Escorted Tours

Failte gu Fuadach nan Gaidhealt na h-Alba

Failte gu Fuadach nan Gaidhealt na h-Alba.
The Highland Clearances were a devestating part of the history of Scotland. For many it changed not only their way of life but also shaped the rural future of Scotland. Many villagers suffered at the hands of their landlords and tackmen and fought a desperate struggle to find a new life. Others managed to propser in a new life that never saw them return to Scotland again. Here is a resource that supports the documentation and historical value of this important area of Scottish history. You can follow in the footsteps of these villagers and find detailed descriptions and locations of the remains of some of the villages and townships through site descriptions, photographs and suggestions for further reading and links to follow.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Glen Quaich and her Townships ~ Easter Turrerich, Perthshire

Copyright: Google Maps
This posting focuses our attention on the continuing walk along the banks of Loch Freuchie in the Glen Quaich areas of Perthshire and up towards the township of Easter Turrerich. 

The path towards the township from Wester Turrerich is a good path still used today by walkers and farmers alike and continues along the length of the Loch to our final destination at Amurlee.

Like the township and mill at Wester Turrerich, the site holds commanding views across the loch and into the valley beyond. The three pictures provided here show different evidence of the settlement from1863 right through to present day.

Copyright: Crown

Copyright: NLS/ Crown
The three pictures provide a fascinating view of the main part of the village and there is evidence of a another part of the village slightly past the main township, halfway down the slope of the hill on the right. 

Be sure to visit both.

The site, and others along this route are also accompanied by the overhead transmission lines of that run through the valley and close to many of the remains. Please be careful when walking near to these.

Easter Turrerich. Copyright: Author
From along this valley, many of the inhabitants left these townships and made the journey across to Canada and to a new life. Records show that in 1842 the Canada Company set out to obtain statements and evidence from those who had settled in the new colony to help sell parcels of land to others coming across to settle. Of interest to us, there are statements collected from settlers from a John Crerar, Robert Frazier and John Stewart. 

At this time, I am unable to establish exactly as to which township they were from, but they were from Glen Quaich and therefore we can confirm that their residence would have been in one of the townships we cover on this journey.

I have reprinted extracts from one of the statements below.

John Stewart's Statement

He came from Turrerich, in Glenquaich, in 1832, having left the glen that year about the middle of June, and arrived at North Easthope on the 1st of September; eight families from the same place emigrated and travelled together and settled in this township and in the adjoining one, South Easthope.

Easter Turrerich. Copyright: Author
This settlement was only then beginning, for in the distance of twelve miles and a half between Stratford, (called then the Little Thames,) and the easternmost part of the tract bordering on Wilmot, there were only three houses or "shanties," occupied by Mr. Helmore, Mr. Fryfogle, and Mr. Sargint; one other settler, Mr. D. Bell, had just arrived, but he had no house up. These settlers were on the road side, for it was in 1833 and 1834 when settlers moved to lots of land off the main road.

The farm which he leased in Glenquaich was a small one, a few acres, with a privilege of pasture on an adjoining hill. His neighbours were similarly placed; possessing only what may be called "small holdings" from five to fifteen acres each. His family then were six in number, but not of age to assist in chopping and clearing but very little. There are three of them now well able to help, and they perform the most of the work.

Easter Turrerich. Copyright: Author
He applied to the Canada Company for three lots of land, 100 acres each, situated on the road side, and the following year he also applied for the three lots in the rear, in all 600 acres of land. He commenced at once to chop and clear the land, and built a small house. There were so few settlers at that time that the houses though small took no little trouble to put up, but the same difficulty was not experienced next year, as the settlement increased rapidly. 

When he came he paid and got a deed for one of the lots, and paid part on the other two, an instalment; since that time he has paid money on the five lots.

When the spring came, or rather towards the commencement of summer, his money was exhausted, but the provisions bought were sufficient till the crops were ready. From the crops of oats and potatoes this season he made some money, and particularly as they were scarce, and a brisk demand by increased emigration and traffic by the main road. The land since that time has yielded sufficient, not only for support but for sale. His family have been industrious, and he has managed to be economical in every thing.
Easter Turrerich. Copyright: Author
He has now a good stock of cattle: they had the first winter one cow, which gave milk till spring, when he bought another, and at the same time a yoke of working oxen. He has now one span of horses, one colt two years old, and another one year old, two yoke of working oxen, one yoke of five-year old steers, two yoke of two-year olds, three steers, seven cows, six calves, forty-six sheep, five year old heifers. 

 He sold two cows the other day, and has during these some years past sold a good many cattle. He has about 102 acres of cleared land. He had this year forty acres in hay, twenty in pasture, seventeen acres in wheat, fourteen acres in crops of oats, barley, &c., and ten acres in fallow. He has nearly ten acres of new land cleared this season for wheat. 

Easter Turrerich. Copyright Author
He states that all his neighbours have succeeded well. Many have emigrated this season from Glenquaich, and expects that next year all his old friends in the glen will be in Canada, and in this tract. A brother-in-law, who has been settled for some years in the township of Beckwith, has taken up 900 acres of land in the adjoining township of South Easthope, to which he intends removing in the winter or spring.

(Courtesy: University of Waterloo, Canada, whose copyright is recognised)

The statement not only provides evidence of  mass emigration from the Glen and a hard former life but an insight into a new more prosperous life being developed for all.


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