Digging into the past

Sheuchan pupils at St Ninian's Cave.
Sheuchan pupils at St Ninian's Cave.

Pupils of Sheuchan Primary School in Stranraer recently visited St Ninian’s Cave near Whithorn as part of their studies into the history of the area.

Teacher Mrs mcCiag said: “Primary 3/4 pupils have studied the life and importance of St Ninian in bringing Christianity to Scotland. They shared their learning about his life by performing a play re-enacting his life and work with the whole school and parents at assembly last term.

“It was therefore with great delight that the class were to learn that lottery funding had been made available to reopen the Whithorn Trust Centre at Whithorn. It was a unanimous decision that we would make our own pilgrimage to St Ninian’s Cave and Whithorn to see the earliest Christian stone found in Scotland, that they had viewed only on-line, for themselves. They wanted to follow in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce and other kings and to see the presumed burial site of St Ninian.

“On Thursday, May 22the class arrived to enjoy a delightful walk down to St Ninian’s cave naming plants and trees on the way. The children constructed a wooden cross with carvings to leave as their own artefact to mark their own visit and understanding of the importance of this site. The class continued on their way to the Whithorn Trust centre who kindly made available a dining room, and provided an escorted tour of the relevant highlights of the centre connected to the time of St. Ninian and his fame thereafter. Children instantly recognised the earliest Christian stone from the many stones on display, and were pleased to view the religious stones removed from St Ninian’s cave over fifty years ago.The tour ended with a walk round the presumed ruin area of St Ninian’s early church and burial area.

“We would like to take this opportunity again to thank the staff at the trust for ensuring we had a great day.”