Photos and the City

Slow travel & photography

It´s been a long day already but there was one last spot I wanted to visit before driving to my place for the night in Ardgay – the Pictish stone (cross): Hilton of Cadboll Stone on the East coast of the Tarbat Peninsula in Easter Ross.

The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!

 

Just a short walk through the fields and suddenly there is the view of the sea and the replica of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone, a Pictish cross. Left to the cross are the overgrown remains of “Our Lady´s Chapel”. The original cross was carved around 800 AD.

The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!

The cross-slab’s had a chequered history. Carved around AD 800, it soon apparently snapped at the tenon – the extension lodged in the ground to hold it upright –  and toppled. It was re-erected, using the lower part of the stone as the tenon, and stood until 1674, when it broke again in a strong wind. (Historic Environment Scotland)

Alexander Duff had the stone reworked in 1676 and used it as a gravestone, one side of the carvings were destroyed and replaced by an inscription.

The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!

Our Lady´s Chapel

The upper section of the cross-slab was found next to the chapel in the 19th century. Today the remains of this small rectangular chapel lie in the field next to the cross hidden under the turf.

In Hilton of Cadboll a chapel dedicated to the Virgin ‘Our Lady’s Chapel’ was mentioned in 1610.

The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!

The remains of Hilton of Cadboll Chapel imply a simple, rectangular medieval chapel. There is a tradition of the site being used for the burial of unbaptised infants until the end of the 1800s. By 1856 the chapel was being used as a shed. (Historic Environment Scotland)

The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!The hidden chapel of "our lady" and a stunning pictish cross and a beautiful walk, the hilton of cadboll!

 

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

On the shores of Loch Assynt lies Ardvreck Castle, a ruined castle dating from the 16th century – the former old stronghold of the MacLeods of Assynt.

The castle is said to be haunted by the weeping ghost of one of the daughters of a MacLeod chief, who threw herself out of one of the windows after being promised to the Devil, as well as the ghost of a tall man, clad in grey. (The Castles of Scotland)

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.Ardvreck Castle dates back to about 1490, a time when the land was owned by the Macleods of Assynt.

It only entered the history books once, in especially inglorious circumstances. On 27 April 1650, the Marquis of Montrose, fighting for the Royalist cause even after the execution of Charles I lost the battle of Carbisdale to a much smaller Covenanter army. His flight brought him, two days later, to Ardvreck Castle, where he sought sanctuary with Neil Macleod of Assynt. (Undiscovered Scotland)

But there isn´t a happy end for the Marquis, Neil wasn´t at the castle, but his wife Christine tricked Montrose into going in the dungeon and sent for the Government troops. Montrose was executed in Edinburgh in May.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

Adrvreck castle was attacked and captured by the Mackenzies of Assynt in 1672. In 1726 they replaced it with Calda House, also on Loch Assynt. They even seemed to have used stones from the castle to build it. But Calda House burned down in 1737 and the Crown punished the Mackenzies for being on the wrong side of the 1745 Jacobites uprising and took away the land.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.In 1758 the land and house were sold to the Earl of Sutherland.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

Calda House

Calda House

Built in 1726 by the Mackenzies as their new home to replace Ardvreck Castle.

The family were said to have held riotous parties, and soon became short of money. The house was plundered and torched in 1737, perhaps deliberately by the Mackenzies as they were in debt. (Castles of Scotland)

Calda House is also said to be haunted, by a pipe player and again a woman.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.

A sudden change of weather and it started raining cats and dogs!

Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt in North-West Scotland.