ON the summit of Meilchan,
about three hundred yards off the main road between Rannoch and
Dalnacardoch, is to be found a cave, where the bonnie but unfortunate
Prince Charles Edward Stuart is said to have lurked previous to his
embarkation for France. After the terrible massacre on Culloden (locally
better known by the name of Drumossie) Moor, he wandered through the
Highlands like a hare before the hounds. Pursued by the terrible
sleuth-hounds of the Duke of Cumberland, he experienced many hair’s-breadth
escapes, and was several times on the point of being captured. But it is
unnecessary for me here to dwell upon the unlucky prince’s many
adventures. Enough to say that, hard pressed and hunted as he was, he
succeeded in eluding his enemies, and the following year escaped to
France. Over the length and breadth of Scotland the name of "Bonnie
Prince Charlie" is a household word; and over all Albyn his fame is
handed down in song and in story.
Prince Charlie’s cave
is situated on the summit of a small green hillock, and is composed of
solid limestone rock. It is rather a difficult and hazardous matter to
obtain access to it, the mouth of the cavern being flooded with water,
and the arched entrance exceedingly low.
So far as I understand,
the cave has never yet been explored, although its exploration has
several times been attempted; the last occasion being about twelve or
fourteen years ago.
A young gentleman, a
member of a shooting-party, then volunteered to enter it; and, with that
object in view, started to creep on hands and knees into the cavern.
His exit was more rapid
than his entrance, and he made his reappearance before his companions,
pale and trembling. On being asked what he had heard or seen, he
declared that he had beheld, crouching at the further end of the cave,
the figure of a tall, lean man, dressed in the Highland garb; who had
appeared to threaten him should he offer to penetrate further into the
Tradition says the cave
possesses more than one entrance,—the other being away in the
direction of Loch Chon. Situated as it is, on mossy and treacherous
ground, very few people trouble to visit the spot, notwithstanding the
amount of interest which clings to it.