TO the east of Cloichran lies
the twenty-pound land of Ardeonaig, which, with the exception of a portion
of the old commonty of Corryghavie, formed until recently a detached part of
the Parish of Killin, to which it was annexed in 1617, having prior to that
date constituted an independent parish. It is now in Kenmore parish.
At a very early period the
whole of the lands of Ardeonaig was in the possession of the old Earls of
Lennox. Duncan, the eighth Earl, had three daughters, the eldest of whom was
Isabella, Duchess of Albany, whose husband and two sons were executed at
Stirling in 1425. Margaret, the second daughter, married, in 1392, Sir
Robert Menteith of Rusky, by whom she had a son, Sir Murdoch. The latter had
by his wife, Christian Murray of Tullibardine, three children—a son,
Patrick, and two daughters, Agnes and Elizabeth. Patrick died without issue,
when the heirship of the lands of Lanarky and Rusky devolved on his two
sisters. They also succeeded to the lands of Ardeonaig, on the death of the
Duchess of Albany—their grand-aunt—when the Lennox Partition took place.
Napier of Merchiston married
Elizabeth, the younger daughter of Sir Murdoch Menteith, and through her
acquired the wester half of Ardeonaig, which comprehended the lands of
Tullichcan, the middle third of Ardeonaig, and the ten-merk land of the
wester half of the haugh, with the fishings in Loch Tay opposite these
lands. The Napiers were also proprietors of the barony of Edinbellie, to
which Wester Ardeonaig was annexed. In the Roll of the Landlords and Bailies
of 1587, the laird of Merchiston is mentioned. He was Sir Archibald Napier,
father of the celebrated inventor of logarithms, a portrait of whom hangs in
the Barons’ Hall at Taymouth Castle. An ancestor of his married Annabell,
daughter of Sir Duncan Campbell, second laird of Glenorchy. From the Napiers
the lands are said to have passed into the hands of a family of the name of
Macgregor, whose descendants held them until they were acquired by Alexander
Campbell, second son of Patrick Campbell of Mur-laganbeg and Edinchip.
This Patrick was a natural
son of Sir Duncan Campbell, seventh laird of Glenorchy, who bestowed on him
the two-merk land of Murlaganbeg in Glenlochay, which had formerly been in
the possession of a John Monteith. Sir Duncan afterwards, in 1620, conveyed
to him the eight-merk land of Edinchip in Balquhidder. Patrick held, under
his father, the office of forester of Mamlorn. In 1661, he was killed at
Ardeonaig in an encounter with a band of Macgregors. His eldest son, by his
wife, Grissil Campbell, daughter of the laird of Glenlyon, succeeded to
Murlaganbeg and Edinchip. The former property remained in his family till
1744, when it was disposed to Lord Glenorchy. Alexander, second son of
Patrick, was the first of the Campbells of Ardeonaig. He, also, married into
the Glenlyon family, his wife being a daughter of Captain Robert Campbell of
Glencoe notoriety. His eldest son, Colin, about 1720, succeeded as second
laird of Ardeonaig. He married Catherine, daughter of Campbell of Duneaves,
by whom he had six sons1
‘Colin’s eldest son, John,
became a captain in the army. He married Alice, daughter and heiress of
Campbell of Kilpunt. She had two sisters of whom Elizabeth, the younger, was
twice married, her first husband having and two daughters. He appears to
have got into monetary difficulties, and had to dispose of his lands. This
was sometime previous to 1734, in which year Wester Ardeonaig came into the
Breadalbane family, having been excambed by Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine,
the then proprietor, for the lands of Achacha, Achinryer, and others in
Argyllshire, up till then in the possession of the Earl of Breadalbane, who
retained the superiority of them.
The following is a list of
the old names of the different possessions in Wester Ardeonaig :—Wester and
Easter Tullichcan, Cromaltan, Blarnadark, Croftshennach, Croftnacabber,
Croftna-beallie, Craggan, Dalcroy, Ballinloan, Balinaw, Mains, Margdow,
Nether Tombane, Bealloch, Upper Tombane, Braentrian, Leck-eorn, and Newton.
The mansion of the property
was called Mains Castle, and stood on the holding of that name. From what
remains of it, it does not appear to have been a large structure. We have no
account of the founder, but in all probability the last occupant had been
Colin Campbell, the second and last laird of his family, after whose time
the castle had been allowed to fall into decay, and most of the stones
removed and used in the erection of other been Ewen or Hugh Campbell,1 a
brother of Colin. John acquired the small estate of Lochend on the Lake of
Menteith, to which his son, also named John, succeeded. The latter served
for a time in the Royal Marines, and was afterwards appointed Chamberlain on
the Nether Lorn estates of the Earl of Breadalbane. Having sold Lochend, he
purchased Kinlochlaich in Appin, which was thenceforth called Lochend after
his former property. He left a number Of descendants.
Mrs. Campbell, Boreland farm,
Fearnan, who is descended from a younger son of Alexander, first laird of
Ardeonaig, has in her possession the charm stone of that family. It is oval
in shape, and has a reddish mottled appearance. It was believed to possess a
talismanic power of warding off and curing bodily diseases.
“Kenmore, April 22, 1739.
This day there was eighteen pence Given into the Box for the use of the
Mortcloath To the funerals of Hugh Campbell, brother German to Coline
Campbell Late of Ardeonaig, who died at Chestell in Glenlyon, & was Interred
at fortingall yesterday, a poor Gentleman.” (Kenmore Kirk Session Records
buildings in the vicinity. The garden and orchard lay betwixt the castle and
the burn of Ardeonaig. Close by there are some very old elm, ash, and
The old commonty of
Corryghavie above alluded to, lies in the parish of Comrie. It was held in
common by the tenants of Wester Ardeonaig and Derry on Lochearnside, but
disputes having arisen regarding the pasturage, it was divided between the
proprietors of these lands, and the northern portion was added to the hill
grazing of Newton.
Agnes, the elder daughter of
Sir Murdoch Menteith, was married to Sir John Haldane, of Gleneagles, who by
his wife, succeeded to the easter half of the lands of Ardeonaig, with
fishings in Loch Tay, and the right of patronage of the church, by turns.
About 1612, Sir James Campbell, of Lawers, acquired Easter Ardeonaig, by
purchase from James Haldane, and thenceforth the lands were annexed to the
barony of Lawers. Towards the end of that century they came into the
possession of the first Earl of Breadalbane.
Described as the ten-pound
land of Easter Ardeonaig, the property embraces the lands of Succoch,
Finglenhaugh, Led-chraggan, and the twenty-shilling land of Carie. These
lands have for a number of years back been merged into two farms, but were
formerly divided into the following possessions:— Tomour, Succoch, Finglen,
Tynaline, Twenty-shilling land, Led-chraggan, and Margnadallich alias Dali,
Croftdunard, Margmore, Margbeg, Margnacranag, Licknie, and Aldvine (Allt
Mheine) croft. The last five constituted the Twenty-shilling land of Carie.
The meal mill of the property in Finglen is still worked.
The old church of Ardeonaig,
situated within the burying ground in Twenty-shilling land, was called Cill
ma Charmaig. Only the east gable of it is now standing. The stone font which
belonged to it is preserved within the graveyard. Considering the antiquity
of the place, the latter contains few tombstones, none of which bear dates
prior to the middle of last century. For sometime after the Reformation, the
parishes of Kenmore, Ardeonaig, Killin, and Strathfillan were under the
charge of one minister.