Scots Roots

Rubh’ An Teampaill

Northton ChapelThis mediaeval chapel looks out across the Sound of Harris towards the Uists. It stands on a rocky headland, Rubh’ An Teampaill, near Northton on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.

It was probably built in the 15th or 16th century and stands on the site of a much older broch, which is likely to have supplied most of the stones for the chapel.

Northton ChapelThe chapel has a small slit window in each wall with a door in the north wall.

Surrounding the chapel lie the remains of a graveyard thought to have been there since Viking times.


Northton Chapel

A mucky highlander
February 25, 2015, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Photographs


The Lewis Chessmen
February 4, 2015, 9:41 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

Lewis chess piece 1Thought to have been made in Norway in the 12th century, a hoard of medieval gaming pieces was found at Uig on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in 1831.

The collection consisted of 78 chess pieces, 14 tablemen and a belt buckle.

Most of the pieces are carved in walrus ivory but some are made from whale teeth.

Lewis chess piece 211 of the pieces are currently exhibited at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the other 82 pieces are owned and usually exhibited by the British Museum in London.

Some of the chessmen were stained red when they were found indicating that red and white may have been used to distinguish the two sides as opposed to the modern black and white.

The sizes of the pieces vary and it has been suggested that they may belong to at least five different chess sets.

Uig beach

Uig beach

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2015

Arbroath Harbour 1974
February 1, 2015, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

Here’s a short film I made of Arbroath Harbour in 1974 when fishing was still a major industry in the town. Quota cuts and decommissioning from the 1980s onwards have drastically reduced the fishing fleet.

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2015

MacLeod’s Stone (Clach MhicLeoid), Isle of Harris
January 22, 2015, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

MacLeod’s Stone 1MacLeod’s Stone is more than 3 metres tall and stands on a small hill at the north end of the beautiful Traigh Iar beach on the west coast of the Isle of Harris, overlooking the small island of Taransay.

Erected more than 4,500 years ago, its purpose is now unclear but it may have been part of a calendrical system or it may just have been a navigational aid to guide boats into the bay.

It was later named after the local clan chief and was possibly a rallying point for the clan.

MacLeod’s Stone 2

More pictures are available at Ancient Scotland.

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2015

Calton Hill Monuments

Calton HillAt the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, lies Calton Hill, a favourite spot for locals and tourists because it provides panoramic views of Princes Street and the castle to the west, the Firth of Forth to the north and Holyrood Palace and Salisbury Crags to the south.

Calton Hill is also the location of several iconic monuments and buildings including:

National Monument

The National Monument

The National Monument of Scotland is Scotland’s national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. Designed during 1823 – 1826 by Charles Robert Cockerell and William Henry Playfair, it was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens and building started in 1826. However, due to lack of funds, it was left unfinished in 1829.

Nelson Monument

The Nelson Monument

The Nelson Monument is a commemorative tower built in honour of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson between 1807 and 1815 to commemorate Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and his death at that battle.

Dugald Stewart

Dugald Stewart Monument

The Dugald Stewart Monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753–1828) and was completed in August 1831. Dugald Stewart was a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.

City Observatory

City Observatory

The City Observatory is an astronomical observatory situated at the top of the hill. Inspired by a Greek temple of the Four Winds, the building was designed by William Henry Playfair in 1818.The largest dome on the site is the City Dome in the northeast corner.

Calton Hill

Click on Edinburgh for more pictures.

Dun Carloway Broch
December 30, 2014, 9:51 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

Dun Carloway BrochThought to have been built around AD 100, Dun Carloway Broch stands on a rocky promontory on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis overlooking Loch Carloway.

Brochs were fortified round houses usually comprised of two concentric drystone walls with a stone staircase corkscrewing its way up between the walls.

Dun Carloway BrochThey were being built in the Iron Age around 2,300 years ago and stopped being built in the early centuries AD. Thought to have been the homes of local tribal leaders, there are more than 500 of them across Scotland, mostly in the northern and western parts and in the islands.

On the east side of Dun Carloway Broch, parts of the remaining wall still reach to 9 metres tall, close to its original height. Nothing remains of the inner structure or the roof which were likely to have been made of wood.

More pictures are available at Ancient Scotland.

Dun Carloway Broch


Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2014


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