Friday, May 25, 2012

Visiting the spirits of my ancestors.

Rounding Brown Head, we came to a green valley that ran into the hills. The south facing slopes make this one of the most fertile spots on Arran. The village is called Corriecravie.

Until  the 1860's, generations of my mother's family were crofters here. They farmed two fields, which still have the same boundaries today, though all evidence of the croft house has gone. My great, great, grandfather moved to Glasgow to start a new life in 1864.

Corriecravie has a long history of settlement. The mound in the middle of this photo is Torr a' Chaisteal, the remains of an Iron Age dun.

It was time for second luncheon in the land of my ancestors.

There is a story in my family about this beach. Many years ago, about 1800, there was an evening of music in the croft. At  the end of the evening one of my ancestors and a neighbour lit lanterns and escorted several of the older neighbours back to their houses near the shore. It was a stormy night but above the sound of the waves they all heard a slow intermittent tapping noise coming from the shore. Although they were very religious people, they were also very superstitious. Fearing an evil spirit in the darkness, they rushed back to the croft. The next morning when they finally ventured to the shore, they found a drowned sailor lying on the cobbled beach. He still had a rock clutched in his hand. He must have been too exhausted to cry for help and had tried to attract attention by tapping the rock...

On our visit all was calm and quiet and we felt at home.

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