history scotland

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Map of Scotland

Drawn in a fantasy Lord of Rings / The Hobbit style.

Some people wondered if I was selling prints for this or would sell the original files. Id rather just share it and people can do what they want with it from there. 

Below you can find a link to download the original PNG file, since Tumblr compresses images quite heavily. It’s relatively low resolution but still, if you do print this let me know, I’d love to see how it looks!

If you’re curious about how it was made or the kinds of tools and resources used, I’ve written a little overview on Medium which you can read here:

Lost Arthurian Kingdom May Be Found

You probably are familiar with Camelot and Avalon. Legendary places in British legends, they were places the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur visited or lived, sometime in the unsettled 500s between the collapse of Roman power and the coming of Saxon invaders. One of the less-well-known places in Arthurian legend is Rheged. It was home to a famous knight in the legends: Sir Owain, son of King Urian and Morgan le Fay, the man who killed the Black Knight. And now archaeologists may have found Rheged.

The researchers were drawn to Trusty’s Hill, a hill fort in Galloway in Southern Scotland, because there are pictish symbols carved into its bedrock. They are unique in the region, and archaeologists (plus 60 volunteers) wanted to survey what they could about the mysterious Picts. And in the course of their examination in summer 2016, archaeologists realized they had accidentally uncovered something else: the Pictish symbols seemed to form a symbolic entranceway, which in many sites in Scotland is associated with royalty. Had they found a royal stronghold? Then the dig uncovered pottery from France, and a workshop exclusively to produce costly fine metalwork and jewelry, which support that the site was a significant trade center at the time.

Putting everything together, it seemed they had accidentally uncovered a royal hillfort stronghold, which flourished sometime around 600 CE under the rule of Britons who lived in Galloway. The region’s wealth, demonstrated by the finds at Trusty’s Hill, make it the strongest contender we have for the legendary kingdom of Rheged.

We are pretty sure Rheged existed, and hence are looking for it, because we have two sources. First, Rheged is mentioned in Arthurian legends dating to the 1100s, and second, Urien of Rheged was praised in verse by Taliesen, a poet we know lived around the 500s CE.

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Castle Varrich, Highland, Scotland

Castle Varrich’s (Caisteal Bharraich) precise origin and date are unknown. The ruins are located in the far north of the Scottish highlands near the village of Tongue on a local high point of rock overlooking both the Kyle of Tongue and the village of Tongue. Varrich Castle has spectacular views of mountains Ben Loyal and Ben Hope.

The castle was the ancient seat of the Clan Mackay and it is possible that they built the castle over the site of an old Norse fort sometime in the 14th century or later.  Little is known about its history.

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MY TOP 10 QUEEN CONSORTS OF SCOTLAND & ENGLAND (11-16TH CENTURY)

Margaret of Wessex, Queen of Scotland (1070-1093) • Matilda of Scotland, Queen of England (1100-1118) • Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England (1154-1189) • Margaret of England, Queen of Scotland (1251-1275) • Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (1328-1369) • Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland (1424-1437) • Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England (1464-1483) • Elizabeth of York, Queen of England (1486-1503) • Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland (1503-1513) • Anne Boleyn, Queen of England (1533-1536)

A Complete Viking Boat Burial Discovered!

The completely intact boat burial of a high-status Viking has been found in Scotland. It’s exciting because not only is the site undisturbed by looting or the elements, but the site is the first undisturbed Viking boat burial to be found in mainland Britain! Besides with his longboat, the deceased was buried with an axe, spear, and sword. But the burial was not all about fighting. They were discovered with a whetstone from Norway, a ring pin from Ireland and pottery from the Hebrides – suggesting a widely-traveled Viking. Sadly little human remains remained, just a few fragments of bone and two teeth.

So far we know very little. The burial appears to date to the late 800s or early 900s CE. The person was high-status. Beyond that, we will have to wait for scientific testing to fill in the story, such as their gender, where they grew up, and what they ate.

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Knap of Howar, Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Knap of Howar on the island of Papa Westray is a Neolithic farmstead which may be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe. Radiocarbon dating shows that it was occupied from 3700 BC to 2800 BC, earlier than the similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae on the Orkney Mainland.The farmstead consists of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick-walled buildings with very low doorways facing the sea. The larger and older structure is linked by a low passageway to the other building, which has been interpreted as a workshop or a second house. Though they now stand close to the shore, they would have originally lain inland. The stone furniture is intact giving a vivid impression of life in the house. Items found in middens (refuse heaps) show that the inhabitants were keeping cattle, sheep and pigs, cultivating barley and wheat and gathering shellfish as well as fishing for species which have to be line caught using boats. Finds of finely-made and decorated Unstan ware pottery link the inhabitants to chambered cairn tombs nearby and to sites far afield including Balbridie and Eilean Domhnuill. The name Howar is believed to be derived from Old Norse word haugr meaning mounds or barrows.