There was so much to experience and understand on my trip to Scotland. Unfortunately, I had little prior knowledge of Scottish history and in particular ancient history. It would seem that didn’t matter but, when Kilmartin is the focus of your ancestry it is important.
One thing I did when I was on the walking tour of the Kilmartin Glen was to stop and lay down on a little mound near a cairn and look around. I stayed there soaking in the sun and my surroundings for several minutes. It was a great way to view and experience the glen. I looked over and saw the old church and cemetery where ancestors were buried. I thought that all I had just seen was here when they were here. Standing stones, carved rocks and burial cairns all part of the same area as now. Kilmartin Glen was my families territory but it is one of Scotland’s most important collections of preserved bronze age artifacts. It took two trips to see the various important sites in the area. It was exciting to know this was here. I should have understood when an archeologist studying the Kilmartin area was able to send me a map in the cemeteries and point me to the gravesites of my ancestors that this was a special spot.
But on my second trip a whole new world of amazement opened up. We went to Dunadd …it’s right here in the area and is listed as in Kilmichael Glassary that’s the birthplace and home of many of my ancestors. Now it became necessary to understand history after the Romans left and before Scotland existed. Argyll was part of the Kingdom of DalRiata and Kilmartin was the center of the power of this kingdom. When you climb to the top of Dunadd as Gordon did you find the foot. The one kings placed their’s in as they were being crowned king. The view is of all the area of the surrounding Glen and hillsides. I couldn’t say their kingdom because that included the County Antrim in Ireland the Hebrides Islands and Western Scotland. What strange territorial lands. A sea kingdom. Isn’t that incredible my little Kilmartin with such importance. I read that King Arthur was crowned on Dunadd and that he was handed the sword that he famously pulled from the rock…but not magically. So you see it is a lot to take in …so much fantastic stuff and so unexpected.