Tuesday, 15 February 2011 01:05
Findhorn – Treading through time FeaturedWritten by Dr Anne Rodway
“ Speak weel o’ the Hielands but live in the Laich.” This is an old Moray proverb and refers to the “Laich of Moray” an area of low lying, rich fertile land, along the southern shores of the Moray Firth and including historic places such as Forres and the village of Findhorn.
It is to Findhorn we are bound, at the mouth of the river of the same name, overlooking beautiful Findhorn Bay. Once a trading port of considerable importance, then an important hub for Salmon fishing, now a delightful holiday centre.
In the heart of the village, on a prominent knoll, looking over the old cottage rooftops and beyond, sits pretty white cottage - 100 Findhorn – whose windows, like ancient eyes, see the wider views of the Laich of Moray and on down the centuries to the colourful myths and legends of this attractive part of north east Scotland.
But where to start and when... so much to see and so much to tell...
Let’s start with the fearsome “ Wolf of Badenoch”, with Lochindord and its castle......within a bird’s eye of the cottage. The Wolf was the son of King Robert II; the time was the close of the fourteenth century. He was said to be huge in stature with a florid complexion and jet black beard and held the whole of Moray in fear. He was given the lordship of Badenoch and the castle of Lochindorb, whose ruins today sit sinisterly on an island in the middle of Lochindorb itself – a short drive from Findhorn. Legend has it that an invitation to the castle inevitably meant the invitee was never seen again – probably committed to the Water Pit Vault. A visit to the ruined castle, reached by rowing boat, still invokes a striking atmosphere and even after 600 years his name produces a chill note throughout this part of northeast Scotland.
The view from the sitting room window of 100 Findhorn takes in the bay and across to the Culbin Sands and Culbin Forrest where myth and legend again take up the theme. Today the area is a SSSI and a water taxi will take you across from the Findhorn Boatyard. Artifacts show that the area has been inhabited by man for at least 3500 years. Mystery and myth abound here and legend gives account of a great storm in 1694 that overwhelmed the entire Barony of Culbin in one night.
The village of Findhorn is intrinsically linked to the Barony of Culbin and on a map of 1590, the first village of Findhorn is shown to have been sited on the bar on the Culbin side of Findhorn Bay. Sometime after 1701, possibly on the morning of 11th October 1702 - maps show the Old Bar having been breached, destroying the first village. So the lost village of Findhorn still lies hidden somewhere on Culbin. What a treasure trove waiting to be found!!
So... Come to Scotland... Come to Findhorn and discover for yourself; why not come to the pretty white cottage... 100 Findhorn. Turn right at the Kimberley Inn!