THE preparation of the following
account of Gairloch has been prompted by regardalmost affectionfor this
beautiful and interesting Highland parish. It is published in the hope
that it may not only assist the tourist, but also be found to constitute a
volume worthy of a nook in the great library of local history. Here and
there some few general remarks on the subjects dealt with have necessarily
been introduced by way of explanation or illustration, but in the main
this book relates solely to Gairloch. I have tried to make short chapters,
and to dispense with footnotes.
Without much assistance the work
could not have been satisfactorily completed. The necessary help has been
given with the greatest freedom and kindness. Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie,
Bart. of Gairloch, has himself furnished much valuable and accurate
information, and Lady Mackenzie of Gairloch has kindly assisted. From Mr
Osgood H. Mackenzie of Inverewe, youngest son of the late Sir Francis
Mackenzie, Bart. of Gairloch, I have received a large amount of personal
aid. Much of the information about the Mackenzies has been culled from the
works of Mr Alexander Mackenzie (a native of Gairloch) with his consent.
He is the able author of a copious history of the Mackenzies and other
important books, and the editor of the Celtic Magazine, from which last
the memoir of John Mackenzie of the "Beauties" and several of the
traditions have been mainly taken. From the MS. "Odd and End Stories" of
Dr Mackenzie, Eileanach, only surviving son of Sir Hector Mackenzie,
Bart., eleventh laird of Gairloch, numerous quotations will be found.
These extracts are published with the consent of Dr Mackenzie, as well as
of Mr O. H. Mackenzie to whom he has given his MS. volumes. With one
exception, wherever Dr Mackenzie is quoted the extract is taken from his
"Odd and End Stories." The Dowager Lady Mackenzie of
Gairloch has been so good as to prepare a short statement, from which
extracts are made. Dr Arthur Mitchell, C.B., Senior Commissioner in Lunacy
for Scotland, has permitted the use of his paper on the Isle Maree
superstitions. Mr Jolly has contributed three valuable chapters, and the
Rev. J. M'Murtrie and Professor W. Ivison Macadam have each given a
chapter. To Mr William Mackay of Craigmonie, Inverness, I am indebted for
full notes on ecclesiastical matters, and for extracts from the old
records of the Presbytery of Dingwall. The Rev. Alexander Matheson,
minister of Glenshiel, has supplied extracts from the records of the
Presbytery of Loch-carron. I have to thank Messrs Maclachlan & Stewart, of
Edinburgh, who in 1882 brought out a sumptuous edition of the "Beauties of
Gaelic Poetry," by the late John Mackenzie, a Gairloch man, for permission
to use the accounts of John Mackay (the blind piper), William Ross,
William Mackenzie, and Malcolm Maclean, contained in the "Beauties." James
Mackenzie, of Kirkton (brother of John Mackenzie of the "Beauties"), has
furnished a large chapter of Gairloch stories, besides a number of facts,
traditions, and anecdotes; wherever the name of James Mackenzie occurs in
these pages, it is this worthy Highlander who is referred to. Other
Gairloch traditions, stories, and information have been furnished by
Kenneth Fraser, Leac nan Saighead (through the medium of the Celtic
Magazine); Alexander Maclennan, Mossbank; Roderick Mackenzie (Ruaridh an
Torra), Lonmor; George and Kenneth Maclennan, Tollie Croft; John Maclean
(Iain Buidhe Taillear), Strath; Simon Chisholm, Flowerdale; Roderick
Campbell, Tollie; Donald Ross, Kenlochewe; Alexander Mackenzie (Ali' Iain
Ghlass), piper, Pool-ewe ; George Maclennan, Londubh; and Alexander
Maclennan (Alie Uistean), Inveran, who especially has given me
considerable assistance. The legend of Ewan Mac Gabhar is mainly in the
form given in the works of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, supported to
some extent by several of the old people now living in Gairloch. That
enthusiastic friend of the Highlander, Professor Blackie, has kindly
contributed two English versions of Gaelic songs; and Mr William Clements
Good, of Aberdeen, has given similar aid. Professor W. Ivison Macadam has
communicated the results of his analyses of ores and slags, and has
assisted in examining the remains
of the old ironworks. Mr D. William
Kemp, of Trinity, Edinburgh, has generously done a very great deal to
unravel the history of the ironworks, and in other ways. Lieutenant
Lamont, of Achtercairn, has procured the traditions given on the authority
of Ruaridh an Torra, Mr Mackintosh, postmaster, Poolewe, has supplied some
anecdotes and facts. The Glossary has been prepared with the aid of Mr O.
H. Mackenzie; the Rev. Ronald Dingwall, Free Church minister, Aultbea; Mr
Alexander Cameron, the Tournaig bard ; and Mr Alexander Maclennan, Inveran.
The names of some others who have rendered valuable help are stated where
their information is utilised. To all these ungrudging helpers, and to
many others not mentioned by name, I beg to offer my sincere thanks.
To render the
natural history of Gairloch complete, lists are still needed of the
insects, sea-anemones, grasses, mosses, lichens, fungi, sea-weeds, and
fresh-water weeds. Any information on these and other branches of natural
history will be heartily welcomed, with a view to insertion in a possible
The process of
zincography, by which nearly all the illustrations have been reproduced,
has not in many cases realised my expectations, but it has been thought
best to issue the book at once rather than wait until the illustrations
could be rendered in a superior manner.
if any, from the sale of this book will be applied in aid of the Poolewe
JOHN H. DIXON.
Inveran, Gairloch, 1st September 1886.
Gaelic Names and Words
Gairloch parishNameCurious muddle about "the Gairloch" Name used in
four sensesAttractions of GairlochLoch MareeSuperficial observation of
touristsA party declare they have "seen Loch Maree" Inducements to
longer visitsCredibility of old traditionsGaelic names
PronunciationInterference with sportsmen and deer forests
deprecatedMountain ascentsDrawbacks to themShorter climbs
recommendedMania for exterminating plantsInstances.
I.Records and Traditions of Gairloch
Chapter I. Early History
ancient recordsGiants in those daysFingalian legends Condition of
Pictish aboriginesTheir houses and implementsDruidsRoman invasion
Pictish monarchy Introduction of Christianity St Maelrubha Hermits
of Isle Maree Norse vikings Norwegians and Danes End of Norwegian
rule in 1263 The earls of Ross Donald of the Isles The Mackenzies.
Chapter II.The Tragedy of Isle Maree
Scene laid in
Isle MareeThe hermit saintPrince OlafHis fiery temper- -Falls in
loveBrings his bride to Isle MareeIs compelled to leave her on an
expeditionThe white and black flagsReturn of the princeJealousy of the
princessHer scheme to test Olaf s affectionHis madness on seeing the
black flagThinking her dead he kills himselfThe princess stabs herself
and dies Their graves on Isle Maree.
Chapter III.The Mackenzies of Kintail
Two origins of
the family of MackenzieThe Cabar FeidhAngus Mac MhathainKenneth, first
lord of KintailJohn, second lord, shelters Robert BruceKenneth of the
NoseKenlochewe ravagedLeod Mac Gilleandreis Black Murdo of the
CaveJoined by Gille RiabhachComes to Kenlochewe Slays Leod Mac
Gilleandreis and his followersAth nan CeannFe Leoid Black Murdo of the
Cave recovers KintailMurdo of the Bridge, fifth lord of KintailAlexander
the Upright, father of Hector Roy, first laird of Gairloch Skirmish of
Beallach nam BrogResidences of lords of Kintail.
Chapter IV.Ewan Mac Gabhar, the Son of the Goat
cave of the king's sonOld Oighrig and her son Kenneth The goat Earba
nourishes Ewan in the caveFlora and Ewan come to Letterewe Ewan's sword
and mantle of stateThe lord of Kintail comes to huntFlora and Ewan
suspectedKenneth and Flora carried off to EileandonainOighrig and Ewan
conveyed to Colin Mor GillespieColin Mor brings up EwanGreat war against
the queen widow of Olamh MorEwan gets a commandHis slender pageMull
plunderedThe invaders surprised at night and capturedThe queen condemns
the chiefs to deathEwan led forth to dieThe execution arrestedEwan
identified and proclaimed kingProphecy fulfilled .
Chapter V.The Macraes of Kintail and Gairloch
settle in KintailBecome Mackenzie's "shirt of mail"The sons of
FortuneAssist in conquest of GairlochList of Macraes who fought for
GairlochEffigy of Donald OdhairMacraes renowned archersCompared with
Turkish archersThe Macraes bore the dead bodies of their chiefs to
burial The last occasion of thisCurious statement.
Chapter VI.The MacBeaths
AssyntSome still in GairlochHad several strongholds Lochan nan
AirmKintail men come to Loch TollieShoot MacBeath's servant on the
islandMacBeatb fliesIs struck by an arrowKintail men stay a night on
the islandCome through GairlochReport to their chief.
Chapter VII.The M'Leods of Gairloch
TorquilClaim to GairlochLegal title commenced 1430MacBeaths
expelledThe Tigh DigeStrongholds of the M'LeodsEilean Ruaridh Allan
M'Leod, laird of GairlochMurdered by his brothers at the "Hill of evil
counsel"They also murder his two boysThe widow takes their bloody shirts
to her fatherHector Roy takes the shirts to the kingWho gives Hector
commission of fire and sword against the M'LeodsThe M'Leods confined to
one-third of Gairloch.
Chapter VIII.The Macdonalds in Gairloch
clansmen of Donald of the IslesProbably some settled in GairlochStill in
Gairloch and AlliginMac Gille RiabhaichHis caveStory of his oak
cudgelThe soubriquet DarachHis descendant, Darroch of Torridon Donald
Dubh Mac Gillechriosd Mhic Gille RiabhaichThreatens Hector RoySlays
Buchanan after Flodden Field.
Chapter IX.Hector Roy Mackenzie, first Laird of Gairloch
Vision of the
great chief and his bodyguardHis appearance and valour Obtains charter
to GairlochSlays three M'Leods at "the Gairloch "The battle of
ParkHector Roy and Big Duncan of the AxeHector Roy at Sauchie-burnHe
claims KintailBattle of Drum a ChaitBig Duncan again assists Hector Roy
outlawedAssists Mac CaileanKneels before the kingGrasps his handIs
pardonedAbandons his claim to KintailFight with M'Leods at Beallach
GlasleathaidBig Duncan and his son DugalHector Roy conquers part of
GairlochBattle of FloddenClan Eachainn.
Chapter X.John Glassich Mackenzie and his Sons
brought up in StrathglassClaims KintailRefuses to join the royal
standardApprehended by Kenneth of KintailIain Gearr's pluck Death of
John GlassichDonald Gorme invades KenlocheweHector and Alexander, sons
of John Glassich, both slain.
Chapter XLJohn Roy Mackenzie
resembled his grandfather HectorHis youthVisits his mother, wife of
MackayGoes with a bodyguard to Iain Liath at Glas LeitireLord Kintail
abandons his hunt on the Glas Leitire hillsJohn Roy and Iain Liath go to
GairlochIain Dubh Mac Ruaridh M'Leod abandons the Gairloch dun Struggles
with the M'LeodsJohn Roy's familyHis bodyguard composed of his twelve
sonsDealings with the tithes of GairlochThe Talladale ironworksJohn
Roy's residenceVisits MackayMackay's piper becomes John Roy's piperLord
Mackenzie summons John Roy to Torridon He stays the night with his
lordshipProposed assassination deferredJohn Roy's sons arrive and take
him awayAllies of Glengarry Macdonalds make an incursion to KenlocheweLord
Mackenzie visits John RoyJohn Roy granted a remission by the crown.
Chapter XII.Expulsion of the M'Leods from Gairloch
Riabhach na CuirceSlays Mac Iain Dhuibh M 'LeodRuaridh Mac Allan M'Leod
assassinates Iain Mac Ghille Challum M'Leod and his sons by Janet
MackenzieJohn Roy revenges the murderExpels the M'Leods from GairlochThe
Cnoc a ChrochadairThe affair at Leac nan SaigheadMor Ban persuades the
M'Leods to invade GairlochThey come to Fraoch Eilean Donald Odhar and
his brother shoot them from Leac nan SaigheadOnly two M'Leods escape in
the birlinnDonald Odhar's long shot from Craig a Chait Young M'Leod of
Assynt asks John Roy's daughter for his wifeIs refused Fionnla Dubh na
Saighead insults himThe M'Leods return to take vengeance on FinlayHe and
Chisholm shoot many of themFinlay pursues Neil M'Leod to the Bac an
Leth-choin and shoots him at the Druim Cam NeillFight at Lochan an FheidhAffair
at RaasayMurdo Mackenzie in his .ship driven into KirktonYoung M'Leod of
Raasay and his companions visit himAll the party get drunk except four
Gairloch menA fight ensuesMurdo drownedAll on board slain except three
of the abstainersThey escape.
Chapter XIII.Alastair Breac, and his Son and Grandson
a renowned warriorRaids of cattle liftersIain Geal Donn proposes a raid
on GairlochAlastair Buidhe Mackay intercepts him at Scardroy Slays him
and all his men except oneAlastair Breac sends the news to Lord
MackenzieCameron of Lochiel plans a raid on Gairloch in revenge Alastair
Breac sends eighty men to oppose him, but he has retiredSong composed to
the Guard of the Black CorrieColla BanIn default of black-mail threatens
raid on GairlochHis spies are frightened by four Gairloch men at LuibmhorKenneth,
sixth laird of Gairloch, fined as a "malignant"Alexander, seventh laird
Chapter XIV.The Baronets of Gairloch and some other Gairloch Mackenzies
eighth laird of GairlochM. P. for Ross-shireSir Alexander, ninth laird
of GairlochBuilds FlowerdaleThe "Forty-five"Murder of the Gille Buidhe,
valet to Prince CharlieDuncan Macrae conveys a keg of gold for Prince
Charlie's useThe " sian "r-English man-of-war fires at FlowerdaleSir
Alexander, tenth laird of GairlochBuilds Gonan HouseHis son called "
Fighting Jack," the father of the British armySir Hector MackenzieLives
at homeLord-Lieutenant of Ross-shireHis beloved ladySir Francis
MackenziePublishes his "Hints" in 1838-Sir Kenneth, present baronetMackenzies
of LettereweMackenzies of LochendMackenzies of GruinardLarge familyMackenzies
of KernsarySummary of Mackenzie HistoryCrest, Badge, Slogan, and Pipe
Chapter XV.Gairloch Estates, and Old Names of Places
in protocol of 1494Description in retour of 1566Description in
1638Names in Dutch map of 1662Second half of the water of Ewe bought in
1671Strip on north of River Ewe acquired in 1844 Letterewe originally
Kin tail propertyAcquired by Charles Mackenzie in 1696 Sold to Mr Bankes
in 1835Northern parts of Gairloch belonging to Gruinard Mackenzies before
1655Sold to Davidson of Tulloch in 1795Afterwards acquired by Mr BankesMr
O. H. Mackenzie's estate of Inverewe.
Chapter XVI.-Ecclesiastical History of Gairloch
in GairlochOther early ecclesiastical buildingsRector of Gairloch at
date of ReformationPresbyterianismTulchan bishopsChanges from
Episcopalianism to PresbyterianismRev. Alexander MackenzieRev. Farquhar
MacraeRev. Roderick MackenzieRev. Kenneth Mackenzie of KernsaryRev.
John MorrisonPersecuted by EpiscopaliansAnecdotesHis turf-built church
in Tollie BayChristmas storyRev. James SmithFirst school in Gairloch
Anecdote of Rev. Mr SageRev. AEneas McAulayRev. John DounieRev. James
RussellHis imperfect GaelicPoolewe made a separate parishThe
DisruptionPresbyteries of Dingwall, Kenlochewe, Chanonry, Gairloch, and
Loch CarronChurches in GairlochManse and glebe at Achdistall, Cliff and
Strath Free churches and their ministers.
Chapter XVII.Ancient Gairloch Ironworks
Two classes of
remains of ironworksRev. Donald M'Nicol's statement Coin found near old
Yorkshire ironworksIron implements used by ancient
inhabitantsDisappearance of them accounted forOther ancient remains in
Sutherlandshire, Ross-shire, and Inverness-shireBog iron was the ore used
of old in GairlochProcesses of the ancient ironworkersWasteful richness
of their slags accounted forCharcoal was their fuelThe ancient forests
of timber Their disappearanceWater power anciently employed for working
Chapter XVIII.The Historic Ironworks of Loch Maree
series of Scottish ironworks commenced on Loch MareeThe licence to
Archibald Primrose for making iron ratified in 1612Spread of the iron
industry in the eighteenth centuryIron furnaces in GlengarryAbernethy
furnaces of the York Buildings CompanyThe Bonawe furnaceThe Argyle
Furnace CompanyThe Lorn CompanyThe Carron ironworksThe Wilsonton
worksFurnace at GoatfieldPennant's notice of the furnace near PooleweThe
Fife Adventurers and the LewsThe Rev. Farquhar Macrae, vicar of Gairloch
The Letterewe furnace established in 1607 by Sir George HayPrevious
history of Sir GeorgeHis residence at LettereweHis ironworksThe timber
consumedThe goods producedThe improvements he effectedAct prohibiting
the making of iron with woodMonopoly of iron manufacture granted to Sir
GeorgeRatified by ParliamentProclamation restraining the export of iron
ore Licence to Sir George to sell iron in royal burghsSir George's
probable acquaintance with John Roy Mackenzie, laird of GairlochSir
George's friendship with the Rev. Farquhar MacraeThe minister's stoneSir
George leaves LettereweHis distinguished after-careerCreated first Earl
of KinnoullContinuance of the ironworksTombstone of John HayHis
probable relationship to Sir GeorgeDiscontinuance of the ironworksThe
artisans employed Whence they cameThe KempsThe Cladh nan SasunnachCondition
of the ironworkers in the then state of the HighlandsThe Big Englishman.
Chapter XIX.The Iron Ores used in Gairloch
local iron oreLocal bog iron used at ancient bloomeries Ferruginous
rocks and shalesTraditional quarriesRichness of bog iron Places where
it is still found in GairlochBog iron originally used by Sir George
HayHe afterwards imported red hematite and clayband ironstoneMr Marr's
description of these oresThey were landed at PooleweRemains of them
there Mr Macadam's analysesMixture with local oreClassification of the
Chapter XX.Remains of Ironworks in the Parish of Gairloch
description of two classes of slagList of six localities of
ironworksGlen DochartieFasaghAnalysesLochan Cul na Cathrach Furnace,
LettereweTalladaleGaravaig, on Slatadale farmRed Smiddy, near PooleweIron
articles foundThe borings at Cuil an ScardainChronological order of the
ironworksOther supposed furnacesNotices of ironworks or mines in old
Dutch map, and in "Present State of Great Britain and Ireland "
Want of interesting remains of
ancient buildingsSupposed Druidical remains in Tollie woodDruidical
enclosure on Isle MareeThe Island of Justice Pictish round
housesVitrified fortAncient duns, strongholds, or crannogs Remains of
churchesGairloch churchCulinellan churchTurf-built church in Tollie
BayChurch at Tollie Croft, or Cruive EndChapel of InvereweChapel of
Sand of UdrigilOld burial-groundsRemains of other old buildingsRemains
on Isle MareeOn Eilean Ruaridh BeagOn Eilean SuthainnThe Tigh Dige The
Sabhal-GealThe Temple houseOld housesAncient weapons and implementsThe
Part II.Inhabitants of Gairloch
Chapter I.Ancestry and Names
Highlanders different to ScotchGairloch
people originally CelticAdmixture of bloodMackenzies
predominantSurnames little usedMode of constructing Gaelic
namesExamplesBynamesCurious names of girls.
Chapter II.Warfare and Weapons
Gairloch a bone of
contentionBroadsword and targeBows and arrows Battle-axeDirkGunsClan
fights no moreSeaforth HighlandersA Gairloch companyThe
press-gangDonald M'Lean returns "from hell"Volunteer corpsStory of
Finlay Fraser and his guns.
Chapter III.Polity and Customs
Improvement after the
"Forty-five"Increase of schoolsReport on educational position of the
people by Rev. James RussellEducation under the School Boards Relief of
the poorBeggars almost unknownTrampsTinkersOld man seeking AmericaHer
Majesty's note about himOld marriage customsFuneral customsWhisky at
funeralsHeaps of stones at halting-placesNew Year's day, old
styleAdministration of justice at the Island of JusticeMode of
procedure The Cnoc a Chroich, or Gallows HillSome old Gairloch men
acquainted with folk-lore.
Chapter IV.Religion and Religious Observances
No records of Episcopal
timesSunday servicesBaptismThe Lord's supper dispensed in the Leabaidh
na Ba BaineDr Mackenzie's account of churchgoing and the
communionsJohnnie at ,church for the first timeFive days' services
Large crowd ; few communicantsPreparation for Gairloch communionThe
scene in the LeabaidhAunt SallyCharacteristics of Free Church services
Chapter V.Character and Characteristics
people have a good characterFidelity, courtesy, and hospitalitySir G. S.
Mackenzie's opinionSir Francis Mackenzie's tribute to his Gairloch
peopleAttachment to homeCaution and keenness in money
mattersAnecdoteCaptain Burt's charge of want of cleanliness not
generally applicable nowMoralityIndolenceAlways behind timeClinging to
old ways Old Highland esprit dying outAnnual competition recommended.
Chapter VI.Language and Dress
Gaelic called IrishGairloch
dialectNot dying outKnowledge of English increasingOld people still
unable to speak EnglishGaelic phrases in English Gaelic literature in
GairlochShould Gaelic be discouraged?Ancient dress in GairlochBelted
plaid or truisSeparate form of the kiltAntiquity of the kilt Highland
dress' proscribedSubterfugesDiscouraged homespun fabricsKilt common in
Gairloch in early part of nineteenth centurySir Francis Mackenzie on the
kiltNow fallen into disusePresent dress of menGairloch hose Dress of
womenThe mutchMaiden's headdressDr Mackenzie on maiden's hair and on
Chapter VII.Ways and Means
Sources of livelihoodIndustry of
womenDwellingsByres adjoiningNo chimneysGradual improvementGardens
rareĞr-Fevers and consumptionFood Absence of pigsWhiskyIllicit
distillationFuelTorasgian-Cabar lar Peat creelCartsSledges before
roads were made.
Chapter VIII.Agriculture and Stock
Little agriculture in ancient
daysBlack cattleBlood taken from living cattle m The bowmenHill
shielings miserable placesIntroduction of sheep farming Sheep farms
forestedSheep deteriorate pastureAncient breed of sheepPresent
farmsRun-rigCrofts established in GairlochCrofters' cropsThe cas-chrom
Sir G. S. Mackenzie on imperfect agricultureOn indolenceThe Highland
husbandmanHis negligenceSir Francis Mackenzie on imperfect cultivation
On manuresOn the cas-chromOn lack of industryOn absence of gardens
Introduction of the potato.
Gairloch fishermen and
fishHerring fisheriesLobsters and crabsOysters Gairloch cod
fisheryUnder Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 1721 to 1766In 1792 Sir G. S.
Mackenzie's account of it under Sir HectorLines and hooks formerly
home-madeFirst foreign hooks in 1823Cod fishery in 1884 and 1885Salmon
fisheryBag-netsDiminution in stock of salmon.
Chapter X.Posts and Road-making
Post-runners to GairlochDr
Mackenzie's accountDonald CharlesRoderick M'LennanWilliam CrossM*LeayIain
Mor am PostGeneral Wade's road Bridges in GairlochRoad from Gairloch to
PooleweThe Dowager Lady Mackenzie's account of road-makingDestitution
Committee contribute to road-makingRoad to Fionn loch.
of Isle Maree
Isle Maree conspicuousThe
wishing-treeHer Majesty's offeringSt Mael-rubha permitted sacrifices of
bullsContinued to 1678Latterly associated with cure of
insanityTreatment of lunaticsStill continuedDr Mitchell's description
Circular enclosure supposed to be DruidicalGraves of the prince and
princess The wellDescription of the wishing-treeTrees of Isle MareeProbability
of the legend of Isle MareeName of island derived from St MaelrubhaSt
Chapter XII.Superstitions of Isle Mareecontinued
Druidical sacrifices engrafted on
ChristianityResort to Isle Maree for cure of lunacy probably
ancientParallel superstitionsBull sacrifice at Kirkcudbright Sacrifices
of bulls not confined to the saint's dayDescriptions of proceedings for
cure of lunaticsMac Culloch's descriptionNo form of wordsRecent
casesSt Maelrubha and St Ruffus identicalMad dog dipped in the wellSad
consequencesQuotations as to Pagan practices engrafted on Christianity.
Chapter XIII.Superstitions generally
Highlanders' surroundings suggest
superstitionGradual diminution of it Older superstitionsLoch Maree
water cureThe Fox PointCoins found The Cathair mor and Sitheanan
DubhaGairloch fairy taleThe Shiant Isles' fairyEilean SuthainnFairies
seen on Isle Ewe in 1883Lights and music of fairies noticed at Mellon
CharlesWilliam M'Lean gets a bagpipe chanter from the fairiesThe Gille
Dubh of Loch a DruingSuperstitious fanciesThe Loch of the BeastEvidence
of the appearance of the beastProceedings for its suppressionRorie and
Chapter XIV.Witchcraft and Magic
ChailleachWitchcraft and magic still believed inJessie the cripple, a
witchDepriving milk of its fruitKenlochewe case in presbytery records
Kenneth Mackenzie, the maighstair sgoil, punishes the witch at StrathHis
cows recoverRecent casesThe sianDescription of itDuncan M'RaeHis
songEntrusted with a keg of gold for Prince CharlieHides the keg in the
Fedan MorRenders it invisible by the sianThe wife of the Cibear Mor sees
the kegThe cave at Meallan a GhamhnaThe cave and weapons concealed by
the sianSeen by several women recentlyAnother similar case on Loch Maree
Alastair Mor an V Sealgair Runs the blockade by means of the sianHis
variations of the sianOther examples of Alastair's and his father's
powers--The wind made favourable by magic.
Chapter XV.Visions and Second-sight
between visions and second-sightOld Alastair's vision of Hector Roy and
his bodyguardA young man sees a ghostTwo men see a woman in a
houseSpectre seen before a shootTwo kinds of second-sightJessie the
crippleDucked as a witchHer vision of a shepherd, his dog and sheep,
fulfilled The smith's son sees a crowd on Poolewe bridgeHis vision
fulfilledThe great storm on Loch EweGreat sight at Mellon UdrigilFleet
of ships and boats filled with red coatsVisions of soldiers in red
uniforms near Inveran These visions compared with similar sights
Chapter XVI.Bards and Pipers
an illustrious classOssian's poemsOffice of bard or seannachie Bards of
recent dateCeilidhAntiquity of bagpipesOffice of piper in old daysIn
the present dayLove of pipe music in GairlochSome old Gairloch bardsRuaridh
BreacThe English bardDuncan M'RaeRoderick Campbell, piper and
fiddlerThe Piobaire BanList of living Gairloch pipers.
Chapter XVII.Hereditary Pipers of the Gairloch Family
MackaysRorie Mackay, piper to John Roy MackenzieAlastair Breac, and his
son and grandsonHis brother DonaldJohn Mackay, the blind piper Taught
by the M'CrimmonsPiper to the two first baronets of GairlochHis
compositionsAnecdotes of his life with the M'CriminousHis songs and
poems Angus MackayPiper to Sir Alexander, third baronetMoladh MairiJohn
Mackay, piper to Sir HectorEmigrates to AmericaA splendid piperHis
Chapter XVIII.William Mackenzie and Malcolm Maclean
Mackenzie a catechistHis song to Balone's sisterHis song lampooning a
wedding partyHis consequent dismissalMalcolm Maclean a Notorious
bacchanalianHis beautiful daughterHis wife's resignation illustrated by
an anecdoteTranslation by Professor Blackie of his song to his daughter.
Chapter XIX.William Ross, the Gairloch Bard
a grandson of the "Blind piper"His youthHis travels Appointed
schoolmaster of GairlochDies youngMonument over his grave Estimate of
Chapter XX.Alexander Campbell, Bard to Sir Hector
Buidhe's ancestry and youthAppointed ground-officer and bard to Sir
HectorInstructed to remove the roof from a defaulting tenant's houseHis
prudent artifice approved by Sir HectorDr Mackenzie's recollections of
Alastair as bardHis bad health, and deathHis characterHis friendship
with William RossHis descendantsHis poetry highly appreciated.
Chapter XXI.Alexander Grant, the Great Bard of Slaggan
ancestryHis enormous stature and strengthHis appearance, portrait, and
poetryReputed to have second-sightAnecdoteSandy Grant discovers cheeses
stolen in Loch CarronHis descendants.
Chapter XXII.John Mackenzie of the "Beauties."
ancestry and youthHis mechanical skillAn accident disables him Collects
Gaelic poemsDevotes himself to literary workList of beoks he
translatedKnown as a poet and piperAnecdote of his humourBuys a ship
and her cargoGives up the bargainMonument to his memory.
Chapter XXIII.Living Gairloch Bards
Mackenzie, of ObanDuncan Mackenzie, the Kenlochewe bard Short memoirHis
poetryHis epithalmium on the marriage of Sir Kenneth
MackenzieTranslation of it by Professor BlackieAlexander Cameron, the
Tournaig bardHis song in praise of TournaigEnglish translation by Mr W.
C. GoodAlexander BainHis elegy on the late Dr KennedyEnglish
Chapter XXIV.The Poolewe Artist
Paucity of art
in GairlochFinlay MackinnonHis characteristicsHis yearning for art as a
young boyAssisted by Mr Davis, R.A., and othersHis watercolour sketches.
Chapter XXV.James Mackenzie's Gairloch Stories
of James MackenzieWilliam Roy Mackenzie and the excisemanKenneth and
John Mackenzie of Rona and the press-gangJohn M'Gregor of Londubh escapes
from the press-gang, but is killed by a fall over a rockMurdo Mackenzie,
or Murdo's son, marries Lord Breadalbane's daughter and takes possession
of a lugger full of smuggled spiritAnecdote of Sir Hector Mackenzie and
M'Leod of Raasay's boatMackenzie of Kernsary and James Mackenzie's
grandfatherThe whale in Loch Ewe drowns three menA story of Rob DonnThe
Loch Broom herring fisheryThe other Rob Roy Macgregor and the Dundonnell
estatesCases of drowning in Loch MareeHector Mackenzie, William Urquhart
and his son, and Kenneth MackenzieA Kenlochewe man rolls
overboardKenneth Mackenzie and Gregor Macgregor carried down by the
Talladale riverJohn M'RyrieKenneth UrquhartSandy MackenzieThe
Stornoway packet and the whaleWreck of M'Callum's schooner at MelvaigA
sea captain buried in Isle EweThe loss of the " Glenelg "Wreck of the "
Helen Marianne " of CampbeltownWreck of the "Lord Molyneux" of
LiverpoolJohn Macdonald, the drover of Loch MareeThe murder of Grant,
the peddler, by M'Leod, who is at length hungDeath of the Shieldaig
shoemaker and his companions at Lochinver.
III.Natural History of Gairloch
Chapter I.Physical Features
boundaries of GairlochSea-boardLong valley bisecting the parish Ranges
and groups of mountainsIslands in the seaFresh-water lochsRivers
WoodsCavesWaterfallsThe Steall a MhuinidhVictoria FallsLetterewe
waterfallKerry fallsFlowerdale waterfallsScenic beauties.
Chapter II.Climate and Weather
climate of north-west HighlandsChangeable weatherSir G. S. Mackenzie on
the climateDr Mackenzie on the old-fashioned summersFormer abundance of
nutsStrawberries on 4th June, also cherriesShort summer nightsAurora
borealisRarity of intense frostsSpring mist presages snowA hard
winterSunsets from the Gairloch HotelCloudscapesColouring of
Chapter III.Anecdotes and Notes
formerly rare in Gairloch, now plentiful, and vice versdDr Mackenzie's
remarks on this pointEagles in GairlochAnecdote of Craig-Tollie eagle
and roe deerConfirmation from Martin's bookAlso from story of Kirghiz
eagles, &c. Anecdote of Kenlochewe eagle and the catSubject of a
well-known Gaelic riddle Eagle at TalladaleTwo-and-a-half brace of
eagles killed in Gairloch before breakfastSea-gullsHow they were driven
from Eilean RuaridhSounds of various birds at InveranInsectsMidges and
waspsHer Majesty's remarks on themRhyme on midgesPreventive
measuresOther insectsAnimals in generalVerminMarten's furWild
catsWild cat in Loch Tollie island Highland cattleGoatsPonies.
Chapter IV.Lower Forms of Life
lifeLuminosity of footprints on boggy groundReptilesFreshwater
fishShellsMolluscsThe spout fishHow to take itSea anemones Love of
flowers Localities recommended to botanistsGrassesMosses LichensList
of a fewSeaweedsFungiConclusion.
Chapter V.Mammals of Gairloch
Gairloch mammals, with notesNotes on Arctic fox in Gairloch and
Chapter VI.Birds of Gairloch
Gairloch birds, with notes.
Chapter VII.Flowering Plants of Gairloch
imperfectA word to visitorsDestruction of plants by sheepBouquets of
wild flowersSeasons for themRarer plantsList of flowering plants.
Chapter VIII.Shells of Gairloch, by Rev. John M'Murtrie, M.A.
Paper by Rev.
John M'Murtrie, M.A., on "Springtide at Gairloch, a Study of small Shells
"Appendix, with list of shells.
Chapter IX.The Geology of Loch Maree and Neighbourhood, by William Jolly,
controversyAttack by eminent geologistsOthers enter the lists Prospect
of early peaceConditions of the problem well exhibited round Loch Maree
Succession of rocksHebridean gneissTorridon red sandstone QuartziteIts
annelid boringsIts fucoid remainsLimestoneThe "Logan" rockThe eastern
gneissThe controversyOther noteworthy geological phenomenaFaultsGlaciationDenudationRock
junctionsThe valley of the hundred hillsCurious impressions on Torridon
sandstone near Talladale The Fionn and Dubh lochThe Trias at Loch
Chapter X.Minerals of Gairloch, by Professor W. Ivison Macadam, F.C.S.,
F.I.C., M.M.S., &c, Edinburgh.
minerals and localities.
IV.Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree.
Chapter I.Gairloch of the Present Day
No town in
GairlochList of townships or hamletsMinisters and services-Free churches
and ministersSchoolsSchool BoardTable of Schools, with average
attendanceList of school teachersSide schoolsSchool rateObstacles to
regular attendanceAnnual inspectionsRegistrar of Births, Deaths, and
MarriagesPauperismPoor-ratesPauper lunaticsMedical officerThe county
roadPrivate roadsPolicemenJustices of the PeaceLicensed houses Postal
SteamersRifle corpsIts three sectionsPrincipal houses in Gairloch
Poolewe Public Hall.
Chapter II.Approaches and Roads
AchnasheenFrom Loch CarronFrom Loch TorridonFrom GruinardBy steamerBy
boat from UllapoolOn footMain road maintained by the countyPrivate
roadsLoch Maree a highway.
Chapter III.Achnasheen to Kenlochewe
Skye railwayThe Gairloch mail-carNatural terraces like railway
embankmentsLoch RosqueRemains of ancient ironworksThe Clach an t'
Shagart at Bad a MhanaichLuibmhor in GairlochView of Scuir MhullinPersistent
inquirerHill resembling a profileGlen DochartieView of Loch MareeTrysting-placeMore
old ironworksView of Beinn Eay KenlocheweHugh Miller on this nameKenlochewe
village and hotelCul-inellan churchyardThe Cnoc a ChrochadairAth nan
ceannTwo routes to Gairloch.
Chapter IV.Kenlochewe to Talladale
Leitire woodsRu NoharUmbrella-like firsHer Majesty's description of the
roadGlen GrudidhOld fir treesEilean GrudidhWild stretch of road
described by Her MajestyHamlet of TalladaleThe Loch Maree
HotelAccommodationAnglingVisit of Her MajestyCommemorative Gaelic
inscription on a boulderEnglish translation.
Chapter V.Talladale to the Gairloch Hotel
woodsThe Victoria FallsGaravaig ironworksSlatadale farmOld road to
west of Craig TollieView of the islands of Loch Maree Feur lochLoch Bad
na SgalaigKerry fallsKerry bridgeHer Majesty's interview with Lews'
people hereKerrysdale HouseResort of fairiesCharlestonFlowerdale
HousePort na heileThe GairlochEstablished church The Leabaidh na Ba
BaineGairloch churchyardOld ironworksMonument to John Mackenzie of the
" Beauties"The CrasgThe Cnoc a CroicheThe Gairloch Hotel
Accommodation and arrangementSea-bathingBoating-AnglingFine view.
Chapter VI.The Gairloch Hotel to Poolewe
of Strath and the hills of SkyeDeep gorgeGeikie on geology of a curious
hillThe Shoe-stoneFuneral heapsLochan nan Airm The GlenCraig Bhadain
an AiscBlar na FalaLoch TollieIts crannog Surroundirfg hillsDistant
viewsOld roadView of Loch MareeBeinn Aridh CharrSpidean MoirichCroft
BraeHamlet of CroftCeann a Chro, or Cruive EndThe StillThe Hill of
evil counselThe Trossachs of Loch MareePoolewe villageThe churchThe
innPool HouseOther housesLondubhThe Inverewe burial-ground.
Chapter VII.Poolewe to Aultbea
House and gardensDescription from the limes Loch nan DailtheanTournaigThe
Dowager Lady Mackenzie's residenceDescription of the garden from the
TimesCoile AigeascaigMac Gille Riabhaich s caveBleeding living cattleTournaig
farmLoch Toumaig DunanThe road ascendsViewsDrumchorkAultbeaTownshipsHouses
Chapter VIII.Excursions from Kenlochewe
DrivesExpedition to Loch TorridonCromasaigFe LeoidLoch Clair'Maelrubha's
seatCam AnthonyCoire Cheud CnocPrecipices of Liathgach Her Majesty's
remarksSguir DubhLochan an FheidhLoch Torridon VillageMr Darroch and
Torridon HousePloc of TorridonThe heights of KenlocheweGlen Cruaidh
ChoillieGlen na MuicExcursions on foot by the path on the east side of
Loch MareeExcursions on Loch Maree.
Chapter IX.Excursions from Talladale
walksExpeditions on Loch MareeThe steamerBoats.
Chapter X.Excursions from Gairloch
The south side
of GairlochShieldaigLeac nan SaigheadBadachroLoch Bad na h* AchlaisPort
HendersonOpinanCaveSouth ErradaleAncient ironworksPointViewsNorth
side of GairlochAchtercairnStrathCam DeargLittle Sand farmBig
SandIron furnaceNorth ErradaleWonderful cavePeterburnAltgreshanMelvaigThe
LeacRudha ReidhStac Buidhe Other drivesTour of Loch MareeBoating
expeditionsWalksGeikie on geological features.
Chapter XI.Excursions from Poolewe
West side of
Loch EweCliff HouseCuil an ScardainBoorViewsNaast InverasdaleBraeMidtownCoastBoard
schoolFiremore Telegraph to StornowayMeallan na GhamhnaCavesLoch a
Druing woodsCoveThe villageThe caveNatural archFionn Loch
excursionCraig an Fhithich Inveran wood and farmInveran riverLoch
KernsaryInnis a BhairdKern-sary farmFionn LochFine viewOther
excursions by roadWalksCraig Bhan.
Chapter XII.Excursions from Aultbea
CharlesCuilchonichBual na luibMellon CharlesMellon Ud-rigilLaideThe
Loch of the BeastSecond CoastOld church of SandSandy beachCurious
rocksFirst Coast and Second CoastMill BayCadha Beag Little GruinardFisherfieldMeikle
Gruinard riverExcursions by water.
Chapter XIII.Excursion by Steamer on Loch Maree
Road to north
end of Loch MareeOpinions of the sceneryLeading characteristicsTollie
pierFox PointClearness of waterSweetheart's stepping-stonesFhridh
DhorchArdlairCave of the king's sonThe minister's stone Clach a
MhailUamh a MhailRudha ChailleachThe white horseThe Bull rockThe cave
of goldGold mining in ScotlandMountainsLetterewe Limestone
quarryWaterfallFurnace Innis GhlasCoppachyRegoilachy SliochCladh
nan SasunnachFasaghTaganRu NoharUndercliffs of Meall a GhiubhaisWoods
of Glas LeitireView of Glen Grudidh Aid na h' Eigheamh Isle MareeWhittier's
versesEilean SuthainnEilean Dubh na Sroine Garbh EileanEilean RuaridhThe
planted islandWild fowlTalladale SlatadaleDoireCraig TollieBay of
CorreeRudha Aird an AnailCave Heather burning.
Chapter XIV.The Fionn Loch and its Dubh Loch, by William Jolly
NameApproachesLoch KernsaryView of Fionn LochMountains
describedVisits to the lochLochanan BeannochBeinn Aridh CharrBlack-throated
diversBeinn LairNarrow glenOld hill fortCraig an Dubh Loch PegmatiteDubh
LochThunder showerIslandsBirdsMarten cats.
Chapter XV.Loch Gruinard, by William Jolly
EweMountain viewAultbeaMorainesSummer IslesDistant viewsOld
ChapelCavesModern Cave-dwellerGruinard HouseGruinard riverMountains
of Loch na Sheallag.
Chapter XVI.Angling in Sea Lochs
classes of anglersOutfit recommended--Two usual modes of sea
fishingTrolling for lytheArtificial sand-eelsHandline fishingScalps
Fishes capturedConger eelsLarge halibutLarge skate.
Chapter XVII.Angling in Loch Maree
fishingReserved waterSpecies of fishCharSalmonSea-trout Bull-troutFinnocksProperty
in salmon and sea-troutLarge brown trout Ferox not a separate
speciesVariations in troutSo-called ferox not worth eating Gizzard
Chapter XVIII.Angling in Fresh-water Lochs
requiredTrout scarcer than formerlyDr Mackenzie accounts for thisThe
tarry sheepFionn LochAngling deterioratedGood day's angling The Dubh
lochThree trout at a castBait fishing for troutLoch Kernsary CharChar
and trout, and pink and white-fleshed trout, indistinguishable to the
tasteBurn fishingBest time for trout fishingEelsPikeTheir
introduction described by Dr MackenzieRe-introduced in Sir Kenneth's
Chapter XIX.Salmon Angling
riversThe EweCruivesThe old cruive used for crossing the riverRoderick
Campbell and an American merchant drownedThe new cruive Gradual
diminution of stock of salmonLength of the EwePools on the east
sidePools on the other sideRuns of salmon and grilseKeltsBulltroutSea-troutLarge
salmonBest fliesDr Mackenzie's anecdote of Sir Humphrey DavyJohn
BrightOdd incidentsDamaged flySuccessful fishing after a friendHooking
a fish after losing anotherWas it a rise?Fish taking when line slack Kelt
caught twiceHolding on for five hoursAngler compared to the evil
oneWater-bailiffsJohn GlasSandy UrquhartHis loquacityFishing on the
EweTailing salmonSpiked glovesBags of salmon now and formerlySingular
mode of fishing by Sir HectorCharms of the Ewe Other salmon rivers in
Chapter XX.Deer Forests and Grouse Shooting
deerFree to roamAntiquity ofFormerly scarceMeaning of "forested"List
of deer forestsEstimated yield and stockStag seasonA "royal"Best
headsHindsDeer-stalkingGreat caution requiredStag hounds not much used
nowQuotation from John Taylor, the " Water-Poet "Present system of
letting deer forestsColonel Inge in GairlochMisconceptions with regard
to deer forestsOpinions of the Crofters CommissionDepopulation not due
to deer forestsDeer forests not suitable for occupation by crofters Loss
of mutton and wool insignificantDepredations by deer on crofters' crops
easily remediedDeterioration of pasture by deer not provedDemoralization
of gillies not due to forestsSummary of opinionsSubstantial benefits
conferred by deer forestsAfford employment to a greater extent than sheep
farmsRecommendation by CommissionersGrouse shootingGrouse not abundant
Disease infrequentLate birdsMixed bagsSeparate grouse shootings.
of Books and MSS. Quoted or Referred to
Authorities for Traditions, &c, embodied in this Book.
III. Population of Gairloch
Ministers of the parish of Gairloch
V. Lairds of Gairloch
Genealogical Account of the MacRas, by Rev. John Macrae, who died 1704.
B. Tour in Scotland by Thomas Pennant in 1772.
Account of Scotland, 1792.
D. Dr MacCulloch's
Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland, 181 to 1821
New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1836
Records of the Presbytery of Dingwall
Extracts relating to Sir George Hay and the Manufacture of Iron
Addenda on St Maelrubha, and Ecclesiastical History