And it was worth the wait! Our wonderful new book, getting rave reviews from those who purchased it by pre-order, has arrived.
The book launch will be at Kirkmichael – where more appropriate? We'll be putting up the marquee and having free wine, soft drinks and nibbles. Keep the evening of Saturday 2nd June free! There will be book-signing opportunities with the author, guided tours, spooky tales and more besides! It all kicks off at 6 p.m. and the evening will be opened by none other than Hector Munro of Foulis. Hector himself related the Story of Lady Ardoch to the Duke of Gloucester during our Royal Launch last year.
Our new book is 192 pages long, packed with stories, true and fictional, all connected with Kirkmichael. Some of the spookiest tales by Hugh Miller, the personal stories of some of the families associated with Kirkmichael and local incidents like the Resolis Riots, sprinkled with contributions from pupils of Resolis, Cromarty and Tore Primary Schools and Fortrose Academy. Plus a detailed Guide to Kirkmichael and the story of Cullicudden. The marvellous medieval ornate stones of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden in a Scottish context. And much more. It has over 200 colour photographs. And all profits to maintain Kirkmichael. What's not to like?
a good read…
… is delivered!
If you can think of a snappier title for this initiative, then please let us know! This is a new approach to dealing with fallen gravestones in Highland kirkyards, and we are really hoping it will be a success. Having successfully transformed our derelict medieval kirk site and mausolea, the Trust is now turning its attention to more modern stones on the site. We are seeking small donations to spread the cost of professionally re-erecting key headstones. We are encouraging descendants and anyone interested in the heritage of graveyards to help fund erecting these stones. Some memorials have understandably been taken down by the Council for safety reasons, others just became unstable over time. But unless we come up with a mechanism to fund putting them back up, our kirkyards will become a tangled mess of fallen gravestones.
The first one we're tackling is a granite headstone that collapsed ten years ago, a memorial to Hugh McKay Munro and wife Sarah Relph or Wilson, and their children. Hugh and Sarah were the Governor and Matron of the Black Isle Combination Poorhouse in the early 1900s. We have investigated their incident-filled life story which can be found on our Story behind the Stone page. The new idea we are trialling is to share with lots of partners the costs of re-erecting memorials like these. The intention is to tackle only those where it is obvious that nothing is going to happen, stones that have already been lying in the turf for ten years or more. And it has to be professionally done. Heavy memorials can be dangerous things, and we want them to be stable, using modern fixing methods. But we think this could be the way forward to make our graveyards look respectful once again.
General Fraser's fallen monument.
The Poorhouse Governor's headstone.
Broken Roderick Fraser stone.
Granite urn to be re-attached to pillar.
Many northern graveyards have a plethora of tumbled memorials which are unsightly, and that certainly doesn't encourage ancestry tourism. It must be awful for descendants from abroad to find their family gravestone lying in pieces in the grass. Now they can join in with everyone else to do something about it through a small donation to a local Trust like ours at Kirkmichael! See our homepage for donations!
Every Saturday morning, 10-12, weather permitting, we hold workshops to keep Kirkmichael tidy, remove ivy, sow grass on bare patches and 101 other tasks. Everybody enjoys working in the wonderful atmostphere of Kirkmichael. If you would like to get involved, contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook at www.facebook/kirkmichael or simply click our direct email here.
Tales from Kirkmichael
Okay, we're not really using a gimped image of my wife's horse, but I have become kind of attached to it!
Kirkmichael Work Parties
Our real cover looks like this!