We had been invited for lunch by Bill and Cathy Robertson. Bill and his sister Evelyn share a great, great, grandfather with us ( I think, Ant help me out in the comments!)

On the way to their house we knew that the village of Torpichen was important, as that was where everybody in the family records were baptised. It was a good five miles from the farms we had just seen. We couldn’t figure out why they would go so far, surely there must’ve been closer places!

But when we got there, and saw the historic places signs on the way, we got it. This church has been here since the 1100’s. Probably from the time of the first Stormin’ Norman de la Haye.


In the graveyard we found an Isabelle Walker and James Hay from the 1800s, and a James Hay ( Bill’s uncle) who died in a submarine attack in the First World War.

Lunch was AMAZING. How could Ant have possibly thought that this wasn’t going to take a while.. perhaps right up until his first whisky. Or his second wine. The soup. The beef, or the sponge?


When the photos came out we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. We think this is the brother of our great, great, great grandfather. This couple were the last two to live on the farm. They left it in the 1890’s, just thirty years or so before our side of the family emigrated to New Zealand.


If you are reading this and you remember my father, then the shock of this image will probably hit you as much as it did me. All I can see in this photograph is Dad.

Halfway through this trip I had a brief moment where I didn’t really want to carry on, as I have mixed feelings about this side of our family history. But seeing this photo made me realise that families are about a lot of people and a lot of lives.

Look at these two. They must have worked so hard. And they are so dignified with it.

Ok, so this really is the end now for our journey. It has been such good fun and neither of us could believe just how emotional and rewarding it has been. But Loxy needs a rest before her next big adventure, and so now the final word can go to our intrepid Time Team navigator..

2 thoughts on “Torpichen”

  1. Hi guy, thanks for this, never seen anything about the hay side of life. That photo was scary, sure was a hay.
    Will send this on to Noeleen Dray, she will love this it. Take care, love and kisses sylvia


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