So, you think you know Scotland?
Learn more about our scotland through weekly questions
1.What is the ‘crannog’ at Loch Tay?
a. Iron Age house
b. monster in the loch
A reconstruction of an Iron Age house – called a ‘crannog’ – is built of reeds and is perched on wooden stilts on the edge of Loch Tay by Kenmore. It is open to visitors throughout the year.
2.Which bird is commonly referred to as the ‘sea parrot’?
Around one million puffins a year fly in from the oceans to settle and breed over the spring and summer period around the Scottish coast before disappearing back out to the oceans. Huge puffin colonies are found in places such as St Kilda, Staffa and the Isle of May.
3.What is kept at ‘Shambellie House’ near Dumfries?
a. Scotland’s national costume collection
b. old junk
c. Robert Burns’ poems
‘Shambellie House’ is the home of many fascinating items of fashion and clothing from down the centuries and is part of the collections of the Museums of Scotland.
4.What is ‘Jarlshof’ on Sumburgh, Shetland?
a. local brewery
b. archaeological site
c. woollen mill
‘Jarlshof’ is some 25 miles from Lerwick and is one of the most comprehensive archaeological sites in Scotland, with relics and exhibits from the Stone Age through to the Viking period and medieval Scotland.
5.Which of the following songs did a Scot compose?
a. ‘Waltzing Matilda’
b. ‘Country Roads’
c. ‘La Marseillaise’
Written by Banjo Paterson, ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is one of Australia’s most popular folk songs and is thought by many to have been based on the Scottish song ‘Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea’ written by Scotsman Robert Tannahill in 1805.
6.Where is the ‘Scottish Poetry Library’?
a. Glasgow University
The ‘Scottish Poetry Library’ is located off the Canongate in Edinburgh and forms part of the redevelopment area close to the new Scottish Parliament. It houses a unique collection of poetry from all over the world and events take place throughout the year.
7.What was James Leslie Mitchell’s pen name as a writer?
a. Hugh MacDiarmid
b. Lewis Grassic Gibbon
c. Iain M Banks
Mitchell’s short life (1901-35) was spent in Arbuthnott and Welwyn Garden City in England. His outstanding trilogy about life in the north east of Scotland A Scots Quair consists of the novels Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. He also wrote about the life of Mungo Park.
8.On what hour every day except Sunday is a single shot fired from a cannon at Edinburgh Castle?
b. one o’clock
c. five o’clock
The tradition dates back to the late 19th century when a time-ball on Nelson’s Monument, Calton Hill was dropped at one o’clock to allow sailors in the Forth to rest their chronometers accurately. However, sometimes sailors were unable to see the time-ball in foggy weather so a gun was fired simultaneously. The gun shot can be heard up to two miles away.
9.What was the original predicted cost of building the new Scottish Parliament?
a. £40 million
b. £240 million
c. £340 million
The escalating cost of building the new Scottish Parliament for the country’s newly devolved government was a major source of controversy. The building was originally estimated to cost £40 million, but by the time of completion in 2004 that figure had risen over ten-fold.
10.Who was known as the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’?
a. James Hogg
b. Allan Ramsay
c. Sir Walter Scott
James Hogg became one of Scotland’s most important writers of the 19th century when he moved to Edinburgh in 1810, having been a shepherd at Ettrick in the Scottish Borders.