awe-inspiring glen is known the world over as the site where
the Campbells massacred the MacDonalds in 1692. A slim Celtic
cross commemorates Maclain, Chief of
Glencoe, who fell with his people in the massacre, which was
the result of clan rivalry, and of the unwillingness of Maclain,
chief of the MacDonalds, to sign an oath of allegiance to William
of Orange in return for a pardon. Maclain wrote to the exiled
King James VII for permission to take the oath. He received
it, but left his submission at Inveraray to the last minute,
and eventually took the oath five days after the deadline of
New Year’s Day, 1692.
John Dalrymple, the Secretary of State, ordered the clan MacDonald
to be exterminated. Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon did
his dirty work for him. He led the Argyll army into the glen
on 1 February and asked Maclain for hospitality. This he got,
but 12 days later the slaughter began. Maclain was shot in the
back as he got out of bed; his wife was beaten to death; and
children and old folk were butchered. Many escaped, but most
of those died in the cold.
however, is not all blood and guts; it is the
spiritual home of many a mountaineer and hill-walker.
Although Dickens called it ‘perfectly terrible. . . an
awful place.. . scores of glens high up, which form such haunts
as you might imagine yourself wandering in, the very height
and madness of a fever’, it provides some of the finest
climbing and walking terrain in Scotland.
Year in the Life of Glencoe Enclosed by sweeping bastions of rock that stretch a thousand
metres to touch the sky, the North West Highland's Glencoe plunges
from the wilds of Rannoch Moor to the burial isles of Eilean
Munde. Shaped by ancient volcanoes, Ice Age glaciers and the
attrition of wind and rain, it is a raw landscape of awesome
proportion - one of the most spectacular in Britain. Carrying
on from his breathtaking "A Year in the Life of the Langdale
Valleys", noted climber, photographer and writer Bill Birkett
turns his attention to the seasonal changes in this most famous
of mountain glens. The challenging heights, in the main protected
and conserved by the National Trust for Scotland, are the province
of the rock climber and mountaineer, while down below scattered
farms and the little communities of Glencoe and Ballachuilish
function through the extremes of the seasons as they have done
since the Bronze Age. The magical rowans bear blossom, unfurl
their leaves and hang red with berries before the deep savage
snows of winter blanket all. Above, beyond the snow-capped peaks,
the golden eagle rules the air. On the slopes, the red stag
stamps his authority across the purple heather. In this stunning
photographic essay, Bill Birkett captures the heartbeat of the
awesome highlands of Scotland.
Glencoe and Beyond: The Sheep-farming Years, 1780-1830 Glencoe and Beyond: The Sheep-farming Years, 1780-1830. This perceptive and informative study examines all these aspects and shows ultimately that chiefs, tacksmen, clansmen, and even southern sheep-farmers were all individuals reacting to the circumstances in which they found themselves, and that these circumstances themselves were characterised by a great deal of economic turbulence. It has been widely accepted in the past that sheep-farming in the Highlands was developed and undertaken by southern incomers; some modern historians have even dismissed the possibility that Highlanders could have become sheep-farmers because they lacked the necessary skill and capital. Ian S. MacDonald's meticulous research disproves this and illustrates that in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that while some southern sheep-farmers did indeed move into the Highlands, they were in fact greatly outnumbered by native Highlanders, who saw a future in sheep-farming, initiated it themselves, and pursued it vigorously, as is shown when the Minister of the Parish of Kilmanivaig wrote about sheep-farming in 1842: It is supposed that there are upwards of 100,000 sheep reared in this parish every year, Mr Cameron, Carychvilly [Corriechoille], the most extensive grazier in the north, stated a few years ago, that in the preceding year he had clipped upwards of 37,000 sheep, Mr Greig of Tullach [Tolloch], and the Messrs M'Donnell of Kappoch, are supposed to have each near 100 square miles under sheep: the one on the north and the other on the south banks of the Spean.
In the Gaelic tongue Glencoe signifies the Glen of Weeping; and in truth that
pass is the most dreary and melancholy of all the Scottish passes.
About noon, one clear day in the month of February, 1692, news reached the quiet
vale of Glencoe that some of the king's troops would soon arrive.
most clamorous and obstinate of these were the Macdonalds of Glencoe.
you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized
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