Showing posts from October, 2013

Our lost heritage

The language of Crieff and Strathearn in the 1790s and how a concertedeffort was made in the 18th Century to remove Gaelic as the spoken language of the people

Likemany Scots , I have a thoroughly mixed pedigree .I do believe that this factor , perhapsmore than anyother , allowsone to analyse and appreciateone’s genetic heritage without the innate prejudice that all too frequently mars true objectivity in Scottishdiscussions especially those concerning politics and religion ! My maternal great grand parents Archibald and Mary McFarlanewereborn and raised in thedelightful Kintyre village of Clachan some miles south of the fishing port of Tarbert on Loch Fyne in the County of Argyll – the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada . They were first cousins – theirfathers Duncan and Archibald McFarlanebeing brothers. Archibaldwassome eleven years older thanMary andwas a widower at the time of their marriage in Campbeltown in 1864 . Both were native Gaelic speakers and were educated at the smallvillage …

The Ancient Secrets of Glenlednock above Comrie – a look at this Highland glen in the 18th and 19th centuries


I'm not saying what glen it belonged to and its not the Clans I'd be thinking of then When I came at the turn of the evening To the mouth of yon Glen Twas a desolate Glen as I'd known it With never a stick upon stone And a scattering of sheep on a hillside That was bare as a bone ( Robert Bain 1865 - 1955, father of Elizabeth Colvin Bain  ) 
I recall many moonsago talkingto three charming elderly sistersin a pleasant end terrace house in Nellfield Road Crieff . In thosedays the housesoverlookedthe green expanse of what were the girls’ hockey pitches of Morrison’s Academy , a well establishedseat of learning in our small town . The eldest of the ladieswas Elizabeth Colvin Bain- a retiredgeography teacherfrom the Academy and unbeknown to me then a more than competent amateur archaeologist !
Elizabeth Bain died in 1999 aged94 years but left behind an incrediblelegacy of applied logic and analysis in her examinationofthe desertedsettlements of Glenlednock . The study has been p…