Lamb, Beckenbauer


Photo:Linda Sneddon

The asking price was £75,000, but I thought we could negotiate a better deal — and we did. This month, I signed the papers to buy it for £30,000.

Lamb Island, an outcrop of volcanic rock off the coast north of Edinburgh, is an inaccessible spot. Home to thousands of seabirds, and perhaps a colony of seals, it has no jetty or bay to moor a boat. When I told Hanna that I had always dreamed of owning my own island, she said, “So have I — but my idea of an island paradise involves sun-kissed sand, palm trees, lilting music and a hotel with an infinity pool.”

The weather on Lamb isn’t sun-kissed… it’s rain-drenched for about 364 days a year. And it is an official Site of Special Scientific Interest, so there was no possibility that I would ever be permitted to build a hotel there. But something was drawing me to the island. In my column back in October, I wrote: “Perhaps my dowser’s instinct has sensed rich mineral deposits or a crystal core to the rocks. And I love the idea of perching at the sea’s edge, in serene solitude, watching the seals.”

My researches over the next few weeks revealed the real, secret source of my fascination: Lamb Island is one of the keystones of British mythology, with links not only to the Egyptian pyramids but to Arthurian legend and the Knights Templar.

The island was being sold by a Brazilian-born internet entrepreneur, Camilo Agasim-Pereira, who owns the title of Baron of Fulwood and Dirleton. He had been bequeathed it in 2002, and had never set foot on it. He now lives in Florida.

Delving into ancient books, I learned that on either side of Lamb lie the islands of Craigleith and Fidra. The three are arranged in precisely the same crooked line that marks the layout of the Pyramids at Giza, built by the Pharoahs 4,500 years ago. That pattern famously matches the three stars known as Orion’s Belt. Those stars, Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka, are known as the Three Kings.

The name is apt, for there are links to three kings of myth too: King Arthur, King Robert the Bruce and the ancient Kings of Ireland. Leylines, the invisible paths which can be traced by dowsing, run across the islands in a complex web linking Lamb to the battlefield of Bannockburn where the Scots won independence… to Tara, the ancient burial site of the Irish kings… and to the Isle of May. This last is believed by some Arthurian scholars to be the real location of Avalon, the island where Arthur was laid to rest and await his return as the Once and Future King.

Many of these connections were first traced in a fifteenth century manuscript called the Scotichronichon, by the Abbot of Inchcolm, a man named Walter Bower. He recorded that the Kings and Queens of Scotland traced their ancestry to the pharoahs and to the Jewish patriarch Noah, of Noah’s Ark, through an ancient Prince and Princess called Gaythelos and Scota. I like to think that when they landed in Scotland, the first place that Gaythelos and Scota moored was in the Firth of Forth, off Lamb Island. That royal heritage extends to the modern-day monarch of Scotland, Queen Elizabeth.

I am also strongly interested in the idea that one of the Biblical names for Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Other links in the chain of myths connect Lamb to the Rosslyn Chapel, a sacred site for the medieval Knights Templar. To dowsers, those leylines are as real as streams of underground water — but unlike water, leylines follow rigid patterns and run in straight lines. They link most of the world’s significant archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the great temples of south-east Asia, as well as obscure monument and buildings connected to powerful religious societies from long ago, such as the Templars. 

I have been dowsing all my adult life, and I have never experienced such a powerful network of leylines. It’s so strong that there’s no doubt in my mind that I have been guided to Lamb by a higher intelligence. Perhaps I will discover that I too have Scottish blood in me.


When I first came to Germany in 1971, one of my great ambitions was to meet the man they called the Kaiser of Football, Franz Beckenbauer. This week I finally got my chance, at an Oscars-style ceremony in Munich to celebrate the best TV ads of the year. One of the greatest sportsmen of his era, Franz also proved to be an electrifying and inspirational speaker. 

I bent a spoon for him, and he showed all the open-minded interest which I always see from highly successful people in every sphere. “In football, too, the great skills use mind over matter,” he said. “To take a free kick, for instance, and to make the ball bend in their air — if you could bend a ball like that spoon, you’d be a world class talent.”

“Would I be a match for the Kaiser at his best?” I asked, but Franz just roared with laughter. 


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