Documentary Research

Archives: Below are just some of the national archive organisations in Scotland.

National Archives of Scotland (NAS)    National Library of Scotland (NLS)


Icelandic Saga: To view the Icelandic saga that refers to our Viking portage route between Arrochar and Tarbet, Haco's expedition against Scotland, A.D. MCCLXIII, by Sturla Þórðarson, please click here. Also check out the latest BBC documentary on the Last Battle of the Vikings here.

We've used a couple of images by the 16th century Swedish writer Olaus Magnus, who illustrated his books with amazing woodcuts depicting all aspects of life in Scandinavia at that time. His best known work is his Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples) printed in Rome in 1555. You can view the images from that work here.

Dewar Manuscripts: The Dewar Manuscripts comprise a collection of stories gathered by John Dewar between 1863 and 1871. Dewar traveled the Highlands listening to stories and folk tales, and writing them down in Gaelic. The resulting manuscripts, housed at Inverary Castle,  provide a wealth of information on the people, places and way of life in the Highlands in the mid-19th century and earlier. Notably, in relation to the Hidden Heritage Project, the decision to excavate near The Manse in Tarbet was partly driven by one of Dewar's collected stories, which suggested that the main house of the MacFarlanes in the 17th century was located at 'Cladach Mor', and was a modest, single-storey thatched house, measuring '34 feet long and 13 broad'. Although we didn't manage to find the house, the story - "MacFarlane of Arrochar and the Laird of Luss" - is an excellent read! What's more, John Dewar was born near Arrochar, at 'Craganbreck'  in Glen Callanach, though the exact location of the house remains a mystery. In that light, we're hugely indebted to Alistair McIntyre for allowing us to share the results of his research into the Oswalds, who owned that area at the time, and into the possible location of John Dewar's childhood home. Click here to download Alistair's essay. Volume 1 of the English translation of Dewar's tales is available at Helensburgh and Dumbarton Libraries.



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