I was really quite surprised to find this domain available so i grabbed it and have started to create my piping journey. Its happeing as I recently sold my bagpipes and am using a very old borrowed set for now. Starting to add music files , its fabulous , watch this space, more soon


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Celtic Warrior Rings

Warrior Wedding Rings: The History of the Ardagh Chalice

Looking for Irish
Celtic jewellery, need a wedding ring that has been inspired by great ancestors.

The Celtic Warrior
wedding ring range – inspired by the Chalice design of over 1200 years ago.
Maybe your other half  might fancy
himself as a warrior, which will make for an easy selection.



The name of Ardagh is inextricably linked to the
Ardagh Chalice. Ireland’s foremost treasure is currently housed in the National
Museum of Ireland and is considered the `Jewel in the Crown’ of all exhibits
there. The beautifully proportioned Ardagh Chalice is the finest example of
eighth century metalwork ever to have come to light. Standing six inches high
it is made of silver, bronze and gold; the design and decoration indicating
technical proficiency of the highest order. According to the book Treasures of
Early Irish Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1977):

Chalice is made of silver and decorated with 354 pieces of gold, brass, lead
pewter, copper, gilt bronze and enamel beading.”A
wide range of materials have been used to create a work of perfection. The
silver bowl, provided with handles for lifting, is linked by a gilded collar to
a conical silver foot. The techniques employed are engraving, casting,
filigree, cloisonné and enamelling. Below the horizontal band of gold filigree
on the bowl the names of the Apostles in shining metal standout in sea of

It was discovered in September 1868 by two men
digging potatoes in a ring fort at Reerasta, Ardagh. They were Jimmy Quin and
Paddy Flanagan. It is unclear why they were digging potatoes in a fort,
although it is possible that they believed that the potatoes grown here would
be safe from the blight that had afflicted the potato crop during the Great
Famine. The Sisters of Mercy owned the land and Mrs. Quin rented about 15 – 20
acres from the nuns. Jimmy was her son and Mr Flanagan was a workman employed
at the time by the Quin family. It has been suggested that it was he who
actually found the chalice but that Quin took all the glory. He felt aggrieved
by the situation and felt obliged to leave the employment of the Quin’s. On his
death he was buried in the Paupers’ graveyard in Newcastlewest.

The other man, Quin, later emigrated to Australia
where he died. Mrs Quin sold the items to the Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Butler,
at the time for £50.00. Dr. Butler in turn sold the chalice to the Royal Irish
Academy for £500. The Ardagh chalice now resides at the National Museum. The
chalice itself was one of a number of objects found at the time, now all
collectively known as the `Ardagh hoard`

According to tradition, mass used to be said in the
Rath where the discovery was made, in the penal times. The chalice may have
been used on these occasions to distribute communion to the multitude that
assembled there. Perhaps when the alarm was raised to signify the approach of
soldiers, and in the hurry of the moment, the chalice was hidden to prevent it
from falling into the wrong hands. This would be supported by the condition in
which the items were found, with neither case nor covering to protect them,
suggesting that they were buried in a hurry.

Not breaking with these ancient skills and traditions we have designed the
Celtic Warrior Collection. Still using silver and gold fused together to create
a collection that recreates the past but reflects the contemporary future. The
pieces in the Celtic Warrior Collection reflect the four seasons, the movement
of the Sun and the affect the Pagan snake god “Crom” had on Christianity in
Ireland. It is amazing how a small piece of jewellery can tell such a big

Experience the Celtic Warrior
Collection and wear not only a piece of beauty but step back in time and
feel and enjoy the history, culture, heritage and honour.

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The celts are alive

Yes its been a while since my last post but still here and about and very Celtic. So watch this space , some stuff to get outa my head soon.

Bob the piper

Ps we have made another website and are now in the process of launching




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A Window to our Past.

When I was back hame in Scotland this year I caught up with a lot if family this time and it’s been a real journey for me now searching out my own genealogy. In fact it’s seriously `jumped` in to my space so much I have to limit the amount of time I can spend. Yes sigh a business needs much time too.
But it was evident that the rise in interest of `getting your DNA tested is quite alarming and at the same time quite fascinating, I did not seem to find the spare 200 pounds it currently costs to have my own checked, but hey it’s the latest piece of technology to offer a sure way of tracing your ancestry back to the age before written documentation like parish records began.
Like me I would have said `I come from Inverness ` but wow now with what I know on Irish connections in my Maternal family and all sorts of blips through the family tree it would indeed be most interesting to see which markers I fall into. So really if I say I am Scottish I think I am, but only in the modern sense of the word. Truth is told I am an immigrant here in New Zealand but also an immigrant to Scotland, or Alba or Caledonia or whatever name it was called back then. So it’s nothing simple this DNA test, but each of us inherits Million letters of code from our parents, and these genes are read by scientists as a very long string of letters and sequences. Cool eh.
Our fathers pass on the Y chromosome DNA to their sons while mum passes on Mitochondrial DNA to sons and daughters. So that’s why guys have 2 markers ad girls only one. This by the way makes the male test dearer.
It’s all fascinating stuff, remember we start off your own genealogy for you on our tours. Fancy being hooked, I tell you it’s very infectious.

Come with us and explore your own `family world`

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Lindisfarne –The Holy Isle and the Gospel’s

Thankfully I have managed to make it to 3 very important places now to me now, Iona Tintagel, just last year, for that one, and the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne.

After the coffin of St Cuthbert was buried in a grave on Lindisfarne in the year of 687 It became apparent to the monks of the time that they had buried a saint, and then the subsequent elevation of Cuthbert’s body 11 years later enabled pilgrims to be as close to the skeleton relics as was possible then. In amongst all this Eadfrith the scribe was very busy using the hides of more than 130 calves who had donated there skins for all the parchments necessary to make a book, called the Lindisfarne gospels. It must have been difficult to write on such a material, as there was a hair side and a flesh side of course and although both surfaces took paint or ink equally well it seems it was easier to write on the flesh side. Apparently the parchments for this famous book were so well prepared it was difficult to see what side was which. At a time when quite a number of young people, and me, prefer to use spellchecker once we typed out fast our thoughts Eadfrith and his colleagues had no such means so he painstakingly wrote between drawn pricked lines with a pen made either from think reed or from a quill feather.

Of course the pens, whichever type had to be cut at the end and it is amazing how he managed to keep the same thickness as you cannot see on the writings any variation in width and evenness. For ink he used a mixture of soot , glue and water which produced a rich deep brown ink which does not easily fade, thank goodness. But then well the writing was in Latin, not the easiest of languages to write in. Forty-five different colours are used some quite delicate and the raw materials he sued were animal, vegetable and mineral, amazing stuff, worth a separate story.

The Monks fled the island in 875 AD following a series of attacks by Viking raiders but thankfully took the Gospels with them and went to Chester-le-street where the book was finished. Today you can see but not touch the Book and it is the British Library in London.

And so we have some pieces mainly jewellery designed with the Lindisfarne Gospels in mind and they are on our website.

And what better way of course is to take you there as well, we plan to do Iona and Tintagel and Lindisfarne as a package. Wow

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Clan Maclean Gathering-18 – 24 Jun 2012, Mull

Since I heard about this gathering I have made it my intention to go, without or with some fellow travel companions, as I have a bit of interest here, not with family connections but just through a truly great friend of mine who passed away some time ago now, who wore the MacLean of Duart tartan with some pride as that was his mother’s tartan. So this trip is for Donald, but that’s another story.
Back to the Gathering.

Well it seems in 1912 the then Chief of Clan MacLean, Sir Fitzroy MacLean, invited the clan to join him at Duart to celebrate with him the return of the castle to MacLean ownership. So a story with a happy ending because the castle was saved from ruin just 2 years before and repaired. Invitations went out to MacLean’s, both on Mull and around the world. Nearly 700 clan’s people accepted his call and came to Duart. It was the first great clan gathering of any clan in modern times. Sir Fitzroy greeted his clan with the ancient Highland welcome, ‘Ceud mile failte’ – a hundred thousand welcomes and in June 2012 the clan will be welcomed with the same sentiment and happiness.
So 100 years of history and another possibly 500 years of turmoil and strife for MacLean forebears is certainly a cause for some celebration.

I read that the MacLean’s held lands not just on Mull but on Islay, Jura, Tiree and Coll, also in Knapdale and Morven as well. Of course on Iona we have MacLean’s cross, a fine 15th century carved stone cross, and it has occurred to me I need to put all this history together and come up with a mini gathering.

But for all this ceilidh of people in 2012 the event will centre round the castle of Duart, a truly magnificent and daunting stronghold which sits upon a rock like an eagle guarding the Sound of Mull now as it has done for centuries.
Come with us to attend this gathering, details now online but being added to as we get more information.


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Burns Supper-Hamilton Jan 25th 2012

An awesome time at our burns supper in the `Riv`bar and restaurant in Clyde Street was had by all.96 souls braved the haggis, most of them.

more here
Hamilton Burns Supper on PhotoPeach

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