Scots Roots

Inverewe Garden
March 18, 2016, 10:43 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

Inverewe 1North west Scotland is not an obvious place to plant a sub-tropical garden but, thanks to Inverewe 2the warm currents of the Gulf Stream, Inverewe Garden, on the shores of Loch Ewe, has become one of Scotland’s most popular botanical attractions.

In 1862 the land was purchased for Osgood Mackenzie by his mother, Lady Mary Mackenzie. Over the years Osgood transformed it from a barren outcrop to a lush oasis.


Inverewe 3Inverewe 4He planted a shelter belt of 100 acres of woodland for protection and brought in tonnes of topsoil to create a walled garden.

He spent his whole life developing the garden, importing plants from all over the world.

Osgood died in 1922 but his daughter Mairi continued his work. Shortly before her death in 1953, she gifted the house and estate to the National Trust for Scotland.

Inverewe 5

Inverewe 6


The Italian Chapel, Orkney
March 4, 2016, 10:20 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

Italian Chapel, OrkneyIn 1942, the tiny uninhabited island of Lamb Holm in the Orkney Islands became Camp 60, home to 550 Italian prisoners of war, mainly captured in North Africa. They were there to help build the Churchill Barriers to the east of Scapa Flow. These massive concrete causeways, designed to block eastern access to Scapa Flow, were begun in 1940 to link the south isles to mainland Orkney following the sinking of HMS Royal Oak by a U-boat the previous year.

Camp 60, comprised of 13 huts, was home to the Italian prisoners from January 1942 until September 1944. In 1943, permission was granted for the prisoners to build a chapel and this they did using two Nissen huts joined end to end. It was built in their spare time after work on the barriers was finished for the day using leftover concrete and materials scavenged from around the camp.

The facade on the outside of the chapel was fashioned by the prisoners from concrete and disguises the shape of the huts. Many of the prisoners were skilled tradesmen as can be seen from the beautiful interior of the chapel.

The building is still used as a chapel today and remains a popular tourist attraction.

Italian Chapel, Orkney

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