A week ago we finally got to go outside the classroom and visit the places we had read and spoken about during our Reformation and Covenanter history lessons.
On Monday we headed to the east coast and visited the beautiful seaside town of St Andrews, the location of many significant events during the Reformation. We also stopped off to see Richard Cameron’s house, visited Falkland palace, Leuchars Kirk, and walked out to the martyr graves at Magus Muir.
On Tuesday we went through to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. There we did a walking tour of the old part of the city visiting various places including St Giles cathedral, the Grassmarket, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and we even walked down to the bottom of the Royal Mile to see the original National Covenant which was signed in Greyfriars on 28th Feb 1638.
Wednesday saw us touring through Lanarkshire and Ayrshire as we spent the day visiting some Covenanter battlefields like Bothwell Bridge, Drumclog, and Airds Moss. We also visited many Covenanter ministers’ and individual martyr graves this day, finding out how ordinary people suffered for their faith during the “killing times” of the 1680’s
Thursday took us down into South Lanarkshire and the Borders region. We visited the towns of Lanark, Douglas, Dalserf, all very significant towns during the Covenanter times. We also headed out to the Devil’s Beef Tub, the location of a dramatic chase between some of the King’s dragoons and a Covenanter John Hunter. Sadly he was killed during the chase. We also went to the sleepy hamlet of Tweedsmuir to visit his grave, then went on to Talla Linn a beautiful spot where many thousands of people met in the open air to worship God. Also on this day we found another place where Covenanters met for worship, it was a new location and very exciting to find.
On Friday we headed off into the magnificent Scottish Highlands to see some Covenanter locations there and also to hear about what happened after the persecution had ended for the Covenanters and how the Jacobites who supported the Stuart King tried to regain the throne for the Roman Catholic James VII. As well as the stunning Highland scenery we visited Inverlochy Castle where many hundreds of Covenanters were killed by the Duke of Montrose’s men during a battle there in 1645 and Glenfinnan where the Jacobites began their second attempt at regaining the throne in 1745. We spent the night in the beautiful Highland town of Fort William before heading back down on Saturday stopping off to see Dunstaffnage castle, St Conan’s Kirk, and Inveraray Castle, the home of Archibald Campbell, the duke of Argyle, one time leader of the Covenanters and who was executed in Edinburgh at the restoration of Charles II in 1661.
We had a really good week travelling around the various parts of Scotland. The Lord blessed us with safety and decent weather (it only rained when we were in the Highlands). I’m sure the students thoroughly enjoyed it, and that they now have a far better understanding of how God worked in this nation in the past.
– Jimmy Fisher