Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ancient Burial Ground of St. Columba's Isle

So on the last day of our holiday in the Isle of Skye, we each went off and did whatever we wanted to get done before we went home. Nikki, Joe and Ben went off to climb another mountain and Jenny just had a chill out day at the house. I had been doing a bit of research of the island and decided to go off and do a bit of a tour of the cemeteries.
I found out about this curious, little known place called St. Columba's Isle which claimed to be an ancient burial ground where several clan chiefs had been buried. Very excited and determined to find it, I mapped out my route and set off. As I was driving along, I suddenly spotted this odd little cemetery just randomly placed by the side of the road. It wasn't exactly at the side of the road, it had a field at each side of it but it caught my eye nonetheless and I immediately pulled to the side to get a closer look, I was on a cemetery tour anyway! The pictures above show this nameless place. It was really lovely how it was placed there. The majority of the headstones were quite modern and if all those people were stood where their graves are, they'd have had a wonderful view of the rolling countryside.
After a few photos I continued on my journey to find the elusive St. Columba's Isle....
I found it. The strangest coincident happened when I got there too. I was crossing this rickety wooden bridge over the river to the little island where the graves are and had to stand to the side to let an old lady pass. She thanked me and passed by and then turned back. "Can I ask why you've come here?" I suppose I must have been a curious sight, a young stranger visiting such a specific burial ground. I told her about my interest in graveyards and cemeteries and how peaceful and evocative of the past they are. She smiled and proceeded to tell me how she herself is a Nicolson who is a descendent of all the dead buried here! Of all the hours of all the days I could have chosen to go, I manage to be there at the same time as the clan's family member!
It's not hard to believe it dates back to the twelfth century because of how randomly scattered the headstones and obelisks are. Some headstones were hardly even recognisable as being headstones they were so weathered.

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