This time last year I was en route to the Scottish Highlands with my husband for our anniversary, and from the moment we left we’ve been planning our next trip there. Scotland truly is the most beautiful place I have ever been, and if it was easy to upsticks with two small children and move there then I would in a heartbeat. Alas that will have to wait until the kids are grown and I am retired (if the latter ever happens!)
As Scotland is still firmly in my mind – Season three of Outlander having only encouraged this – I am dedicating a series of posts to wonderful myths, history and beauty of Scotland.
Lets start with some obscure facts shall we?
Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn
The unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when it was used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I. American Historian Elyse Waters’ research indicates that the unicorn is the natural enemy of the lion – a symbol that the English royals adopted around a hundred years before.
William Wallace wasn’t Braveheart!
Wait what- Hollywood has lied to us? Well, the name Braveheart was actually given to Robert the Bruce not Wallace. It is said that after his death Robert’s heart was carried into battle by Sir James Douglas, and later returned to it’s burial place at Melrose Abbey.
Edinburgh was the first city to have a fire brigade.
The brigade was set up in 1824 by James Braidwood. Two months after its formation The Great Fire of Edinburgh started. It was the most destructive fire known to Edinburgh and lasted for five days.
It was Scotland which gave us the modern world.
Inventions such as the television, telephone, pedal bike, raincoat, syringe, and plumbing can all be credited to the Scottish. They can also be thanked for discoveries such as Penicillin, Surgical anaesthetics and Treatment of Malaria. (Although fellow Outlander fans will appreciate the fact that the Fraser females had a large part in these inventions/discoveries, at least fictitiously.)
The Scottish flag is called the Saltire
Legend has it that King Angus (Óengus II), fearing defeat in battle, prayed to Saint Andrew for help. On the morning of battle white clouds forming the shape of an X appeared in the sky, the Scots won and the Saltire became the flag of Scotland. It is also said to be representative of Saint Andrew’s crucifixion.