Mysterious Fidra

Sitting, in the impossibly romantic rise and fall of the tidal waters of the Firth of Forth, is a small chain of rocky islands. Easily seen, but hard to reach, each evokes its own mystery and tales from times long past. Almost all the islands are linked with Saints from the seventh century, and even older holy sites which reach yet further back into the mists of time. Fidra is no exception, accompanied by its two faithful dog rocks to the North and South, it’s Norse name means Isle of Feathers, or Feathered Isle. Perhaps feather cloaked Druids inhabited the rock, certainly monks lived here in a monastery which was used to nurse plague victims. There was also a Chapel which was a pilgrimage site for nuns, and a miraculous fresh water well. Even further back through time there was an iron age stronghold here, followed later by a now ruined Medieval castle.
It draws the eye and the imagination even today, rising from the misty restless waters, and Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired by Fidra to write Treasure Island. Certainly the caves hidden among these rocky isles were well used by pirates and smugglers, long after the monks had fled in the wake of Viking raids.
Nowadays the islands have been returned to the birds, and Fidra like most of the others is a protected sites for breeding pairs of Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills. A lighthouse warns passing ships to steer well clear of the treacherous rocks, which run away to the South West, from the South Dog, littered with ancient wrecks. The stories press through in unending layers and the mysterious island beckons, feeding the imagination and posing patiently for photos taken from the golden sands of Yellowcraig beach. Once again it’s rocks are scattered with feathers and lapped by the waves of silence which flow from this once sacred spot.


About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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16 Responses to Mysterious Fidra

  1. Brenda says:

    So gorgeous! I love your commentary, too. 🙂

  2. Sorry for being out-of-touch for so long … having read this this morning I now know what I’ve missed. Another in a very long series of wonderful posts showing all of us the beauty and mystery of the place you live. Nice image too! D

  3. LightWriters says:

    I only caught a glimpse of the Firth of Forth when in Scotland. How great to enjoy it again through your camera lens! Thank you for sharing this poetic photo ‘capture’ of light, sea and skies.

  4. Rachael Charmley says:

    Beautiful photos, and I love your writing style in this piece. You evoke an otherworldly, almost meditative energy which I love – and yet you manage to inform!
    I’m not sure, but I think I have been there. The island we moored at was a bird sanctuary, and the gulls were really angry we were there. Have you ever been dive bombed by seagulls ? It’s truly scary!

    • Thanks Rachael, I love to know the history and stories of places I visit, it enchants me into the rhythm and feeling of a site. I’m glad to hear it feels meditative too…
      Angry gulls are not much fun at all!!
      It could well have been this island, although there are other islands in the Firth which are visited daily by boat trips, which are also bird sanctuaries…..could have been any one of them I guess 🙂

  5. What a magical beach, Seonaid. Love the lighthouse way in the distance, and I can almost hear the cries of the birds. Interesting history lesson too. 🙂

  6. LB says:

    The photos are beautiful and I am so glad you included so much of the history and the story. Love this post!!

    • That’s great to hear, I love knowing the stories woven around places I walk.
      As for the photos I was trying out a new filter, and I quite like the results, but will play a bit more 🙂

  7. restlessjo says:

    Oh, but I’d love to be standing on that beach, Seonaid. (with the tide out, of course!) It looks totally magical 🙂

    • Well just walk up the coast a bit Jo and I’ll meet you here 🙂
      It’s one of my favourite east coast beaches, and magical was exactly what I was thinking with the rocks seeming to float in the misty water……it was the end of a very calm sunny winter day.

  8. Lovely, informative post. Beautiful photos.

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