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..

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Fortrose Cathedral Ruins

The second stop on our little road trip was Fortrose, a town I have never visited before. I had hear that it had a ruined cathedral, but didn't really know anything about it. There's very little of the original cathedral left - just one arcade. The main building is gone pretty much entirely. ::This artist::, Kieran Baxter, did a reconstruction, which can be viewed at the link, for Historic Scotland; it shows that there's not a lot left at all compared to what was there originally. 

The Bishop's Tomb

I liked how the sun was streaming through the glassless window to illuminate the Bishop's effigy. The town surrounding the cathedral has grown up around the cathedral square, which is now like a little green park in the centre of the town. The remaining portion is still the size of a whole church, and it's quite eerie looking up into the vaulted arches (all fenced off) and in at the tombs and memorials. It was once a place of worship, but is now a mausoleum. Closing it off was probably for safety reasons, but its inaccessibility also gives a greater sense of reverence.  

Clouds And Arches

I wonder if the interior walls were once plastered and painted, but currently they are only covered in whitish lichen. I was walking around, trying to imagine the scale of what had once stood there, strolling down where the aisle would have been, wondering at what kind of roof had spanned above me, what sorts of vaults or beams, how it would have been with stained glass and wooden pews, and a choir singing psalms. I need to find out more about the local history; it seems like all the great cathedrals and ecclesiastical buildings in the Highlands were destroyed. Inverness' cathedral is small by comparison, Victorian and thus comparatively recent, and also was never completed. I sometimes think that if I suddenly became astronomically rich, I'd pay for the towers to be completed on Inverness' cathedral so that the cathedral finally has the presence it was designed to have, and so that the architect's vision is finally realised. 

Light And Shadow

The cathedral is an odd building to photograph, as you can only photograph it from the outside, but most of the really interesting stuff is on the inside. I'm a very enthusiastic architectural photographer, but not necessarily a very good one. I really like the angle I got for the picture below, bit the space was quite dark, and it's ever so slightly motion blurred because I couldn't hold my camera steady enough for the exposure required to get the detail in the ceiling. 

Vaulted ceiling

I am thinking of getting a Tumblr account, and using it just for architectural photography - not really connecting it to anything else I do as a blogger (e.g not a Goth a Tumblr, a buildings Tumblr). I know Tumblr has its problems with drama and unreasonable, immature people - I quit Tumblr once before because I was frustrated with how I'd go through tags looking for something, but find that people had tagged so much irrelevant stuff in there, plus a lot of stuff I found... a bit unpleasant. I know Tumblr has put in more stringent measures around self-harm content, and also I think around pornographic content, but these things still turn up in searches for things - I know why self-harm related content comes up in the Goth tag, but that doesn't mean it should. Anyway, despite my previous bad experiences with Tumblr, I am considering making an account there just for my architectural photography. Hopefully I stick to quite a specific content niche, I'll minimise my exposure to the negative and frustrating side of Tumblr. I'd like to share my architectural photography with a broader audience - more than just those who also have an interest in Goth, and I do wonder if Tumblr might be a better platform for that. 


  1. You took some really beautiful photos! You really captured the majesty of the building and the beautiful melancholy of its state!

    The main reason I avoid Tumblr is that it is a black hole into which hours of your life disappear while you scroll through images. But I also can see that all the self harm images on the Goth tag would be distressing. Will the Gothic tag if you tag Gothic style architecture still do that?

  2. Actually, I think you have a knack for capturing the beauty of ancient architecture. A Tumblr page would suit you.


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