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Monday, June 30, 2008

Knott Ancestry Tour of Scotland

Here lies a man who was Knott born;
His father was Knott before him.
He lived Knott, and he did Knott die,
Yet underneath this stone doth lie.
Knott christened,
Knott begot.
'And here lies,
And yet was Knott.

Mr Knott Epitaph from Perth, Scotland.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tour Scotland June Testimonial


Tour Scotland June Testimonial. Dear Sandy, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the tour of a lifetime! I don't know what I expected, but to meet and travel with such a genial, well educated, knowledgeable, intelligent man who also has a great sense of humor, was a rare privilege. You are a "one in a million" host and the reason we had such a good time. To actually stand by the Abbey where the Clan started, then see the huge bronze plaque where Robert The Bruce is buried, was overwhelming. The hair on my arms stood up. All the stops were wonderful and enjoyable, especially with Ken. The scenery in the Highlands, with all the Lochs, hedges, cattle and sheep, was awe inspiring. Thanks for posting your beautiful pictures for us to share with others. We all loved Scotland and the people so much better than when we were in Ireland or in somewhat "stuffy" England. We all consider you our friend. Ron, Paul, Lori, Lisa and Lainie. Florida, USA.

Dear Ron, What can I say ? Except you were a wonderful group to tour with in Scotland. Really good people. The best of people. I can't say more than that. Sandy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tour Ceres Games Scotland


Pipers today at the Ceres Games in Fife, Scotland. It is said that Sir Robert Keith, Great Marischal of Scotland, instructed the men of Ceres in the use of the bow, prior to the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. This instruction apparently took place upon the village green now known as the Bow Butts. It is upon this green that the annual village games are held in celebration of the victorious return to Ceres of the men who fought at Bannockburn. So far as is known, with the exception of the war years, games have been held in some form here each year since the battle. The games were originally held on the 24th of June each year, the anniversary of the battle, but it has recently become more convenient to hold them on the last Saturday of June. Until the end of the last century, the games were of two days duration, the first of these days being Market Day. The village would buzz with activity as farmers drove their animals to the green. Ordinary store cattle would assemble on the tower green, highland cattle on the upper, whilst milking cows were ranged along the Croft Dyke close to the houses. Gypsy caravans would assemble on the upper green close to the horse market, the centre of the Largo road being used to show off the points and pace of the animals that were being bargained for. Back on the main green, children would crowd around the sweetie wagons end toy stalls, keen to spend their ha'pance, eagerly gathered during the week preceding Market Day. The second day, known during the last century as Plack and Penny Day, and more recently as race day, is still celebrated in the village, on the last Saturday in June in the form of Ceres Free Games, there is no entrance fee and all funding for the event comes from voluntary support.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Tour Balquhidder Parish Church Scotland


Tour Balquhidder Parish Church Scotland. A parish church located in The Trossachs. Old Church in dressed stone, built 1853 by David Bryce.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tour Kenmore Church Scotland


Tour Kenmore Church Scotland. The church on its green hillock is attractive, and dates from 1760, replacing one of 1579. The kirkyard here used to be part of the green and market place, the previous burial-ground being about a mile away to the northeast, at the pre-Reformation church site of Inchadney.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tour Scotland Scottish Sheep On The Road


Tour Scotland Scottish Sheep On The Road. Scottish Sheep On The Road in Highland Perthshire, Scotland.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Tour Errol Station Scotland


Tour Errol Station Scotland. Errol Station, Perthshire, Scotland. Errol Station, in Perthshire, was built in 1847 and operated as a Scottish railway station until closing down in 1985. Errol Station Photographs.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Tour Clan Robertson Scotland


Tour Clan Robertson Scotland. Just completed a Clan Robertson Tour of Scotland. This Clan Donnachaidh tour of Scotland included, Alyth Show, Auchterarder, Blair Castle,
Blairgowrie, Castle Campbell, Cellardyke, Clan Donnachaidh Museum, Croft Moraig Standing Stones, Dull Church and Churchyard, Dunfermline Abbey, Dunkeld, Dunning, Dupplin Cross, East Neuk of Fife, Forth Bridge and Estuary, Glamis Castle, Glamis Kirk, Glamis Stone, Glen Quaich, Highland Perthshire, Keltneyburn, Kenmore, Kinloch Rannoch, Loch Rannoch, Meikleour Beech Hedge, Old Church of Rannoch, Old Struan, Perth Library, Piob Mhor, Queen's View Loch Tummel, Robert the Bruce Statue, Schiehallion, Scottish Highland Cows, Scottish Horseman, St Andrews Old Course, St Serf's Church, St Monans Church and Harbour, Stirling ,Castle and Town, Struan Church and Churchyard, The House of Bruar, William Wallace Monument, and so much more.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tour The Blue Bells Of Scotland


" He dwelt in bonnie Scotland, where blooms the sweet blue-bell."

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Scottish Storms

An account by James Hogg, 1770-1835. The accounts were most dismal; the country was a charnel-house. The first day he brought us tidings of the loss of thousands of sheep, and likewise of the death of Robert Armstrong a neighbour shepherd, one whom we all well knew, he having but lately left the Blackhouse to herd on another farm. He died not above 300 paces from a farm house while at the same time it was known to them all that he was there. His companion left him at a dike side, and went in to procure assistance; yet, nigh as it was, they could not reach him, though they attempted it again and again; and at length they were obliged to return, and suffer him to perish at the side of the dike. There were three of my own intimate acquaintances perished that night. There was another shepherd named Watt, the circumstances of whose death were peculiarly affecting. He had been to see his sweetheart on the night before with whom he had finally agreed and settled every thing about the marriage; but it so happened in the inscrutable awards of providence, that at the very time when the banns of his marriage were proclaimed in the church of Moffat, his companions were carrying him home a corpse from the hill.

It may not be amiss here to remark that it was a received opinion all over the country, that sundry lives were lost, and a great many more endangered by the administering of ardent spirits to the sufferers while in a state of exhaustion. It was a position against which I entered my vehement protest, nevertheless the voice of the multitude should never be disregarded. A little bread and sweet milk, or even a little bread and cold water, it was said, proved a much safer restorative in the fields. There is no denying that there were some who took a glass of spirits that night, that never spoke another word, even though they were continuing to walk when their friends found them. On the other hand, there was one woman who left the children, and followed her husband's dog, who brought her to his master lying in a state of insensibility. He had fallen down bare-headed among the snow, and was all covered over save one corner of his plaid. She had nothing better to take with her when she set out than a bottle of sweet milk and a little oatmeal cake, and yet with the help of these she so far recruited his spirits as to get him safe home, though not without long and active perseverence. She took two little vials with her, and in these she heated the milk in her bosom. That man would not be disposed to laugh at the silliness of the fair sex for some time.

It is perfectly unaccountable how easily people died that night. The frost must certainly have been prodigious; so intense as to have seized on the vitals of those that overheated themselves by wading and toiling too impatiently among the snow, a thing that is very aptly done. I have conversed with five or six that were carried home in a state of insensibility that night who never would again have moved from the spot where they lay, and were only brought to life by rubbing and warm applications, and they uniformly declared that they felt no kind of pain or debility, farther than an irresistible desire to sleep. Many fell down while walking, and speaking, in a sleep so sound as to resemble torpidity, and there is little doubt that those who perished slept away in the same manner. I knew a man well whose name was Andrew Murray, that perished in the snow on Minchmoor, and he had taken it so deliberately that he had buttoned his coat and folded his plaid, which he had laid beneath his head for a bolster.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tour The Falkland Event Scotland


Tour The Falkland Event Scotland. The Falkland Event is one of the most talked about events on the Scottish Carriage Driving circuit, with its demanding but ultimately spectacular marathon phase, and its beautiful location in the Howe of Fife.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tour Alyth Show Scotland


Tour Alyth Show, Scotland. A cold and overcast day at Alyth Show. This yearly jamboree featured an agricultural show with cattle, sheep and horses, craft fair, highland dancers, vintage tractor display, and Alyth District Pipe Band.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tour Scotland Cruise Ship Rotterdam


Tour Scotland Cruise Ship Rotterdam. The cruise ship ms Rotterdam, from the Holland American Line anchored today in the Forth Estuary, just East of the Forth Railway Bridge, Scotland.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tour Earlshall Castle Scotland


Tour Earlshall Castle, Scotland. The origin of the name, Earlshall, is lost in the mists of antiquity. Tradition has it that it takes its name from the site of a hunting lodge, owned by the ancient Earls of Fife. The Barony of Leuchars including the land on which Earlshall now stands, is first recorded as being owned by the powerful Anglo-Norman family of de Quincey, Earls of Winchester, during the reign of William the Lion (1165-1214). At the end of the 14th century, the larger Barony of Leuchars was sub-divided into three separate baronies, one of which was known as Monypenny Leuchars, after Thomas Monypenny to whom the lands were granted. His grandson, Sir William, afterwards Lord Monypenny, was, in 1444, granted the lands of Congressault in France for service to Charles VII de Valois. A fellow Scot and companion in arms, Sir William Bruce, who was descended through a cadet branch of the family from King Robert the Bruce, also received the grant of the French lands of Escariot at around the same time. In addition, his loyal service to the French crown was recognized by his right to incorporate the royal fleur-de-lis of France in his coat of arms, a proud distinction.

Alexander, second son and heir of Lord Monypenny, decided that he wished to settle in France and Alexander Bruce, the son of William, effected an exchange with him of the lands of Escariot for the Barony of Monypenny-Leuchars and took up residence there in 1495. He is known to have been knighted before this year, and two years later James VI granted him a new charter of the lands 'Erlishall and the Prusk', the first recorded mention of the name. No structure exists from this period, although it is considered possible that the modest, small tower and low building across the courtyard from the castle may date from early 16th century when the Bruces were still relatively humble, bonnet lairds.

The change in the family fortune was to come about with the succession of Sir William Bruce and his subsequent role as a trusted counsellor to successive Scottish monarchs. Born in 1486, he fought at the Battle of Flodden (1513) where Scotland's nobility was decimated in the most disastrous defeat of a Scottish army by the 'auld enemy', the English. With the revenue from grants of additional land, Sir William was able to commence the building of Earlshall in 1546 at a time of momentous change for Scotland. In that year it is perhaps not too fanciful to imagine the masons working on the walls, pausing and looking across the estuary of the river Eden to where a single dark column of smoke arose outside the castle of St Andrews, marking the burning of the Protestant reformer and martyr George Wishart as a heretic, on the order of Cardinal Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrews. Maybe these same masons crossed themselves and muttered a little prayer, little realizing that this event signalled the beginning of the Reformation in Scotland and nearly one-and-a-half centuries of religious bloodshed.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tour Scotland Sheep Shearing Competition


Sheep Shearing Competition today at Angus Agricultural Show, Haughmuir, Brechin Castle Showground, Scotland.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Photographs From A Recent Tour of Scotland


Photographs From my most recent Tour of Scotland. This small group tour of Scotland included, Ardoch Roman Camp, Balgonie Castle, Ben Lawers, Birnam, Blackford Highland Games, Braco Castle Gardens, Branklyn Gardens, Castle Campbell, Dunkeld, Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunning, Dupplin Cross, East Neuk of Fife, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Famous Grouse, Forth Railway Bridge, Highland Cows, Glenlyon, Glenturret Distillery, Highland Perthshire, Lower Largo, Loch Tay, Meikleour Beech Hedge, Murthly Castle, Pittenweem, River Tay, Scone Palace and Gardens, Scottish Bluebells, Scottish Highland Dancing, Scottish Music, Scottish Pipe Band, Scottish Shepherd, Scottish Sheepdogs, The Sma Glen, St Andrews City, St Andrews Old Course, St Monans Church, St Serf's Church and more.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tour Scotland Working Shepherd


A working Shepherd at Leault Farm, located at Kincraig, south of Aviemore, Scotland.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tour Scotland Highland Cathedral Pipe Band


Highland Cathedral performed by a Pipe Band at Highland Games in Scotland. Tour Scotland on the best Scottish Tours.

Highland Cathedral by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Highland Cathedral.

Highland Cathedral by The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and John Mason and Andrew McGarva. Highland Cathedral.

Highland Cathedral by Phil Coulter. Highland Cathedral.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tour Braco Castle Gardens Scotland


Tour Braco Castle Gardens Scotland. Braco Castle is a much altered and augmented tower house. A rectangular tower, probably late 16th century, now forming the north-west corner of the building, was extended by Sir William Graham, 2nd son of the 3rd Earl of Montrose. He was uncle to the famous 1st Marquis of Montrose and was created Nova Scotia Baronet of Braco in 1625. General David Graeme, equerry to King George III and MP for Perthshire, added the enormous extension of the same height and general style to the east in the late 18th century to impress his royal master and to enhance his own dignity. Unfortunately the King never came. Finally the U-shaped building was filled in with a lower castellated portion in the Victorian time, probably by George Kellie McCallum. After 1894 Sir William Rennie Watson added to the Victorian service wings to the north east and was also responsible for building the water reservoir further up the hill.

The 19th Century landscaped garden comprises woodland and meadow walks with a fine show of spring flowering bulbs, many mature specimen trees and shrubs, with considerable new planting. The partly walled garden is approached on a rhododendron and tree-lined path and features an ornamental pond, extensive hedging and lawns with shrub and herbaceous borders. The planting is enhanced by spectacular views over the castle park to the Ochils. Good autumn colour. Opening Times; 1 February - 31 October, 2008: 10am to 5pm. Located North of the village of Braco, Perthshire, Scotland.

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