Historical Reprints History Chronicles of Strathearn

Chronicles of Strathearn

Chronicles of Strathearn
Catalog # SKU3234
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name W.B. MacDougall
ISBN 10: 1610336038
ISBN 13: 9781610336031


Chronicles of


Large Print

W.B. MacDougall

This book has been written in connection with a Bazaar held in Crieff in the month of August, 1896, for the better endowment of the Parishes of ARDOCH, CRIEFF WEST, GLENDEVON, and MONZIE. Large Print 15 point font.



Quite recently it was said to me by a man who had been holiday-making in Switzerland, that he greatly missed the Alps in every home landscape. The remark was made on the Knock of Crieff, one beautiful afternoon in the late autumn, when the sun was setting and the after-glow lay like a purple semi-transparent mist all along Glenartney from Ben Ledi to Comrie. I felt rich enough in the enjoyment of the surpassing loveliness of our own Strath to say "Laich in"-(I would not hurt any person's feelings for the world)-"Plague take your Alps, with their sky-scraping ridges and peaks and winding sheets of snow,-we don't want them here; they would simply spoil a scene like that before us." I don't know, and may never know, the meaning my companion read into my silence. Having shortly before made the frank confession that I had never seen the Alps, he may have intended to excite envious feelings within me, and imagined he had succeeded. But I can deny the fact with a good conscience, and until some benevolent person shall give me the opportunity of making a comparison between home and foreign landscapes, I shall continue to assert-happy in my ignorance, it may be, but still happy-that there is no fairer prospect upon earth than the Strath of Earn from the Knock of Crieff. "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."

Let me adventure to describe it. Right opposite to the south-west is Turleum-rising to the height of 1300 feet-the highest hill in Scotland wooded to the top, as our local boast was-shorn of its beauty somewhat in recent years, but, although bare, still picturesque enough with its comb of sturdy fir-trees, survivors from the destructive gale of November, 1893. To the right of it, and running due west, is the pass into the misty hill country by Comrie and St Fillans-the glen of Bonnie Kilmeny and Dunira. Midway between us and the mouth of the pass is a miniature Turleum-Tomachastel to wit, the site of the old Castle of the Earn, famous in the days when the Celtic Earls of Strathearn were a power in the land. Lovers of the old ways were these proud and wily Earls-fiercely impatient of the incoming Saxon customs which found favour at the Court of Malcolm Canmore and his sons-genuinely pious men, too, in some instances-(did not Earl Gilbert found or endow Inchaffray, so that masses might be said for his soul?)-of a keen courage as with Earl Malise, who at the Battle of the Standard dared his mail-clad fellows-the barons of King David-to show themselves a single foot in advance of his naked breast. Right worthy and most noble men they were in their noblest-they were not all so-cherishers of the national spirit in the dreary times that followed upon the death of Alexander III. at Kinghorn, like the one who gave a fair daughter of the house and land in tocher to the son of Sir Andrew Moray, patriot and friend of Wallace, in whom the Morays of Abercairny find their origin. Such were the men; and over there on Tomachastel was their home-a place famous then, and very noticeable still, with its gleaming memorial obelisk to "oor Davie" of Ferntower, the hardy soldier who overcame the fierce Tippoo Sahib at Seringapatam.

Beyond lie the Aberuchill Hills, with the flat pyramidal face of Ben Voirlich filling up a gap, and sending its roots, on one side, down into "lone Glenartney's hazel shade," and, on the other, into Loch Earn-sixteen miles away. Further off, and only to be seen on rare days, when the sun's rays are dancing to be dry after rain, are sturdy, broad-shouldered Benmore, and slender, graceful Binnein, the twin guardians of the enchanted region beyond, where Beauty lies in the lap of Terror, and the Atlantic surf sings lullaby. There are the Monzievaird hills to the right, rising in Benchonzie to the height of 3048 feet, and to something under this figure in the Cairngorm or Blue Craig, upon which you see the stone-heap of Cainnechin-memorial, as it is said, of a battle fought within what are now the policies of Ochtertyre, and as the result of which Malcolm II. came to the throne of Scotia, having defeated and slain his rival Kenneth Duff or Don-Kenneth, the swarthy-"at a place where two valleys meet." Many battles have been fought out in the Strath, for it must always have been a rich prize; but this one has a special historical interest, inasmuch as it connects us with one of the great tragedies in our annals, in which the genius of Shakespeare found material for one of his masterly delineations of the strange workings of human passion. It is said that Fraoch, wife of Macbeth Maormor of Moray, had a good claim to the throne as the grand-daughter of this Kenneth Duff, and, prompted by ambition and revenge, instigated her husband to the murder of his Sovereign and guest-the gracious Duncan, grandson of Malcolm II., at Bothgowan, near Elgin. Loch Turret lies in the gorge that separates Benchonrie from the Blue Craig. It is likely enough that the descendants of the wild fowl that Robert Burns scared on the occasion of his visit to Ochtertyre still nest and pair in the solitude.

380 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336038
ISBN-13: 9781610336031

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