Monday, 16 May 2016

St. Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn, Scotland

As you may or may not know, Hubby and I have just returned from a fabulous holiday in south-west Scotland.

Today I want to share with you about a lovely place we visited - St. Ninian's Chapel on the seaward side of the Isle of Whithorn.

It is claimed that the chapel was built around 1300 AD and that it actually replaced an earlier building on the same site. This one is larger apparently; the former one they say was narrower and dates to around 1100 AD.

It has a lovely little perimeter wall, only part of which is still standing.  There most likely was a house for the priest as well as a burial ground too!
The chapel was for the community at the Port of Whithorn, and  the first port of call for pilgrims who travelled there from the neighbouring bay and from further afield who then went on to the Shrine of
St. Ninian.
The pilgrims landed in the safe harbour below and likely walked the three and a half miles into Whithorn after giving thanks for their safe arrival and sea crossing.

The views from the chapel window are stunning and it is easy to imagine what a haven the early Christian Pilgrims would have thought the place when they finally arrived there!

The wind whips around that little bay and yet, when you stand in the middle of the chapel, you can feel such serenity that you could even imagine a connection with those Christian brothers and sisters from so long ago.

It is not only breathtakingly beautiful but very touching too.

You approach the chapel from the carpark at the far end of the harbour and continue on foot.
Before you reach the chapel, you pass the remains of the old lifeboat house.
Within its walls is what is known as 'witness cairn', which since the 11th May 1997 has commemorated the arrival of St. Ninian in Scotland.
Visitors are encouraged to place a stone on top of the cairn. Many people have painted their names on them. It's quite a sight to see!

Just outside the stone wall surrounding the cairn and chapel is a granite stone seat. This seat was placed there in memory of the local men who died in the sinking of the fishing vessel Solway Harvester just off the south-east coast of the Isle-o-man on 11th January 2000.

It really is a lovely place and well worth visiting!

Just next to the car park but well before you reach the cairn or chapel, is a children's park. I've never seen such a happily situated park in my whole life!  Of course, I could not resist playing on the swings! ;-)

Just look at that view!  Yes, those are my feet as I was swinging when hubby took the photos!
If I lived in a place that had a park that was so stunning, I'd be there come rain or shine, every day, playing on the swings to my heart's content! :-D

I hope you enjoyed reading about one of the places I visited on my fabulous holiday in Scotland! I have a few more places I'd like to share with you all over the coming weeks.
But until then... Happy Reading!  xxx