Showing posts from February, 2012

Our Shame Over Inchaffray Abbey

Inchaffray Abbey ( NN 954 223 )

“Fiercely gleams the old monk’s home
To other lands thy now must roam
Their Abbey grey is clothed in fire
From lowest stone to topmost spire .“

Inchaffray is located in the Parish of Madderty , and was one of the largest Abbeys in Scotland containing upwards of 200 monks . One of the Abbots , Maurice by name , carried the arm of St Fillan , and performed Mass before the Scottish Army , on the field of Bannockburn , where Scotland’s independence was fought and won . With such a pedigree one would have imagined Inchaffray would be the jewel in Strathearn’s crown !
Sadly modern planning incompetence has allowed a modern dwelling to be erected beside the old Abbey . Access is awkward and ,once again , totally unsigned – an absolute disgrace bearing in mind the significance of a building which was old when its Charter was granted in 1199 !

Go and pay a visit – it is not a private site ! From Crieff travel towards Perth on the A85 turning off right after Gi…

Ferntower House

Ferntower House

Another beaut that lasted until the early sixties when it succumbed to dry rot and decrepitude. Its ignominious end saw it blown up by the army leaving only the stable and servants’ block remaining . Ferntower was the home of Sir David Baird and his wife Lady Preston and was located below the Knock on the upper part of what is now Crieff Golf Course . in the 1900s it employed 8 gardeners to prune the hedges and cut the grass !

Gone ! Gone ! Gone!

They All Have Gone !!

It’s quite amazing how many of our fine old properties have disappeared over the last few decades . Below are some that once graced our Strathearn landscape but alas have fallen victim perhaps to the vagaries of inflation combined with one too many repair bills . In some cases a sort of occupational redundancy combined with soaring labour costs put paid to the grandeur of yester year . Below are just some that are no longer with us – gone but I hope not forgotten !


Once the home of the Graeme’s of Inchbrakie , a scion of the Duke of Montrose , it fell victim to the whims of its new owner when sold by the family in 1878 and was demolished . Located north of the entrance to Dollerie House on the Crieff to Perth back road it had splendid gardens and even the ruins of the old castle to gaze out upon !


A splendid mansion once visited by no less than Queen Victoria on her visit to Strathearn with her beloved Albert…

The Lost Castle of Fowlis !

NN 938 239

Fowlis Castle is a most neglected part of our local, heritage Bereft of any signage explaining to the curious visitor its importance and significance in years gone by , it is somewhat off the beaten track but quite accessible . Heading towards Perth on the A85 , look for the Newbigging Farm sign on the left hand side about a mile and a half after New Fowlis Turn up and at the farm turn sharp left on the road to Blairmore Farm . The castle mound is about half mile on the left hand side . Barbed wire to keep the sheep in or out so watch your breeks ! This was the home of Malise , Seventh Earl of Strathearn , who had a verbal dust up with Robert the Bruce . Bruce arrived on his doorstep complete with his army . On demanding his homage, Malise’s answer was that to give it would be to break faith with the King of England. Sir John Boyd stepped forward and said to Bruce “ Give me his lands, and put him to death as you have done to others who refused to pay…

Welcome !

College Buildings Crieff about 1840

Hi there ! I am Colin Mayall and I live in Crieff. I am a genealogist ( big word for someone who spends half their life digging up family roots ! ) and an author . Check out my "Blog" for full details about my activities and interest .

I want to bring to you some of the fascinating and oft forgotten tit bits of local history that I trust will be of interest to you albeit you may be local or a visitor to the Strath !