Showing posts from 2015

Castle Cluggy at Ochtertyre

Castle Cluggy ( written in 1880  by the Rev William Marshall in his book Historic Scenes of Perthshire )

“ Castle Cluggy on the peninsula on the north of the Loch of Monzievaird ( pronounced mony- vaird ) is a very old erection When it was built is not known but it was old upwards of four centuries ago. In the Charter  giving Ochtertyre to the Murrays , and bearing the date  of 1467 , it is described as an antiquum fortalicium . It is now reduced to a square tower of about seventeen feet  by eighteen , within walls ; but it was once very much larger . Its walls are five to six feet thick and as hard as adamant . In olden times the peninsula on which it stands was an island , separated from the bank of the Loch  by a narrow isthmus over which was  drawbridge , so it must have been a fortalice of great strength . If tradition may be credited , this castle  may well be regarded as an Historic Scene ; for it is said to have been a seat of the Red Cumin ( Comyn ) , the rival of Bruce for t…

Ewan and Uncle Denis

The success of Ewan McGregor has been quite phenomenal and despite the historical tendencies of this “blog” , it is relevant and essential to include something about him and indeed his uncleDenis Lawson in my tales of Strathearn . I happen to have know the family for a long time and so the following is more a personal commentary than a biographical synopsis . Having spent many a happy holiday in Crieff as a school boy and visiting my young brother in law Gavin who was a boarder at Morrisons , it was perhaps not surprising that we chose to settle down in the town in the 1970s to bring up our young family . As a member of the local Round Table I met Jim McGregor and his wife Carol and at the same time joined the local film club in which they both were leading lights . Carol ‘s dad Lawrie Lawson had a small jeweller’s shop in East High Street in what is now the Carpet Shop . They eventually moved down to West High Street and when Lawrie died his wife Phyllis continued the business for ma…
Crieff  And Some Of Its Artefacts

Action Now ! 

The Cross of Crieff
The ancient town of Crieff has a number of tangible items of significant historical importance . There are however  four specific civic artefacts which have a particular importance to its good Burghers and I believe it important that these  find a suitable  home within the town as a matter of some urgency .What then are these  four "specifics" that I refer to  ? Let  me list  them below : 

1. The ancient stocks ( or jougs as they were known locally ) 
2. The Mercat or Drummond Cross 
3. The Cross of Crieff 
4.  And last but not least , the remaining part - or the gibbet - of the Kind Gallows of Crieff

 Below is a description of these written some one hundred and fifty five years ago in 1860 . This  appeared  in what arguably  was the first  tourist  guide to the area , entitled  simply the “ Beauties of Upper Strathearn “ !

The Kind Gallows currently lie in the basement of the Perth Museum awaiting repatriation  to …

Fowlis Castle - A Forgotten Part of Strathearn’s Heritage

Once the Powerbase of the Earls of Strathearn now a pile of stones !

A commanding view from the Castle over the Strath

 Robert the Bruce - an unwelcome visitor to Fowlis  !

Having put on  over  100 “ blogs “ in some two years  of  scribing  , I am aware that some of the earlier ones might in probability  have been missed  by  many of  you. One in particular in February 2012 concerned  Fowlis Castle  near the  picturesque  village of Fowlis  Wester to the  east of Crieff . What  compounds the  general confusion over the Castle  is that there are in fact two  other castles  of the same name in Scotland – one  near Dundee and another near  Evanton north of Inverness ! The spelling does  vary  between  Fowlis and Foulis and it is  not  made  any easier  by the pronunciation  which is “ Fowls “ ( as in a number of  hens ! ) .
Fowlis Castle is a most neglected part of our local heritage . Incredibly it is  no longer shown on the current Ordnance survey maps and is virtually forgotten by one a…

Crieff Past and Present Published on the 7th JANUARY 1888

 The ’45 Uprising and what happened in Crieff

In the three and a half  years I have  been editing the Strathearn Perthshire  Local History Blog , numbers  following the site have  risen considerably. Currently we have  some 3 000 " hits " per month and what  has proven more than a little  surprising is the geographical distribution of  our readers across the globe.  Approximately  one third are  from the United Kingdom Regrettably we cannot identify  the actual number logging  on from here in Scotland but in probability  it will be around 500 to 600 or , as a percentage somewhere between  15 and 20 % . The largest viewing  contingent outside the UK  is  from the USA closely  followed  by Germany . Statistics  show that we have  a considerable number of viewers in Russia, France , China and Canada as well as in other  countries  scattered a cross the Globe ! Do trust we can continue  to keep you all interested !

I have  chosen a topic  which invariably arouses  passion and int…

Crieff Crimes of Yesteryear !

Nowadays  citizens of Crieff and indeed the whole country are confronted  by a raft of legislation  concerning the family car ! The punishment  for contravening  the laws  are  extensive and quite draconian . Private car parks , parking meters , average speed cameras , lines  on the road , traffic  wardens  (aka blue meenies !! ) and so on and so on ! In days  gone by , long before Mr Daimler  had invented  the four wheel metal  box , crimes  were of a different nature and indeed  a different scale of punishment . I have  had  a look through the archives  pertaining to the town in the 18th and 19th centuries  and judge  for  yourself  whether a £60 parking  fine is  more tolerable than some of the felonies  listed below !

In 1770, Andrew Wilson from Aberfoyle  and Janet Graeme his wife were tried at Perth Circuit Court for breaking into the Waulk Mill at Monzie and stealing there from two pieces of cloth . They were found guilty and banished to the Plantations ( America ) for life . In…

Start of Democracy in the Strath

The effect of the Reform Act was considerable. Before 1832 the Scottish Parliamentary electorate had been about 5,000 adult males. Following the passing of the Act, the number of Scottish MP's increased from 45 to 53 and the franchise increased by an even greater proportion, growing from under 5,000 of the 2,300,000 population to 65,000 voters (now covering householders of £10 value in the burghs and property owners of £10 or tenants of £50 rental in the country seats). In Strathearn , as elsewhere things were beginning to become  more democratic . Instead of a handful of  local land owners  standing at the Square and voting publicly for their choice , it  became a  more private and more akin to  modern procedures . Most of the  new voters  in the Strath were  small tenant farmers .Below I have included transcriptions from the new Rolls  for Crieff , Comrie and Auchterarder .

Alphabetical List of the ELECTORS Of The Parish of Crieff In The County of Perth 1832
James Arnot , merchant ,…