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St Fillan's Priory


(St Fillan's Church)

A ruined small religious house lying next to Kirkton Farm, on the left bank of the River Fillan, 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Tyndrum and 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Crianlarich, St. Fillan's Priory (or St. Fillan's Church) was established by Robert the Bruce in 1318 close to the site of an older foundation. St. Fillan had brought Christianity from Iona in the 8th century and created a monastic settlement at nearby Auchtertyre. Following his defeat at the Battle of Methven in 1306, Bruce was granted sanctuary at the old chapel here. In gratitude gave land to build a new foundation, and the church at Killin, to the Augustinian monks of Inchaffray Abbey on condition they maintain the new priory.

Alistair MacDougall, seeking revenge for Bruce's murder of John Comyn, tracked down Bruce and his men to the priory. A battle ensued in a nearby field, now known as Dalrigh (the King's Field) in which Bruce and his men fought bravely against greatly superior numbers before being forced to flee. In retreat, Bruce's men threw their heavy arms into the tiny Lochan nan Arm, where they are thought to remain to this day.

By 1607 the priory had become the property of the Campbells. Little remains of the building as the stones were quarried to construct the neighbouring farmhouse and its outbuildings. A half-mile (0.8 km) to the northwest is St. Fillan's Holy Pool, which was blessed by the saint and said to cure insanity.


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