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TITLE
Rob Donn's Monument, Balnakeil
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0020
PLACENAME
Durness
DISTRICT
Eddrachillis and Durness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Durness
DATE OF IMAGE
PERIOD
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31904
KEYWORDS
postcards
monuments
churches
bards
Rob Donn's Monument, Balnakeil

This postcard shows the monument erected in 1827 to the Gaelic bard Robb Donn in the graveyard of the church at Balnakeil, near Durness on the far north coast of Sutherland.

It is engraved with the following tribute in Gaelic, English, Latin, and Greek. ''This tomb was erected at the expense of a few of his countrymen. Ardent admirers of his native talent and extraordinary genius. 1827''

Robert Mackay, known as Rob Donn, was born during the winter of 1714-15 in the Strathmore valley in the far north of Sutherland. The son of a subtenant he was taken in to the household of John Mackay of Muisel. He married Janet Mackay c1740 and they set up home at Badnahachlais. From 1759-63 he served in Sutherland's Fencibile Regiment. In later years he lived near Balnakeil.

An illiterate Gaelic speaker, who spoke no English, Rob Donn was an illustrious poet and song writer. At a time when memorable events in the community were commemorated in verse Robb Donn was renowned for his wit. Local figures were celebrated and castigated. He also wrote songs of places and activities he loved. His work, much of the meaning is lost in translation to English, provides a remarkable social commentary on life in the late 18th century in the north of Scotland.

He died in 1778 and is buried in the graveyard at Balnkeil where a simple flagstone marks his grave.

In the background are the ruins of a church dating from 1619 and believed to stand on the site of a medieval church. St. Maelrubha is said to have founded a church at Balnakeil in 720.

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Rob Donn's Monument, Balnakeil

SUTHERLAND: Durness

postcards; monuments; churches; bards;

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows the monument erected in 1827 to the Gaelic bard Robb Donn in the graveyard of the church at Balnakeil, near Durness on the far north coast of Sutherland. <br /> <br /> It is engraved with the following tribute in Gaelic, English, Latin, and Greek. ''This tomb was erected at the expense of a few of his countrymen. Ardent admirers of his native talent and extraordinary genius. 1827''<br /> <br /> Robert Mackay, known as Rob Donn, was born during the winter of 1714-15 in the Strathmore valley in the far north of Sutherland. The son of a subtenant he was taken in to the household of John Mackay of Muisel. He married Janet Mackay c1740 and they set up home at Badnahachlais. From 1759-63 he served in Sutherland's Fencibile Regiment. In later years he lived near Balnakeil.<br /> <br /> An illiterate Gaelic speaker, who spoke no English, Rob Donn was an illustrious poet and song writer. At a time when memorable events in the community were commemorated in verse Robb Donn was renowned for his wit. Local figures were celebrated and castigated. He also wrote songs of places and activities he loved. His work, much of the meaning is lost in translation to English, provides a remarkable social commentary on life in the late 18th century in the north of Scotland.<br /> <br /> He died in 1778 and is buried in the graveyard at Balnkeil where a simple flagstone marks his grave.<br /> <br /> In the background are the ruins of a church dating from 1619 and believed to stand on the site of a medieval church. St. Maelrubha is said to have founded a church at Balnakeil in 720.