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Ochtertyre in 1860

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Ochtertyre -tales of mass murder and romantic poetry !
Excerts from “Beauties of Upper Strathearn “ – an 1860 Tourist Guide



The mansion house is situated about half way down the slope and is a plain modern and commodious building. At the foot of the slope there is a beautiful sheet of water, on the promontory of which stands the donjon of an old fortress that once occupied the whole of the promontory. To the west of the mansion house there is an observatory most picturesquely situated and designed. Granite Lodge 
The tourist , sending forward his vehicle to the lower west lodge , may enter the groundsby the east avenueat what is called the Granite Lodge .On the left , at half distance between the lodge and the mansionmay be seen the family mausoleum , a massiveand tasteful structure of Gothic architecture, erected in 1809 and adornedwith suitable windows ofstained glass. On a black marble tablet, under the large window at the west end, are recorded the names, ages , marriages , off sprin…
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The Campus , The Cursus and The Stayt






Colin Mayall  Crieff November 2009


(Updated February 2010 , May 2014)


      Crieff’s Cursus - The Symbolic River
( written 2006 )


Perhaps you had noticed that they were digging ditches and doing all sorts of things in the field where the new Crieff High school is scheduled to be built? . This wasa sort of preamble to the building work commencing in the near future ( after November 2007 ) . It is now a pre requisite of all building works that where there is an important site of historic interest archaeological work must be undertaken prior to works commencing . The proximity to theold Stayt of Crieff ( the “ Parliament “ of old Strathearn ) was the reason . That was the spot where the Stewards of Strathearn sat on the elevated pimple that occupied the siteuntil the mid 19th century . They had removed themselves to the comfort of  the new Town House in the17t.h century leaving the small hillock  somewhat superfluous to requirements . When the farmer of th…

Weavers of Strathearn

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                                  Weavers of Strathearn





For Strathearn, the diminution in importance of the Michaelmas Fair or Market brought about by the collapse of the cattle trade,was to a certain extent offset by the rapid growth of the linen trade. Traditionally,rural communities had always had a weaving tradition although mostly in wool.With the Union of Parliaments, the protective tariffs set up by the English state were abolished and at last Scottish merchants were given equal opportunities to deal with the lucrative London market where the light ,cheap linen cloths had begun to usurp the hold of the traditional woollen garment.


A " count " of heads in Scotland had been carried out around 1755 by Dr Webster. This is a useful base to compare with later figures. Indeed in The Statistical Account of Scotland edited by Sir John Sinclair and covering the period 1791 to 1799, the contributors for each parish, invariably the local minister, estimated the local population. Al…

The Third World Rover Scout Moot held at Monzie near Crieff in July 1939

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Happiness and Sorrow in Reflection

Peter MacGregor from Gilmerton - official Piper





Despite the rattles of the sabres andthe distant soundsof wardrums, Crieff ( and specificallyMonzie ) were the focalpointforsome 3 500 Rover Scoutsfrom all over the World . A “ Moot “ wasthe scoutingtermfor a meeting orgathering and the Scouts haddeclared their internationalism byholding Moots , firstly in Kandersteg in Switzerland in 1931 and then in Ingaro Sweden in 1935 . Both theseeventsattractedsome 3 000 Rover Scouts from many countries . It was a great honour that Scotland waschosen and indeed Strathearnand Monzie were toplay host .












Although the prevailing turmoil had begun to ruffle thewaves in Europe , some 3 500 arrived at Crieff Station in July 1939 to march or be bussed thecomparatively shortdistanceto Monzie Castle and Estate . Specialmention in the press of the day was made of three Australian Scouts ,Wladyshaw Wagner, David Walsh and Bernard Plowright who sailed from Sydney in a 50 foot ya…

A written record of Comrie in 1791

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Back to the Past
Comrie in the 1790s


We are somewhat fortunate in Scotland to havepreserved on line the Incredible Statistical Accounts . Thefirst produced in the 1790swereco ordinatedby Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster in Caithness . He sent out astructured questionnaireto over 900 parish ministerscovering the whole of ScotlandThey were asked160 questionsin four sections covering geography and topography , population , agriculture and industrial productionandsomemiscellaneous queries . The general responsewasexcellentand a detailed portrait of the Nationwas laidbeforethe General Assembly ( of the Church of Scotland ) in 1799 . Wenow have an incrediblepicture of the world in which our ancestors lived and worked . A timewhich enables ustolook at on the eve of both theIndustrial Revolution and the French Revolution . Further Accountswere preparedon the same basisin the 1840s and 1950s
The first accountfor the Parish of Comrie waswrittenby the minister of Monzievaird Parishbased on the informa…