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Stories of Scotland is a multi-award-winning Scottish history podcast. Join hosts Jenny and Annie as they unravel the rich tapestry of Scotland’s culture, nature and heritage. Prepared to climb into caves, cairns and chaos, Jenny and Annie travel around Scotland and investigate how stories of the past can help us make sense of modern life. Stories of Scotland celebrates Scottish history through traditional storytelling, archival research, museum objects and wandering in nature. It is recorde ...
 
The stories in this volume are true stories, and have been arranged in chronological order, an arrangement that will aid the reader to remember the times to which the stories relate. Almost any encyclopedia can be consulted for general details of the life stories of the interesting people whose names crowd the volume except perhaps in the cases of Peter Williamson and John Tanner, "The True Story of a Kidnapped Boy," and "A White Boy Among the Indians." Peter Williamson was kidnapped in Glas ...
 
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Jenny and Annie consider the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden and the brutalities committed by the Duke of Cumberland and the British Government forces on the people of the Highlands after 1746. We look into the events recorded in The Lyon in mourning; Jacobite Memoirs by Robert Forbes. Trigger Warning: this episode contains discussion of murder…
 
In the first episode of a new series, Jenny and Annie have a look at the Battle of Culloden, and the background politics that lead up to it. One of the most mythologised conflicts of all time, we try to piece together why so many raised their weapons to fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie. Now managed by the National Trust, Culloden Battlefield is of h…
 
Young fisher Mairi will do anything to return the sealskin to her almost-beloved selkie. The only problem is a few terrifying monsters stand in the way. In this final episode of a three-part miniseries, Annie and Jenny of Stories of Scotland Podcast retell classic Scottish mythology with a queer twist. Join Mairi on her journey into love & lore. Fu…
 
On the advice of an old fisher, young fisher Mairi and her old terrier make a journey across the Pentland Firth from Orkney to Caithness. Their destination is the land of the fairies, inside Bruan Broch. But how can they enter the supernatural underworld? And will they escape? In this second episode of a three-part miniseries, Annie and Jenny of St…
 
An unnaturally strong storm rolls over Orkney on Spring Tide. In the morning a young fisher and her old terrier stumble across a washed-up seal, or is it a washed-up woman? Or could it be both? In this first episode of a three-part miniseries, Annie and Jenny of Stories of Scotland Podcast retell classic Scottish mythology with a queer twist. Join …
 
In this episode, Jenny MacHaggis and Annie MacNeep explore the rich history of mythologies, legends and recipes of Scotland’s national dish: the haggis. We look at the ingredients in a Victorian haggis and blether about what folklore of the wild haggis tell us about Scottish identity. What is the old legend of how the haggis freed Scotland? Is that…
 
Jenny and Annie take a dance across the mythologies of the northern lights of Scotland. Upon finding their Scots legends of the aurora borealis, they end up rather unexpectedly in the Battle of Flodden: a battle said to have been written in the sky. For this episode, we used the books: Rock-bound: a Story of the Shetland Isles by Jessie Margaret Ed…
 
In this episode, Annie and Jenny take a festive Yuletide jaunt around Christmas time traditions in Scotland. We take a look at the almost completely lost highland tradition of the Clach an Groait stone, the world famous Orkney Ba tournament, and an old lady and her festive pig. This time of year is dark and cold, but these historic tales will warm …
 
The Scottish coastline is dotted with magnificent lighthouses. These bright beacons of safety have protected sea vessels for centuries, guiding them through the rough and rocky waters that surround the country. In this episode we take a look at Robert Stevenson and his lighthouse building dynasty, with a focus on Bell Rock Lighthouse, one of the gr…
 
References: We read an extract from the Shetland Times published on the 31st January 1903. For discussing the saga, we read Last of the Free by James Hunter and Caithness in Sagas by Edward J Cowan. These oral histories informed our stories of the Shetlandic trows: www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/68053 www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrec…
 
Jenny has just returned from a holiday to Orkney and shares her experiences of visiting Skara Brae, a beautifully preserved stone age village. Annie uncovers the early archaeology of the site, and Jenny imagines what the lives of people were like 5000 years ago. They find a light-hearted ghost neolithic ghost story and wonder about the beliefs and …
 
Read about the Baobhan Sith in The Gaelic Otherworld edited Ronald Black, which uses the text from Superstitions of the Highlands Islands by John Gregorson Campbell. Listen to more about MacPhee and his loyal black dog here: www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/5820 www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/25460 http://www.tobarandualchais.co.u…
 
Annie and Jenny take a gentle stroll through Chapel Yard Cemetery in Inverness and think about the stories that graveyards tell us. They encounter a succourer, a short snake, and a new perspective on the city they love. Have a look at Annie’s 1886 Visitors Guide to Inverness here: https://archive.org/details/visitorsguidetoi00unse/page/n1/mode/2up …
 
The majority of research for this episode came from original archival material. The front page of the newspaper discussing the missing livestock is the Inverness Courier from 28 November 1861. The court records of the assault and murder trial are held at the National Records of Scotland, under the references of AD14/62/144 or alternatively JC26/186…
 
For the Lùnastal or Lammas Day traditions, we used ‘Old Scottish Customs: Local and General” by Ellen Emma Guthrie published in 1885. archive.org/details/oldscottishcusto00guthuoft Listen to the oral histories which we retold from Donald Sinclair. They are available on Tobar an Dualchais/ Kist o Riches. www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/4430…
 
Jenny and Annie investigate real Scottish ghost stories as found in local newspapers in this light-hearted spooky episode. They begin in the town of Port Glasgow, where a family is being tormented by noises, spectral animals and some nasty phantom vegetables. The trusty journalist however suspects a hoax instead of a ghost. Next, they visit one of …
 
In the first episode of Season 4, Annie and Jenny take a wander around the magnificent ruins of Elgin Cathedral. Known as the Lantern of the North for, as you’ll discover, many reasons - the cathedral has a rich and dark history, and as much of it as possible is squeezed into this episode! From those dreadful fires that won’t stop being set to sink…
 
In this episode, Annie and Jenny travel back to 1913 Aberdeenshire, where the national insurance tax has just been introduced by then prime minister, Davil Lloyd George. Little does he know that this tax will cause uproar in the farthest reaches of Scotland. The small town of Turriff in Aberdeenshire becomes the epicenter of these frustrations and …
 
In this glittering episode, Jenny and Annie uncover the incredible 1869 gold rush in Kildonan, Sutherland in the Far North Highlands. Jenny explains the geology of how gold ended up deep in the Scottish Highlands. We have a look at the Victorian media hype that sent a lot of hopeful prospectors up to Helmsdale in search of treasure and find out abo…
 
In this episode, Annie and Jenny take a deep dive into some of the many mystical wells dotted all over Scotland. They visit the Munlochy Clootie Well, one of the largest of its kind in Scotland and unpick it’s past, while also looking at the continuation of age-old traditions in the modern-day. Many wells are believed to have magical properties and…
 
In this bonus episode we look at the traditions surrounding the longest day of the year in Scotland. From the borders to the Shetland islands, the people of Scotland have celebrated the summer solstice for thousands of years. Jumping fires, burning bones, and warding of fairies, trolls and ghosts - the solstice is a time of light and celebration - …
 
In this episode, Annie and Jenny enter the dark and mysterious world of the shebeen - the illegal Scottish whisky house! The shebeen was at the heart of whisky smuggling and illegal distilling in rural Scotland. We discover this almost-lost shadow of the whisky industry. We hear the intriguing tale of Eppie “Lucky” Thane, the hundred-year-old woman…
 
Enjoy two of the misfit legends found Jenny & Annie as they researched Scottish coasts and waters. Jenny recalls a story of a strange folktale of a ghost ship from the mysterious Blawhooly Bay in the Scottish borders. Ghosts, ghouls, fairies and sea-beasts anchor their ship one dark night in order to kidnap a midwife. Whereas Annie brings a story f…
 
In this episode, Annie and Jenny visit the magnificent Smoo Cave, a favourite on the North Coast 500 and a place that is dear to both. Join them in their expedition deep under the cliffs of the North West Coast to discover how love formed the caves, and evil has lived in them! From a dastardly murderer to a wee man in a box, Smoo Cave is packed wit…
 
This episode explores the relationship between witches and water in mythology, folklore and a historical witch trial. Annie and Jenny read the 1644 witch trial of Marion Peebles, a woman from Shetland accused of witchcraft. The trial of Marion Peebles gives a unique and intriguing insight into the superstitions of Shetland in the 17th Century. Next…
 
Jenny and Annie head to sea to explore the legends of the Blue Men of the Minch: supernatural men who are said to inhabit the strip of sea from the Outer Hebrides to the west coast of mainland Scotland. Jenny and Annie look at different tales taken from oral tradition and think about what these strange wee creatures from folklore tell us about the …
 
In this episode we explore deep time in an investigation into the geology and history of the Grey Mare’s Tail, a spectacular waterfall and nature reserve in Dumfries. Jenny looks into how creatures from 500 million years ago, found at the Grey Mare’s Tail, sent seismic waves through the geologic community. Annie uncovers a surreal tale of 17th cent…
 
Jenny and Annie find stories of Gruinard Island, a small island just off the West Coast of the Scottish. From this one little piece of land, they uncover harrowing and painful stories of the Highland Clearances. They discuss the kelp processing industry on the Western Isles and the impact it had on crofting communities. They learn about an unsympat…
 
Jenny and Annie explore the everlasting legend of mermaids to celebrate coastlines, seas and lochs. They share incredible mermaid folklore curated by a traditional storyteller from Caithness to learn about the significance of mermaids to Scotland’s culture. Jenny reads poetry inspired by the lands-under-the-sea written by a fisherman’s son from She…
 
Jenny and Annie investigate salmon poaching on the Inner Tay Estuary between Perth and Dundee. They learn about this dark side to poaching, the dangers and shenanigans of catching illicit salmon. Looking at the little industrious town of Newburgh, they visit the fishing stations of Jock’s Hole and Gutter Hole. Jenny and Annie uncover some underhand…
 
In this episode, Jenny and Annie eat some delicious Aberdeen rowies, also known as butteries. We look at the origin of this calories dense maritime snack and sing a cheeky wee buttery shanty. We hear about a mischievous oatcake-stealing fairy and Jenny reads from an account of hillwalking on Bennachie, a twelve-mile hike all on a buttery breakfast.…
 
This episode looks at witchcraft and witch-purging in early modern Scotland. We hear the extraordinary confessions of Isobel Gowdie and learn about her initiation into sorcery and her incantations. Jenny and Annie look at the curious profession of witch-pricking, learning about two famous prickers: John Kincaid and crossdressing Christian Caldwell.…
 
This podcast explores the Scottish Zoo of our mythologies, glens, and islands. It begins by wondering why the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal. Annie and Jenny discover mysterious wildcat of the Highland hills and explore Gaelic legends of the Cat Sìth. Then they look at the wonders of the puffin and the various hardships puffins experienced o…
 
Jenny and Annie go away with the fairies to explore the mythology of Tomnahurich Cemetery in Inverness. This episode looks at folk legends of giants, fairy parties and fiddlers lost in the night. It also examines the curious relationship of Tomnahurich hill and Oliver Cromwell’s control of Scotland during the 17th Century. We go into detail on the …
 
Jenny and Annie stay inside on a dreichy day to talk about the environmental and cultural significance of rain. We discover the mythology and superstition of rain for fishermen of Shetland and try to make sense of the black rain prophecies of the Brahan Seer. We look at the geography of Scotland to understand why this place gets such an impressive …
 
This episode brings a guest host, Sara Boussaikouk, who talks to us about Victorian theatres in Inverness. We read archival documents which describe the venues and performers of the Northern Scottish theatre scene. We dip our toes into romanticisation of the Scottish Highlands through the Sir Walter Scott effect. This episode also looks into the li…
 
In the second of a two-part adventure at Covesea caves, we look at the rumours of the Wizard of Gordonstoun who was said to have sold his soul for sacred knowledge. This episode discovers that Covesea caves were used by smugglers; who feed into a covert Jacobite network. We learn about Scottish Indigenous Travellers who passed through Covesea and t…
 
In the first of a two-part exploration of Covesea caves, Jenny and Annie crawl into the Bronze Age to ponder why these caves were used for the curation of human bodies. Why did different people over different eras use the caves as a place of decapitation? We look at Pictish carvings on the walls and admire the special ambience of the caves througho…
 
In this second episode on Loch Ness we look at the landscape through the lenses of both science and mythology. We consider innovation on Loch Ness; from ancient crannogs to a 1950’s water speed record attempts. We think about how tourism and technology combined to see a sudden surge in Nessie sightings, and muse about international Nessie compariso…
 
Join us on a breathtaking journey through the history of Loch Ness. We explore the mysticism and legends of the Loch starting with Saint Columba’s confrontation with the Loch Ness monster. This episode unravels the importance of sea-beast symbols in Scotland’s ancient communities of Picts. We discover what has the Loch Ness monster has symbolised a…
 
In this first episode we consider the significance of bothies and delve into the dark pasts of bothies and the ballads that bothy workers would sing by the peat fires to warm their spirits. We think about what bothies are used for in modern Scotland and how they can help us spend more time enjoying nature and the outdoors, supporting both physical …
 
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