August 17, 2022

Scotland and its history. Creation.

The History of Scotland is known to have begun by the end of the last glacial period (in the paleolithic), roughly 10,000 years ago. Prehistoric Scotland entered the Neolithic Era about 4000 bc, the Bronze Age about 2000 bc, and the Iron Age around 700 bc. Scotland’s recorded history began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century when the province of Britannia reached as far north as the line between the firths of Clyde to the Forth.

North of this was Caledonia, whose people were known in Latin as “Picti”, “the painted ones”. Constant risings forced Rome’s legions back: Hadrian’s Wall attempted to seal off the Roman south and the Antonine Wall attempted to move the Roman border north. The latter was swiftly abandoned and the former overrun, most spectacularly during the Great Conspiracy of the 360s. As Rome finally withdrew from Britain, Gaelic raiders called the Scoti began colonizing Western Scotland and Wales.
According to 9th- and 10th-century sources, the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded on the west coast of Scotland in the 6th century.


In the following century, the Irish missionary Columba founded a monastery on Iona and introduced the previously pagan Scoti and pagan Picts to Celtic Christianity. Following England’s Gregorian mission, the Pictish king Nechtan chose to abolish most Celtic practices in favour of the Roman rite, restricting Gaelic influence on his kingdom and avoiding war with Anglian Northumbria. Towards the end of the 8th century, the Viking invasions began. Successive defeats by the Norse forced the Picts and Gaels to cease their historic hostility to each other and to unite in the 9th century, forming the Kingdom of Scotland.

The Kingdom of Scotland was united under the descendants of Kenneth MacAlpin, the first king of a united Scotland. His descendants, known to modern historians as the House of Alpin, fought among each other during frequent disputed successions. The last Alpin king, Malcolm II, died without issue in the early 11th century and the kingdom passed through his daughter’s son, Duncan I, who started a new line of kings known to modern historians as the House of Dunkeld or Canmore. The last Dunkeld king, Alexander III, died in 1286 leaving only a single infant granddaughter as heir; four years later, Margaret, Maid of Norway herself died in a tragic shipwreck en route to Scotland.


England, under Edward I, would take advantage of the questioned succession in Scotland to launch a series of conquests into Scotland. The resulting Wars of Scottish Independence were fought in the late 13th and early 14th centuries as Scotland passed back and forth between the House of Balliol and the House of Bruce. Scotland’s ultimate victory in the Wars of Independence under David II confirmed Scotland as a fully independent and sovereign kingdom. When David II died without issue, his nephew Robert II established the House of Stewart (the spelling would be changed to Stuart in the 16th century), which would rule Scotland uncontested for the next three centuries.

James VI, Stuart king of Scotland, also inherited the throne of England in 1603, and the Stuart kings and queens ruled both independent kingdoms until the Act of Union in 1707 merged the two kingdoms into a new state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Ruling until 1714, Queen Anne was the last Stuart monarch. Since 1714, the succession of the British monarchs of the houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Windsor) has been due to their descent from James VI and I of the House of Stuart.
During the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Later, its industrial decline following the Second World War was particularly acute. In recent decades Scotland has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fueled in part by a resurgent financial services sector and the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas. Since the 1950s, nationalism has become a strong political topic, with serious debates on Scottish independence, and a referendum in 2014 about leaving the British Union.

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Scottish Places of Interest. C.A


Growing up in the Seventies in Edinburgh was cool, apart from the flared trousers, which meant you actually swept the streets as you walked, and the wedged shoes which made you seven feet tall, well fashion tends to come and go just like History that’s why it is named History LOL, a thing in the past, a memory. There was so much to do, so many places to visit, we spent a lot of time at the beach, in fact, most or all of the summer. The beach was called Cramond, not a beach you would associate with sunny climes, golden sands, heat LOL no it was more like a shore than a beach, although further along Cramond there were stretches of sand and Golden at that leading to one of the many small islands in the Firth of Forth.

The one we visited a lot during summer holidays was an Island aptly named Cramond Island, this was an ideal place to play, the trick was to walk over once the tide went out but you had to make sure you got back before the tide came on or else you were stranded, being kids we never knew the tide times but thankfully we always got back in time.
The walk was wonderful, however, there were huge areas where the sand would just sink and I mean deeply sink, not quicksand but similar, so we avoided that area, but it wasn’t always easy.
So what has all this got to do with History I hear you ask,? Well, we are getting to that. Cramond Island was famous more during World War 2 than any other period in its history.

Before that there was evidence of life on the Island around 8500 BC it was believed the first early Scottish settlers settled on the Island, it is not the biggest of Islands it covers a couple of acres.
On the Island are remains of an ancient Roman Fort dug deep, this was a fortress for the Romans which would protect all areas in the Firth of Forth from invading armies, yes the Romans knew what they were doing LOL.

But more recently the Island was used for fortification against German invasion, Guns were placed in shelters which still stand today, and were used when German planes flew over the Firth of Forth, mainly their target was Leith Docks were the Military ships were based.
There was a farmhouse on the island right up until the early 1960s the Island even had sheep on it, but when I visited in the Seventies all that remained were the shelters, bunkers, and storerooms used in


The following picture is a better view from the Island and indicates how large it is, but to young boys in an adventure, it was HUGE…
I recommend if you ever visit Scotland to spend half a day visiting these great Islands, there is a tour of the Islands so do not worry LOL you won’t have to do what I did in the early years and walk over


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