A wide choice of topics covered from the dawn of history right up to present days . Many of these have a wider relevance than purely within the context of Strathearn . The author's viewpoint often is at variance with the accepted opinions espoused elsewhere eg The Jacobite Uprisings and The Reformation .
St Dominic and the Crieff connection
St Dominic and the Crieff Connection
This Blog is dedicated to my dear friends Brendan and Pat Devine , Barnshaw Cottage , Crieff
The first Catholic School in Crieff after the Reformation was located at the top of Mitchell Street at a locus which is now occupied by the Bield Sheltered Housing development known as Strathearn Court . Prior to the building of these sheltered houses the site was occupied by a large Georgian detached house in grounds of some 3 to 4 acres and known originally as Springbank latterly Flowerhill and then finally and appositely as “ The Old Hoose “ . Riddled with dry rot , it was demolished and the site cleared about 1985 . The house itself was surrounded by a high stone wall and trees and could not be clearly seen from either Mitchell street or Strathearn Terrace . It extended down as far as Miller Street and the site of the old Municipal Bowling Green was it southern boundary . It was conterminous with the properties of Mr James Millar of Knock Cottage after whom Millar street is named . The grounds reflected a by gone age with a tennis court , gardener’s cottage and a multitude of out buildings . Although Georgian in architectural style it is what would be termed “ late Georgian “ which according to Fenton and Walker in their authoritative book The Rural Architecture of Scotland ( John Donald Publishers : Edinburgh : 1981 ) would be 1834 – 1840 . Reference to the Wood’s Map of Crieff published in 1822 does not show Springbank and refers to the upper part of Mitchell Street as the old road to Perth . It is probable that it was built around the time of that superb Georgian jewel in Crieff’s crown , Burrell Square or the Octagon .
Springbank was purchased 1889 by a Mrs Mary Helen Elwes who , according to Porteous in his History of Crieff , was a well known lady in the town . She had joined St Dominic’s Priory at Stone in Staffordshire and had had received permission from the Papal Authorities in Rome to found a similar community here in Crieff . She set about converting it to her requirements and thus St Dominic’s Convent or Nunnery had arrived . It was entitled “ Our Lady , Help of Christians “ and Porteous tells us that “ it was the first of the kind in Scotland since the Reformation being of the third order of St Dominic . The adjoining houses were converted into a school for the education of Roman Catholic children , the first Government inspection of which took place in June 1892 , and the report was satisfactory . The Convent was not a success , and after a few year’s trial was given up , while a new school was built in close proximity to St Fillan’s Chapel . “ The reference to “ third order of St Dominic “ apparently refers to a secular set up as opposed to a closed religious order . Interestingly , it was the Porteous family who lived in Springbank as noted in the 1881 Census for Crieff . The owned much of the adjoining land and subsequently built Croftweit , a large detached stone built property directly opposite Springbank . This eventually became a Morrison’s Academy boarding house before being sold and converted into flats about 2000. The 1891 census shows that most of the occupants of the new convent were in fact Canadian ! From their ages it would appear to have been more of a seminary than a Convent .
The second school built in proximity to St Fillans Church which was erected in 1871 . The school building was in what is now the Church car park and was a red sand stone building to blend in with the adjoining church . When the third St Dominic’s School was built , the old building functioned as a builder’s workshop and store for Messrs R& J Robertson a local contractor . It was demolished about 1990 .
The Catholic Church of St Fillans was built in 1871 to the design of Andrew Heaton Jr and is delightful little building with attractive stained glass windows representing St Fillan and St John the Baptist .Although I was brought up as a closet Presbyterian , I find that any time I have visited this charming little Church ( and that apart from talking to the Ladies Guild has mostly been funerals )- I have enjoyed a pleasant , relaxed feeling within myself - we are of course all God's children ! CM 2018
A number of years ago I purchased a small booklet on Glen Artney in the book shop
that existed for some years in Drummond Street Comrie. The
author was the late Gordon Booth FSA , a superb researcher and accomplished
author . He was not a local man since moving to the village from I believe the Island of Islay in the
Inner Hebrides. Since arriving in the area, he had
read and assimilated much of the history and folk lore of this part of
the Strath .I recall the late Tom Weir (
of the woolly hat ) doing a programme in his Weir’s Way series on Glen Artney
an d featuring Gordon Booth . Regrettably
all seven of his little books are out of print although they may be
available to borrow through Perth and Kinross Library Service. I have
incorporated partial excerpts from his writings
in this blog on the Glen which I duly acknowledge as a fitting tribute to his
Glen Artney is some eight or so miles in length from the former
prisoner of war camp at Cultybraggan
An Account Of One Of The Most Bloody Political/Religious Battles Fought In This Part Of Scotland The Battle of Tibbermore /Tibbermure
Victory by the Back Door The surge in the amount of violence and mayhem in the Middle
East and in targeted European (including British) locations has caused much grief and sadness to innocent families
and individuals . Atrocities carried out
in the name of religion are not something
that has suddenly occurred .They
have been part of society for longer than we might imagine .
The period of the 1640s in Scotland was one of violent confrontation between the
Royalists faction supporting the Stewart monarch Charles 1 and the fiercely
Presbyterian adherents known as Covenanters . Despite the efforts of James VI
to introduce Bishops into the Kirk , the Covenanters with their
power base in the south and south
west of Scotland were vociferous and militant in pursuit of their cause . In
1644 they marched south into
England to lend support to the Engl…
Scotland has had a different Poor Law system to that of
England . In 1579 the Scottish Parliament legislated enabling individual parishes to remunerate the impoverished living therein .It established a system which
was not just an enumeration of the destitute but an examination of whether these individuals could find
alternative means of support from other
individuals or family members .They made begging and vagrancy public nuisances
The Act intended to remove the
responsibility for the support of the poor from the church to the parishes .
Magistrates were ordered to build Correction Houses or
workhouses so that beggars could be made to work. In 1843, a Commission of
Enquiry was set up to suggest improvements to the Scottish Poor Law system.
Proposals suggested included:
Setting up a Board of Supervision and Parochial Boards ,the
levying of a poor rate and joint poorhouses in urban areas. An Inspector of the