Scottish Wedding Theme
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July 1, 2009 06:27 - July Highland Games & Festivals

Summer is here and July is an even busier month for Highland events.

If you are planning a Scottish Wedding Theme ~ or would just plain like a good dose of Scottishness, get to one of these Highland Games. At most of the events, you can find local bagpipers to hire or browse tartan sample books.

Some folks come dressed everyday, others arrive all ‘duded out‘.

Couples image property Scottish Wedding Dreams

The participants are young and old

Wee Laddie On Parade image
property Scottish Wedding Dreams

Older Gentleman image
property Scottish Wedding Dreams

Some have an experience of a lifetime ~ such as riding a Highland cow.

Riding the Highland Cow image property Scottish Wedding Dreams

The music runs from traditional to rock, with lots of bagpiping. Albannach is one of my very favorites.

Albannach at Murphreesboro image property ScottishWedding Dreams

But everyone is on parade...couples, ladies, even Southern Belles get to strut their stuff

Southern Belle image property Scottish Wedding Dreams

And now, let the June games begin!

  • June 28 to July 3, Termonfeckin, County Louth, Ireland ~ An Chuirt Chruitreachta International Harp Festival
  • July 1, Kenmore, Scotland ~ Kenmore Highland Games
  • July 1, Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Gathering of the Clans
  • July 1 to 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ~ ScotDance 2009
  • July 1 to 8, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
  • July 3 to 5, Halle, Germany ~ Internationale Highland Games
  • July 3 to 5, Kincardine, Ontario, Canada ~ Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • July 3 to 7, Nashville, Tennessee ~ North American Irish Dance Championships
  • July 4, Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia ~ Aberdeen Highland Games
  • July 4, Gairloch, Scotland ~ Gairloch Highland Gathering
  • July 4, Norwalk, Connecticut ~ Round Hill Highland Games
  • July 4 to 5, Salinas, California ~ Monterey Scottish Festival Highland Games
  • July 5, Cupar, Scotland ~ Cupar Highland Games
  • July 5, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada ~ Fort Erie Celtic Gathering
  • July 5 to 10, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada ~ Celtfest
  • July 9 to 11, Saline, Michigan ~ Saline Celtic Festival
  • July 9 to 12, Linville, North Carolina ~ Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
  • July 10 to 11, Chatham, Ontario, Canada ~ Chatham-Kent Supreme Highland Games
  • July 10 to 11, Payson, Utah ~ Payson Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • July 10 to 12, Almonte, Ontario, Canada ~ CeltFest
  • July 10 to 12, Chicago, Illinois ~ Irish American Heritage Festival
  • July 10 to 12, Littleton, Colorado ~ Colorado Irish Festival
  • July 11, Alva, Scotland ~ Alva Games
  • July 11, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Halifax Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • July 11, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ~ Fort Edmonton Highland Gathering
  • July 11, Forres, Scotland ~ Forres Highland Games
  • July 11, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada ~ Haliburton Highland Games
  • July 11, Ithaca, New York ~ Ithaca Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
  • July 11, Omaha, Nebraska ~ Midlands Celtic Festival
  • July 11, Rochester, New York ~ Feis Rochester
  • July 11 to 12, Athena, Oregon ~ Athena Caledonian Games
  • July 11 to 12, Chatham, Ontario, Canada ~ Tartan Sertoma Supreme Highland Games
  • July 11 to 12, Mount Vernon, Washington ~ Skagit Valley Highland Games and Scottish Faire
  • July 11 to 12, Orillia, Ontario, Canada ~ Orillia Scottish Festival
  • July 11 to 12, Unionville, Ontario, Canada ~ Unionville Celtic Festival
  • July 11 to 19, Ramsey and Peel, Isle of Man ~ Yn Chruinnaght 2009, The Manx National Festival
  • July 12 to 18, Asheville, North Carolina ~ The Swannanoa Gathering - Celtic Week
  • July 12 to 18, East Durham, New York ~ Catskills Irish Arts Week
  • July 14 to 15, Glenarm, County Antrim, Northern Ireland ~ Glenarm Highland Games
  • July 15 to 18, Stornoway, Outer Hebrides, Scotland ~ Hebridean Celtic Festival
    On the grounds of Lews Castle
  • July 16 to 19, Belfast, Maine ~ Maine Celtic Celebration
  • July 16 to 19, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada ~ Canada’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi
  • July 17 to 18, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada ~ Cambridge Highland Games
  • July 17 to 18, Gresham, Oregon ~ Portland Scottish Highland Games
  • July 17 to 19, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Antigonish Highland Games
  • July 18, East Durham, New York ~ Irish Traditional Music Festival
  • July 18, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ~ Adams County Irish Festival
  • July 18, Horsham, Pennsylvania ~ Celtic Heritage Festival
  • July 18, Lochcarron, Scotland ~ Lochcarron Highland Games
  • July 18, Loch Lomond, Scotland ~ Loch Lomond Highland Games
  • July 18, Taynuilt, Scotland ~ Taymuilt Highland Games
  • July 18, Tong, Scotland ~ Lewis Highland Games and Western Isles Strongman Competition
  • July 18 to 19, Calverton, New York ~ Long Island Irish Festival
  • July 18 to 19, Elizabeth, Colorado ~ Elizabeth Celtic Festival
  • July 18 to 19, Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Arizona Highland Celtic Festival
  • July 18 to 19, Florence, Massachusetts ~ Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival
  • July 18 to 19, Inverness, Scotland ~ Inverness Highland Games
  • July 18 to 26, Lochaline, Scotland ~ Morvern Games & Gala Week
  • July 18 to 26, Quimper, France ~ Festival de Cornouaille
  • July 19, Rosneath, Scotland ~ Rosneath Highland Games
  • July 19, Stony Point, New York ~ Rockland Irish Feis
  • July 19 to 24, Elkins, West Virginia ~ August Heritage Center’s Irish/Cape Breton Week
  • July 23, Tobermory, Scotland ~ Isle of Mull Highland Games
  • July 24 to 25, Edinboro, P:ennsylvania ~ Edinboro Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • July 24 to 26, Cleveland, Ohio ~ Cleveland‘s Irish Cultural Festival
  • July 24 to 26, Dayton, Ohio ~ Dayton Celtic Festival
  • July 24 to 26, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada ~ New Brunswick Highland Games
  • July 24 to 26, Heckscherville, Pennsylvania ~ The Clover’s Irish Weekend
  • July 24 to 26, Utica, New Yrok ~ The Great American Irish Festival
  • July 24 to 26, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada ~ Highlands of Durham Games & Celtic Festival
  • July 25, Airth, Scotland ~ Airth Highland Games
  • July 25, Dufftown, Scotland ~ Dufftown Highland Games
  • July 25, Halkirk, Scotland ~ Halkirk Highland Games
  • July 25, Horsham, Pennsylvania ~ The Scottish Heritage Festival at Graeme Park
  • July 25, Kilmore, Scotland ~ Kilmore and Kilbride Highland Games
  • July 25, Lochearnhead, Scotland ~Lochearnhead Highland Games
  • July 25, Webster, Massachusetts ~ Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival
  • July 25 to 26, Callander, Scotland ~ Callander World Highland Games
  • July 25 to 26, Edinburgh, Scotland ~ The Gathering
  • July 25 to 26, Enumclaw, Washington ~ Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering
  • July 26, Luss, Scotland ~ Luss Highland Games
  • July 26 to August 3, Dungloe, Ireland ~ Mary From Dungloe International Festival
  • July 29, Arisaig, Scotland ~ Arisaig Highland Games
  • July 29, Killin, Scotland ~ Killin International Highland Games
  • July 30, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ~ "B in the Park" Pipe Band Concert
  • July 30 to August 2, Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada ~ Tignish Irish Folk Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, Livonia, Michigan ~ St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Highland Games
  • July 31 to August 1, Maxville, Ontario, Canada ~ Glengarry Highland Games
  • July 31 to August 2, Cahersiveen, Ireland ~ Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts
  • July 31 to August 2, Dublin, Ohio ~ Dublin Irish Festival
  • July 31 to August 2, North Plains, Oregon ~ The Faeriesworlds Festival
  • July 31 to August 8, Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland ~ The World Fleadh
  • July 31 to August 9, Lorient, France ~ Festival Interceltique de Lorient

    For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

    Coming tomorrow, the castles of South Lanarkshire…

  • July 2, 2009 05:15 - Castles of Scotland ~ South Lanarkshire

    • Bothwell Castle, tower house with curtained wall, 13th century, damaged in multiple sieges, rebuilt and enlarged early 15th century, abandoned 18th century, built by ancestors of Clan Murray, in ruins

      Bothwell Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Sitting above a bend in the River Clyde, Bothwell Castle played a key role in the Scottish Wars of Independence

      Granted to an Oliphant (Olifard) in the mid-12th century, in 1242 it passed to a Moray (Moravia). Passing to the FitzGilberts, the English took it in 1314. Walter FitzGilbert surrendered to the Scots, was granted the barony of Cadzow. His descendents became the Hamiltons. Joan Moray had married Archibald The Grim Douglas and reconstruction began. The Black Douglases forfeited the castle in 1455. The crown granted Bothwell to Patrick Hepburn. Hepburn exchanged Bothwell for Hermitage Castle or Archibald Bell-the-Cat Douglas. The castle descended to the Earls of Home, then passed into state care in 1935.

      A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.

    • Cadzow Castle, original castle, built in 12th century, occasional residence for David I, King of Scotland.

      The estate was divided in 1222, with the old castle passing to the Comyn family.
      Forfeited for supported John Baliol, Robert the Bruce granted the castle to Walter FitzGilbert in the early 14th century.

      Cadzow Castle image courtesy Historic Scotland

      Built by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart for his half-brother, the Second Earl of Arran, c. 1530. Slighted in the late 16th century, partially rebuilt in the 18th century as a folly within the park. Currently in ruins, the castle sits in Chatelherault Country Park

      Also known as the Castle in the Woods of Hamilton, as it overlooks a parkland called Cadzow Oaks. The town of Cadzow was renamed Hamilton in 1455.

    • Craignethan Castle, tower house with walled courtyard, late 16th century

      Craignethan Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Noted as the last purpose-built fortress in Scotland, held by the Black Douglases, forfeited in 1455, granted to the Hamiltons. Forfeited in 1573, the Hamiltons were outlawed in 1579, the castle was then slighted (torn down).

      Regained by the Hamiltons, sold by Duchess Anne in 1659 to Andrew Hay. Sold to Archibald Douglas, passed through his descendants, the Earls of Home. The ruins were stabilized in the late 19th century, passed into state care in 1949.

      Legend claims that the castle was the inspiration for "Tillietudlem Castle" in the Sir Walter Scott novel, Old Mortality. Whether true or not, a nearby railroad station was opened in 1876, bearing the name "Tillietudlem". The local village has adopted the name Tillietudlem.

      A computer theme and possibly a screensaver for this castle is available from Tartan Themes.

    • Crawford Castle, on an earlier motte and bailey earthwork built by the Crawford family, pre-1175 tower house, 16th or 17th century additions, in ruins, formerly known as Lindsay Tower, after the Lindsay family, its former owners.

      Crawford Castle image courtesy B Beacham

      The castle guarded the approach from England into the Upper Clyde Valley.

      The estate passed from the Thorlongus of the Merse, Overlord of Crawford, pre-1100. Inherited by the Lindsay family in 1215 through marriage. Clan Carmichael of Meadowflat were the hereditary constables.

      Being held by English forces, in the winter and spring of 1297 William Wallace and his men stormed the castle and re-took it. His mother, Margaret Crawford, was the daughter of the Clan Crawford Chief who was then Sheriff of Ayrshire. In 1398 Robert granted the title Earl of Crawford to David Lindsay. The barony passed to Archibald Douglas. They held the castle until 1578 when it was again forfeited to the crown. James V used the castle as a hunting lodge and his mistress, Elizabeth Carmichael was the daughter of the hereditary constable.

      The keepership of the Carmichaels of Meadowflat came to an end in 1595. The castle passed to the Duke of Hamilton, was sold to Sir George Colebrooke in the 18th century. Abandoned at the end of the 18th century, the stone was reused to build the present Crawford Castle Farm.

    • Douglas Castle, tower house 13th century, Scottish Baronial mansion, 18th century, in ruins, also known as Castle Dangerous

      Douglas Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Stronghold of the Douglas family, from the 13th to the 19th century, the castle was the former family seat of Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home.

      Had the 1757 Baronial mansion been completed, this would have been the largest castle in Scotland. Due to the Duke of Douglas dying in 1761, the castle was not completed. In the 1930's coal mining was developed in the adjacent park, in an attempt to relieve unemployment. The mining caused dangerous structural problems with the castle and it was demolished in 1938.

      Sir Walter Scott used the castle and it's history for the novel Castle Dangerous, giving the castle it's secondary name.

    • Gilbertfield Castle, L-plan tower house, 17th century, in ruins

      Gilbertfield Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Lying within the former barony of Drumsagard, the castle was owned by the Hamiltons. There is a heraldic panel above the door dated 1607.

      Circa 1700 a retired soldier and writer, William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, translated Blind Harry's epic Life of Sir William Wallace.

    • Tower of Hallbar, tower house, 16th century, currently a holiday accommodation, also known as Braidwood Castle

      Hallbar Tower image courtesy Wikipedia

      The barony of Braidwood was granted in 1326 to John de Monfod, then transferred to Harie Stewart Braidwood in 1581 with Hallbar included. The grant passed to Lord Maitland of Thirestane Castle, then the Marquess of Douglas. In 1681 George Lockhart of Lee Castle bought the estate, as it adjoined his estate. By 1850 the castle was in ruins.

      This ceiling panel displays the Lockhart Coat-of-Arms.

      Hallbar Tower Ceiling image courtesy Wikipedia

      Sir Norman MacDonald Lockhart, the laird of Lee Castle had the tower restored in 1861. There were several renters until 1984. In 1998 the property was leased to a historic preservation trust.

    • Lee Castle, c. 1300, also known as The Lee

      Lee Castle image courtesy Clan Lockhart

      Originally granted to William Locard, c. 1272, the Lockharts sold the castle c. 1950 to pay taxes.

      The castle sits in the Valley of the Clyde and is currently for sale until October with an asking price of 8.5 million pounds. The insurance value is over 13 million pounds.

      The barony includes a 25-member band, The Pipes and Drums of the Barony of Lee.

    • Rutherglen Castle, 12th century wooden structure, replaced by a stone building in the 13th century, also known as Avondale Castle

      In Gaelic, Rutherglen is An Ruadh Ghleann meaning "the red valley".

      Built by the Bairds, it passed to the Sinclairs, then the Earls of Douglas. In 1455 it was sacked and slighted with little remains. In 1457 a grant was issued to Andrew Stewart, who became Lord Avondale. He either rebuilt or began a new castle, with additions in 1534. In 1611 the castle was sold to James, Marquis of Hamilton. James was Steward of the Royal Household and Master of Works and already possessed Craignethan nearby. Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, was the last resident. The castle was abandoned c. 1717. The roof blew off in a historic storm in 1737 and the stonework was pilfered for more modest homes.

      Located where Castle Street and King Street currently meet in Rutherglen, there are no remains. During the Wars of Scottish Independence the castle changed hands and was besieged several times. In 1569 it was burned to the ground, as an act of revenge on the house of Hamilton.

    Coming tomorrow, the tale of Bonnie Jeanie Cameron…

    July 3, 2009 05:22 - The Tale of Bonnie Jeanie Cameron

    This tale arises from Rutherglen Castle in South Lanarkshire. Well known in her own time, through the centuries her romantic tale has been passed down.

    In Fielding's Tom Jones, her name is brought up. When Sophia Weston lies fainting in the inn's parlor, the landlady shows great concern and sympathy thinking this is "hiss Jenny Cameron". When Tom Jones was written c. 1749, the mention of Jenny Cameron implies that, by including the details of her life, she was commonly known. To us the inference is obscure. From this we can also assume that Jenny Cameron was young and lovely.

    Jenny Cameron's story is found in an old ballad

    Bonnie Jean Cameron

    Yell a' ha'e heard tell o' Bonnie Jeanie Cameron,
    How she fell sick, and she was like to dee
    And a' that they could recommend her
    Was ae blithe blink o' the Young Pretender
    Rare, oh rare, Bonnie Jeanie Cameron !
    Rare, oh rare, Jeanie Cameron !

    To Charlie she wrote a very long letter,
    Stating who were his friends and who were his foes;
    And a' her words were sweet and tender,
    To win the heart of the Young Pretender.
    Rare, oh rare, Bonnie Jeanie Cameron !
    Rare, oh rare, Jeanie Cameron !

    Scarcely had she sealed the letter wi' a ring,
    When up flew the door, and in cam' her king;
    She prayed to the saints, and bade angels defend her,
    And sank in the arms o' the Young pretender.
    Rare, oh rare, Bonnie Jeanie Cameron !
    Rare, oh rare, Jeanie Cameron !

    Jenny, the favorite daughter of Cameron of Glendessary, was born c. 1695. At the age of sixteen, she wandered from the path of maidenhood while attending school in Edinburgh. Her family sent her to a convent in France. Her conduct was such the nuns reported several other incidents. Within four years, Jenny was back in Scotland.

    Upon the death of her brother, who meanwhile had succeeded to the family estates, Jenny became tutor or guardian to her nephew. The new, young laird is reported to have been of doubtful intellect.

    In 1745, while still acting as her nephew's tutor, being staunchly loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie, Jenny raised 250 Cameron clansmen and marched with them to the Jacobite headquarters, offering her services to the Prince.

    Some accounts say Jenny stayed with the Jacobites, becoming the mistress of Bonnie Prince Charlie. When the Jacobites were retreating from Stirling in 1746, there is some reference to Jenny, called Colonel Cameron, being sent to Edinburgh Castle.

    Jenny is described as genteel and handsome, with pretty eyes and jet black hair. Though some inference is made of her relationship with the Prince, evidence supports that Jenny went off with the rest of the hangers-on when the army marched. She was not a camp follower, nor was she ever seen with the Prince, except in public when he held court at Edinburgh.

    Some accounts say she led a very respectable life in her later years. Jenny built a house named Mount Cameron in East Kilbride, in what is now South Lanarkshire. There she lived a solitary life, even visited by family members, which they would not have done if her reputation and actions were questionable. In 1773, Jenny died and was buried at Mount Cameron.

    Coming Monday, the castles of West Dumbartonshire…

    July 6, 2009 05:34 - Castles of Scotland ~ West Dunbartonshire

    West Dunbartonshire borders the city of Glasgow and contains many commuter towns and Glasgow suburbs. It also borders on to Argyll and Bute, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

    The River Leven flows through West Dunbartonshire from Loch Lomond to the River Clyde. Though only six miles long, the river is a very popular fishing spot for salmon and sea trout as they migrate up to Loch Lomond.

    The island of Inchmurrin lies on Loch Lomond. It's the largest fresh water island in the British Isles. Known to have housed a 7th century monastery, a 1793 royal hunting lodge, and Lennox Castle. The Scott family has owned the island for 70+ years. They farm, offer apartments, and a restaurant.

    Inchcailloch Summit image courtesy Wikipedia

    This photo is taken from the summit of Inchcailloch, overlooking the islands of Torrinch, Creinch, Inchmurrin and Ben Bowie.

    The Trossach Hills and the Kilpatrick Hills also run through West Dunbartonshire.

    • Dumbarton Castle, 17th to 18th century garrison fortress, Dumbarton has been called by many names
      • Dun Breatann ~ Fortress of the Britons
      • Alcluite
      • Alt Clut
      • Clyde Rock

      The earliest mention of this fortress was 450 AD. A remaining archway leading to the peaks was constructed in the 14th century. The remaining ruins date mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries.

      Dumbarton Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Several archeological digs have unearthed fragments from early settlements, including imported 6th century Mediterranean amphorae.

      The castle was once the center of Kingdom of Strathclyde. It overlooks the town of Dumbarton and sits on Dumbarton Rock, where the River Leven flows into the River Clyde.

      Built as a garrison fortress, the castle has the oldest known history of any stronghold in Great Britain. It continued to be garrisoned through World War II.

      Among other important inhabitants was Mary, Queen of Scots, who as an infant was protected here in 1548 until she was removed to France.

      To reach the level of the castle there are 557 steps on White Tower Crag.

    • Dunglass Castle, built between 1400 and 1542, the round tower in the photograph is thought to be a 17th century pigeon house. In 1735 the Commissioners of Supply dismantled the castle and courtyard wall to repair the quay.

      Dunglass Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    • Balloch Castle, 1809, in ruins

      The castle lies on the southern tip of Loch Lomond. It was built of stone taken from a 1238 castle occupied by the Lennox family until c. 1390. The castle currently lies within Balloch Country Park.

      Balloch Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    • Cardross Castle, thought to have been built by Robert I (1306 to 1329). All that remains is a mound called Castle Hill on Castlehill Farm. It's believed Robert the Bruce died here of leprosy in 1329.

    • Dalmoak Castle, Scottish Baronial mansion, 1869, built over 15th century ruins, currently a private nursing home

      The name means "the field of the monks". It appears in the Middle Ages, relating to fishing rights on the River Leven granted to the monks of Paisley Abbey.

    • Lennox Castle, c. 1390, on the Island of Inchmurrin on Loch Lomond.
      Thought to have been built for Duncan, the 8th Earl of Lennox. The family left Balloch Castle and retreated to Inchmurrin, which was more secure against the spread of disease and attack by hostile forces.

      Rob Roy managed to raid the island and control all boats on the River Endrick and Loch Lomond. Using these boats, he removed the cattle from Inchmurrin.

      There is evidence of late 19th or early 20th century restoration work. The castle is in ruins.

    Coming tomorrow, the castles of West Lothian...

    July 7, 2009 05:42 - Castles of Scotland ~ West Lothian

    West Lothian borders the City of Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, and Falkirk. A twin city of West Lothian is Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

    The castles include ~

  • House of the Binns, castellated house, 1612

    The House of Binns image courtesy Photos by Eleanor

    Built for the Dalyell family, the estate sits on two hills, also called binns or bens, giving the estate it's name. From the house you can see Central Scotland to the north, the Highlands across the River Forth, and the Pentland Hills to the south.

    Written records exist from 1335 as the land of the bynnis. A manor house existed in 1478, owned by Archibald Meldrum. In 1599 Lord Lyndsay owned the estate who sold it to Sir William Livingston of Kilsyth. In 1612, a wealthy cheese mercahnt, Thomas Dalyell, purchased the estate. The Dalyell family has lived here ever since. Between 1621 and 1630, he rebuild the original house, which contains examples of some of the earliest cornices and moldings in Scotland. Scottish Baronial extensions were added in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Binns Tower, a folly situated on the highest point of the park, is the result of a wager. Near the west drive is the Sergeant's Pond, constructed as a watering place for the horses of the Royal Scots Greys.

  • Duntarvie Castle, tower house, 16th century

    Duntarvie Castle image courtesy The Daily Telegraph

    Likely built for James Durham, who was granted the lands of Duntaravie in 1588.
    The estate passed to the Hopes and was added to Hopetoun Estate. General Sir Tam Dalyell exteneded the building c. 1620. In 1812 the then-fashionable castellations were added.

    Linlithgow Palace, courtyard palace, 15th century, ruins

    Sittiing on the route between Edinburgh to Stirling Castles, this was an excellent site for a military base to secure the supply route between the two castles. A 12th
    century royal manor was on the site. In the 14th century a fortification known as "The Peel" was built. A great fire partially destroyed the town and palace in 1424. James I began rebuilding a grand residence for Scottish royalty. Over the next century the palace continued to be developed.

    Linlithgow Palace image courtesy Wikipedia

    Mary, Queen of Scots, was born here in 1542. Bonnie Prince Charlie visited the palace on his march south. In January 1746, the Duke of Cumberland destroyed the palace with fire. An active conservation of the palace began in the 19th century.

  • Midhope Castle, tower house 16th century, on the grounds of the Hopetoun estate.

    Midhope Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

    The castle passed to Alexander Drummond of Midhope. A stone still exists for Alexander and his wife, Marjory Bruce.

    AD 1582 MB

    The chateau seen today is a much altered tower house, beginning with facelift was performed in 1678.

  • Niddry Castle, L-plan tower house, 14th century

    Circa 1680 the castle passed to the Hope family and became part of the Hopetoun estate. The Hope family, headed by the Marquesses on Linlithgow, hold the subsidiary title Baron Niddry. The castle was restored as a private residence in the 1990's.

    Niddry Castle image courtesy Castles On the Web

    Coming tomorrow, the castles of the Western Isles...

  • July 8, 2009 05:45 - Castles of Scotland ~ Western Isles

    Also known as the Outer Hebrides, their Gaelic name is Na h-Eileanan Siar, this island chain sits off the west coast of Scotland. The major islands include Lewis, Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. There are many, many more islands, some inhabited, some not.

    Among the castles are ~

    • Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, Scottish Baronial mansion, 1865

      Built on the Isle of Harris for the 7th Earl of Dunmore. Originally called Fincastle, Amhuinnsuidhe, pronounced 'avin-suey', is Gaelic for "sitting by the river". A salmon river, landscaped into a cascade tumbles over rocks alongside the road, then flows into the sea. Fincastle was a courtesy title of the first sons of the Earls of Dunmore.

      Amhuinnsuide Castle image courtesy Celtic Castles

      Amhuinnsuide Castle image courtesy Joanne Mackenzie-Winters

      The 6th Earl of Dunmore married Catherine Herbert. In 1849 she established an embroidery school and helped stabilize the new Harris Tweed industry.

      While the castle was being built, in 1868, his bankers in London, headed by Sir Edward Scott, took over the unfinished Castle and the North Harris Estate for indebtedness. Sir Edward and Lady Emily Scott, and their descendants successfully managed the estate.

      In 2003 the castle and fishing rights were transferred to community ownership. It now operates as a hotel for shooting parties and other events.

    • Ardvourlie Castle, Aird A' Mhulaidh, hunting lodge, 1862, Harris Isle

      Built by the Earl of Dunmore, the castle is located by Loch Seaforth. Other owners have been Lord Leverhulme, then the airplane manufacturer, Thomas Sopwith.

      Ardvourlie Castle image courtesy Canmore

      The castle is thought to have never been lived in, but served as guest quarters of Amhuinnsuide Castle for sporting friends.

    • Kisimul Castle, also called Kiessimul and Chisimul, 16th century, on Barra in the center of Castlebay

      Kisimul Castle image courtesy Chatelaine

      Seat of Clan MacNeil, the castle is surrounded by water and has never been taken by an enemy.

      The name comes from two Gaelic words cios meaning tax and mul meaning mound.

      In 1838 the castle was sold and began to deteriorate. Stone was taken from the castle for ballast in fishing boats, some was even used to pave streets in Glasgow.

      In 1937 the chief of Clan MacNeil purchased most of the island, including the castle. In 2001 the chief leased the castle to Historic Scotland for 100 years for an annual sum of 1£ and a bottle of whisky.

    • Lews Castle, Scottish Baronial castle, 1847 to 1857, Isle of Lewis

      Lews Castle image courtesy Wikipedia

      Built for Sir James Matheson, who purchased the whole island with a fortune acquired in the Chinese Opium trade. An industrialist, Lord Leverhulme, purchased the estate in 1918. In 1923 he gifted the estate to the people of Stornoway parish.

      During World War II it served as accommodations for the 700 Naval Air Squadron. In the 1950's students of Lews Castle College lived here. Today the building is owned by the local council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
      Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

    • MacLeods Tower, tower house, on islet in Loch Tangasdal.

    • Ormacleit Castle, T-plan tower 16th century, extended in 1701, South Uist Island

      Ormacleit Castle image courtesy Castle Stories

      Built by Allan MacDonald, chief of Clanranald, after he married Penelope MacKenzie in France. Occupied from 1707 until 1715 when it was destroyed by fire after MacDonald was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. The Clanranald seat was moved to Nunton on Benbecula and the castle was abandoned.

      Ormacleit was the last castle built in Scotland, the only significant castle still standing in South Uist, and probably the shortest lived castle.

    Coming tomorrow, a summary of Scottish castles, then on to other topics…

    July 9, 2009 05:51 - Castles of Scotland Summary

    This has been such a long term topic that I feel I need to go back to the beginning, recapping the purpose of this collection on a Scottish theme wedding blogsite.

    It began with building a cardboard castle as part of the fun at a wedding reception. This series began on April 10, 2009, with information and sources for a castle. Labyrinths and mazes as additional reception ideas followed. On April 28, 2009, the first castles were presented, categorized by council areas.

    My reasoning was if you knew what clan you were affiliated with, or what part of Scotland your family immigrated from, you could design your castle after the original one in Scotland.

    In the midst of the castles I discovered "Follies" and took a side trip beginning June 17, 2009.

    It's been a long, convoluted journey with a huge mass of information. Other topics came to light along the way ~ dule trees, bonspiels or curling tournaments, more information on William Wallace of Braveheart fame, gardens and famous trees in Scotland, lighthouses, skivvies [which aren't underwear], horses and ponies of Scotland, historical tapestries, and strewing herbs. Whew!

    Tomorrow, the dule trees will be blogged, then it's time to get to things more specific for planning a theme wedding, like gowns, Ceilidgh dancing, cake toppers…

    July 10, 2009 05:54 - Dule Trees ~ Part I

    A dule tree is a tree in Great Britain that was used as a gallows for public hangings. These trees were also used as gibbets to display the hung corpses. They were also called the

    • Tree of lamentation
    • Tree of grief
    • Grief Tree
    • Gallows Tree
    • Justice Tree
    • The Tree

    Such trees usually grew in a prominent place or at busy crossroads, to show one and all that justice had been done and as a warning to others.

    In Scots, these trees had many name variations ~ dule, duill, dole, dowle, dwle, dul, dull, duyl, duile, doile, doill, dewle, deull, and duel.

    In Middle English also had a number of variations ~ dule, duyl, dulle, deul, dewle, doole, dole, dool. However it was spelled, the word meant sorrow, grief, and mental distress.

    Highland chieftains used dule trees to hang enemies, deserters, murderers, and the like. Often located on high ground, the hill on which they grew often came to be called 'Gallows Hill'. This mound sitting above the River Annick, near Castleton Farm, Stewarton, Ayrshire, is known as 'Moot Hill' and 'Law Mount'.

    Moot Hill or Law Mount image courtesy Wikipedia

    With this information, it would follow that most castles, unless they sat side by side, had a dule tree, as part of their local legal system.

    A Medieval song, often sung as a round, tells of the gallows tree

    Come, follow, follow, follow,
    Follow, follow, follow me.
    Whither shall I follow, follow, follow,
    Whither shall I follow, follow thee.
    To the Gallows
    To the Gallows
    To the Gallows, Gallows Tree.

    The Gallows Hill often took on the name 'The Hill of Lamentation' as it became the place for the clan to meet to bewail any misfortune that befell within the clan.
    When a clan chief died, his retainers would assemble under the tree to mourn his death.

    David, the 1st Earl of Cassilis, died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. His friends and followers met at the Cassilis Dule Tree, where they lamented for several days.

    When James V began his reign as king of Scotland, he determined to restore order and pacify The Borders. James ordered all earls, lords, barons, freeholders, and gentlemen, along with their dogs, for a hunting trip to Teviotdale and Annandale.

    They did hunt, then James offered safe conduct to the Border chieftain, Johnnie Armstrong, Laird of Kilnockie. Johnnie was considered to be a good chieftain. He never molested a Scotsman, but many from the border to Newcastle of England paid him a regular tribute for protection.

    Johnnie and his men came to meet with the king, they were taken and hung from the trees in Carlanrig churchyard. Legend still persists that the trees withered and died. Furthermore, any trees planted there since have also died.

    The execution of Johnnie was looked upon by most as an evil, untrustworthy deed, beneath the position of their king. James' authority in The Borders was weakened by this execution.

    Continuing on Monday, dule trees, where some ancient ones still stand, where some once stood, words related to the dule tree, ballads about the dule tree…

    July 13, 2009 05:56 - Dule Trees ~ Part II

    Friday a discussion began about dule trees and their significance to the Scottish clan chieftains and lairds and the clansmen. Today this continues with the dule trees in Scotland and the estates where they grew.

    Some ancient dule trees still survive in Scotland. They were often close to the residence of the lord or clan chief. In Scotland these were often sycamores. But they were commonly called plane trees or sycamore maples. The sycamore was strong and not prone to limbs snapping off. Those that can still be found are ~

    • Leith Hall, near Huntly, was built in 1650, with a sycamore tree planted soon after. It stands gaunt and heavily branched, with the trunk measuring 116 cm. [3' - 9 7/10"] in diameter.

    • Cessnock Castle, near Galston, East Ayrshire, with a gnarled Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

    • Cassillis Castle, South Ayrshire, sycamore. It blew down in the winter of 1939-40. When the rings were counted, the tree was estimated to be 200 years old. A new Dule tree was grown by taking a cutting from the original tree.

      Johnny Faa, King of the Gypsies, is told to have been hung from the original tree. The Faa, or Faw, family is recorded as leaders of the Scottish gypsies as early as 1539.

      Some time after 1553, the tale reads that Johnny ran away with the Countess of Cassillis. The Earl caught them at the Gypsy Steps, a ford over the River Doon, a few hundred yards from the castle. Faa and his followers were hung on the dule tree, which sat on a mound in front of the castle gate. The Countess was forced to watch from an upstairs window.

      Cassillis then imprisoned her in Maybole Castle for the rest of her life. The legend tells of an oriel (bay) window built to overlook the dule tree. An outside staircase was also decorated with carvings of the faces of Johnny and his men.

      Actually, the oriel and staircase predate the time of the hangings. Older ballads tell of Johnnie Faa and mention Cassillis.

    • Kilkerran House, South Ayrshire, sycamore.

      Planted during the reign of James V of Scotland, this places the tree in the 16th century. It also stands near Blairquhan Castle. The trunk is covered with moss and measures 5.6 meters (18 feet 4 inches) in diameter. The tree is completely hollow. The vast crown was trimmed in 1997 in hopes of preserving the tree. A new, smaller crown is growing vigorously.

    • Near Logierait, Perthshire, called the Ash Tree of the Boat of Logierait.

      The tree is 63 feet tall with a girth of 40 inches at 3 feet from the ground. Old writings tell of "the dool tree of the district, on which caitiffs and robbers were formerly executed, and their bodies left hanging till they dropped and lay around unburied."

    • Of questionable use as a dule tree is a European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) at Bargany, South Ayrshire.

    • Castle Douglas, the Scottish Borders. Called Castle Dangerous in Sir Walter Scott's novel

    • Newark Castle, which dates from 1478, has a dule tree. The stump was carefully preserved in 1895.

    Though not in Scotland, the Hangman's Elm, or Hanging Tree, is an English Elm located in New York City and over 300 years old. During the American War of Independence, traitors were hanged here. In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette witnessed the hanging of 20 highwaymen from this tree.

    Tomorrow, old dule trees that are now gone…

    July 14, 2009 05:59 - Dule Trees ~ Part III

    Other sites where Dule trees are known to have existed ~

    • Auchendrane Castle, also known as Auchindraine, in South Ayrshire, ash tree, by the River Doon.

      Auchendrane Castle image courtesy Ayrshire Scotland

      Described as one of the finest trees around, the Laird of Auchendrane was offered an exchange by the local baliff. The ash tree for non-payment of a small debt. The Laird replied he would rather rot to death in the worst dungeon than sell the dule tree of Achendrane!

      Later, the dule tree blew down in a severe gale.

    • Evelix Farmhouse, Dornoch.

      Until a recent date, the Gallows Tree stood in a niche of a wall.

    • Lynstock, near Abernathy, Perth and Kinross, fir tree

      Still standing in the 20th century, the tree was estimated to be over 300 years old.

      A strong limb, projecting 12 feet from the ground, was the limb the noose, or wuddie, was hung. Two grave markers were below the tree, supposedly for two brothers. The tree came to be called "The Tree of the Brothers".

    • Mar Lodge, Victoria Bridge, Crathie and Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Scots Pine

      On the road leading to Mar Lodge, west of the bridge. Once the home of Princess Louise, daughter of King Edward VII, and her husband, the Duke of Fife. This was the gallows tree for the barony.

      Mar Lodge image courtesy Wikipedia

    • Newark Castle, South Ayrshire, ash tree, by the River Doon

      The dule tree stood near the grand stair, measuring 15 feet in circumference, with 5 main branches.

    • Rossdhu House, Clan Colquhoun

      The dule-tree sat on Gallowshill, across the main road from the house.

      Rossdhu House image courtesy Wikipedia

    • Tushielaw Tower, Ettrick, Scottish Borders, ash tree

      The tree stood among the ruins. Adam Scott, the 'King of Thieves" was hung here by order of James V.

    Coming tomorrow, Dule Trees ~ Part IV, places with gallows in their name and the dule trees of literature…

    July 15, 2009 06:00 - Dule Trees ~ Part IV

    Some place names have grown from past events and activities. A few associated with dule trees are

    • Gallowayford at Kennox House, near Chapeltoun, in North Ayshire. There was a gallows there, but history doesn't record a dule tree.
    • Gallows Hill, Hertfordshire, is reported to manifest groaning timbers, clanking chains, and a man dressed in gray.
    • Gallows-Knowe, in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, was the gallows for the Boyds of Dean Castle.
    • Gallow Law, a hill overlooking Newmilns, East Ayrshire
    • Law Mount, Stewarton, near Lambroughton, North Ayrshire.

    A common name for small earth mounds, these are located in what were prominent positions. Also called Moot Hills. Some are, or were, wooded.

    The Dule Trees in Literature

    • The Black Douglas of 1899, by S. R. Crockett has a line about a dule tree

      …and let that wight remember

      that the Douglas does not keep a dule tree

      up there by the Gallows Slock for nothing.

    • The Braes of Yarrow, a Romance, by Charles Gibbon, published in 1881, can be read at Google Books

    • The Dule Tree published by Finavon Print in association with the Elphinstone Institute

    • Guy Mannering, a Waverly novel by Sir Walter Scott, tells of a 'Justice Tree' at Castle Ellangowan.

    • Weir of Hermiston, an unfinished novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, refers to a dule tree.

    Dule Trees in Song
    I've found two quite different songs involving hangings and trees. One arises in Scotland, the other in North Carolina. The Wronged Mason and Tom Dooley will be blogged the next two days…

    July 16, 2009 06:04 - Dule Trees ~ Part V, The Ballad of Tom Dooley

    Tom Dooley is a folk song arising out of North Carolina. It's based on the 1866 murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula, better known as Tom Dooley. The ballad was popularized by the Kingston Trio in 1958. Tom dula, Laura Foster, and Mr. Grayson were all real people who made national news and have grave markers.

    Tom Dula historical marker courtesy Mountain City Elementary School

    I can't help but wonder if his last name, Dula or Dooley, didn't derive from the Dule Trees of Scotland? Looking into Scottish Dictionaries "dool, dule" is to grieve or sorrow. To 'thole the dool' is to bear the evil consequences of anything. Which came first, the name or the deed?

    Tom Dooley

    Hang down your head Tom Dooley
    Hang down your head and cry
    Hang down your head Tom Dooley
    Poor boy you're bound to die.

    Verse 1
    I met her on the mountain
    And there I tuck her life;
    I met her on the mountain
    And stobbed her with my knife

    Verse 2
    This time tomorrer
    Reckon where I"ll be?-
    If it hadn' -a been for Grayson
    I'd be-a been in Tennessee.

    Tomorrow, The Ballad of the Wronged Mason…

    July 17, 2009 06:09 - Dule Trees ~ Part VI, The Ballad of the Wronged Mason

    The second ballad that tells of the dule tree is The Wronged Mason, a Scottish ballad about Lambert Lamkin, or Lankin, who is hung on the dule tree at Balwearie Castle in Fife.

    Balwearie Castle image courtesy
    Royal Commission on the Ancient
    and Historical Monuments of Scotland

    The ballad is known to terrorize children, as seen in the subtitle "The Terror of Countless Nurseries". Child noted 25 versions in his collection of ballads. Child also suggest that the name "Lamkin" was a bit of irony, applied derisively for the meekness of the mason in submitting to his injury.

    It has been sung by Ben Butcher, Martin Carthy, Sister Emma of Clewer, and Steeleye Span.

    The main line of the ballad is about a mason who built a castle for a nobleman, could not collect his pay, and seeks revenge. There are 62 known versions of the story ~ 12 English, 16 Scottish, 1 Irish, 4 Canadian and 29 from the US.

    The Wronged Mason ~ Martin Carthy's version

    Says my lord to my lady as he mounted his horse,
    "Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the moss."
    Says my lord to my lady as he went on his way,
    "Beware of Long Lankin that lives in the hay."
    "See the doors are all bolted, see the windows all pinned,
    And leave not a crack for a mouse to creep in."

    Oh, the doors were all bolted, oh, the windows were pinned,
    But at a small peep in the window Long Lankin crept in.
    "Where's the lord of this household?" cries Long Lankin.
    "He's away up to London," says the false nurse to him.
    "Where's the lady of the household?" cries Long Lankin.
    "She's asleep in her chamber," says the false nurse to him.

    "Where's the heir of the household?" cries Long Lankin.
    "He's asleep in his cradle," says the false nurse to him.
    "We'll pinch him and we'll prick him all over with a pin.
    And that'll make my lady to come down to him."
    So they pinched him and they pricked him all over with a pin.
    And the false nurse held the basin for the blood to drip in.

    "Oh nurse how you slumber, oh nurse how you sleep,
    You leave my little son to cry and to weep."
    "Oh nurse how you slumber, oh nurse how you snore,
    You leave me little baby to cry and to roar."
    "Oh, I tried him with the milk and I've tried him with the pap.
    Come down, my pretty lady, and rock him in your lap."

    "Oh, I've tried him with the rattle and I've tried him with the bell.
    Come down, my pretty lady, and rock him yourself."
    "How dare I come down in the dead of the night
    When there's no candles burning nor no fires alight?"
    "You have three silver gowns all bright as the sun.
    Come down, my pretty lady, all by the light of one."

    Oh, the lady came downstairs, she was thinking no harm.
    Long Lankin he stood ready for to catch her in his arm.
    There's blood in the kitchen, there's blood in the hall,
    There's blood in the parlour where my lady did fall.
    Her handmaid stood out at the window so high
    And she saw her lord and master come a-riding close by.

    "Oh master, oh master, don't lay no blame on me.
    'Twas the false nurse and Lankin that killed your lady."
    "Oh master, oh master, don't lay no blame on me.
    It was the false nurse and Lankin that killed your baby."
    Long Lankin shall be hanged on the gallows so high.
    And the false nurse shall be burned in the fire close by.

    Now Long Lankin shall be hanged
    From the gallows oh so high.
    And the false nurse shall be burned
    In the fire close by.

    Coming Monday, a ballet slipper pattern…

    July 20, 2009 06:11 - Elegant Stitches Ballet Slipper Pattern

    The blog about 5 children's kilts for sale, scheduled for today, has been postponed for a few days.

    I've found a pattern from Elegant Stitches for a simple ballet slipper that could be worn by the bride or her attendants to compliment a Medieval or Renaissance dress.

    Ballet Slipper Pattern image courtesy elegant Stitches

    Depending upon the fabric used, these could be quite dressy and elegant. They could be sewn of silk tartan, a lighter-weight wool tartan, satin, taffeta, even velvet or velveteen. I saw one lady at the Highland event wearing a tartan with purple in it, a purple cape, and purple velvet slippers. She looked quite smart.

    The instep area has three treatment choices ~ Mary Jane straps, crisscross straps, or ankle ribbons. If sewn in a solid color, tartan ribbon could be used as the ankle ribbon. Beads or crystals sewn on or rhinestones ironed on could also be used.

    I've seen a pair of plain white satin ballet slippers with fairly large imitation precious stones and pearls sewn on the toe and around the opening. They were also done in bright, primary colors with the stones added.

    Other ideas for embellishing the slippers can be seen at Scottish Wedding Dreams Newsroom blogs beginning July 30 to August 7, 2007.

    The pattern has 10 sizes included from infant to adult. It costs $14, plus shipping and handling. For more information, or to order the pattern, go to Simply Elegant adult page, about ½ way down the page.

    More ideas and information about wedding shoes can be found at Scottish Wedding Dreams Wedding Shoes .

    One further note, if you're placing yourself or any of your bridal party in flat shoes with no support, make sure their feet are used to shoes with no arch support. An alternative, if they do need arch support, is to make the slippers larger so they can add their own orthodics. I did for a pair of Medieval slippers and they were just fine. I simply had the shoe height made taller and about ½ size larger than I normally wear.

    Tomorrow, a skirt pattern smocked below the waistband…

    July 21, 2009 06:15 - Smocked Ladies Wear

    Stumbling across a smocked skirt from Elegant Stitches, a new trail began. My first thought was, I like it, but how can this be used as the skirt for a bridal gown?

    Contessa Smocked Skirt Pattern
    from Elegant Stitches

    The Contessa skirt is shown in casual fabrics ~ denim and cotton ~ but the possibilities are almost endless. The length could be a mid-calf tea gown, to the ankle, or even with a flowing train.

    Worn with a short bustier in a solid color silk, the skirt fabric could be a silk tartan or a light-weight wool tartan. A bustier in a tartan combined with a silky skirt, especially one extended into a train, is another possibility.

    At the Smocking Store, I found a selection of smocked blouses that could be combined with the Contessa smocked skirt.

    • Kylie MM13 Smocked Blouse

      Kylie Smocked Blouse pattern
      from The Smocking Store

      If your wedding is developing a lighter, youthful theme, this blouse can be playful while also being elegant.

    • Leanne Blouse MM14

      Leanne Smocked Blouse pattern
      from the Smocking Store

      For a Scottish wedding gown, a beaded smocking design, using a sheer fabric, would go well with an evening skirt in tartan.

    • Tanya Blouse MM11

      Tanya Smocked Blouse pattern
      from the Smocking Store

      My first thought was, a little too Gypsy-ish. Then I studied the blouse on the left a little longer. By some standards it may seem bold and daring. But compared to the sleeveless bustier that's so popular as part of a bridal gown, it's quite modest.

      For even more modesty the top could be worn up on the shoulders, giving a peasant blouse look. This would work for a less formal wedding, with the skirt of wool tartan or a summery, gauzy fabric.

      The smocking could be worked in a combination of the colors in your tartan. For a dressier top, beads, pearls, or crystals could highlight the smocking, both at the neckline and below the bodice. The "V" pointed waistline suggests the stomacher which was very popular in Medieval and Renaissance gowns. A small edge of beading would add a little more sparkle, while emphasizing the "V".

      The pattern company suggests fabrics that are soft, light-weight and drape able, such as batiste, cheesecloth, challis, chiffon, crepe de chine, georgette, lawn, silk, or voile.

      With the mention of challis, the first thing I visualize is paisley. Tomorrow's blog will begin an explanation of Paisley and its links within Scotland.

      If you can find a paisley that picks up the colors of your tartan, you're on your way to a unique, very Scottish wedding dress. A simple challis paisley skirt that drapes well across the hipline, possibly extending into a train, would be very appropriate
      Long Ago pattern company has several skirts on their Victorian Pages. They also have the patterns for crinolines or hoops if the style requires one. Page one has a Butterfly train that would look stunning in a paisley challis.

      Butterfly Train pattern from Long Ago

      Long Ago patterns, page 2, has several skirt patterns . Take a look at the 1865 Elliptical skirt, 1895 Ripple skirt, 1893 Bell skirt, 1892 Umbrella skirt with train, and 1891 French fan skirt.

    • Ladies Bishop Blouse or Dress GK12

      Bishops Neckline Smocked Blouse
      Pattern from the Smocking Store

      The Smocking Store suggests this Grace Knott pattern which is similar to the blouse worn by Julia Roberts in the movie Mona Lisa Smile.

      As shown, with slacks or a day dress, it's hard to visualize the blouse as part of a wedding dress. Just use your fingers to cover up the slacks and skirt, then start seeing the blouse in soft, white silk or billowy chiffon. Then adding a skirt with lines that follow your body's contour, eliminating the fullness of the illustrated skirt.

      If you have long arms, or a desire to have a modest wedding gown, this could be the basis of your ensemble. Beads, crystals, or pearls (all available in a multitude of colors, sizes, and shapes) could be sewn into the smocking on both the bodice and cuffs, then repeated along the hemline of the skirt.

    • Santa Fe Blouse SH10

      Sane Fe Smocked Blouse
      pattern from the Smocking Store

      A simple pullover blouse, with a touch of smocking at the shoulders. Celtic knotwork could be embroidered along the neckline for further embellishment. The Smocking Store also suggests extending the blouse into a tunic or dress.

      Worn with a simple, flowing skirt of the same color, a silk cummerbund could be embroidered with thistles, Celtic knots, family heraldic symbols, clan plant, or a combination of these. Even the Wedding Day symbols of good omens ~ lambs, toads, spiders, black cats, sunshine and rainbows, grey horses, or horseshoes ~ could be embroidered on the cummerbund.

      Another idea would be to attach a train from the shoulders, so the smocking could be seen, then use the same smocking along the hem of the train.

      Adding a pair of slippers from yesterday's blog, then a simple floral wreath or circlet to secure a plain veil, would make a complete, understated, elegant wedding ensemble.

    The blouse patterns can be ordered from the Smocking Store at Garden Fairies Trading Company.

    The skirt pattern can be ordered from Elegant Stitches adult page.

    Coming tomorrow, the city of Paisley, its weavers, and the Paisley pattern…

    July 22, 2009 06:18 - Paisley ~ The Town

    Paisley is a town in the Lowlands in Renfrewshire and a suburb of Glasgow.

    Once known as Paislay, the name is uncertain. One chain of thought is from a roman fortification named Vanduara and written about by Ptolemy. This is based on the similarity to Gwen-dwr, a Brythonic word meaning white water. The river was at one time named White Water. Brythonic is the indigenous Briton language, as opposed to Anglo-Saxon or Gael.

    Other Brythonic words thought to be associated with Paisley are pasgill, meaning pasture, and passeleg, meaning basilica or major church. Scottish place-name books suggest the Old English personal name of Paessa and leah, together meaning a clearing or wood. In 1182, Pasilege, and in 1214, Paslie, were spellings for Paisley.

    Coming up the River Cart and into the White Cart Water, the waterway is navigable as far as the Seedhill Craigs at Paisley. Seedhill Craigs is where the White Cart Water becomes tidal. The river flows over the Seedhill Craigs, continues through Paisley, eventually dumping into the River Clyde.

    White Cart Water image courtesy Wikipedia

    A 12th century priory and a surrounding settlement grew up and became an abbey. Among those who favored the abbey are the Bruce and Stewart royal families. King Robert III was buried in the abbey. William Wallace of Braveheart fame is believed to have received his education in the abbey.

    In the 18th and 19th centuries, Paisley became famous for it's cloth production, including linens, then cotton, the Paisley pattern, and the Paisley shawl.

    Paisley has a mild, damp climate, ideal for the production of sewing thread. This reached it's apex in the 1930's, with 28,000 people working in a subsidiary of J & P Coats.

    This old advertising illustration is a J P Coats advertisement

    J P Coats Thread Company Cycling Cats courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    By the 1950's synthetic threads caused the Coats to move their mills to India and Brasil. As 1990 rolled around, thread was bo longer being milled in Paisley.

    Remants of the thread industry remains in street names throughout Paisley ~

    Cotton Street
    Dyer's Wynd
    Gauze Street
    Incle Street
    Lawn Street
    Mill Street
    Silk Street
    Shuttle Street
    Thread Street

    At one time, the Weavers Union in the South of Paisley had a meeting place. Called the Dooslan Stane, its found at the corner of Neilston Road and Rowan Street, in what is now Brodie Park.

    The history of the stane was once carved on the surface, but this is now mostly worn away. This was once their soapbox. Today Dooslan Stane is the meeting place for the 'Sma' Shot Parade', an annual parade held in July.

    Dooslan Stone Paisley image courtesy Wikipedia

    Paisley also has two district tartans

    Paisley WR 640

    Paisley District Tartan WR640

    Paisley WR313

    Paisley District Tartan WR313

    Coming tomorrow, a selection of J P Coats Thread Company advertisement illustrations…

    July 23, 2009 06:24 - Paisley ~ J P Coats Thread Company Illustrations

    Within J P Coats, some people surely had a great deal of fun creating these advertisement illustrations. They're just too entertaining to pass by. So when J P Coats appeared in the information on Paisley, these had to be included.
    Plus all that, I grew up sewing with J P Coats threads, never knowing of their Scottish connection.
    From yesterday, the Cycling Cats displays a playful sense of humor, while other Illustration ads display the popular formal dog portraits.
    I'm not sure when the pet portraits came into fashion, though I suspect it was during the Victorian Era, possibly earlier. How they came to be in thread advertisements is also unknown to me.
    Perhaps someone within the company was fond of dogs and cats. Maybe it was just an advertising ploy, taking advantage of a fashion trend.

    J P Coats Thread Company Dog Portrait I
    courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    J P Coats Thread Company Dog Portrait II
    courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    J P Coats Thread Company Dog Portrait III
    courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    J P Coats Thread Company Dog Portrait IV
    courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    This illustration seems to be promoting the availability of both black and white thread.

    J P Coats Thread Company Black And White
    courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    Cute little girls with their dogs is another theme.

    J P Coats Thread Company Girl With Pug courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    J P Coats Thread Company Girl With Dog courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    Last, but not least, to finish out the year, this seasonal illustration is probably my favorite. I loved sledding as a child.

    J P Coats Thread Company Thread Sled courtesy Scottish Wedding Dreams

    Tomorrow, back to Paisley ~ the design, its name, origin, and how the soldiers of Scotland brought home souvenirs from India…

    July 24, 2009 06:26 - Paisley ~ Persian Pickles, Welsh Pears, A Bent Tear?

    The paisley pattern has gone by many names over the years. This intriguing droplet-shaped motif has been called 'Persian Pickles' by American quiltmakers, in Wales it's known as 'Welsh Pears' since 1888.

    Others describe it as an adapted pine cone or a bent tear. Doesn't that sound romantic? …a tear that bends before it drops. Somewhere along the line, it's been called buti, which translates as flower, though I've not found which language buti is.
    The French call it boteh and palme. Palme, of course, refers to the palm tree. The palm, pine, and cypress, all traditional botanical motifs, are all credited with influencing the shape of the paisley.

    In Pakistani language of Urdu, the paisley is called carrey, meaning mango seed. In India, the word for mango tree is bodhi.

    Called buta from the Safavid Dynasty of Persia (1501 to 1736), the paisley was a major textile motif. The motif was also very popular in the Qajar Dynasty of Iran (1794 to 1925). The design was used to decorate royal robes, crowns, and regalia. The general population, of course, also fell in love with the buta.

    Embroidered Tubeteika Skullcap
    courtesy Roxanna Tours

    In Central and South Asian countries, the motif is still highly popular. It's found in high quality textiles, woven with silver or gold threads, for gifts, weddings, and special occasions.

    In Iran and Uzbekistan the motif is also found in bed-coverings, carpets, curtains, frescoes, jewelry, garden alndscapes, paintings, pottery, tablecloths. The Uzbekistans feature the motif in their traditional headdress, the doppi.
    Tracing the word doppi, led to the tyubeteika, or skullcap. The cap is made of silk, cotton, or velvet.

    Tyubeteika Skullcap image
    courtesy Wikipedia

    Tyubeteika, derives from the Turkic word tyube, meaning top or peak. An plain arakchin, of cotton, is worn under the. The doppi became popular c. 1900 for young girls, not women.

    [The sources for the information on the doppi and tyubeteika was found in articles by Djamshid Mirhalikov, Senior Expert, National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, and the Silk Road Press]

    Looking at the marine gastropod snails, a cross section of the Haeckle Prosobranchia shells shows a marked similarity to paisley.

    Paisley Spiral image
    courtesy Wikipedia

    The glossiphoniid leeches, who carry their babies on their belly, have been thought to be the source of the paisley motif.

    Hirudinea Leech courtesy Wikipedia

    Following this thought and looking at this paisley tissue paper stamp, you can see the smaller paisley motif in the center.

    Paisley Tissue Paper Stamp courtesy Wikipedia

    This makes another side trip for Monday about these leeches. The leeches, in turn, lead to a leech barometer, a further side trip for Tuesday.

    Within this stamp, you can find a ribbon bow, cornflowers, and a pomegranate bloom ~ all European heraldry symbols. More importantly, the smaller paisley in the center of the larger paisley plainly shows the likely glossiphoniid leech origin.

    Coming Monday, the Paisley Motif Part II, in heraldry and men's ties…

    July 27, 2009 06:29 - The Paisley Motif ~ Part II, Heraldry and Men's Ties

    Continuing with the paisley, it's also found in European heraldry, goutte means a drop. When found in a semy of gouttes, they're called a gouty.

    Heraldic Goutte symbol courtesy James Parker

    Each of the main tinctures in heraldry has a specific name, causing a poem to evolve to the rhythm of Do, a deer, a female deer, Re, a drop of golden sun…

    The Sangue des Gouttes

    D'eau: a goutte, a silver goutte.
    D'or: a drop of golden sun.
    D'huile: a name for olive gouttes.
    Poix: a pitch-drop on the run.
    Sangue: a needle-prick that's bled.
    Larmes: the tears of blue that flow.
    Vin: a drink with thou and bread
    That will bring us back to d'eau d'eau d'eau d'eau ...

    More information on heraldry and heraldic symbols can be found at Scottish Wedding Dreams.

    But once the motif hit Paisley, Scotland, on the shawls that soldiers brought home as souvenirs, and the local weavers began producing the pattern, the motif became "paisley" throughout the Western world.

    Mass production of the printed pattern began in Armenia and Marseilles c. 1640, with England following c. 1670, and Holland c. 1678. In France printed paisley was forbidden by royal decree from 1686 to 175, but by 1746 France was also producing printed paisleys. The paisley possibly led to the creation of the provincial French design Toile de Jouy.

    Tjese examples of printed paisley motifs are on display in the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, Long Island, New York.

    Printed Paisley Shawl, Sag Harbor, Whaling Museum,, Long Island, New York, property Scottish Wedding Dreams

    Not to be outdone by the women, men have been wearing their paisley ties for generations. One favored by my son is rendered in the colors of a thistle ~ sage greens and shades of lavender.

    Paisley Ties courtesy 2002 Ties

    2002 Ties displays a wide variety of paisley silk ties, with the motifs ranging from minuscule to really big.

    July 28, 2009 06:31 - Paisley ~ The Shawl

    Many Scotsmen proudly served in the Regiments of the British Army. It gave them an opportunity to wear their tartans and kilts in a time when law forbade them.

    When the Clearance laws were rescinded, there was nothing to go home to as families, land, and a unique culture was all but destroyed. Many sons chose the Highland Regiments over imigrating to the US, Canada, or Australia.

    As these soldiers returned home, just naturally, they brought gifts from foreign lands for their mothers, wives, and sweethearts. Those coming home from India brought beautiful cashmere wool and silk shawls.

    When the East India Company noted their popularity, they began importing the fashionable shawls. Local weavers took the costly shawls and adapted them to the hand looms of their cottage industries. When the Jacquard loom was invented in the 1820's, the weavers went from 2 color to 5 color shawls.

    Albert Racinet has given us a wonderful illustration of the popular shawls from the Regency Era of 1810 to 1820. The shawls, of course, continued on in popularity, even though the Regency Era was short-lived.

    Regency Shawl Illustration from Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes, Albert Racinet, 1825-1893

    With the innovative Jacquard loom, Paisley eventually produced shawls with 15 colors, where other weavers were only using 2 colors. Neither compared to the Kashmire shawls which had up to 60 colors.

    The local fabric producers in Paisley also learned to manufacture printed cotton and wool. The paisley began to be printed on textiles. Printed paisley brought the price down and increased it's popularity.

    The printed paisleys also led to colorful cotton squares that became our western-wear bandana, as can be seen on this illustration from Victoriana.

    Cashmere Bandana Shawl courtesy The Shawl Museum

    Paisley shawls were in fashion for nearly a hundred years. As industrialization with the Jacquard loom grew, many weavers of the cottage industry left for Canada and Australia.

    Tomorrow, more about the paisley shawl...

    July 29, 2009 06:33 - Glossiphoniid Leeches and the Tempest Prognosticator

    One of the suggested sources for the paisley motif is the Glossiphoniid leech. But what are they?

    They are a freshwater, jawless leech known primarily for their parental care. The female develops a bag, with a membrane, that holds the maturing eggs. This is carried on their underside.

    Hirudinea Leech courtesy Wikipedia

    After the young hatch, they attach themselves to the mother's belly and are carried by her to their first meal.

    Though not a medical leech, as they don't feed on humans, they are still used for medical purposes. Their saliva, like the blood-sucking leeches, contains anti-coagulant compounds. This makes them useful in some cardiovascular disease treatments and gives them a potentially high commercial value.

    Antistasin and other inhibitors have been derived from the blood-sucking leeches. The saliva also yields a subtancve that seems to prevent certain tumors from metastasizing.

    And to think this leech might also be the source of the paisley motif!

    While writing about leeches, I simply must share the Tempest Prognosticator as well.

    Also known as the Leech Barometer, an Englishman named George Merryweather invented this strange device.

    Upon reading the poem Signs of Rain by Edward Jenner, two lines led to his research.

    The leech disturbed is newly risen;
    Quite to the summit of his prison

    From this clue, he detailed the sensitivity of leeches when the electrical conditions of the atmosphere change with barometric pressure building before a storm.

    During 1850 he developed six designs for his Atmospheric Electromagnetic Telegraph Conducted by Animal Instinct. The six designs ranged from inexpensive ones for use by the government and shipping companies up to his most expensive design.

    Merryweather's Tempest Prognosticator courtesy Wikipedia

    This one was inspired by the architecture of Indian temples. He had local craftsmen build the mechanism, installed his leeches, and exhibited it at the 1851 Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in London.

    To make the prognosticator work, he put twelve leeches and rain water in individual pint bottles bottles, then placed in a circle beneath a large bell in his mechanism. Each bottle had a small metal tube on top, with a piece of whalebone and a wire connecting them to small hammers which were positioned to strike the bell.

    The leeches would become agitated by an approaching storm and attempt to climb out of their small bottles. As they climbed up the side of their bottles, they would each trigger a hammer, which in turn would strike a bell. But the leeches couldn't climb into the tubes to escape.

    The number of hammers striking the bell indicated the likelihood of a storm.

    All the original prognosticators have been lost, but a replica working model is in the Barometer Museum in Okehampton, Devon, England.

    That's it on leeches, and now back to the Paisley Shawl…

    July 30, 2009 06:34 - More History of the Shawl

    Continuing with information about the paisley shawl, the word shawl comes from the Persian word Shal, which came from the Sanskrit sati. Described a loosely worn item of clothing, draped over the shoulders, upper body, and arms, it sometimes was also a head covering.

    Some were square or rectangular and folded into a triangle. Others were woven in a triangle. A few were woven as oblongs.

    The first recorded examples are from 550 to 330 BC in ancient Persia. These were worn by both men and women. In Kashmir, as they embraced Persian culture, the men wore shawls that were extremely fine woolen twill. Some were one color, others called tilikar were of two or more colors. Those with ornate weaving or embroidery were called ameli.

    In these ancient cultures, as today, the shawl was worn for warmth, to accent a costume, or for symbolism. An example of symbolism is the tallit worn by
    Jewish men as a prayer shawl.

    The Kashmire shawl has seen a revival in recent years as the Pashmina shawl.

    More about shawls on August 3rd, tomorrow August Highland Games…

    July 31, 2009 06:47 - August Highland Games & Festivals

    As August begins on Saturday and there will be Highland events this weekend, I'm publishing the August games a day early. Hope you are able to go to one this month, if not this weekend.

    August is another busy month for Highland Games. Which is great if you're planning a Scottish Theme Wedding ~ or would just plain like a good dose of Scottishness, get to one of these Highland Games. At most of the events, you can find local bagpipers to hire, browse tartan sample books, learn more aabout your clan, and sample some Scottish foods.

    Plus all that, it's just fun to watch the people and their attire. Some folks come dressed everyday, others arrive all 'duded out'.

    Couples image property Scottish Wedding Dreams

    The participants are young and old

    Wee Laddie On Parade image
    property Scottish Wedding Dreams

    Older Gentleman image
    property Scottish Wedding Dreams

    • June 28 to July 3, Dungloe, Ireland ~ Mary From Dungloe International Festival
    • July 31 to Aug 1, Eldon, Prince Edward Island, Canada ~ Caledonia Club of PEI Highland Games
    • July 31 to Aug 1, Livonia, Michigan ~ St. Andrews Society of Detroit Highland Games
    • July 31 to Aug 1, Maxville, Ontario, Canada ~ Glengarry Highland Games
    • July 31 to Aug 2, Cahersiveen, Ireland ~ Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts
    • July 31 to Aug 2, Dublin, Ohio ~ Dublin Irish Festival
    • July 31 to Aug 2, North Plains, Oregon ~ The Faerieworlds Festival
    • July 31 to Aug 2, Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada ~ Tignish Irish Folk Festival
    • July 31 to Aug 8, Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland ~ The World Fleadh
    • July 31 to Aug 9, Lorient, France ~ Festival Interceltique de Lorient
    • August 1, Aboyne, Scotland ~ Aboyne Highland Games
    • August 1, Anchorage, Alaska ~ Galway Days on G Street
    • August 1, Iona, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Highland Village Day
    • August 1, Newtonmere, Scotland ~ Newtonmere Highland Games
    • August 1 to 2, Spokane, Washington ~ Spokane Highland Games
    • August 1 to 2, Abingdon, Virginia ~ Virginia Highlands Festival ~ Celtic Weekend
    • August 1 to 2, Silinas, California ~ Monterey Highland Games and Celtic Festival
    • August 2, Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada ~ Montreal Highland Games
    • August 2, Morar Scotland ~ Mallaig & Morar Highland Games
    • August 2 to 8, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada ~ Pavilion of Scotland
    • August 3 ~ Montreal, Quebac, Canada ~ Montreal Highland Games
    • August 3 to 6, Goderich, Ontario, Canada ~ The Goderich Celtic College
    • August 5, Portree, Scotland ~ Isle of Skye Highland Games
    • August 6 to 8, Balve, Germany ~ Irish Folk & Celtic Music Festival
    • August 6 to 8, Sion, Switzerland ~ Guinness Irish Festival
    • August 6 to 9, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Festival of the Tartans
    • August 7 to 8, Abefeldy, Scotland ~ Abefeldy Show and Games
    • August 7 to 9, Butte, Montana ~ An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival
    • August 7 to 9, Dumfries, Scotland ~ The Border Gathering

      Scottish Cart & Pony courtesy The Border Gathering

    • August 7 to 9, Fergus, Ontario, Canada ~ Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games
    • August 7 to 9, Goderich, Ontario, Canada ~ Celtic Roots Festival
    • August 7 to 9, La Crosse, Wisconsin ~ Irish Fest La Crosse
    • August 7 to 9, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada ~ Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
    • August 7 to 9, St. Paul, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Irish Heritage Fair
    • August 7 to 29, Edinburgh, Scotland ~ Edinburgh Military Tattoo >
    • August 8, Alexandria, Virginia ~ Irish Fest
    • August 8, Dundonald, Scotland ~ Dundonald Games
    • August 8, Greenbank, Washington ~ Whidbey Island Highland Games
    • August 8, Madras, Oregon ~ The High Desert Celtic Festival
    • August 8, North Berwick, Scotland ~ North Berwick International Highland Games
    • August 8, Rockford, Michigan ~ Rockford Celtic Festival
    • August 8, Nethy Bridge, Scotland ~ Abernethy Highland Games
    • August 8, Sandwich, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod Scottish Festival
    • August 8 to 9, Hunter, New York ~ Hunter Mountain International Celtic Festival
    • August 8 to 9, Highlands Ranch, Colorado ~ Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games
    • August 8 to 10, Fergus, Ontario, Canada ~ Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games
    • August 9, Syracuse, New York ~ Central New York Scottish Games
    • August 9, Perth, Scotland ~ Perth Highland Games
    • August 9 to 10, Manheim, Pennsylvania ~ Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Scottish Weekend
    • August 11 to 16, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ the Hector Festival
    • August 13, Ballater, Scotland ~ Ballater Highland Games
    • August 13 to 16, Milwaukee, Wisconsi ~ Milwaukee Irish Fest
    • August 14 to 15, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ~ Big Rock Celtic Festival
    • August 14 to 15, Jackson, Wyoming ~ Jackson Hole Scottish Festival
    • August 14 to 16, Winston, Oregon ~ Oregon Highland Games
    • August 14 to 17, Killington, Vermont ~ The Pipers' Gathering
    • August 15, Amherst, New York ~ Amherst Museum Scottish Festival and Highland Games
    • August 15, Brunswick, Maine ~ Maine Highland Games
    • August 15, Helmsdale, Scotland ~ Helmsdale Highland Games
    • August 15, Nairn, Scotland ~ Nairn Highland Games
    • August 15, Windsor, Ontario, Canada ~ Rose City Feis/Fesi Baile Na Ros
    • August 15 to 16, Concarneau, France ~ Festival des Filets Bleus
    • August 15 to 16, Hunter Mountain, New York ~ International Celtic Festival
    • August 16, Crieff, Scotland ~ Crieff Highland Games
    • August 16 to 18, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ~ Saskatoon Highland Games
    • August 21, Glenisla, Scotland ~ Glenisla Highland Games
    • August 22, Almonte, Ontario, Canada ~ North Lanark Highland Games
    • August 22, Davenport, Iowa ~ Celtic Highland Games of the Quad Cities
    • August 22, Galesburg, Michigan ~ Kalamazoo Scottish Festival
    • August 22, Old Westbury, New York ~ Long Island Scottish Games
    • August 22, Rothesay, Scotland ~ Bute Highland Games
    • August 22, Quechee, Vermont ~ Quechee Scottish Festival
    • August 22, Kirkmichael, Scotland ~ Strathardle Highland Games
    • August 22, Jamestown, New York ~ Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans
    • August 22 to 23, Sterling, New York ~ Sterling Celtic Rock Festival
    • August 23, Cortland, New York ~ Cortland Celtic Festival
    • August 23, Kalamazoo, Michigan ~ Kalamazoo Scottish Festival
    • August 23 to October 19, Crownsville, Maryland ~ Maryland Renaissance Celtic Festival
    • August 24, Olympia, Washington ~ Peninsula Pipes and Drums of Gig Harbor
    • August 27, Oban, Scotland ~ The Argyllshire Gathering and The Oban Games
    • August 27 to 29, Dunoon, Scotland ~ Cowal Highland Gathering
    • August 28 to 30, Buffalo, New York ~ Buffalo Irish Festival
    • August 28 to 30, Peoria, Illinois ~ Erin Feis
    • August 28 to 30, St. Ursen, Switzerland ~ Swiss Championship Highland Games

      Swiss Highland Games poster courtesy Swiss Highland Games

    • August 29, Birnam, Scotland ~ Birnam Highland Games
    • August 29, High River, Alberta, Canada ~ High River Highland Games
    • August 29, Sychrov, Czech Republic ~ Sychrov Highland Games
    • August 29 to 30, Deinze, Belgium ~ Schotse Dagen (Scottish Days) Ooidonk
    • August 29 to 30, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio ~ Celtic Feis
    • August 29 to 30, Rapid City. South Dakota ~ The Black Hills Dakota Gathering of the Clans
    • August 30, Carlisle, Pennsylvnia ~ McLain Highland Festival

    For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

    Coming next week, the Paisley ~ the Pashmina Shawl…

    June 2009 «  » August 2009


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