Category: scotland

Frog-Hopping Gravestones, Glasgow, 1948. Photographed by Bert…

Frog-Hopping Gravestones, Glasgow, 1948. Photographed by Bert Hardy.

Scathach: Woman Warrior of Irish Legend

The legendary female warrior of Scathach is pretty cool. First, there’s her name, which means “the shadowy one” in Gaelic. Then there’s her castle, Dun Scaith (Castle of Shadows), reportedly sat on Isle of Skye northwest of Scotland.

Getting to Dun Scaith, and Scathach, was a complicated business. First, one had to know where Scathach lived. Her location was apparently something of a commonly-known secret. Once someone knew her location, one had to travel across the Irish Sea, known for its storms and choppy seas, and travel to the remote, craggy islands of northwest Scotland. Upon arrival, one then had to get past Scathach’s warrior daughter to get an audience with Scathach herself.

Scathach is important in Irish legends for the unique place she holds as a woman warrior who trained other women, as well as men. Her training was notoriously dangerous, teaching things like pole vaulting over castle walls and underwater fighting, but everyone agreed that if you survived Scathach’s training you were a great warrior. Scathach is also famous for having trained Cu Chulainn, who went on to become the central figure in the Ulster Cycle, part of the origin stories for Ireland itself.

Glasgow, 1868. Photographed by Thomas Annan.

Glasgow, 1868. Photographed by Thomas Annan.

The Queen feeding her corgis at Balmoral, Sco…

The Queen feeding her corgis at Balmoral, Scotland in 1976.

via reddit

Cantilever bridge human model, and amazing photographs of…

Cantilever bridge human model, and amazing photographs of Scotland’s Forth Bridge under construction from the 1890s.

The Royal Scot, Glasgow, Scotland, 1949.

The Royal Scot, Glasgow, Scotland, 1949.

Terrifying mask and wig of Alexander Peden, which is made of…

Terrifying mask and wig of Alexander Peden, which is made of leather with real teeth and human hair.

West end of Princes Street, Edinburgh, 1961.

West end of Princes Street, Edinburgh, 1961.

Guarding the entrance, Edinburgh, 1961.

Guarding the entrance, Edinburgh, 1961.

Castle Street, Edinburgh, circa 1960.

Castle Street, Edinburgh, circa 1960.