Having been married to a Scottish woman, and having a brace of daughters who are also Scottish women, I have first hand experience of how capable they are. However it appears that they have always been a formidable bunch.
I was reading a book entitled Women of Scotland by Helen Susan Swift, that gives thumbnail sketches of Scotswomen from away back in time to the present day, from warriors to scientists, writers to fisherwomen, witches to politicians. Fascinating stuff.
With that book in mind my own Scotswoman suggested that we visit Corrimony Cairn, which is a four thousand year old chambered cairn in Glen Urquhart, a few miles from Loch Ness and about a 45 minute drive from Inverness. At present Cathy is in ‘visiting’ mode, trying to look at every site run by Historic Scotland, so we have spent time in castles, churches, ancient sites and what-have-you all across northern Scotland.
The cairn from outside, with hints of the standing stones.
In saying that I was intrigued by Corrimony. It is a passage grave within a cairn, which means one is able to get down on hands and knees and crawl inside what was a burial chamber. Corrimony Cairn is amazingly preserved, surrounded by eleven standing stones and has been excavated. At some time in the fairly recent past the cap stone and roof has been removed, allowing one to see inside the chamber, with the skillful stonework on view.
Cathy looking inside the entrance passageway.
This cairn was created some four thousand years ago, so it was ancient when Christ was a boy. The workmanship is remarkable, and the sheer amount of labour involved in hauling the stones here to surround the grave is breathtaking.
Now, you may be wondering what this cairn has to do with Scottish women? Well it seems that it was built for a female. That will not be surprising in Scotland, where women are at least equal to men, but other nations may be intrigued. I wondered who this woman may have been? What had she done? Was she a queen? A religious leader? A prophet? A engineer? A merchant?
I doubt we will ever know. We can guess that she was important. One of the many Scotswomen who have left their mark on the nation: I wonder if any walking around today will leave a legacy that survives for four thousand years?