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Tilt, Glen

A distinctive long U-shaped valley of highland Perth and Kinross Council Area, Glen Tilt carries the waters of the River Tilt in a southwesterly direction to Blair Atholl, where the Tilt merges with the River Garry. Glen Tilt provides an important routeway through the Grampian Mountains to Deeside.

In 1785, the geologist James Hutton (1726-97) found evidence here of the molten nature of granite, injected into pre-existing metamorphosed sandstone. Glen Tilt also became the focus of one of the most celebrated legal cases in the history of Rights of Way in Scotland. In 1847, John Hutton Balfour (1808-84), Professor of Botany at the University of Edinburgh, led a party of students into the glen to undertake fieldwork and was confronted by the landowner, George Murray the 6th Duke of Atholl (1814-64), and his ghillies who refused access. The case was eventually settled in Balfour's favour, with the House of Lords determining that a traditional and well-established route ran through the glen.

Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) passed through Glen Tilt in 1844 on her way to Balmoral Castle, and followed this route several times subsequently.

Balfour was at the centre of a notable legal case relating to the right of access in the Scottish countryside when the Duke of Atholl and his ghillies blocked access to Balfour and his students who were doing fieldwork in Glen Tilt. The case established the role of the Scottish Rights of Way Society (now ScotWays) as the defender of public access.


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