» Places To Visit Just another WordPress weblog Fri, 16 Apr 2010 17:27:18 +0000 en hourly 1 Prophet’s Grave Mon, 31 Aug 2009 08:28:39 +0000 admin 2247221184_3abe1ed428[1]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

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Pencil Monument Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:25:58 +0000 admin 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.

However, the Pencil Monument stands today as a reminder to the people of the Scottish coast. It is a little over a mile from the center of the town of Prom. Resembling that of a pencil, the Pencil Monument stands vigil over the town.

While the Pencil Monument is a Scottish monument, it also has strong Viking ties. Each year there is a festival with a live interactive Viking experience. Fireworks are proudly displayed to signal the end of the Viking festival. Many places in the Largs areas are historical and have profound meaning. However, few of them cement the moments of both Scottish and Viking history like that of the Pencil Monument.

Visitors to the Largs area will have a great time looking over the various sites rich in Viking and Scottish lore, legend, and historical accounts. Stopping at the Pencil Monument will bring some of those lores to life. When visiting make a point to stop at the Pencil Monument and take in the rich history and beautiful Scot coastline.

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Neolithic Tomb in Douglas Park Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:12:56 +0000 admin 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.

The Neolithic Tomb in Douglas Park is also known that the Haylie Chambered Tomb. Discovered in 1772 by James Wilson of Haylie, this tomb was once covered over by stones. These cairns of stones are manmade structures that are often in the form of a cone. The original cairn was removed for the building of dykes upon the estate. Inside the tomb, the remains of five bodies were found. Originally the tomb was found in the early twentieth century, when major excavation was done, and has been dated back to about 3000 BC. Historically important, the tomb marks the graves of a people known as the Beakers.

The Beakers were a cultural phenomenon that swept through Europe during the late Neolithic period. They were named ‘Beakers’ because of their distinct pottery style, which resembled a beaker with a pronounced inverted bell shape.

The Haylie Chambered Tomb is complete with the original capstone and is commonly listed as one of the main attractions to the visitors of Largs. In addition to the other attractions in the area, such as the Pencil Monument, Kelburn Castle, and Three Sisters; the Haylie Chambered Tomb, or the Neolithic Tomb, is one of the places visitors frequently seek out. Located in a clearing behind Douglas Park, the tomb is very easily accessible.

No visit to the Scottish seaside town of Largs is complete without a visit to this historic place that cements the role of Scotland in the stages of human advances and evolutionary process.

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Brisbane Glen & Three Sisters Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:05:42 +0000 admin 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.

Thomas Brisbane also left another mark in the Largs area that is honored by a monument. The Three Sisters monument was built in honor of Sir Thomas Brisbane for the work he did in the observatory he built in 1808 at Brisbane House. Standing on Green Hill, near the north end of Largs, The Three Sisters are meridian pillars representing the astronomical observatory. There is also another smaller pillar located in the Brisbane Glen through which the 3 Sisters could be sighted.

Thomas Brisbane, while serving as Governor General of South Wales, made many great contributions to the Largs area, and to astronomical theories and information. The area around Largs, and the coastal ports, recognize these efforts by naming two distinct historical features after him.

Anyone who is visiting Scotland, and more specifically the Largs community, owes it to themselves to spend some time walking, and biking, along the trails of the Brisbane Glen. There you will see a great concentration of Grey Wagtail, Blackbirds, Wrens, and Wheatears, Great Spotted Woodpecker, among many other birds. While strolling through the various trails, you can also see brilliant fauna, waterfalls, and incredible canopies of mixed woodland. Visitors of Largs should also treat themselves to a stop at the Three Sisters monument for more of what Thomas Brisbane contributed to Largs.

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