Glen Dochart

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Dochart, a loch, a river, and a glen in Killin parish, Perthshire. Lying at the head of the glen, 1 mile E of Crianlarich station, and 512 feet above sea-level, the loch measures 6 by 1¼ furlongs, is overhung to the SE by conical Benmore (3843 feet), and contains a small wooded islet, on which stand the ruins of a castle of the Campbells of Lochawe. At its head it receives the Fillan, and from its foot sends off the river Dochart, which flows 13¼ miles east-north-eastward to the head of Loch Tay (290 feet), in the first ½ mile of its course expanding into Loch Tubhair (1¼ mile x 2½ furl.; 512 feet), and ½ mile from its mouth being joined by the Lochy. Just above Killin, it 'takes up a roaring voice, and beats its way over a rocky descent among large black stones; islands in the middle turning the stream this way and that; the whole course of the river very wide.' Stream and lochs contain salmon and trout, also-unluckily-pike. Glen Dochart, at a point 2½ miles SW of Killin, is joined at right angles from the S by Glen Ogle, and takes up thence, past Loch Dochart, the Callander and Oban railway; along it from W to E are Lochdochart Lodge, Luib station and hotel, Auchlyne House, and Ardchyle hamlet. For an exquisite picture of loch and river and glen we must recur to Dorothy Wordsworth, who, with her brother, drove from King's House to Luib on Sunday, 4 Sept. 1803:- 'We had about eleven miles to travel before we came to our lodging, and had gone five or six, almost always descending, and still in the same vale (Strath Fillan), when we saw a small lake before us, after the vale had made a bending to the left. It was about sunset when we came up to the lake; the afternoon breezes had died away, and the water was in perfect stillness. One grove-like island, with a ruin that stood upon it overshadowed by the trees, was reflected on the water. This building, which, on that beautiful evening, seemed to be wrapped up in religions quiet, we were informed had been raised for defence by some Highland chieftain. All traces of strength, or war, or danger are passed away, and in the mood in which we were we could only look upon it as a place of retirement and peace. The lake is called Loch Dochart. We passed by two others of inferior beauty, and continued to travel along the side of the same river, the Dochart, through an irregular, undetermined vale- poor soil and much waste land. . . . On Monday we set off again a little after six o'clock-a fine morning -eight miles to Killin-the river Dochart always on our left. The face of the country not very interesting, though not unpleasing, reminding us of some of the vales of the north of England, though meagre, nippedup, or shrivelled compared with them. Within a mile or two of Killin the land was better cultivated, and, looking down the vale, we had a view of Loch Tay. . . . We crossed the Dochart by means of three bridges, which make one continued bridge of great length. On an island below the bridge is a gateway with tall pillars, leading to an old burying-ground belonging to some noble family' (pp. 185-187 of Recollections of a Tour in Scotland, ed. by Prince. Shairp, 1874). This burying-ground is that of the Macnabs, from whom Glen Dochart was named the Macnab country. It now is included in the Breadalbane territory, the clan having emigrated to Canada in the first two decades of the present century. Francis, twelfth laird (1734-1816), was an eccentric character, who, in company once with some English gentlemen connected with the Excise, answered a query respecting the state of Glen Dochart with: 'Ther was once a crater callt exciseman sent up to my country, but-they kilt him.'-Ord. Sur., sh. 46,1872.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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