Celtic Myth Podshow News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Category: Scotland (Page 1 of 10)

Scotland – Gaelic language school a victim of success

PUPIL numbers at Glasgow Gaelic School are at an all-time high. But the popularity of the school has landed education bosses with a problem – they cannot find enough fluent Gaelic-speaking teachers. This year the secondary school has around 62 students on the roll but next year that number is set to rise to 100.
Over 70 children will enroll in the primary school next term.

Gaelic Language Schools

Glasgow was the first council to provide a dedicated Gaelic secondary school, recognised nationally as a ground breaking approach.

Margaret Doran, executive director of education and social work, admitted the shortage would hit lessons.

She said:

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5,000 year-old Roundhouse discovered in Scotland

The remains of a hilltop home believed to be about 5,000 years old have been discovered on the outskirts of Edinburgh, The Scotsman reveals in its report on the 23rd March. The Neolithic roundhouse, found on a site where a quarry is due to be expanded, is one of the oldest prehistoric buildings to be discovered in the capital.

Archaeologists have hailed it as one of the most important finds ever made in Edinburgh because of its age – about the same as Skara Brae in Orkney – and unique location. It is also expected to help fill in a largely unknown chapter in Scottish history, when farming had only recently spread to Britain from Europe.

The site, at Ravelrig Hill, near Dalmahoy, enjoys spectacular views across the Lothians and Fife, including landmarks such as Arthur’s Seat. Experts believe the roundhouse was probably built by one of the first families of farmers to start producing their own food in the area.

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The People of the Kingdom of Dál Riata – Dalriada

The people of the Kingdom of Dál Riata spoke a Q-Celtic Goidelic language. They lived in Argyll on the West Coast of what is now Scotland from around AD 400.The Gaels of Dalriada are often called ‘the Scots’ as the Romans named the Q-Celtic speaking peoples of Ireland and Argyll ‘the Scotti’ which probably meant ‘pirates’. The Scotti attacked Roman shipping off the west coast.Only twelve miles of sea separates the Mull of Kintyre from Antrim, Ireland. The Gaels of Dál Riata and Antrim traded across the sea routes, intermarried and sometimes fought.

The founding myth of Scotland tells of an Irish King, Fergus Mor, settling Scots from Ireland in Argyll. The English historian Bede wrote that the Irish Scots under Reuda took lands from the Picts. These origin tales influenced later historians but there is no evidence on the ground for an Irish invasion of Argyll.

How were the Gaels of Dalriada and Ireland different?

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The Cailleach, or Hag of Winter by Stuart McHardy

The Hag of Winter is known in Scotland and Ireland as The Cailleach, of which Cailich is variant, though there are many more stories and place names associated with her in the latter, as was pointed out by the great folklorist Katherine Briggs over fifty years ago.The idea that The Cailleach was imported into Scotland from Ireland is another instance of reality contradicting accepted notions. If the Cailleach did in fact originate in Ireland why do we in Scotland have so many more stories of her?

Her name in Gaelic means the hooded, or veiled one and after Christianity arrived became the accepted term for a nun. This has led to an interesting situation where confusion arises between a figure who was part of ancient Mother Goddess belief and Christian nuns. In ancient belief she was particularly known for spreading the harsh weather of winter and for living on mountain tops.

The Oral Lore of the Cailleach

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Whiskey, Poteen and Faeries

The distilled spirit Whiskey has been associated with Scotland and Ireland for Hundreds of years. Whiskey is brewed in both countries and regularly drunk in homes and Pubs. In Ireland Whiskey is often drunk as a “chaser” to Irish Stout, and an Irish Coffee made with Irish Whiskey and fresh cream is a drink not to be missed.The earliest record of distilling Whiskey in Scotland appeared in the Exchequer Rolls as long ago as 1494.

“Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make “aqua vitae”-water of Life (Latin)

This was sufficient to produce almost 1500 bottles. By this time distilling was almost certainly an established practise among the Scottish peoples.

According to Legend St Patrick introduced distilling to Ireland in the fifth century AD.

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Theory says that King Arthur was buried on the Scottish Borders

An American historian has discovered the burial place of Britain’s legendary King Arthur near the Scottish Border, a leading authority on royal lineage said, reported the Toledo Blade back in June 1990. Burke’s Peerage said Prof. Norma Goodrich, an expert on Arthurian legend, believes he was buried in the parish of Arthuret in northern England, not in Wales as Previously thought.

It quoted Professor Goodrich as saying that the area once belonged to Scotland and is near Camboglana, where Arthur is said to have fought his last battle.

The veil of mystery on Arthurian legend is at last slowly being lifted. The discovery of the burial place of Britain’s most famous monarch will definitely create a new editing task for all the history books of this island.

said Harold Brooks-Baker, publisher of Burke’s Peerage.

Scholars have worked for centuries to uncover the truth about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table who appear in a series of romances set in the sixth century.

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Scottish Celtic Sweat Lodge – Sauna saved and re-built

News at the Scotsman.com reports pic that a Bronze Age structure thought to have been used as a Celtic sweat lodge has been saved from destruction by the sea after a team of archaeologists moved the entire find to a safer location. The building, which dates from between 1500BC and 1200BC, was unearthed on the Shetland island of Bressay eight years ago. It was found in the heart of the Burnt Mound at Cruester, a Bronze Age site on the coast of Bressay facing Lerwick.

But earlier this summer (2008), because of the increased threat of coastal erosion, local historians joined archaeologists to launch a campaign to save the building and to move it somewhere safer. A third of the mound had already been lost to sea erosion.

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He’s Big, Blue, and the Red-Headed Defender of the Clans! Saltire! Scotland’s First Superhero!

You’ve heard of Captain America, the enhanced Super-Soldier who became the symbol of American patriotism and you may even have heard of Captain Britain, whose power derived in part from Merlyn and the mystical sword, Excalibur and who embodies the spirit of British patriotism but it’s now time to doff your cowls and pull on your capes, as the Superhero Spirit of the Ancient Clans becomes embodied in the Big, Blue form of Saltire! He embodies both the concepts of ancient mysticism along with all of the drama, power and heroism that you expect from any of today’s cinematic Superheroes.

Saltire is an archetypal Golden Age comic book hero – the sort we see on our Movie screens today, and not the complex and often dark, anti-hero type that seem to dominate today’s comic book world. He is a Hero for a nation – a symbol to stand by, perhaps ideal for a time when Scotland is seeking its own individuality and independence again.

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Saltire Annihilation Part 1 – Scotland’s Superhero returns in a tale of Dark Age horror!

We met the Big, Blue,Red-Headed Immortal Guardian of Scotland, Saltire – the first real Scottish Superhero in the style of the classic Marvel and DC greats, in his first outing Saltire: Invasion. His second adventure starts in the follow-on Graphic Novel – Saltire: Annihilation Pt.1!With John Ferguson still penning the adventure and a new artist, Claire Roe, at the helm this Graphic Novel plunges us into the Dark Ages and a time of conflict between the Saxons and Clans of the North. Into this maelstrom of political turmoil, an ancient evil awakens and begins to prey upon the Clans.

A Proud Heritage Reborn!

Once more the Clans and their Guardians call upon Saltire, our Immortal Hero, to awaken and come to their rescue. The action is fast and furious as a bloody swathe is cut across the Highlands and Valleys of Saltire’s land!

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Scottish Merlin was born and bred in Glasgow

Scottish Merlin?

Scottish Merlin?

The BBC reports that the legendary wizard Merlin has been added to a list of famous Glaswegians, it has emerged. The council included the wizard, who featured in Arthurian legend, on a list of well-known figures from the city. A council spokeswoman admitted that like most mythical figures, it was difficult to trace Merlin’s origins. But she said the wizard had been added to its website list after an amateur historian suggested Merlin had lived in the Partick area of the city.

He joins Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and comedian Billy Connolly on the list of famous characters, both real and fictional.

‘Glorious history’ of the Scottish Merlin

Merlin has his very own category on the list – filed under wizard.

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