’s Gaelic Chapel Graveyard in the Oakshaw area of Paisley. Unfortunately the Scottish Gaelic information was a bit too obscured by the graffiti to try to transcribe, but I’ll quote the English information below so it’s easier to read:


This plaque marks the location of a former gateway into St. Columba’s Gaelic Chapel Graveyard which was in use for more than 150 years from 1795 to 1949.

Many who were buried here were Gaelic speakers who worshipped in the Chapel. They came to Paisley from 1770 onwards to find work in the booming textile and manufacturing industries and to escape famine in the Highlands and Islands.

Rates of infant mortality were particularly high in the first half of the 19th Century when the town’s population increased rapidly but sanitation remained very basic. Many people buried here died young. One wealthy family lost five of their seven children.

A number of gravestones from the Gaelic Chapel Graveyard can be seen at Hawkhead Cemetery. Inscriptions show that Gaelic people brought skills with them from the Highlands or learned new skills to adapt to an industrial town. More than 30 jobs are mentioned and it is clear that Gaelic people helped enrich the lives of people in Paisley and beyond.

The chapel was built in 1793 and the last service was held in 1958. The building was then converted into flats.

The graveyard has developed into a wildlife sanctuary with woodland providing undisturbed nesting sites for songbirds like Blackbirds, Blackcaps, Chaffinches and Wrens. The damp, shady conditions are ideal for woodland flowers like Bluebells, Enchanter’s Nightshade and the Wild Orchid, Broad-leaved Helleborine.”

From info board put up by Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council
Looking up the road that runs alongside the graveyard turned wildlife sanctuary and leads to the former Gaelic chapel.
The former St Columba’s Gaelic Chapel, now converted into flats with the former graveyard behind them. To find it turn right at the top of the hill in the previous photo and walk along the street on the opposite side of Oakshaw Trinity Church, then you’ll see it on your right.
The former graveyard, now gone back to nature after many of the gravestones being moved to Hawkhead Cemetery after the 1949 closure.
Back down the hill again – Paisley has many of these old, interesting streets to explore.
Information Board at Hawkhead Cemetery, where many of the gravestones were moved to.

ℹ️ The information board at Hawkhead Cemetery was thankfully in a better state, though a bit dirty. I think I’ve been able to get both the Scottish Gaelic and English this time so I’ll put both below – scroll down to the relevant language for yourself and for more photos, including some of the gravestones:


Anns an sgìre seo tha clachan-uaighe bho sheann Chladh Cill Ghàidhlig Naoimh Chaluim Chille ann an Oakshaw, Pàislig.

Bha cladh na Cille Gàidhlig air a cleachdadh còrr air 150 bliadhna, eadar 1795 gu an tiodhlacadh mu dheireadh ann an 1949.

Ged a bha a-Chill Ghàidhlig air a stèidheachadh airson Gàidheil a bho air gluasad a Phàislig bhon Ghàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan, cha robh ach beagan chlachan-uaighe sgrìobhte sa Ghàidhlig.

Bha còrr air 30 dreuchdan air ainmeachadh air na clachan-uaighe, mar chomharra air farsaingeachd sgilean nan Gàidheal agus mar a ghabh iad ri beatha bhailteil Phàislig agus gnìomhachasan soirbheachail.

Tha cuid de na dreuchdan sin gun atharrachadh mòran ann an 150 bliadhna, gu sònnaichte feadhainn togail leithid sgleàtair, sglàibeadair agus criadh-chlachair. Tha cuid cha mhòr air falbh gu tur ann an Alba m.e: feadhainn ceangailte ri muilleannan clò, leithid glanadair clò agus dathadair agus cuideachd feadhainn eile leithid uaireadairiche agus ròpadair. Tha cuid eile, leithid breabadair, greusaiche, diolladair is gobha staoin ann fhathast mar obair dhualchas no làmh-cheàrd sonràichte.”

From info board put up by Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council
To find the gravestones, turn left after entering Hawkhead Cemetery from Hawkhead Road. Go along to the wall you’ll see ahead of you, then turn left again and follow that same wall along until you find them in the far corner of that section of the cemetery.


This area contains gravestones retrieved from the former St. Columba’s Gaelic Chapel Graveyard in Oakshaw, Paisley.

The Gaelic Chapel Graveyard was in use for more than 150 years from 1795 until the last burial in 1949.

Although the Gaelic Chapel was founded for Gaelic speakers who had moved to Paisley from the Highlands and islands, only a small proportion of the stones were inscribed in Gaelic.

More than 30 jobs are mentioned on the gravestones, indicating the diversity of skills held by Gaelic speakers and how they adapted to their new urban life in Paisley’s booming industries.

Few of these jobs have changed in 150 years, particularly building trades like slater, plasterer and bricklayer. Some have virtually disappeared from Scotland – those associated with textile mills, like cloth lapper and dyer, but also watchmaker and ropemaker. Others survive as heritage of luxury handcrafts – weaver, shoemaker, sadder and tin-smith.”

From info board put up by Historic Scotland and Renfrewshire Council
As mentioned in the info there were only a few gravestones actually inscribed with Scottish Gaelic – this was the only one I could find, at least that was semi-legible, not covered in water etc.
A closer look at the same stone – from what I can see it’s for a man called Gileasbaig McCaog. Quite difficult to make out all of the words due to erosion & my Gaelic isn’t good enough to translate them fully, so I’m not sure what’s written in italics – I suspect it means the stone was erected for him by his wife Anna NicDhonuil. Not sure exactly where they came from either. It’s nice though we can clearly see the wife’s surname as women in Scotland traditionally didn’t change theirs after marriage, & of course in the female form too with “Nic” instead of “Mac/Mc”. As far as I can tell the year spelled out rather than in numerals at the bottom is 1817. UPDATE: thank you very much Peter MacDonald Tartan Historian for letting me know about a good online translation that also explains things such as issues with how the Mr McCaog’s job is spelt. The translation is given as follows: “This stone was set up by Gillespie McCaig, Tailor, and Anne McDonnell his Spouse, from Upper Kintyre. Year eighteen hundred and seventeen.” (With the Gaelic being: “Tha chlach so air a cur suas [le?] Gileasbaig McCaog, Taighlear, agus Anna NicDhonuil a Bhean, o Bhraigh Cheantire. Aon mhile, ochd ceud, agus seachd bliana deug.”) Please do have a look at the Geograph site where this was quoted from for more details.
Most of the stones were inscribed in English – here’s a slightly older, but less eroded one that reads: “This is the burying plot of Robert McAusland and Agnes Robson his Spouse; and their Heirs 1799. No 116” – interesting mix of older & newer style Ss.
A very sad memorial of a father & 2 children – Malcom McIntyre died only 48 years old on 13th October 1812 after his infant son Alex died on 8th. The next August they were joined by daughter Elora who was only 3.5 years old. Perhaps this was some kind of sickness that caused this? The stone was erected by Marg (?) McKingie, the wife & I assume also the mother.
This stone seems to have been shared – first the property of John Campell, a weaver, erected for his wife Margaret Wright who died in 1809. Then property of a Fergus Ferguson & Margaret Campbell – maybe John’s daughter? – in memory of their deceased 7 year old daughter Eliza.

🍂 Those were just a few of the surviving gravestones that I wanted to highlight – many of the older ones were of a similar, quite plain design with some more recent ones being a bit bigger and a bit more ornate. Have a look at the gallery below for more photos:

🪦 Thank you for reading! It was very interesting looking into this being from Paisley myself, as well as being interested in Scottish Gaelic and death customs in general 🔍

📸 Featured Photo & all other photos credit: me and my dad. We went to look for the graveyard and graves along with my husband and mum. My dad instilled a love of history in me from a young age and took us to lots of sites as we were growing up, so it was really nice to be back in Scotland after travel restrictions were eased to do something like that again 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Cochno vs Kilmartin – fascinating talk on major rock art sites now available on YouTube (plus some Scot Arch Month 2022 Highlights) 📺

A fabulous talk given by Dr Kenny Brophy from University of Glasgow for Kilmartin Museum is now available to watch for free online, running time approx. 120 mins including Q&A. In it he talks about his work on the Cochno Stone & West Dunbartonshire sites, the value of archives for not only historians but archaeologists too, & how important contributions from well-informed amateurs can be. He then compares this to better known rock art sites in Kilmartin Glen. I’ll embed the video below & I highly recommend you have a look at the Kilmartin Museum YouTube channel to see their other interesting talks as well ⬇️


It’s brilliant this kind of information is available to the public for free & hopefully it’ll encourage people to – responsibly – visit these sites. A general guide for doing that can be found here ⬅️

Also, if you’re interested in this particular form of cup & ring style rock art, you may want to have a look at previous posts here & here where you can read, watch more videos, interact with 3D models etc 🐍

Speaking of information available for free here are some more highlights from Scottish Archaeology Month (September) 2022:

Hopefully this wee round-up was of interest ☺️ For more archaeology have a look at the Archaeology topic tag 🏷

📸 Featured Photo credit: Me, Kilmartin Glen – Achnabreck rock art featuring distinctive “cup & ring” marks

Tobar Nam Maor – a Pictish symbol stone with a Scottish Gaelic name

💧Tobar Nam Maor is a standing stone with Pictish symbols that got its name when it was found being used as a cover stone for a well of that name in 1910. Here’s a brilliant 3D model you can have a look at & interact with on Sketchfab:

📝 The name translates to “The Well of the Stewards”, or sometimes “Shepherds”. It’s been pointed out by those better at Scottish Gaelic than me – I’m still learning – that sources labelling it Tobar NA Maor rather than Tobar NAM Maor are incorrect, likely dropping the “m” from the end of “Nam” by mistake due to the next word beginning with “m”. This shows us how important it is to double-check things in the original language of the items we’re researching, particularly if they’re minority languages like Scottish Gaelic because this makes any issues both more likely to occur & more likely to be overlooked, even by otherwise reliable sources unfortunately…

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 More details on the Scottish Gaelic name issues – “nan” (or “nam” in the case of words beginning with b, f, m or p) is the genitive article for plural nouns & so can be used with both masculine & feminine nouns to indicate possession or close association. However “na” as a genitive article is not only singular, but cannot be used with masculine nouns like “maor”, so this grammatical impossibility is what tells us that the “m” in “nam” has been dropped. Hopefully that made sense & I obviously welcome any comments native &/or fluent Gaelic speakers may have. See these helpful tables from Learn Gaelic for further clarification.

⭐️ Canmore Info for this stone can be found here

⭐️ Highland Historic Environment Record info can be found here

⭐️ Further HER entry showing a source with an example of correct spelling & translation can be found here

📸 Featured Photo credit: Pexel

“Performing Magic in the pre-Modern North”: Upcoming free online conference – now updated to include YouTube link as event has passed 📣

⭐️ UPDATE: all of the talks given at the conference are now available to watch on the Performing Magic in the pre-Modern North YouTube channel ⬅️

This looks like an excellent online event which I’m told will hopefully be recorded for those who can’t make the live sessions taking place on 8th & 9th December, 2021 🎥

This event is free & of course Scotland will be one of the areas covered, with several of the speakers invited being from the University of Aberdeen & the University of the Highlands and Islands 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

⭐️ Register on Eventbrite 🎫

📃See also – Conference Programme showing topics, invited speakers etc

❄️ Have a look at a previous post on an article written by one of the invited speakers – Dr Ragnhild Ljosland – Also you can have a listen to a recent interview here on the Witches of Scotland Podcast 🎧

📸 Featured Photo credit: Pexel

More Kilmartin Glen Rock Art!

I thought I’d follow up the short post I did a wee while ago highlighting an upcoming presentation on the ancient rock art in Kilmartin Glen with some more info and images ☺️

The Kilmartin Glen area is rich in ancient rock art spanning from the several thousands of years old cup and ring marked stones, to later Gaelic art carved onto some of the stones at Dunadd, a hillfort that was the centre of power for the kingdom of Dál Riata. It’s a fascinating area that’s well worth a visit, and on a personal level the art I saw there – plus it being the only place I’ve seen an adder in the wild as previously mentioned – inspired the logo design for this site 🐍

Firstly, below are a couple of examples of cup and ring marked stones in the area ⬇️

Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks, same in Featured Photo – interactive 3D model from Historic Environment Scotland
More Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks – interactive 3D model from Historic Environment Scotland
Cairnbaan West Cup and Ring Marks – interactive 3D model from Historic Environment Scotland

For more information on the archaeology, location etc of these sites – believed to be about 5,000 years old – visit here for Achnabreck and here for Cairnbaan. Remember when visiting these sites to respect them & the environment, plus any wildlife or farm animals that may be around – see The Woven Land Network for helpful guidelines 🗺

Next, below is a great wee presentation on experiencing various types of rock art throughout Scotland incase anyone missed it in the other post ⬇️

Talk by archaeologist Aaron Martin, Kilmartin Museum, about experiencing rock art that features some from Kilmartin Glen – running time: 46mins

Finally, for more info and images on rock art in Kilmartin Glen, such as at Dunadd or at Dunchraigaig (where the first prehistoric animal carvings in Scotland were recently found), you can search sites like:

📸 Featured Photo credit: Me, Kilmartin Glen – Achnabreck rock art featuring distinctive “cup & ring” marks

Pictish Trail & Myth-Busting

Just a wee post to highlight a couple of interesting resources & places to visit in connection with the Picts 🙂

🪧 The Highland Pictish Trail Website – full of great info & places to visit. Extract from site intro:

“From the 300 AD to about 900AD, the Picts ruled much of what is now Scotland, and the Highlands were an important centre of Pictish power, culture and religion.
Today, you can experience for yourself their fascinating legacy in the Highlands – enigmatic and often finely carved stones, important religious sites, hillforts set on towering hills and ridges, finely-worked jewellery and sculpture cared for in local museums, and stories of kings, wizards, faith and battles.”

💥 Great Myth-Busting article from Dig It! – available in Scots (& English, but give the Scots a go)! Extract from intro:

“The Pechts are best kent fur their byordinar symbol stanes, whit are tae be fund oot-through Scotland. Hooivver, recent research has brocht tae licht michtie new elite settlements and airtit oot Pechtish monasteries – forby, it has e’en gied us dates fur these ferlie stanes. Takkin tent o aw this new data, lat’s hae a glisk at some o the maist common questions speirt anent thon unco interestin fowk.”

⭐️ For those that can’t visit any Pictish sites at the moment, here’s a fab wee collection of interactive 3D models of some of them on Sketchfab. Example of one 1 I really like (as you can tell from the Featured photo lol):

📚 For more have a look the Picts topic tag & the Picts section of the Resource pages

📸 Featured Photo credit: Me, Fortingall

Kilmartin Glen Rock Art

I love Kilmartin Glen for its fascinating rock art, ancient monuments & being the only place I’ve seen an adder in the wild 🐍✨

🌙 UPDATE – recorded talk mentioned below now available to watch here on YouTube (Duration: 45 mins)

🗓 Kilmartin Museum will be putting on an online talk about rock art in & around Kilmartin Glen this Thursday 30th September 2021, 7pm GMT.

⭐️ You can book a free place to attend next Thursday’s talk live here on the museum’s website.

🪨 There’s also fantastic talk you can watch about experiencing this kind of art in Scotland available to watch on YouTube in the meantime.

📰 Related article about a fantastic chance discovery in one of the Kilmartin Glen cairns, including 3D Sketchfab models you can view – just goes to show you should always keep your eyes peeled, look at things in different lights etc 👀

🔗 Link to brilliant article about Kilmartin Glen rock art, with particular mention of Kilmichael Glassary from The Urban Prehistorian

📸 Featured Photo credit: Me, Kilmartin Glen – Achnabreck rock art featuring distinctive “cup & ring” marks

Early History of Christianity in Scotland

Saints & Sea Kings by Ewan Campbell is part of the Historic Scotland “The Making of Scotland” series. Like all books in the series it’s short & good for a simple introduction/overview, with further reading recommendations at the end.

This book mentions early Christianity in Scotland & Columba in particular. It describes the small numbers of monks involved as well as how evidence points to both Christianity & the older Religion existing side-by-side for quite some time, such as the syncretic nature of beliefs in Scotland. It also goes into the power & prestige of writing after it was introduced by Christian monks, which had a massive impact on wider society & culture. Lastly, on a non-religious note, it covers how the idea that Scottish Gaelic culture & language came to Scotland through invasion from Ireland is a myth – these books were written a wee while ago so it was a newer argument at the time, but now it’s well established that Scottish Gaels had always been in certain areas of Scotland, connected with Ireland by the sea.

➕I feel understanding this transitional time period is very important as misconceptions about the Christianity in places like Scotland & Ireland are still quite prevalent today. For example, because of violence & forced conversions elsewhere, it’s often assumed that it must have been the same everywhere, so every St Patrick’s Day you get the modern myths about St Patrick somehow single-handedly murdering thousands of pagans. Another example is that because some people are unaware of just how long Christianity has been in Scotland, they believe false claims that the Witch Trials in Scotland involved executing pagans.

📚Another book in series that covers this transition in Southern Scotland is Angels, Fools & Tyrants by Chris Lowe (I’d recommend the whole series if you can get it – they were part of the reading from my Archaeology course at Uni & cover Scottish history from pre-history to the decline of the clans)

🔗 For more have a look at the Religion & the Witchcraft Beliefs & The Witch Trials sections of the Resources Pages – I’ll be adding more to these sections over time.

(📸 Featured Photo credit: Me – Pictish Cross Slab at Loch Kinord, Canmore Site Record)

Slavery in Suriname & Guyana

I’d like to share a lecture I watched recently on Scotland’s involvement in slavery in Suriname & Guyana, plus a couple of links to further resources on Scotland’s involvement in the slave trade as well.

I’ll put a brief summary of the lecture & a screenshot of the main points below.

Summary of lecture:

I thought this was a good, comprehensive lecture on Scotland’s (particularly Highland Scots) involvement with slavery in Suriname & Guyana, both before the Acts of Union & after slavery was made illegal in the British Empire (these were Dutch colonies, so of course Dutch involvement mentioned too). It also mentions indentured labourers from countries like India & the British Government’s role in forcefully removing Guyana’s left wing government in the 1950s as well as the stoking of racial tensions.

💻 Watch the lecture on YouTube

Lecture topics covered – I’m informed that David Alston does great work in sharing his research with the Caribbean community in Scotland which is really good to know

The Empire Museum

Slavery Artefacts, Documents etc in Glasgow Museums

(📸 Featured Photo credit: Pexel)