Category: ruins

This is my favorite one so far! Still on the 2nd Day: A tour around Jarlshof, Shetland, and visting St Ninian’s Isle. Enjoy!

Photos of Jarlshof are here.

Jarlshof, Shetland

This site is quite special due to the
fact that it has been occupied for over 4000 years and still retains
remnants and features from each period, starting with the Early Bronze
Age, 2500 BC. There is an Iron Age broch, part of which has been washed
away by the sea. There are wheelhouses, which are unique to the Northern
and Western Isles of Scotland. Inside, wooden beams have been replaced
with stone due to the lack of timber on Shetland, which gives them their
unique character. There are Viking farm houses from the 9th Century
well into the Middle Ages, when settlers from Norway would come in large
numbers to Shetland. And then there’s the ‘Laird’s House’, dating from
the 17th Century, built by the Earl of Shetland and Orkney, after
Shetland had fallen into Scottish hands. Interestingly, just as with
Skara Brae on Orkney, the site was discovered by the land owner after a
heavy storm, who then excavated it. Today, it is maintained by Historic
Environment Scotland. The name Jarlshof itself comes from the novel ‘The Pirate’ (1822) by Sir Walter Scott, who wrote it after visiting the ruins, which were then known as ‘Sumburgh House’. A must see if you’re visiting Shetland!

A tour of Jarlshof is up on my channel!

Broch of Mousa, Shetland

This is an Iron Age style broch, which was built round about 100 BC and it the tallest of all brochs, as it still preserves its full structure, save the (likely thatched) roof. In fact, it is one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings of Europe. It is situated on the Island of Mousa, which is now uninhabited, and it can only be reached by boat, which operates between April and September. Storm petrels, European shags and seals can be seen on the island, as well as, a beautiful rugged coastline.   

You can see more of the island here.

A tour of Mousa Broch on my Youtube channel. 

Inch Abbey, Northern Ireland

This ruined Abbey was one of the sets for the series Game of Thrones. Surely enough, just before we left, the Game of Thrones tour descended upon the place with their black cloaks and weapon and armour props. Good timing for us. 

Revisiting Places: Dunkeld Cathedral.

The oldest part dates from 1260, which makes it one of the oldest buildings in Scotland still in use. On the same site used to be a Culdee Monastery, stones from which were incorporated into the new building. The Culdees, after St Columba, were the first bringers of Christianity to Scotland and since Dunkeld (Dùn Chailleann, ‘Fort of the Caledonians’) is at the heart of Scotland it became the centre for Scottish Christianity at the time. This place is steeped in history. Nearby is Birnam Oak, the last remainder of ‘Birnam Wood’ from Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, as well as an Iron Age hillfort currently being excavated.

Revisiting Places: Dunkeld Cathedral.

The oldest part dates from 1260, which makes it one of the oldest buildings in Scotland still in use. On the same site used to be a Culdee Monastery, stones from which were incorporated into the new building. The Culdees, after St Columba, were the first bringers of Christianity to Scotland and since Dunkeld (Dùn Chailleann, ‘Fort of the Caledonians’) is at the heart of Scotland it became the centre for Scottish Christianity at the time. This place is steeped in history. Nearby is Birnam Oak, the last remainder of ‘Birnam Wood’ from Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, as well as an Iron Age hillfort currently being excavated.

Skara Brae, Prehistoric Village, Neolithic settlement on the Bay of Skaill, Mainland Orkney

Kirkwall Town Centre: St Magnus Cathedral, Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces and Watergate

Cross Kirk, Peebles, Scottish Borders. 

Medieval Church built on a 13th Century pilgrimage site which was visited by King Alexander III, one of the oldest remaining buildings in Peebles.