Posted by Kate on November 15, 1999 at 21:19:50:
Dana was kinda taken with the idea I lived in Scotland and wished to see a picture of me in my 'native habitat' as it were. Norm had also expressed a wish to put names to faces of the various 'posters' too. So, from there, Dana and I thought it would be great fun if each of the characters on the Board were to post a picture of THEIR 'natural habitat' but something in their home towns, ie. object, building, boat - anything, that has some kind of historical significance. That way we learn a little about the various places that each of us live in.
Unfortunately, I drew the short straw so I have to go first! So please, bear with me here! (Oooooooh, I hope I do this right, MMMM!)
My picture is of the Arbroath Abbey, built around 1095. It was here on April 6, 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath/The Declaration of Scottish Independence was signed by Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. It was written by Bernard de Linton and is the basis of the American Declaration of Independence.
The Abbey was burned down a few times during the 12th and 13th centuries but rebuilt until the monks decided to move to another Abbey in the south of the country and it is now mostly ruins, but does still have a few vaulted rooms and partial upper cloisters left. It was also in this Abbey that the 'HEART' of William the Lion (King of Scots) was buried under the High Alter.
It is said that the monks built underground passages that lead down to the caves in the local cliffs so that they could make good their escape when enemies descended on the Abbey. However, these passages have not been found (to my knowledge!). It is also said that a local pirate 'Ralph the Rover' used the caves to store his 'booty' and that the monks used to traverse these passages to aid and trade with this rascal - Brandy being their particular favourite item to barter for!! Again, that is the story and it has not been proven but hey! It's exciting to think it's true!!
Also, are you familiar with the 'Stone of Scone' or 'The Stone of Destiny' as it is sometimes called? Well, it is the Stone that all of Scotland's kings sat on to be crowned until Edward Longshanks' time. (As in Braveheart?) (It is said that it once was the 'pillow' of Joseph of Arimathea and it is believed that it may have been the portable or 'travelling' alter of St. Columba. But I digress here.)
When Edward got his hands on it, he took it down to London and it was placed in Westminisher Abbey, under the seat of the Coronation Throne and henceforth, all monarchs of Britain have been crowned on it. However, in 1952, four Scottish Nationalists stole it from Westminister amd brought it back to Scotland. They hid it for weeks and eventually left it on the High Alter of the Arbroath Abbey to be collected by the authorities (Scotland Yard) and taken back to London. However, we in Scotland know that they did not get the real Stone back and I know (I have a friend who works in the Abbey and has seen it) that the real one is still in a secret room in the Abbey. Well, I think the authorities do realise that what they took back was not the REAL one, but they have to 'save face' and just keep pretending they got the real one back. (There ARE ways/tests to prove which is the real one but they have not done them. Why not, one has to ask oneself?!
However, last summer, Scotland was given the Stone of Destiny back (?) and it has been placed in Edinburgh Castle. However, as I say, it is REALLY still in the Abbey as that is where the Scottish Declaration of Independence was signed. It was there that the nobles of Scotland declared that:
'...for so long as a hundred of us are left alive, we will yield in no least way to English dominion. We fight not for glory nor for wealth nor honours; but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life...'
Declaration of Arbroath
April 6, 1320.
So - there you go, a 'potted history' of my historic picture.
*Note the graveyard in the foreground. Some of these gravestones go back to the 18th century. Also - that is where I shall be when I 'move to San Francisco'!
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