In the 8th Century, Saint Fillan arrived from Ireland to take up life as a monk in Scotland. Known for his powers to heal the sick, as well as having a luminous left arm which he used to read and write sacred works, he eventually settled in Strathfillan. Here, in the same place, lie the ruins of an Augustinian Priory founded in 1317/18 and endowed by Robert The Bruce. This King of Scotland was grateful for having gained assistance at the Battle of Bannockburn where the English were defeated. The aid was said to have come from one of Saint Fillan's arm bones. The priory was dissolved in 1607 and is now little more than a broken wall, and pile of rubble surrounded by guardian sycamore trees.
Just a few yards from the proiry ruins, lies this burial ground which has the same 8th century origins as Saint Fillan. It's a quiet place, not far from the River Fillan and set in some green pasture under the slopes of the nearby mountains. On this damp day, the old gravestones told of proud folk who'd lived nearby hundreds of years ago. The hummocks in the grass spoke of others even older. I felt somewhat of an intruder who knew not where best to place his feet. And so I found myself at the gate, looking back into a place which felt so spiritual despite my own lack of religious beliefs.