Tuesday, 31 July 2007
The Highland hills are high,
The Highland lochs are long,
And the Highland Whisky is the best,
To make the body strong.
The Highland sun is no sae bad,
To warm a Scotsman's nose,
But Highland Whisky is the best,
To paint it like a rose.
Monday, 30 July 2007
Scottish Pipers performing at a Highland Games in Central Scotland. Highland Games are a colourful spectacle of Highland dancing, bagpipe competitions, athletics, and the famous 'heavy' events. Also known as Highland Gatherings, these popular social occasions are steeped in the history and culture of Scotland. Highland Games (Souvenir Guides). Best Scottish Hotels and Best Scottish Tours.
Visit Ayrshire, Scotland. In Lost Ayrshire, Dane Love tracks down the lost architectural heritage of Ayrshire. Over the centuries countless buildings have been erected and demolished, and this informative and beautifully illustrated book looks at a wide selection of these, from castles that have been destroyed or replaced by modern mansions to country houses that have succumbed due to dry rot or lack of funds for their upkeep. Dane Love also visits various townscapes and uncovers the former everyday architecture of the burghs and villages, including churches, banks, tollbooths, public halls, schools, shops and houses. Ayrshire was once rich in mining and other industries that have now gone. This book contains illustrations of the county's lost coalmines and the associated miners' rows, as well as former cotton mills, power stations, shipyards, factories and other places of work. As well as lost buildings from the distant past, Dane Love includes some more recent examples of what has been destroyed. In some cases these losses are welcome, but in many, they are regrettable - such buildings should have been preserved and found new uses. Lost Ayrshire shows just how much of the area's heritage has lamentably vanished over the years. Lost Ayrshire.
Alton Albany, Alloway Parish Church, Annbank, Ardeer Square, Ardmillan Castle, Ardrossan, Auchinleck, Ayr, Balkissock, Ballantrae, Barassie, Bargany, Bargany Garden, Barr, Barr Castle, Barrhill, Barrmill, Beith, Blairquhan Castle, Bowhouse, Brig o' Doon, Brodick, Burns' Cottage, Burns Monument, Burnton, Caprington Castle, Carnell Castle, Carrick, Catacol, Catrine, Colmonell, Coylton, Craigie, Craigneil Castle, Craufurdland Castle, Cronberry, Crookedholm, Crosshill, Crosshouse, Crossraguel Abbey, Culzean Castle, Cumnock, Dailly, Dalblair, Dalleagles, Dalmellington, Dalquharran Castle, Dalry, Dalrymple, Darvel, Dean Castle, Dougarie, Doularg, Dreghorn, Drongan Station, Dundonald, Dunduff Castle, Dunlop, Dunure, Dunure Castle, Fairlie, Fenwick, Galston, Gasswater, Girvan, Glenbuck, Glengarnock, Glenloig, Greenan Castle, Hurlford, Imachar, Irvine, Kilbirnie, Killochan Castle, Kilkerran, Kilmarnock, Kilmaurs, Kilmaurs Place, Kingencleugh Castle, Kirkhill Castle, Kilwinning, Kirkmichael, Kirkoswald, Lady Cathcart's House, Laigh Milton Viaduct, Lamlash, Largs, Lendalfoot, Loans, Loch Doon Castle, Lochranza, Loudoun Castle, Loudoun Old Parish Kirk, Lugar, Lugton, Maidens, Mauchline, Mauchline Castle, Maybole, Maybole Castle, Millport, Monkton, Muirkirk, New Cumnock, Newmilns, Newmilns Tower, Ochiltree, Oswald Hall, Patna, Penkill Castle, Pinmore, Pirnmill, Portencross, Prestwick, Rankinston, Redrea, Rowallan Castle, Rowantree, Royal Troon Golf Course, Rozelle House, Saltcoats, Seamill, Shiskine, Skelmorlie, Sliddery, Sorn, Sorn Castle, Souter Johnnie's Cottage, Springside, Stair, Stevenston, Stewarton, Straiton, Symington, Tarbolton, Terringzean Castle, The Electric Brae, Tam o' Shanter Inn, Thomaston Castle, Torbeg, Trabboch, Troon, Turnberry Castle, Turnberry Championship Golf Course, Wallace Tower, Waterside, West Kilbride, Whitefarland, Yett. Best Scottish Hotels and Best Scottish Tours.
Sunday, 29 July 2007
Friday, 27 July 2007
Visit Buckhaven, Fife, Scotland. I was born in Randolph Street, Buckhaven, the street shown above. I have few memories of the area as I moved to Cellardyke as an infant. Nevertheless, I do feel an attachment to this town.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Visit Duntocher, Scotland. Duntocher is a suburb in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Nearby places are Bowling, Clydebank, Cochno, Dalmuir, Drumchapel, Drumry, Edinbarnet, Erskine. Visit West Dunbartonshire on the best scottish tours.
Visit Culross Abbey, Fife, Scotland. Built on the site of a Celtic Christian Culdee church. Abbey founded in 1217 by Malcolm, 7th Earl of fife; dedicated to St Mary and St Serf. Much of the original building remains, although a great deal of it is in ruins. The monks choir forms the present parish church, in continuous use since 1633. Modernised in 1824 and restored in 1905. Tour Fife on a small group tour of Scotland.
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
The Scots in South Africa. This book is the first full-length study of the role of the Scots from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. It highlights the interaction of Scots with African peoples, the manner in which missions and schools were credited with producing Black Scotsmen and the ways in which they pursued many distinctive policies. It also deals with the inter-weaving of issues of gender, class and race as well as with the means by which Scots clung to their ethnicity through founding various social and cultural societies.
The Scots in South Africa offers a major contribution to both Scottish and South African history and in the process illuminates a significant field of the Scottish Diaspora that has so far received little attention. The Scots presence at the Cape. Radicals, evangelicals, the Scottish Enlightenment and Cape colonial autocracy. Scots missions and the frontier. Maintaining Scots identity. The Scots in South Africa: Ethnicity, Identity, Gender and Race, 1772-1914 (Studies in Imperialism).
Scotland the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. This is the first book wholly devoted to assessing the array of links between Scotland and the Caribbean in the later eighteenth century. It uses a wide range of archival sources to paint a detailed picture of the lives of thousands of Scots who sought fortunes and opportunities, as Burns wrote, across the Atlantic roar. It outlines the range of their occupations as planters, merchants, slave owners, doctors, overseers, and politicians, and shows how Caribbean connections affected Scottish society during the period of improvement. The book highlights the Scots’ reinvention of the system of clanship to structure their social relations in the empire and finds that involvement in the Caribbean also bound Scots and English together in a shared Atlantic imperial enterprise and played a key role in the emergence of the British nation and the Atlantic world. Scotland in the eighteenth century, The eighteenth-century West Indies, Scots on the plantations, Mercantile connections, Scots doctors in the West Indies, Scots in West Indian politics, Scots, the Caribbean and British politics. Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1750-1820 (Studies in Imperialism).
The Great Scottish Witch Hunt. The first history of the most intense period of witch-hunting in Scotland between 1658-62. Scotland, in common with the rest of Europe, was troubled from time to time by outbreaks of witchcraft which the authorities sought to contain and then to suppress, and the outbreak of 1658-1662 is generally agreed to represent the high water mark of Scottish persecution. These were peculiar years for Scotland. For nine years Scotland was effectively an English province with largely English officials in charge. In 1660 this suddenly changed. So the threat to Church and state from a plague of witches was particularly disturbing. The tension between imported official English attitudes to witchcraft and the revived fervour of Calvinist religion combined to produce a peculiar atmosphere in which the activities of witches drew hostile attention to an unprecedented degree. An Abundance of Witches: The Great Scottish Witch-hunt.
The Origins of the Scottish Reformation. The Scottish Reformation of 1560 is one of the most controversial events in Scottish history, and a turning point in the history of Britain and Europe. Yet its origins remain mysterious, buried under competing Catholic and Protestant versions of the story. Drawing on fresh research and recent scholarship, this book provides the first full narrative of the question, for scholars, students and general readers.
Focusing on the crucial period 1525-60, and in particular the childhood of Mary, Queen of Scots, it argues that the Scottish Reformation was neither inevitable nor predictable. A range of different Reformations were on offer in the sixteenth century, which could have taken Scotland and Britain in dramatically different directions. The story which is told here is not a religious or a political narrative, but a synthesis of the two, which pays particular attention to the international context of the Reformation. It also focuses on the impact of violence, from state persecution, through terrorist activism, to open warfare. The use and misuse of violence determined the critical turning-points of the story, often in unpredictable ways.
Going beyond the heroic certainties of John Knox, this book tries to recapture the lived experience of the early Reformation: a bewildering, dangerous and exhilarating period in which Scottish, and British, identity was remade. The Origins of the Scottish Reformation (Politics, Culture & Society in Early Modern Britain).
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Visit Sweetheart Abbey, Scotland. Sweetheart Abbey is located eight miles south of Dumfries, near to the Nith in south-west Scotland. The Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway, daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway, in memory of her husband John de Balliol.
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Visit The West Highland Way, Scotland, on the Best Scottish Walking Tours. The West Highland Way is well signposted and it would be difficult to get lost, but it's good to have this book to see where you are, and how far you have to go. It is packed full of additional travel information, historical snippets, quotes, and handy tips. West Highland Way: Glasgow to Fort William (British Walking Guide).
Saturday, 21 July 2007
Friday, 20 July 2007
Visit Blantyre, Scotland. Blantyre is a small town in south Lanarkshire, eight miles from Glasgow. It is best known as the birthplace of David Livingstone.
David Livingstone (1813-1873) was one of the supreme representatives of the British Empire. Yet his career suffered many setbacks during his own lifetime, and since his death his reputation has swung between extremes of adulation and dismissal. Were his epic journeys through Africa purely to save souls and counter the slave trade? Or were they the first steps towards bringing the peoples of Central Africa under the control of Europeans who would destroy their values and exploit them economically? Beyond these questions, there lies the puzzle of Livingstone's own character and its contradictions. Livingstone's career was certainly an extraordinary one. Born in poverty in Blantyre, Scotland, he educated himself by heroic endeavor, later proving him-self to be a remarkable linguist and scientist. His missionary journeys brought him into contact with a wide range of African peoples, for whom he showed remarkable sympathy. David Livingstone: Mission and Empire is a scholarly and readable account of Livingstone's life and of his achievements. David Livingstone: Mission and Empire.
In 1854 David Livingstone was acclaimed a hero for his discovery of the Victoria Falls. He had been able to map much of central Africa's waterways, but his later journeys appeared to be failures, although they provided the western world with vivid descriptions of the hitherto unknown interior of Africa. In 1871 the "New York Herald" sent one of its journalists, Henry Stanley, to find him, leading to one of the most famous meetings in exploration history. This biography provides an account of Livingstone's life, from his humble beginnings in Blantyre, Scotland, and his struggle to gain medical qualifications, to his employment with the London Missionary Society and his search for the source of the Nile. David Livingstone (Pocket Biographies).
Thursday, 19 July 2007
Visit Dunrobin Castle on the Best Scottish Tours. Dunrobin is the largest castle in the northern Highlands. Some elements of the castle are thought to date back to the time of William, the 3rd Earl in the 1320s, while a keep was added in 1401. Although some military features are still apparent, such as the fine iron yett, the original defensive nature of the structure has been well masked by later re-modelling in the 1840s and again in 1915. Dunrobin's similarity to a Loire chateau derives from the work of the Gothic Revivalist Sir Charles Barry between 1845 and 1851. At Dunrobin he created a memorable multi-turreted fantasy in the fake baronial style known as Balmorality. Dunrobin Castle was witness to one of the worst misunderstandings in Scottish history. In April 1746 George Mackenzie, the Jacobite 3rd Earl of Cromartie, was led to believe by a messenger that the Hanoverians had been defeated at Culloden. Without waiting to confirm the news, the Earl rounded up his men and siezed Dunrobin Castle in the name of Charles Edward Stewart. As the real news from Culloden filtered north, the Earl found himself surrounded by the Sutherland militia and was eventually captured in the apartment at Dunrobin still known today as the Cromartie Room.
Dunrobin Castle will always be associated with Elizabeth Gordon, the nineteenth century Countess of Sutherland who married the exceptionally wealthy Marquis of Stafford in 1785 and set out to improve her Highland estates. Although the Staffords built 450 miles of new road in Sutherland and encouraged new tenants to bring over 200,000 sheep into the county, they are remembered for the brutal clearances of Strathnaver. Their hated factor Patrick Sellar despised the local Gaelic folk, believing them to be lazy and an obstacle to progress. The Clearances on the Sutherland estates were amongst the most oppressive as a result. Two years after 1814, remembered as The Year of the Burnings, Sellar was in fact tried for murder and fire-raising. Visit Dunrobin Castle on the Best Scottish Tours.
The Highland Clearances were the most rugged and painful of many attempted solutions to the problem of those who maintain a population on marginal and infertile land. In drawing attention away from the mythology or the hard facts of what actually happened, this book offers a balanced analysis of events which created a terrible scar on the Highland and Gaelic imagination, the historical legacy of which still lies unresolved in the twenty-first century. The Highland Clearances.
The economic, religious and cultural transformation of the northern Highlands in the years 1790 to 1850, can be linked directly to the Highland Clearances, wholesale evictions of highland sub-tenants and small farmers by English landlords, who wished to make way for more profitable sheep farming. The low esteem in which English speakers regarded the Gaelic community and its language is evident. Yet, far from fighting change, the clergy stands accused of abetting the landlords by preaching the need for individual repentance and submission, thus securing a population passive towards the changes. Taking evidence from the far north of Sutherland and Ross, the epicentre of the crisis, author David Paton uses unusual and revealing evidence, including Gaelic poetry and descriptions of the emotional effects of a more complex and subtle picture. The form of Presbyterianism that sustained the Gaelic community in the Northern Highlands in the face of attack by an alien culture, simultaneously prevented effective protest and hindered the expression of a sense of injustice. The Clergy and the Clearances: The Church and the Highland Crisis.
The Highland Clearances Trail answers the where, why, what and whens of the Highland Clearances. Taking you around the significant sites of the Highland Clearances this vivid guide gives a scholarly introduction to a tragic moment in Scotland's history. Perthshire, Ross-Shire, Arran, Sutherland and Caithness are among the many areas covered. With full background information supplied, along with maps and illustrations, The Highland Clearances Trail provides an alternative route around the Highlands that will leave the reader with a deeper understanding of this sublime landscape. The Highland Clearances Trail.
In April 1816, Patrick Sellar was brought to trial in Inverness for culpable homicide in the manner of his treatment of the Highlanders of Strathnaver. This is an account of Sellar's life and times. It shows that he was ruthless and cruel, but also that he had a streak of idealism: did he really believe that the displaced Highlanders would be better off, better fed, educated and housed in their new homes? Have the Highlanders in the end become more productive and prosperous? The author examines such questions as these, showing there is a case for Sellar's defence as well as for his prosecution. Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances: Homicide, Eviction and the Price of Progress.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Visit Castle Tioram, Scotland. Castle Tioram was the fortress of the Macdonalds of Clanranald who held the lands of Moidart and the isles of Rum, Canna and Eigg. It sits on a small tidal island and was an ideal location to watch the busy seaways between the southern Hebrides and the Isle of Skye. Clan legend says that the castle was built by Amy MacRuary, the slighted wife of John, seventh Lord of the Isles. Archaeology however suggests that a simple fortress based on an enceinte wall has been on this site since the early 1200s.
On the orders of the Queen Regent Mary of Guise, the Earls of Huntly and Argyll attacked the Clanranalds in Tioram in 1544. Several cannonballs from this siege were found embedded in the castle walls during repair works in 1888. Cromwell also occupied and garrisoned Tioram in the 1650s in an unsuccessful attempt to subdue the wild Papists' of the western Highlands.
Tioram was a castle of pit and gallows. The clan chief had full legal and judicial powers over his land and his people, including the rights to imprison and execute. In the 1660s, the twelfth clan chief, John, was a sadistic man who enjoyed terrifying the local population. In his later years, he sat in the highest turret of Tioram with his favourite gun, nicknamed the Cuckoo, shooting at everything within range. This included several unfortunate clansmen coming to pay the rent to their mad laird. While John lived, Tioram was haunted by an unusual spectre. A large black frog is said to have followed the chief everywhere until the day of his death.
Tioram was destroyed in 1715 on the orders of its last occupant, Allan Mor of Clanranald. The chief was reluctantly setting out in support of the 1715 Rising and a seer had foretold his death at the impending Battle of Sheriffmuir. Allan Mor ordered his men to torch the castle declaring: I shall never come back. It is better that our old family house be given to the flames than forced to give shelter to those who are about to triumph over our ruin. From a nearby hilltop, he watched his ancestral seat
burn and crumble before heading east to fall at Sheriffmuir as prophesied.
Although now a deserted ruin, Tioram served the Jacobite cause once more in 1745 when French artillery for the Rising were hidden there. However the impoverished Clanranald lands could provide few horses to carry these heavy arms on the invasion southwards and twelve of Bonnie Prince Charlie's vital cannon had to be abandoned there. Best Scottish Castle Tours.
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Visit Limekilns, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. Limekilns is an extremely old settlement dating back to the 14th century. The oldest building in the village is without doubt The King's Cellar, a large and somewhat mysterious property whose existence can be traced back to 1362. Tour Limekilns on the Best Scottish Tours.