This was going to be about the Scottish election results but those are a disaster, not a ruin. The SNP are two seats short of a majority and might have to cosy up to the Lib Dems (5 seats) or the Greens (6 seats) to get policies through. New cry of Freedom!? Forget it.

The major opposition party is… the Tory party! Labour came third! Hahahaha!

Scotland was primarily Labour and Lib Dem not so long ago, and now the Lib Dems have fewer seats than the Green Men from Neverland.

Labour were actually down by 13 seats, while the Tories gained 16. The solitary independent is gone. Not really surprising, there isn’t much a single independent can do in a government. No matter how he tried, he won’t have been that much help to his constituents.

Anyway, the full sordid story is to be found on the BBC so I’ll move on to a much more interesting ruin.

I went to a church. A very old church. It looks like this –

It was like that when I got there, honest.

It was like that when I got there, honest.

It’s Kinkell Church and I’ve wanted to go look at it for years. It’s really not far away. Historic Scotland have done a great job of preserving the ruin, keeping it neat and tidy and looking after it in general. The one thing they haven’t done is provide any parking spaces anywhere near it.

This is along a very narrow country track that has a large and busy farm at the end. You don’t want to walk this way. It’s a long way with no pavement and has fast cars on most of it and tractors pulling huge machines on all of it. Survival is not guaranteed. I managed to get off the road and park but it probably wasn’t an approved patch of grass I parked on. There wouldn’t be room for two.

Anyway, I got there. Finally. The wall you see in the picture is the north wall. The bit in front that’s about two stones high is all that’s left of the south wall. So now you know which direction you are facing, here’s the instructions that were pinned to the north wall.

Memorise the information, then eat the screen so nobody else knows...

Memorise the information, then eat the screen so nobody else knows…

Yes, the bronze replica of the 1525 calvary is good but I bet the original was stolen rather than lost. Raiding churches was popular because they had most of the gold and valuable metals in any particular area. These days it’s more the lead flashing and copper pipes they’re after.

Bronze Calvary Replica. If it had been a trout mask I could have invoked Captain Beefheart

Bronze Calvary Replica.
If it had been a trout mask I could have invoked Captain Beefheart

All of this is open to the elements and yet still survives. There is a perspex shelter above the sacrament house but it’s not much better than a modern smoking shelter for protection.

The symbols here look like they might have been borrowed from Pagainism.

The symbols here look like they might have been borrowed from Paganism.

This part has clearly been rebuilt over the years, although most of the bits would have been available. Unlike the calvary, the 1524 stone-built sacrament house had no immediate value.

It’s sobering to think someone made that carving nearly 500 years ago and it’s still there. Some of the Pictish stones around here are 2000 or more years old and the carvings are still clear. I wonder if any of our current creativity will even survive the next solar flare?

The church had no windows in the north wall. A lot of old buildings around here are like that. It might have something to do with the vicious north wind that comes around in winter.

The big windows were in the east wall so the sun shone through for morning Mass to impress the congregation. There isn’t much left other than a display of stones at the west wall.

Pieces of the once-impressive window frames.

Pieces of the once-impressive window frames.


A couple of gravestones have moved inside.

A couple of gravestones have moved inside.

One of the stones is hard to decipher but the other is the grave of Gilbert de Greenlaw, who died in 1411. You already know this if you memorised the information before eating your screen. If you didn’t, you wasted a screen.

It's in surprisingly good shape for its age because of a reason.

It’s in surprisingly good shape for its age because of a reason.

The reason is, the slab was nicked and turned over and used for someone else’s grave. The back of it looks like this –

Not quite the same artistry, really.

Not quite the same artistry, really.

It meant the original carving was protected by being face down. So not a total act of vandalism after all.

There are a few graves around the church, some extremely old and a few recent ones. One very recent one dated 2011 that I didn’t photograph. There will be relatives who might stumble across this article. Therefore it’s still consecrated ground even after all this time.

The graveyard is a bit sparse for the age of the place. Maybe they moved somewhere cheaper.

The graveyard is a bit sparse for the age of the place. Maybe they moved somewhere cheaper.

It is a very interesting ruin, in a place that has had habitation remnants since the 11th century and Pictish remains for a few thousand years before that. Pity it’s so damn hard to get to and park at. The Daviot double circle is much easier (I’ll do that another time).

I have to visit again when I have more time to spend there and perhaps when it’s not spring and the tractors aren’t quite so frantic. I have to go there at dusk too. It’s so far out of the way that if it’s haunted, nobody would notice.

If nothing else, dusk photos of the place would be killer book covers.

I must admit to being very impressed indeed at stone carvings done hundreds and thousands of years ago that are still clear today. They didn’t have angle grinders or etching tools. They had cold chisels and lump hammers and look what they did!

Could anyone do it now?

A last look at something that was seriously built to last.

A last look at something that was seriously built to last.

7 thoughts on “Ruins

  1. “Could anyone do it now?”

    Seems they are. I do believe when they started the Sagrada Família in Barcelona they didn’t have power tools of consequence and after 133 years of intermittent construction, this magnificent edifice is almost finished.

    Naturally they never considered, in the late 18th century, things like parking. Or the fact the whole religion thing isn’t quite what it was.

    Re the Scottish elections. There is a minute nugget of qualified joy. Stewart Maxwell (the poisoned dwarf who was “midwife” to the total smoking ban in Scotland) lost his seat! He was always list MSP, however decided to stand in a FPTP contest.

    I await patiently to see if the SNP still want the little one, or if he was always a liability.


    • Naturally they never considered, in the late 18th century, things like parking. Or the fact the whole religion thing isn’t quite what it was.

      Indeed. I have just watched a DVD about some of the characters, like the Scot, James Hutton, and the Comte de Buffon, who came up with new philosophies about the Earth from the late 18th century.

      Being atheists or vague ‘deists’, these people had their own religious worldview to defend.

      These philosophies and flights of fancy which led people away from the age of the Earth being thousands of years to ideas of long ages, prepared the way and the means for biological evolution theories.

      Hutton wrote,

      “The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle.”

      Except that he didn’t know the principle – he ruled out catastrophism for a start. He also used the word “must”, but his theory was built on sand; nevertheless, long ages made Darwinism seem feasible (at the time).

      Hutton wrote, “What more can we require? Nothing but time.”

      That’s where the trick lies hidden. Time is the hero of the piece. People can’t imagine billions of years or what is possible in such timespans, so they can blindly accept the “science” they are presented with, which is, in fact, philosophy and religion dressed up as science.

      Many of the famous preachers embraced long ages and tried to fit them into the Genesis account, because they trusted ‘scientists’ more than the world of God. Even before “The Origin of Species” (1859), many Christians had accepted millions of years of earth history as fact.

      And what has changed in 200 years? Dawkins (and many others) babble on about ‘religion’ while supposedly being scientists. They tend to have an embarrassing lack of knowledge about scripture and get away with their deception because their audiences tend to be equally ignorant and are gasping to hear words of ‘comfort’ that there is no God – and attacks against God, such as what an ogre he must be to allow X, Y and Z to happen.

      Why do they spend so much time complaining about someone who they claim doesn’t exist?

      Even if the Creator didn’t exist, why would the comfort which He brings people be so offensive to atheists? People like Dawkins act like the ‘ogre’ they pretend that the Almighty is.

      “Why does God cause people to be unhappy if he loves them, ” an atheist might say. So, why does Dawkins want to hurt people with his words – and many of his disciples are even worse than he is; I tried to engage with them on Dawkins’ blog, but they are so far gone that all they have is name-calling, straw man arguments and general abuse – because they don’t know why they believe what they do.- they just have faith.

      Humanists want to destroy religion – except their own, naturally. They want ‘religion’ out of politics. That’s what Lord Melbourne’s attitude to William Wilberforce was over the abolition of slavery. They want ‘religion’ out of schools, except for their own, naturally.

      While denouncing intolerance, they are completely intolerant of others. They are prepared to destroy Christianity, which teaches tolerance (turning the other cheek) and loving thy neighbour as thyself, in order to bring in a system of rules of their own making and despite being a minority themselves, are bullying people into submission because they have “science” and “reason” on their side.

      As some evolutionists admit, there can be no reason under their worldview. If, what they believed were true, our brains would operate by the fixed laws of chemistry. Atheists believe that they are “free thinkers” but under their worldview there can be no such thing.

      Free-thinking only comes by being created in the Creator’s image. As He can think independent of the laws of chemistry and physics, so can we.

      Returning to your quote that, “…the whole religion thing isn’t quite what it was,” perhaps cathedrals will be places for materialists to worship – there are already atheist ‘churches’ and the world is going mad –

      The meetings are filled with songs—Bon Jovi, Journey and Monty Python seem to be favorites—readings, and even a moment of silence where congregants are left alone with their own thoughts.

      Their ‘thoughts’ being the actions of atoms in their brains reacting to their present circumstances in order to best lead them to a place where they have the best opportunity to survive and pass on their genes?

      The group’s motto, “Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More,” encourages people to believe that you can be good without god.

      This is another area where atheists make no sense and do not practise what they preach. Why should they even try to be good if there is no comeuppance? One evolutionist said that ‘rape was in the genes’. He had to squirm quite badly afterwards when trying to explain what he meant, because what he said was unacceptable, even though, according to his worldview, why not if there aren’t sane people to stop him?

      Why should atheists help people outside of their own ‘tribe’? Because there are so many religious charities, they have started their own, but why? They shouldn’t care about people starving in other places – they should want them to die off so that there is more for them – survival of the fittest.

      Atheist ‘churches’ would seem to be an attempt to attain some sort of spiritual connection – while simultaneously denying that there even is a spiritual realm. This is not surprising; we are spiritual beings and the vacuum left by denying the Creator needs filled with something. Some use false religious systems, like these atheists, while others take false comfort in substances or sex. Young people, whose spirits have been left in ruins by atheistic education and media, often turn to self-harming.

      If atheists really were interested in helping others, they would stop trying to make the world conform to their theology, because their beliefs and denials destroy people and countries, as history proves.


  2. And Siobhan McMahon (she who started the business of not allowing smoking in hospital grounds) was banged down to 10th place as list candidate by local party members.

    So she’s no longer a serving MSP!

    I do believe you may find her working in a warehouse, stacking shelves. Possibly Wickes – sanitary units.


First comments are moderated to keep the spambots out. Once your first comment is approved, you're in.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.