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 4 December 2012

Glen Quaich: Amulree and Strathbaan Church

Amulree Church. Copyright: Author
At the end of the Glen Quaich walk is a church that is the final stop on the journey in this area. The church at Amulree is always worthy of a visit as, not only is it an interesting little church but also as there is quite a lot of of information contained in the church relating to the clearances and the families that were removed from this area and their flight to new lands in Canada.

The Church is situated on a slight rise to the SW of the Hotel at Amulree. 

Copyright: Crown 2012
The hotel is now closed but does provide ample parking along the old military road. The church was built to a simple design by the architect John Douglas of Edinburgh between 1743 and 1752 (one of a possible three at work in Edinburgh at that time), a near contemporary of William Adam and it is possible that the same person was responsible for the design of Killin church, the 'Palladianisation' of Blair Castle, alterations at Taymouth Castle and the repairs to the palace of Holyrood. Remodelling work was carried out in 1881-2. 

Map from 1855/ Copyright NLS / Crown
The bell was cast in 1519, repaired in 1982, and was probably the work of Willem van den Ghein I. An inscription in old Flemish reads 'I was cast in the year of our Lord 1519'. 

There were repairs carried out in 1989-90, and close inspection revealed that the vestry and porch were later additions as well as the more decorative style, size and placement of fenestration. 

Internally simple, lit by six windows, the interior of the knave was shortened after 1958, to provide space for a Sunday school and meeting place and the inside gallery was boarded up to assist with economies in heating, it reduced the congregation area to around 120.

My thanks to Nick Weall who has kindly allowed me to reproduce this stunning picture of the church here on the blog.

Amulree Parish Church
Amurlee Church. Copyright: Nick Weall
The role of the church was closely linked to the development and management of the straths and communities found within them and also closely linked with the Landlords at the time of the clearances. An excellent book to read that examines this relationship between the church,the state and the clearances is that written by David Paton 'The Clergy and the Clearances'. It is now out of print but can still be obtained from various resellers such as Amazon and ebay. A very worthy addition to anyone's library when reading and researching this subject.

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