Posted on 31 August 2009
One mile from the town of Largs, along the North Promenade and down the winding country road, one will run across the grave of the late Rev. William Smith- known to the locals as the Prophet’s Grave.
Rev. William Smith was a minister of the Largs Church from 1644 till 1647- he died after just three years, a victim of the horrible plague that had struck Largs at the time. Hundreds fell victim to the disease, as medical science at the time was powerless to stop it. The plague brought about a burning fever, left the skin disfigured, paralyzed the body and wracked the victim with agonizing stomach cramps. Hundreds more fled Largs in an effort to avoid the plague, escaping to the hills on the upper reaches of Brisbane Glen and setting up makeshift huts of wood and turf.
At a time when victims could do nothing but wait for a long, agonizing death, the newly ordained minister tirelessly continued to serve them, even after he contracted the disease himself. Finally, at the young age of 28, he himself gave up the ghost, and was buried according to his wishes in the Brisbane Glen where he had lived and worked so lovingly and selflessly.
In the undulating stretches of Brisbane Glen’s emerald green fields stand two stone pillars with a gate of wrought iron between them, marked by a cross. Two great yew trees stand guard over this the entrance to his grave, a humble yet solemn tomb in the ground with a headstone to remind people of his life and service- a beautiful place of quiet contemplation.
There is, however, a legend which says that should that the Reverend had made a prophecy on his deathbed- as long as the yew trees over the entrance do not intertwine their branches, the plague will never return to Largs. In the nineteenth century, there had been two severe outbreaks of cholera in the region… but no one knows whether the trees had come to touch at the time of the epidemics. All that anyone knows is that today, at least, the leaning branches still are far from each other… and that Largs remains happy, healthy and prosperous. Image: Flickr
Posted on 26 June 2009
The Pencil Monument was built to commemorate the 1263 Battle of Largs. The monument, built in 1912, is for the Scottish people to remember the resolve they had in repelling attacks by the Norwegians. On this particular day in 1263, the Scottish army attacked a small force of Norwegians that were attempting to bring back some of their ships that were carrying parts of different armies that were beached during a major storm. Most historical scholars believe that the Battle of Largs is to have been one of the most important battles in Scottish history.
The Norwegians had been conducting several raids upon the Scottish isles and causing many problems the Scots. However, the armies of Alexander III were keeping tabs on this fleet in particular. A storm blew in, beaching over 160 longships of the Norwegians, which helped Alexander’s army defeat the Viking army of King Taco. There is some contention on this point with both sides laying claim to victory. It is also quite speculative as no other fables, or historical documents mention the battle at all. Read the full story
Posted on 26 June 2009
The Scottish town of Largs is located in North Ayrshire, Scotland. It is a very popular seaside resort that is very rich in both Scottish and Viking history. In the year 1263 Largs became the site of the most important battle in Scottish history; the Battle of Largs.
Also located within the town are very historic monuments that pull tourists from around the world. One of those places is the Neolithic Tomb in Douglas Park. The Neolithic area is the period of time beginning about 9500 BC and is also labeled the New Stone Age. This is when human technology began to make incredible advancements forward with farming, metal tools, and irrigation. Read the full story
Posted on 26 June 2009
The town of Largs, Scotland is very rich in history and lore. It is a major place of history not just for the Scottish people, but for the Vikings also. Along with all this history, the town of Largs boasts a large number of historical points of interest. One of these places is the Brisbane Glen. Named after noted astronomer Thomas Brisbane, the Glen is one of the world’s foremost places for observing birds.
The Brisbane Glen runs more than 7 miles inland from the town of Largs on the coast. It is accessible by Brisbane Glen Road, a minor road, and offers some of the world’s densest population of birds. Great care is taken to preserve this habitat and the entire Glen, outside of Largs, is enclosed. A car park, picnic area, and both moorland and woodland trails are available to people visiting the Glen. Read the full story