Detail of the Pictish Nigg Stone dating from the end of the 8th century, Nigg Church, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Uniquely, the Picts are much in evidence here, and for a few days, I become mildly obsessed with seeing as many of their traces as possible. The Nigg Stone, full of mysterious swirling symbolism, is one of the last records of the Picts in Eater Ross, as their distinct culture was lost when they amalgamated with the Scots in the 9th Century in response to Viking raids.
Turning around, I’m brought abruptly into the 21st Century as the oil platforms moored in the Cromarty Firth come into view. The platforms are fascinating photographic subjects as they look so incongruous near land. Some say they’re waiting to be scrapped, and others that they’re in for repairs. I meet Griff at Nigg. “I worked on the pipelines”, he tells me. I asked him if he was an engineer due to his eloquence “No plates. Brute-force. I’m very dyslexic, couldn’t spell my own name at school”.
As I try to follow the shore through the Dalmore distillery, I manage to get stuck on the inside of the security fence without meaning to! Having extracted myself from this, I’m then blocked by a fenced pipeline manufacturing building running into the sea that’s not marked on the map. The building is kilometres long, and it’s getting dark, so I decided to camp here and think of a way around it tomorrow.
WilHunter Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig I (Awilco announced the rig will be scrapped in 2021 after lying idle for nearly six years), Cromarty Firth. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Ocean Vanguard Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig I, Cromarty Firth. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Pews in the Poor Loft at Nigg Parish Church, built in 1729, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
WilHunter Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig II, Cromarty Firth. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Invergordon, Saltburn Pier. This pier was built to allow movement of raw materials and finished product to and from the now demolished Invergordon Aluminium Smelter which closed in 1981. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
WilHunter Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig III, Cromarty Firth. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Clach a’ Mheirlich, or the “Thief’s Stone”, a Pictish symbol stone at Rosskeen. Only the faintest outline of the carvings are visible. There’s a step symbol on one side & what could be a crescent with a pair of pincers on the other. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Ocean Vanguard Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig II, Cromarty Firth. Ross & Cromarty, Scotland.
Rosskeen symbol stone markings.
A pew in the Poor Loft at Nigg Parish Church reserved for tenants of land owned by the Cromarty Estate.
Liking these umbrella drip trays on the pews at Nigg Old Church.
Can’t say I’m missing the exuberant rainfall of the west coast.
Nice health and safety disclaimer!
Somehow I’ve ended up INSIDE the security fence of the vast Dalmore distillery!
Before backtracking around the pipeline manufacturing facility that wasn’t marked on the map.
Camp at Alness bay, Cromarty Firth, Scotland,
The Perimeter is a labour of love: it’s taken 454 days of walking, hundreds of hours of planning and thousands of hours of editing. If you have the means, I’d appreciate your support by buying a print or contributing so I can continue to share the project with you.