The town name
thought to be from the Gaelic “Crubha Cnoic” (slope on a hill) which of course
perfectly describes the location. In 1199 it was referred to as Cref and
the town itself sits on the precise physical and cultural boundary between the
Highlands and the Lowlands. In 1513 at the battle of Flodden Field there
were very few Crieff families who did not loose men folk amongst those who did
not return. During the next 100 years the town developed as a market town
with the Highlanders coming South using the now forgotten drover roads through
the hills to a natural crossroads at Crieff to buy and sell their cattle.
The economy flourished. The great Michaelmas cattle fair held each year
acted as a gathering point for drovers bringing upwards of 30,000 beasts.
At times the number arriving turned the surrounding hills black. In 1716
after the Battle of Sheriffmuir 350 returning Highlanders burned most of the
town in revenge for its Pro Government sympathies. In the years that
followed and up to the 1745 uprising the town was in the middle of an uneasy
peace. At one time Rob Roys outlaw son was chased through the streets by
soldiers and killed. During the October markets the town turned into a
prototype American Wild West Town with milling cattle, horse thieves, bandits
and drunken drovers. In February 1746 the Jacobite army supporting the
young pretender “Bonnie Prince Charlie” was quartered in and around the town.
It is said the Prince held his final war council in the Old Drummond Arms Inn in
James Square (site of the present hotel) he also had his horse shod in the
blacksmiths shop in King Street now the site of the police station. The
times following the Princes defeat at Culloden where hard and by 1792 the
Anglicisation of the area was complete with the main language in the town being
English. By 1830 the population had doubled and when the railways came in
1856 the town was the second largest in Perthshire. Today a town of some
6,000 people with tourism being a large contributor to the local economy.
The famous Glenturret distillery is situated just a few miles out of town and
the Crieff visitor centre still giving a welcome to many thousands of visitors
Church of the HOLY
The Parish Church of Stirling dates back to the 15th Century.
It was built on the command of James IV and without doubt one of the finest
Medieval Churches in Scotland. The roof is made of oak and the original,
it has witnessed the crowning of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543 and the coronation
of her infant son James VI in 1567. The organ is exceptional and is
reputed to be the largest in Scotland. What is now the Kirkyard was once
the castles tilting ground where great tournaments where held. Checking
closely some of the grave stones, yes they are bullet holes dating back many
centuries to sieges and battles gone by.
Royal Burgh on the North shore of the Firth of Forth. A time capsule of 16th
17th Century life, small cobbled streets and white washed houses.
Preserved by the National Trust of Scotland.
Its steep narrow streets should be explored on foot. Restored cottages,
Bishop Leightons house, the old Mercat (market ) Cross in the tiny square.
The Cistercian Abbey standing above the village, founded in 1217 by Malcolm Earl
of Fife. It is thought a Religerous building has stood here since the 6th
Century when legend has it that the Mother of St Mungo (patron Saint of Glasgow)
was washed up on the beach at Culross the eve before his birth. Her rescuer was
St Serf and the Abbey was dedicated to his memory.
Kentigern, popularly called
St Mungo was born tradition says on the shore near to Culross. Here he was
bought up by St Serf and trained in the priesthood. He was extremely popular and
eventually was chosen by King and people to be their Bishop. He was
visited by St Columba
and during his life it is recorded he travelled to Cumbria, the Lake District
and St Asaph in North Wales. The date of his death is written as 13th
Culross Palace The Palace/House was built between 1597 & 1611 for Sir George Bruce and is a superb example of medieval design featuring original decorative painted woodwork and original interiors from that period. The rooms are furnished in original traditional 17th & 18th Century furniture and decorative items.
ancient Douglas stronghold and Dumfriesshire home of the Duke of Buccleuch &
Queensferry. The Dukes have a family tree extending back to the 12
Century. A Charter of 1356 revels that the Barony of Drumlanrig was
originally a property of the Earls of Mar. A fascinating history surrounds
the family and castle. William Douglas took more than 10 years (1679-1691)
to build the present house which is superimposed on the original 14th/15th
Century Douglas stronghold. The castle is built of local pink sandstone
and is situated on a hill at the end of a long ridge. Set in rolling hills
and woodlands with views across the Nithsdale the castle is a part of the
Queensberry estate owned by the Duke.
The Capital of Scotland, with origins in the Iron Age. Although Edinburgh
did not become the capital until the 12th Century the history of the city is
really moulded around one street, The Royal mile. At the foot lies
Holyrood House, still a royal palace today, where Mary queen of Scots lived and
where Bonnie Prince Charlie had a brief triumph of his celebration ball after
capturing Edinburgh in the 1745 rebellion. At its head the castle towers
on its great rock. Between the two, the royal mile winds its way along the
spine of the rock with its pre 18th century Edinburgh, tall, many storied houses
clinging to the steep hillside. Yet Edinburgh is not just about history,
the new town is just as picturesque with wide streets and crescents. With
princes street flanked by gardens on the south being described by many as one of
Europe's finest thoroughfares. The ladies will find Edinburgh's Shops just
Edinburgh Castle The Oldest
part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel built early in the 12th Century.
Apart from this we know very little about the early buildings on the site.
We do know that the castle walls began to take their present form from about
1356. Since then many additions and changes have taken place.
The ancient borough of Falkland clings to the lower slopes of the Lomond Hills
as it looks out over the Howe of Fife, once a Royal forest and the home of wild
boar and deer. The high street is lined with quaint old stone houses and
beyond the market square the high street meanders into a narrow winding lane as
it climbs the wooded slopes of East Lomond Law.
The magnificent Royal Palace was built in the 15th/16th Centuries as a hunting
lodge of the Stuarts. It was a particular favourite of James V who died
here in 1542. His daughter Mary Queen of Scots stayed many times and spent
much time walking in the Gardens. The buildings are compact and ornate
with thick walls and heavily barred windows as a precaution against attack.
The gardens are laid out to the original 17th century Royal plans, adjoining
them the Royal tennis court, the oldest tennis court in Britain, Built in 1539.
Falls of Dochart
Dramatic waterfalls rushing through the centre of this picturesque highland
village. On the Island of Inchbuie on the river is the burial ground of
Firth of Forth
plied across the water here for at least 900 years, since the days of Queen
Margaret, Wife of Malcolm III (1057-1093) when she regularly travelled between
Edinburgh and her Palace at Dunfermline. The first bridge built was the
rail bridge in 1890 cost £3.2 million. At the time it was the largest
bridge in the world, incorporating over 54,000 tons of steel. The surface
area is so large (45 acres) the painting alone never stops. When you
finish at one end you start again at the other. It is 2,765yds in length.
Scotlands Capital in the West, Founded by Kentigen (popularly Called Mungo)
in 543 when he built a small church in a place called Glasgu (meaning beloved
green place) The Cathedral was built in the 12th Century and the second
university, in Scotland, after St. Andrews in the 15th Century gave credibility.
It was made a Royal Burgh in 1454. Commercial prosperity dates back to the
17th Century when the port of Glasgow (on the Clyde) became a major importer of
Cotton, Tobacco and Sugar from the Americas. As a major port heavy
industry followed in the form of ship building and Glasgow became one of the
Great Industrial centres of the World. In the Later part of the 20th
Century the decline in heavy industry has the life of the city hard.
Modernisation is taking place and much of the old city is being cleared away.
Scotlands oldest whisky distillery established in 1775, using cool clear
water drawn from the turret burn high on Bechonzie. Using local
ingredients the whisky is made from the "Pot still process" slowly, patiently
and in small quantities, a tradition unchanged since the 18th Century.
St. Mary's, Grandtully
The church was
endowed by Alexander Stuart in 1533. But it was Sir William Stuart in 1636
who added the remarkable coloured, wooden ceiling. This is sub divided
into 29 panels illustrating texts from the bible and the coats of arms of the
Stuarts. The church was used until 1892 when part of it was used as a
barn. In 1954 the entire building was given to the state and it has been
wonderfully preserved. The ceiling is still quite remarkable.
Gretna Green In times past young English Lovers would elope across the border to be married by the village blacksmith, since upto 1940 Scots Law allowed couples over 16 to marry without their parents consent. The smithy still celebrates those times.
on the site of a former Monastery the Kirk was opened in 1620, the first to be
built in Edinburgh after the reformation. The national covenant was signed
here in 1638. The churchyard contains probably the finest collection of 17th
Century memorials in the city. One of them is to William Adam father of
the great family of architects. But the most famous of all is just outside
the actual churchyard, at the top of Candlemakers Row. A statue of
Greyfriars Bobby, a small dog who watched over the grave of his master the
shepherd Kohn Gray for 14 years. The venue is used extensively throughout
the year for recitals and is much in demand during the fringe period.
on the Western slopes of Loch Fyne a perfect example of a well planned 18th
Century Scottish Town. The new town was built on the remains of a
old fishing village which the Duke of Argyll head of the famous
decided to pull down in 1745. It is said it blocked the view, from his
castle, of the Loch. What we now have is an elegant Royal Burgh with wide
streets and well proportioned whitewashed houses a set piece of Scottish
Georgian architecture reflected in the still waters of the Loch. Two
Churches in the town, the Parish Church built in 1794 is divided into two so
that services could be held in both Gaelic and English. The other Church
is the Episcopalian Church of All Saints built in 1886 which has a bell tower
with the second heaviest ring of ten bells in the world. Each one is named
after a Saint and inscribed on the bell.
less than a mile off the Southwest tip of Mull it is an Island approx 3 miles in
length and approx 1 mile in width at its widest point. It has been a place
of Christian worship for maybe 1400 years and a place of Pilgrimage for
centuries due to the association of the Isle with St Columba. Iona`s
oldest remaining building is St Orans chapel which lies at the very centre of
Iona`s sacred burial ground. A cemetery said to contain the remains of
over 60 Kings of Norway, Ireland, and Scotland including Duncan and Macbeth.
St Columba arrived in Iona during the year 563 with 12 loyal monks after being
exiled from Ireland. He died in 597 and history books tell us very little
about his life except he became a cult figure. In the Sixth and Seventh
Centuries Iona became a place of importance establishing a specifically Celtic
Christian tradition. From here missionaries where sent out to many parts
of Scotland and Northern England with Iona becoming a very respected seat of
learning and artistry. The famous book of Kells (illuminated manuscript
now kept in Trinity College Dublin) was produced here. So what caused the
demise of this established community of Celtic Christianity and tradition.
Three major theories conclude to offer the following reasons: A series of
Viking raids culminating in the massacre of 68 monks on the sands of martyrs bay
in 806. Pressure form the established church beginning with the Synod of
Whitby in 664 which choose Rome over the Celtic Church. Suppression of the
Celtic Church by King David in 1144. In 1203 Iona became a part of the
mainstream church and both a Augustinian Nunnery and a Benedictine Monastery
where founded on the site. During the reformation the entire complex was
ransacked. Then in 1899 the owner of the island the 8th Duke of
Argyll donated the Abbey and buildings to the Church of Scotland. The
modern resurgence began in 1938 under George Mcleod a Minister from Glasgow who
established a new community on the island. This has grown to be a mixed
community retreat with the entire abbey complex now looked after and
administered by historic Scotland. The island itself except for the church
buildings is looked after by the National Trust of Scotland.
Island of mull
The wettest of the Hebrides Islands this gives the natural moreland of heather
an almost bleak and unwelcoming feel on a grey day. But seen on a fine day
the island is one of the most beautiful of the Inner Hebrides Islands. It
is certainly the largest. It is also easy to reach from Oban just a ferry
crossing of 45minutes.
Settlement was established here in 854 by the Bishop of Lindisfarne. For
Centuries up to the 17th Century its position as a border town put it firmly in
the firing line of the national battles and border raids that took place at that
time. Mary Queen of Scots stayed at a house in the town in 1566.
Other famous people to have stayed in the town include Bonny Prince Charlie in
1745, Robert Burns in 1787 and Sir Walter Scott who Practised in the local
by David I in 1138. It accommodated an Augustine order from France.
Malcolm IV was crowned here in 1153 and Alexander III married his second wife
here. With its position in border country it was repeatedly sacked by the
English armies on their way North to fight the Scots. So by 1545 much of
the Abbey was in ruins. The visitor centre explains much more and shows
found during excavations.
The Town enjoys a superb setting sitting at the end of a bay sheltered by the
island of Kerrera. A natural harbour. Today is a town of some 8,000 people
but just 130 years ago little more than a village. Then came the railways.
Tourists, rich businessmen from Glasgow flocked in building Great Victorian and
Edwardian villas and local people began to cater for this influx. Today it
is the gateway to the Western Isles with local ferries plying their trade to
such wonderful sounding places Lismore, Colonsay, Barra, South Uist and of
course Mull. The town has two Cathedrals, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of
St Columba, a 20th Century granite building and the Cathedral
of St John the divine built in the 19th Century. However the town is
dominated by McCaigs Tower a vast Colosseum of a building started in 1897 by
Oban banker John Stuart McCaig. He wanted to establish a museum and art
gallery but he died before completion. Today it stands empty except for a
garden but does provide a wonderful seaward panorama especially at sunset.
Anyone fancying a walk could climb up in about ten minutes but it is a very
stiff walk. If you fancy a wee dram then do take a tour of the Oban
distillery in the centre of the town in George Street. During the Second
World War Oban and the bay were used as a base for the Flying Boats that
searched the North Atlantic for U boats and Search & Rescue
Englands newest City, lying on the river Forth and dominated by the Castle.
An ancient Royal Burgh and of great strategic importance during medieval times,
commanding as it did the first point at which the Forth could be bridged.
The castle dominating the place which was the natural route between central and
northern Scotland. Hence becoming the scene of more than one major battle
between the olde enemy England. The Defeat of the Jacobites in 1215,
William Wallace and his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and
Robert the Bruce and his victory in 1314 over Edward II at Bannockburn.
The first evidence of buildings is a wooden fortification possibly dating
back to the 11th Century. What we see today is 13/14/15th Century.
Portcullis House from the Late 15th Century, The Royal Apartments from the early
16th Century. The Douglas garden where William 8th Earl of Douglas was murdered
and his body flung from the ramparts by order of the young James II (1430-1460).
The Superb defensive position gives excellent views of the town and countryside
around, It was often a place of refuge for Scottish Monarchs when Edinburgh fell
into enemy Hands. From the ramparts the sites of seven battles can be
seen. Time and again the castle was besieged relieved and then besieged
again during the Scottish struggle with the English. Mary Queen of Scots
spent some of her Childhood here, her Coronation took place in the Chapel Royal
in 1543. Her son the future James VI was also baptised in the Castle.
Some historians believe the earliest settlement in St Andrews, maybe during the
8th Century was in the area of All Saints Church, possibly a fisher settlement
built inland from a fortified area on the headland (later the castle). The
earliest recorded use of the name "St Andrews" was in the 12th Century when
again mention was made of the "fisher settlement. Much of the pale grey
and golden stone used to build the old houses in the town was taken from what
was the largest Cathedral in Scotland, now a majestic ruin on the Eastern edge
of the town. Besides it stands the 12th Century St Rules Tower named after
the Saint who according to legend was shipwrecked here in the 8th Century
carrying the bones of the Apostle St Andrew. Crosses in the cobbled
streets mark the sites where martyrs were burned at the stake. On the
Western side of the town stands the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The
Senior golf club in the world with the responsibility for determining the rules
of the game. Beside the links, the West sands stretch for over 2 miles.
St Johns Kirk
A church surrounded on all sides by history and the presence of famous people.
The earliest reference to the Church came in 1128 but the actually Kirk was not
consecrated until 1242. Most of the present building dates
back to the 15th Century and it was during this period that the Quire
was completed. John Knox preached a very fiery sermon on “idolatry” in May 1559
in St Johns. King Charles 1st worshipped in the church in 1633 and
his son King Charles II in 1650. Bonnie Prince Charlie also came here to worship
Tarbet Small village sitting on the banks of Loch Lomond which is the largest stretch of fresh water in Britain (approx 23miles long and in places 5 miles wide with a maximum depth of approx 600 ft) famous for the ballad "Bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond". The Western shore is busy from tourist traffic but the Eastern shore is more tranquil, ideal; for walking and appreciating the natural beauty of the loch
Situated just 2 miles out of town overlooking the scene of his greatest victory
against the English, a Tower 220ft high and reached by 246 steps celebrates one
of Scotlands greatest heroes and freedom fighters. Built in 1869. Born in
1267 he led his people to victory against an English army on the 11th September
1297 at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The English army had moved forward
and began crossing the river by the bridge, which afforded passage for only two
horsemen at a time. Dutifully the English men at arms crossed two by two
and once a reasonable proportion but by now means their whole strength had
reached the far bank the Scots pounced. The army was cut in two, one half
trying vainly to fight off the entire Scottish army while the other half tried
to reinforce it two by two. It is known that the majority that crossed the
river were killed. William Wallace was knighted and made Guardian of the
Scottish Kingdom. Wallace was eventually betrayed and executed in London
in 1305. However although he his described as a guerrilla fighter he was
eventually to become a national hero in Scotland.