Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Marvellously entertaining this week , much nacht und nebel, red herrings and misdirection to contend with but the Eastender shall Sigurd like, durch rauch und waberlohe, endeavour to persevere to find the most likely answers....which near as I can figure it this week, seem to me to be :

Q1. Gavin Maxwell

Q2. Whithorn

The initial clues place us in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, more specifically at a hamlet called Elrig, which was according to some sources, once home to an eccentric writer who kept pet otters, one Gavin Maxwell (b July 15 1914). Things become a bit tricky here as there are more castles and hill forts in this part of the world than you can shake a stick at, the puzzle writer could mean Myrton castle, which lies to the southeast of Elrig and although described as a 16th century L shaped tower house, the references say it was actually built on a 12th century motte. From the distances given, a more likely fit is Druchtag Motte, near Mochrum. This is also thought to be circa 12th century and from the photographs I looked at seems to me to be extraordinarily beautiful, puts me in mind of the mysterious mound at Silbury hill.

Travelling around three miles south as der drachen fliegt, from Druchtag motte brings us to the Barsalloch iron age hill fort, perched on top of a cliff. This is believed by some to have been a defended farmstead. Roughly six miles east of the fort lies the town of Whithorn and it is here that some sources claim a journalist called John Ramsay McCulloch was born c 1789. McCulloch was big time into economics and was an amazingly prolific writer on the subject, there are references which claim he wrote a book called 'The Literature of Political Economy' c 1845 and it is also claimed that he became editor of 'The Scotsman' newspaper c 1817.

Southeast of the town lies the cave of St.Ninian, a fifth century shaman (feast day 26th August or 16th September, depending on which sect you belong to) who was a bit like Terrence McKenna and used to smoke DMT in order to commune with self dribbling basketball creatures and therianthropes in the nether worlds, which are believed to have imparted words of great wisdom to him, that he then relayed back to the rest of the tribe from the pulpit in church on Sundays. The ordnance survey map shows a St Ninian's chapel around four miles or so, due east of the cave's location.

There appears to be a priory in Whithorn and the references say this was founded c12th century and was associated with saint Ninian. A stone, called the Latinus stone, dating back to 450 ad was found in this building, thought to be one of the oldest Christian monuments in Scotland, the inscription on it reads "We praise you the lord! Latinus descendent of Barravados, aged 35 and his daughter, aged 4, made a sign here".

Link to the competition:

Where Was I?

No comments:

Post a Comment