Hi there! I’m Nigel, welcome.
What started as a curious exploration into the history of the Neolithic standing stone in Gourock, known locally as Granny Kempoch, turned into an investigation into witchcraft throughout Scotland. Mainly young or very old single women were accused and viciously tortured for political or personal gain, often on purely circumstantial evidence.
Hysteria generated by the King filtered down to his acolytes who took full advantage and ultimately led to the deaths of an estimated 4,000 people. Were they all innocent or were there really darker forces at work? Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of my research are the number of anomalies in accepted historical accounts. Many of these were changed for no doubt political reasons at the time. Reality really is often more mysterious than fiction.
The book, Granny Kempock, is an anthology of tales ancient and modern and is a combination of fact and fiction. The novel has been based on the facts that could be found and infilled details with what could have happened. Most of the characters are based on historical figures at the time and these are interwoven with fictional accounts to provide continuity to the stories.
There is a lot to find on the site, and so I have broken it into three distinct sections:
Section 1 – Granny Kempock. This was my first book and I on this web site I tell you some of the stories, give you the background and publish pictures related to them. You will also find links to some of the source material and finally you can go to the store where you can buy the book as well as a selection of beautiful charms hand crafted in Scotland from the very locations of the stories.
Section 2 – Steamers. My second book was actually written well before Granny Kempock, but given the success of my first book I hope to be publishing the second one in the near future. The web site is set out in the same way as Granny Kempock, so just click back and relax.
Section 3 – Store. Together with the books you will also find a range of products related to the different stories. Genuine stones from the seashore at Kempock Point, which sailors used as good luck charms or to bless their voyage. You will find a selection of beautiful jewelry and charms hand crafted in Scotland from the very locations of the stories. In the Steamers section you will find model ships and a number of nautical items that you would typically find aboard the paddle steamers that sailed around the Clyde.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome and I would be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Granny Kempock was written using mainly contemporary accounts and opens up a whole host of questions related to the written and accepted historical versions available today.