Scotland History, Uncategorized

Abandoned medieval village uncovered by roadworks off the A14 near Cambridge

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

Promptus Et Fidelis

 

Abandoned medieval village uncovered by roadworks off the A14 near Cambridge

 

A skeleton found at the site.jpg

A skeleton found at the site

 

An abandoned Medieval village has been found during roadworks near the A14.

Construction workers drafted in 250 archaeologists to help them investigate anything they might find during the £1.5bn scheme to improve a 21-mile section of road between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

The area being investigated covers 350 hectares – equivalent to around 800 five-a-side football pitches.

They have found a village abandoned in the 12th century, with the remains of 12 medieval buildings covering an area of six hectares.

The earlier remains of up to 40 Anglo Saxon timber buildings are also identifiable, with alleys winding between houses, workshops and agricultural buildings.

It is thought to have been occupied from the eighth to the 12th centuries.

The medieval village being excavated near Houghton

The medieval village being excavated near Houghton

 

Workers also found a Roman brooch shaped like a chicken

Workers also found a Roman brooch shaped like a chicken

 

A Neolithic henge monument found during the A14 upgrade projec

A Neolithic henge monument found during the A14 upgrade project

 

Various Roman artefects have also been found at the site, as well as prehistoric henge monuments.

Archaeologists led by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) Headland Infrastructure have dug more than 40 separate excavation areas, and expect to complete work by summer.

They believe their finds have enabled a better understanding of how the Cambridgeshire landscape was used over 6,000 years of occupation.

Their other discoveries include a Roman trade distribution centre which would have played a pivotal part in the region’s supply chain, and was linked to the surrounding farmsteads by trackways as well as the main Roman road between Cambridge and Godmanchester.

The discovery of artefacts at the site relating to the Roman army indicates that this trade was controlled centrally.

Archaeologists record finds from the site

Archaeologists record finds from the site

The excavation seen from the air

The excavation seen from the air

An anglo-saxon bone flute

A bone flute.  Carbon dating can be done at the site, and DNA samples are taken and sent out for analysis.

He inspects an iron age timber ladder

He inspects an iron age timber ladder

A Roman jet Medusa head found at the site

A Roman jet Medusa head found at the site

 

Three prehistoric henge monuments, which are likely to have been a place for ceremonial gatherings and measure up to 50 metres (164 ft) in diameter, have also been found.

Other monuments include 40 Roman industrial pottery kilns along Roman roads, seven prehistoric burial grounds, eight Iron Age to Roman supply farms, two post-medieval brick kilns and three Saxon settlement sites.

Artefacts have also been uncovered, including a rare Anglo Saxon bone flute from the fifth to ninth century, an ornate Roman jet pendant depicting the head of Medusa, and a Middle Iron Age timber ladder.

Dr Steve Sherlock, archaeology lead for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project for Highways England, said: ‘The archive of finds, samples and original records will be stored so that the data and knowledge is preserved for this and future generations.’

Kasia Gdaniec, senior archaeologist for Cambridgeshire County Council, said the archaeology programme had exposed an ‘astonishing array of remarkable new sites that reveal the previously unknown character of ancient settlement across the western Cambridgeshire clay plain’.

 

Thank you Doug Andrews for sending this to us.

Clan Carruthers Int LLC

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Landscape Genealogy - Carruthersland, Our Viking Ancestors, Uncategorized

Mystery of the Gutland Grooves

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC
Promptus Et Fidelis

 

Mystery Of The Gotland Grooves – Ancient Astronomical Observatory?

 

There are about 3,600 known prehistoric grooves on stones scattered throughout the island of Gotland in Sweden. As many as 700 of them are scored directly into the limestone bedrock, the rest are found on about 800 stones.

 Gotland groovesGotland Grooves

What do they mean? Were the mysterious Gotland grooves once part of an ancient astronomical observatory?

 

Gotland is very old place. It has Neolithic structures dating approximately 3600 BC may be more. Several of these can be categorized as complexes. They often include dolmens, and stone rows or circles.

 

Most have been found to have astronomical alignments. Some have to do with the Moon, but others are also aligned to major events of the Sun, and have possible connections to planets, stars and constellations.

 mysteriousgrooves

The length of the grooves varies from about 0.5 to 1 meter. They are between 5 cm to 10 cm wide and 1 cm to 10 cm in depth. The most important feature of the grooves appears to be in their alignment. Studies reveal that the grooves on a stone are not parallel. Instead they are oriented in several directions, some grooves crossing other grooves. Yet on any particular stone, the grooves are not randomly oriented, but seem to follow a prescribed orientation, although that orientation may change slightly from grove to grove.

 

Researchers have analyzed them and say that 1,256 grooves are aligned with certain positions of the celestial bodies, like the sun or the moon. Most of them are oriented east to west.

 threegroves

Most known archeoastronomy sites are far more geographically confined than these stones. Who were the mysterious builders of the stones? Were the creators nomads that wandered the island and created new stones where ever they went? The reason for so many of these stones scattered across many square miles has been completely lost in time.

 

Interestingly, there are other ancient sites where we encounter similar stones. Alfred Watkins (1855 – 1935), an English author, self-taught amateur archaeologist, antiquarian and businessman said that he knew of several examples of vertically grooved stones ‘Most amazing of all, are those like the ‘Queen stone’ (Right), near Symonds Yat on the Wye, which have deep grooves running down them,” he said.

 

gotlandmarkings

 

Many believe the markings are naturally formed by rain water, but there also researchers who believe they must be artificially cut and Watkins is among them.

 

‘Queen Stone’ markings are from 5 to 7 inches deep and only 2 to 2.5 inches wide, and suddenly ceasing near the base of the stone. Mysterious grooves found on many of stone slabs lying on the ground in Cornwall, southwest of England are also a big mystery. It is not known what kind of tools made these grooves or other strange, thousands of years old marks in the stones. Most of them are result of very sophisticated practices impossible to achieve by hand.

Prehistoric stonemasons left a mysterious legacy in form of incised stones that can be found in many countries around the world.

 

Could the ancient stone masters form stone as we today give forms and shapes to a piece of clay?

 

Ancient records reveal one of the secrets of the enigmatic stone builders. It is said that they used a decomposing substance obtained from certain kinds of grass, which had an unusual ability to soften stones into malleable clay-like material. What kind of prehistoric machine may be responsible for these strange markings on the stones? Their meaning is obscure until today.

 

Clan Carruthers Int LLC

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC

 

 

Scotland History, Uncategorized

Women of the Border Reivers

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

Reivers_raid_on_Gilnockie_Tower

Hidden History – Women of the Border Reivers

by Blythe Gifford

Most of us nod wisely and cluck our tongues about the paucity of information about women in history  Unknown, unsung, unreported, it is always a challenge to discover enough about how real women lived to spin an authentic historical tale.

But I had no idea how true this was until I started writing in the era of the Border Reivers.

For those who don’t know, the Reivers (pronounced Reevers) were basically raiders on both sides of the Scottish/English border.  Loyal to family above king, these folks had feuds that rivaled the famous Hatfields and McCoys  They were beyond the law of either government, and usually even beyond the reach of the special Border Laws that were developed in a joint English-Scottish effort to bring order from the chaos.  For nearly 300 years (roughly 1300-1600), they “made a living” by stealing from others, or, alternately, by collecting “blackmail” from those who wanted to be left alone.

My new historical romance trilogy features the three siblings of a reiving family I call the Brunson clan.  I started to research the lives of women of the era, but information was so scarce about this macho society that I could barely find any information about how they dressed, though there are pictures aplenty of what the men donned to ride a raid.

The first story a researcher always finds about the women of the Borders is this:  When the larder ran low, the woman of the house would bring her man a set of spurs instead of supper.  That meant it was time for him to go “riding” again.

The second thing I found was a prevailing opinion (from the English side of the border, to be fair) that Scottish women were “comely,” but “not distinguished by their chastity.”

Hints, but not much to go on.

Beyond stealing sheep and cattle, there was arson and even murder aplenty on the Borders, and many women were left widowed and orphaned.  Later written histories claim that even women and children were not safe from atrocities during these raids.  Yet there’s a tension in the stories of this culture between the ones that claim Reivers honored women and preferred not to kill and the ones that label them vicious and cruel and ruthless.

Modern litanies of the Reivers’ sins typically list rape among them.  In actual historic accounts, however, I was unable to find a specific report of one in the history.  (I am not alone in this.  The book Government, religion, and society in northern England, 1000-1700 mentions the “notable absence” of rape from the list of transgressions.)

Is this because it did not happen, or because women did not make it public?  The answer, as so much of women’s history, is hidden.  Yet there was a law passed by the Scottish Parliament in 1525 which gave the king’s officers the right to punish “particular faults and crimes that occur.”  On the list was “ravishing of women.”  A tantalizing clue.

Yet amidst the harsh reality, I discovered softness and beauty.  This was not a society that had leisure for art and culture, but the Border Ballads, rediscovered and popularized by Sir Walter Scott at the turn of the 19th century, remain hauntingly beautiful today.

In his book FOLK SONG IN ENGLAND, A.L. Lloyd writes of the border dwellers that “they prized a poem almost as much as plunder.”  The narrative songs they created tell rip-roaring stories of war and love, like the one that begins:

My love he built me a bonny bower,

And clad it a’ wi’ lilye flour;

A brawer bower ye ne’er did see,

Than my true love he built for me.



Alas, the title of the ballad is “The Lament of the Border Widow,” and the final verse goes like this:

Nae living man I’ll love again,

Since that my lovely knight is slain;

Wi’ ae lock of his yellow hair

I’ll chain my heart for evermair.



So where is a romance writer to find a happy ending?  Well, it turns out that love conquered all during the era of the Reivers, just as it always has.

It seems that there was a law forbidding marriage across the border (upon penalty of death) unless one had special permission.  This was intended to make it easier for the kings to keep control of the population by preventing marriage/family ties that might dilute national allegiance.

Despite the best efforts, not only did such marriages occur, they were a near epidemic, to the extent that in some regions, the list of those that did NOT have cross border marriages was shorter than the list of those that did.

So in the end, I had a head full of ideas for my trilogy, confident that no matter how difficult the existence or strict the prohibition, men and women fall in love and get married.  There was all the validation I needed to write Border Reiver romance.

What do you most wonder about the lives of women in history?  Leave a comment and one lucky person will win a copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, first book in The Brunson Clan trilogy.  Here’s a brief description:


WORD IN THE ROYAL COURT HAS SPREAD THAT THE WILD SCOTTISH BORDERS ARE TOO UNRULY. UPON THE KING’S COMMAND, JOHN BRUNSON MUST RETURN HOME…

Once part of a powerful border clan, John has not set sight on the Brunson stone tower in years. With failure never an option, he must persuade his family to honour the King’s call for peace.

To succeed, John knows winning over the daughter of an allied family, Cate Gilnock, holds the key. But this intriguing beauty is beyond the powers of flattery and seduction. Instead, the painful vulnerability hidden behind her spirited eyes calls out to John as he is inexorably drawn back into the warrior Brunson clan…

 

NEWCOA Wider Red Band

 

Scotland History, Uncategorized

Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

Magic And Mystery On The Trail Of Merlin In South West Scotland

A MAJOR new trail uncovering the true story of Merlin and his ties to the south of Scotland has been unveiled today (March 20th) in Dumfries and Galloway.

 

The legend of Merlin the wizard is known the world over by the newly launched Merlin Trail explores the true story of a real man who lived during the Dark Ages in southern Scotland.

 

Made up of four weekend sections which can be walked or driven, the trails each have different themes covering more than 30 sites across Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, and stretching to East Lothian and the Central Belt.

 

To support the trail, a new website www.merlintrail.com provides information on each location and signposts visitors to other attractions and areas of interest in the local region.

 

The route has been developed by the Arthur Trail Association to encourage visitors to learn more about the story of the real man behind the legend. Merlin was a man of learning and one of the last great Druids of Dark Age Scotland whose story was later embellished and became known the world over as part of the legend of Arthur.

 

The launch of the trail coincides with the opening of a new permanent exhibition at Moffat Museum, which will offer insights into how people lived during a little-known but dramatic and dynamic period.

 

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward, said: “Scotland’s history and culture is one of the top reasons for visiting Scotland. The creation of a new Merlin Trail across the south of Scotland offers visitors the opportunity to delve into the past and discover more about the real man behind the legend of Merlin, at the same time as enjoy the great outdoors and the magnificent scenery on offer in the region.
“The information boards, informative walks and website make it easy for visitors to include part of the Merlin Trail on their holiday or short break to Dumfries & Galloway, as well as recognising the growing interest in Scotland’s history and heritage.
“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand. The opening of this new trail demonstrates a real commitment to further enhancing our region’s tourism offering and attracting more visitors to the area.”

 

Robin Crichton of the Arthur Trail Association said: “We have designed this Merlin Trail so that visitors take on the role of detective, discovering a little-known period of cultural and historical heritage.
 
“Born in the 6th century, of royal blood, Merlin’s place in society was ordained until he lost everything and was forced to go on the run. He survived as an outlaw, hiding in a cave shelter at Hartfell near Moffat for over a decade.
 
“I hope the worldwide fascination with Merlin will inspire a significant increase in visitors to this magical part of Scotland with its unique cultural heritage.”
Carruthers history, Scotland History, Uncategorized

Lady Devorgilla in Stone

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

 

At Whitesands along the River Night which runs through Dumfries.

ladyDevongilia

Walking on from the kinetic hangings and the curved railings beyond the Devorgilla Bridge, we come to Matt Baker’s granite sculpture of Lady Devorgilla. Many people must walk past without realizing a sculpture is on the river side of the wall beside a flight of steps. She is set into the sandstone wall, looking across the river. The figure was inspired by Lady Devorgilla Baillol who reputedly had the first wooden bridge across the bridge built in the thirteenth century.

 

She was the daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway and married John Balliol when she was only 13. In her own right she was a wealthy and powerful woman. Although her husband founded Balliol College, Oxford (for poor scholars) she made a permanent endowment to the college to secure its future. She also founded Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries. On the death of her husband she established a Cistercian Monastery at New Abbey, a few miles from Dumfries. She had his heart embalmed and carried it with her in an ivory casket. When she died she was buried at the abbey church she had founded, with her husband’s heart beside her. Is this a romantic tale, or is carrying your dead husband’s heart around a bit weird? The monks clearly decided on romantic, calling the abbey Dulce Cor, meaning sweet heart.

LadyDstatue

Now, carved in granite from salvaged harbour kerbs, Devorgilla stands gazing serenely across the caul. When the River Nith floods, which it does frequently, the sculpture is partially submerged and becomes part of the river in a powerful way.

 

Originally, a second part of Matt Baker’s installation was situated on the other side of the river. It was a translucent etching of a woman about to cross the river, laminated in glass with an oak frame. She was there for nine years before being destroyed, in 2007, by spring floods.

 

The Picts, Uncategorized
Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC
Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

 

“The Mystical Picts of Ancient Scotland”

 

 

Of all the mysteries in Ancient Scotland none are more mystical than the Pictish Runes and Engravings on the countless Standing Stones in the North East of Scotland. Did the Picts in prehistoric times for-tell the passing of Planet Nibiru every 3600 years by using the mythical “Black Mirror?”

blackmirrorsMadame Blavatsky describes how, whilst attempting to retrieve their stolen goods, the ‘Koodian’ (sorcerer) produced, from its case, a mirror of the kind known as ‘Persian Mirrors’.

It is on the Pictish engravings you see the ‘Black Mirror’, and the case in which it was kept.

These ‘Magic Mirrors’ which were generally black in colour were prepared in the Province of Agra in India, but also came from China and Tibet. They are also found in Ancient Egypt and it is said the ancestors of the Quichés brought them to Mexico.

The last mention we have is the Inca – when Pizarro demanded a room full of gold for the release of his captive, the Queen consulted the ‘Oracles’. During the consultation the Chief-Priest showed her, in the consecrated ‘Black Mirror’, the unavoidable murder of her husband.

thentheyvanishedThen they vanished, never to be seen or used again – what happened to these mystical artifacts from the Ancient World?

The Picts obviously had the use of these ‘Mirrors’ precisely why they portrayed them on their ‘Sacred Standing Stones’ – but what about the ‘Tuning Fork’ – (the name academics give to what looks like a ‘tuning fork’)

This object would have been quite large and struck on a hard surface giving off a loud sound. The accompanying vibrations would have raised the vibrations of the ‘Seer’ – the one who was using the ‘Mirror’ – similar to the Tibetan gongs and bells, or alternatively the repeating of a ‘mantra’.

onmanyengravingsOn many engravings is a large globe with two small circles, one on each side. This could well be a simple ‘Quaig’ (a bowl) — but why would this be so important as to be recorded for future generations to see on so many different stones?

Is the large globe the Sun with the Earth on one side and Nibiru on the other?

onthisstoneOn this stone in the center are 12 globes, these are the twelve planets in our solar system, including Nibiru – the 12th Planet.

On the bottom left corner panel is the Sun with Planet Earth and Nibiru on it’s journey through our Solar System.

And on the right side?

Lost City

This is a Lost City discovered off the coast of Cuba.

 

The city plan looking very similar to the to the lay-out on the Pictish Standing Stone.

The Picts had direct contact with the Atlantean Civilisation precisley why they came to possess these “Magic Mirrors”. Atlantis was not just a city — it was civilisation encompassing the entire planet — they were the Fourth Root Race — the Legendary “Super-Race”.

The mystery of the Pictish engravings has never been solved and it is only when our minds are opened to an alternative way of thinking will we be able to understand “Why” the Ancients took so much time and energy to leave us with such mysteries?

 

Thank you Jim Davidson

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC

Clan Carruthers Int LLC

 

carrothersclan@gmail.com

 

Northern Ireland - Carruthersland, Uncategorized

The Derrygonnelly Farmhouse Ghost

The Derrygonnelly Farmhouse Ghost

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society Int LLC

Clan Carruthers

 

 

Ghosts in Ireland, like ghosts all round the world, can attach themselves to families or in particular family members. The Derrygonnelly farmhouse ghost seemed to do just that.

 

This haunting of a family, in particular their daughter, takes place in a Derrygonnelly farmhouse just outside Enniskillen- Carruthersland, in County Fermanagh in the late 19th Century

 

The Derrygonnelly Farmhouse Ghost

 

Farmhouses around the 19th Century in Ireland typically consisted of a living room, which would have also been used as a kitchen, and two rooms off to the side which would have been bedrooms divided out among the family.

 

Of course there would have been no such thing as electricity and if you were lucky oil lamps would have been the order of the day. All cooking and heat would have come from a large open fire burning mainly wood and turf, the latter being dug in the summer and stored away for the colder months.

 

This farmhouse consisted of the farmer who was widowed (mortality was very high in Ireland around this time), his son and four daughters. The eldest of these children was Maggie who was around twenty when the haunting started and they seemed to centre on her.

 

Stories of haunted farmhouses are two a penny in Ireland but what makes this one unique is not the haunting but the fact that it was investigated by some high-powered ghost watchers, including Sir William Barrett, a former president of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) and also a distinguished scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society.

 

The farmhouse ghost

The first signs that anything was amiss was when loud rapping and scratching sounds could be heard throughout the night. Then objects started to move about, items would be found outside the farmhouse, especially after a night of continuous banging and rapping noises. Lamps and candles proved impossible to keep in the cottage and were always found outside in the morning.

 

The father, a Methodist, was told to leave a Bible open, its pages weighted down by stones in the room that Maggie and her sisters occupied. This was to be to no avail as the stones were removed and indeed the pages of the Bible were found ripped out.

 

Sir William Barrett visited along with Mr. Thomas Plunkett from Enniskillen and in his report, quoted in part by Peter Underwood in the Gazetteer of Scottish and Irish Ghosts states:

 

After the children except the boy and Maggie had retired to bed Maggie lay fully clothed on top of the bed so that her arms and legs could be seen at all times. The rest of us settled around the kitchen fire when faint rapping sounds could be heard these got louder apparently coming from the walls, the ceilings and other parts of the bedroom to which the door had been left open.

 

On entering the room with a lamp the noises stopped but commenced again once the lamp had been placed in the windowsill. I kept the boy and his father by my side and asked Mr. Plunkett to look around outside. I eventually was able to approach the bed where I saw the younger children asleep and Maggie lying motionless whereas the noises were still as loud as ever. Under close inspection there was no explanation for the noises or items moving. Suddenly a pebble landed on the bed beside Maggie with no matter of explanation.

 

Barrett visited the farmhouse on the next three nights with other members of the SPR and the events were the same with the noises repeating themselves. Additional experiments were carried out by Barrett and others prompted by the farmer Barrett asked questions the answers being given by a number of raps, every time the correct number of raps was given.

 

Finally one of Barrett’s companions Rev. Maxwell Close read some passages from the Bible first to tremendous din which gradually got fainter until the noises disappeared by the time he got to the Lord’s Prayer. After that the Derrygonnelly haunting came to a stop.