Saints Home Stones

Each month, this website features two journeys to take to explore the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. This month features a one-day visit to several of the prominent Border Abbeys of Scotland and a two-day visit to several of the Sligo, Ireland Area Stone Sites.

Books: This website has added two important resource guides for those visiting the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, and Wales. Added to each England, Scotland, and Wales Saints Resources page is a 2020 publication of the British Pilgrimage Trust, Britain's Pilgrim Places. The book covers 500 holy places and 48 major pilgrimage routes in the UK. Added to each England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland Stones Resources page is a 2018 publication, The Old Stones: A Field Guide to the Megalithic Sites of Britain and Ireland. The latter, which covers over 1,000 of British and Irish prehistoric places, was judged the Current Archaeology Book of the Year in 2019.

Publications: Highly recommended to the readers of this website is the bi-monthly publication, Scottish Islands Explorer, which, as its titles indicates, contains timely and enjoyable information about the many islands off the mainland of Scotland, and may be subscribed to for hard copies or received digitally at a reduced price.

Websites and Blogs: Readers are encouraged to click onto to the highly regarded blog of inveterate traveller to Scotland, Washington State resident Marc Calhoun. His blog, Exploring the Islands of the West: Journeys to the Western Islands of Scotland, chronicles his many visits since his first to Iona in 1988.

Podcasts: Viewers of this website may be interested in several podcasts that deal with the Saints and Stones of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles is the weekly podcast of the well-known Scottish archaeologist, author, and tv presenter of programs on the BBC. His podcasts are based on his 2018 book, The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places. Rupert Soskin and Michael Bott of Standing with Stones fame present The Prehistory Guys monthly. Each podcast interviews a prominent archaeologist. Lastly, the Thin Places Travel Podcast is presented by tour guide Mindie Burgoyne. In each episode she interviews authors and travel guides who take the listener to Saints and Stones sites in Ireland.

Passings: Tim Severin, a British adventurer who for 40 years meticulously replicated the journeys of real and mythic explorers, died on December 18, 2020 at his home in West Cork, Ireland. He was 80. One of his most famous journeys was the Brendan Voyage in 1976-1977. Convinced that the seven-year voyage across the Atlantic Ocean by St. Brendan, who lived between 489 and 583 A.D., was not just a legend, Severin and his four crew built a replica of Brendan’s currach using traditional materials of wood and ox hides and launched it from Brandon Creek on the Dingle Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland. Sailing 4,500 miles (7,200 km) from Ireland to Newfoundland with stops in the Hebrides, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland en route, the journey was completed in 1977. Severin later wrote a book about the voyage entitled The Brendan Voyage: Sailing to America in a Leather Boat to Prove the Legend of the Irish Sailor Saints. A film of the voyage was made later, and it may be viewed on YouTube where it is divided into two parts: Part One and Part Two.

Additional Information: The six 2020 Rhind Lectures have been posted to youtube. This year's lectures, Neolithic Scotland: The Big Picture and Detailed Narratives in 2020, were delivered by Dr. Alison Sheridan, a British archaeologist who was Principal Curator of Early Prehistory at National Museums Scotland, where she worked from 1987 to 2019 in Edinburgh. Here is a link to the first lecture. The remaining five lectures may be accessed on the youtube website. To make the lectures more enjoyable and eliminate the bothersome ads that pop up at the worst times, go to the website, where you simply add the youtube URL of the site you are watching and can watch the programs without interruptions.

Suggestions, comments, and questions are always welcome.