Kirk (Church) Project

I enjoy history and photography. Some of the best places where these two interests come together are old Kirks (Churches) and Graveyards. I hasten to add that I am not a religious person, but I do find the history of such places to be fascinating. They were, after all, the centre of towns and communities back in the day and were very important. Of course, many still are. I am very lucky to live in Scotland where countless such sites exist with such rich histories.

I started this project pre-lockdown, hopefully I will be able to continue to loose myself in my favourite places soon. Meanwhile, I’ll start with one of the most picturesque wee local Kirks.

Built in 1868. to serve the nearby Maxwelltown House and Parish. It was commissioned by Isabella Laurie as a memorial to her husband John. The house has a connection to Annie Laurie, the subject of the famous song by Lady John Scott. It is now a Grade B listed building. Situated between Dunscore and Moniave in Dumfries and Galloway, the chapel sits in its own grounds. A very beautiful and evocative place.


 The Nith is full
 and pours through the town.
 A heron stands,
 head-still above it all.
 It is waiting,                                                                                                                                                                                            for that one chance.
Debris slides by,
torn by the full tide.

The heron                                                                                                                                                                                               lets it all go… 
                                                                                                                                                                                                             and waits, some more.

 (The Nith - River that flows through Dumfries, Scotland)

 Derek Ross 

Cup and Ring

Cup and Ring Marks, or Cup Marks, are a form of prehistoric art found in the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. There are particularly nice examples in my native South West Scotland. Their meaning remains a mystery and, hopefully, always will be.

open field
stone pages
laid open 
eyes in the stone
reaching out
cold fingers trace
a lost world
we whisper
the stones remain



 The moon fell through the tree tops
 And time became a gentle thing.
 I walked on wrapped within myself
 Hearing only my heart and birdsong.
 Time became a gentle thing
 That fell with the autumn leaves.
 Hearing only my heart and birdsong,
 I walked alone, content.
 Falling with the autumn leaves,
 A light rain caressed my cheek.
 I walked alone, content,
 Not thinking of this troubled world.
 A light rain caressed my cheek
 I remained wrapped within myself.
 Not thinking of this troubled world,
 The moon fell, through the tree tops.

 Derek Ross