- Featuring places connected with my own family history.
- Highlighting places with happy memories.
- Shining the spotlight on place names that appeal.
- Linking my interests in history, travel and photography.
Join me on the start of this journey from A-Z.
A is for
ARCHIVES - I had to include this under A-Z of places, as I used to work in the Heritage Hub, Hawick, home of the Scottish Borders Archive Service. Archives are the bed rock of our family history research and it can lead us on a journey of Adventure exploring the unique records and touching pages that record details of our ancestors in their lifetime, whether it be in a poor law entry, a school record, or a will. Here is the signature of my g.g.g. grandfather on his will.
ALNWICK, a small market town in north Northumberland, was the home of my husband's Hawkyard ancestors. Alnwick Castle, was the scene of many a English-Scottish raid and since 1309 has been the seat of the most powerful of Northern barons, the Percy family, Earls and later Dukes of Northumberland (recollections of of Shakespeare's Harry "Hotspur" Percy). The Castle is now best known for a different kind of scene - as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
In 1861, widow, 73 year old Catherine Hawkyard was the lodging house keeper at Turk's Head Yard, Bondgate, with her two sons and 14 lodgers, including an Irish chemist by the colourful name of Benjamin Clutterbuck, some Ag. Labs and five musicians from Germany. (I see some blog story emerging here!) The Hawkyard name is so strong sounding and distinctive, it is on my list for further research. A cursory internet search revealed that Hawkyards predominated in Yorkshire.
|Approaching Brocick on the Isle of Arran,|
with Goatfell in the backgorund.
ARRAN - I first visited the Isle of Arran when I was 12 years old and was captivated by the romance of this island, an hour's sail off the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. At 19 miles long and 10 miles wide, It is ofen called "Scotland in Miniature" and abounds in some wonderful place names such as Lamlash, Blackwaterfoot, Lochranza, Siddery, Torbeg, Corriecravie, Whiting Bay, and Knochenkelly. I worked there one summer as a student, hiring a bike to explore more of the island. On my last visit we took the bus that travels the circular route hugging the coastline - a fantastic ride on what is now a much busier and scarier road - winding, twisty and hilly, but with marvellous views. Definitely a place to return to!
|The distinctive sight of the Cal Mac ferry|
ARGYLL is another part of western Scotland that is full of happy memories, with the bustling ferry port of Oban, gateway to the Isles in the Inner Hebrides - Mull, Iona, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay, islay and Jura. Landscape, history and heritage combine in a region that has inspired writers, artists and composers down the centuries. More memories to follow on this A-Z journey.
AUSTRIA - lakes and mountains, chalet with geraniums abounding on baconies, painted murals on houses, red and white banners on public buildings, artistic shop signs, the beautiful white churches, impressive imperial palaces, monuments, and statues, pride in the national dress, the cleanliness of the streets and countryside, the wonderful "Konditorei" with their delicious cakes and pastries - all snapshot memories of many holidays in the country.
|Church with the "Zwiebal Turm" (onion dome) at St. Gilgen, near Salzburg|
PLACE NAMES THAT APPEAL - I love the way some names roll off the tongue and others immediately present an evoctive image. Applegarth and Applethwaite in the north of England and Appletreehall in the Scottish Borders bring an image of rosy cheeked women outside a cottage garden with trees full of blossom - shades of romantic fiction I know! Scotland abounds with place names such as Auchenshuggle, Auchtermuchty, Ardnamurchan, Achiltibui, and Auchnatteroch. (Achadh" is the Scottish Gaelic for field and "ch" is pronounced as the "ch" in loch.)
Thank you for staying on this journey into Toponymy (the study of place names).
Join me on the next stage for a basketful of B's
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