My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Barevan Church and Graveyard

In which I take even more photographs of windows...
After visiting Rait Castle, we headed to Wester Barevan, south of Achindown and Nairn, to visit the ruins of Barevan church, which has been ruined for a very long time, long enough for graves to have been lain in the floor of the old church. Barevan church and graveyard, in the summer sun, is one of the most peaceful and picturesque graveyards I have ever been to. It is almost like a garden, rather than a graveyard, and has plenty of pretty trees and nice views. 

A grave is lain where the altar once was... Eerie.
However, all it takes is a change of weather to give it an entirely different atmosphere. When the clouds roll in and obscure the sun, and when the wind rattles the leaves, it suddenly feels much more exposed. It is not quite as bleak as the wilder, open places of Scotland, as there are trees and it is circled by woodland and hills, but suddenly the weather seems very much there, and the stone walls seem greyer, and the lack of a roof suddenly becomes a concern. 

I heard you like windows, so here are two windows
seen through a window, viewed in a browser window,
perhaps on a computer running Windows...
The style of architecture, from the rough stone walls down to the Y-tracery on some of the double windows being carved from single pieces of sandstone, reminds me of Rait Castle, and I wonder if they were built at similar times or even perhaps by the same people, or whether that is just how things were done in that place in those times. As you may have noticed, I still have my obsession with photographing windows. 

Narrow depth of field, focusing on stone texture
I really enjoyed photographing the ruined church. I had some fun trying out new ideas with the photography, such as the photograph above. Normally at this point, I would be elaborating on the history of the architecture, but I really don't  know very much about the history of this graveyard - to me it is this is a totally unknown and unexpected graveyard in the middle of the countryside; I have no idea of why it is there, or what sort of congregation it would have had - there's not much settlement about it nowadays, but maybe more people lived there in the past. 

That one rock makes it seem more desolate than it is, by being less desolate.
I still think the strangest thing about that place is how quickly it changes with the weather, how rapidly it goes from almost serene to foreboding, how rapidly the clouds and wind can change how it feels. I will finish with two colour photos, taken within an hour of each other, which I think illustrate this point. 

This photo was taken a couple of steps away from the one above.
The clouds are dark and flat, what little blue is in the sky is quickly retreating and the walls are caught in shadow. Less than hour earlier I took quite a different photograph, looking in through the door of the church at a head-stone, and it seems so bright - like another time and another place, somewhere sunnier and with bright walls and green vines. 

Tomorrow I will showcase a guest post from Raven of ::Chance Photography:: with photographs from both Rait Castle and Barevan graveyard. Architecture week runs until Saturday, so stick around for more photographs!


  1. Oh my gosh it's so pretty, I could see myself frolicking there.

    1. As far as graveyards go, this is one of the few where "pretty" is one the right adjectives, and it was such a lovely day, too.

  2. Loving architecture week! So many windows! I don't know much about photography but that photo of the wall in focus with the tree in the background is very atmospheric

    1. There's going to be an another architecture set going up soon (February '15) . I already have a couple of sets up, but there will be several more, as I've only just got into the road-trip photographs.

  3. A church so old that they put graves inside its walls, that's amazing. I really like your description of the rapid weather changes as well. I would imagine that visiting an ancient church/burial ground that can go from sunny and welcoming to gloomy and foreboding must be a very unique experience.

    1. It's most certainly unnerving sometimes, especially in even older burial grounds, like barrow cemeteries.


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