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A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn


Postby Reginald Rat » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:31 am

Date walked: 09/11/2012

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 7.1 km

Ascent: 210m

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I recently bought a copy of a well known book called 'The Hills of Home', written by a former inhabitant of the old manse building in Glen Gairn (unfortunately now demolished), just north of Ballater, about life in the glen at the turn of the last century. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to go for a bit of a wander. Most of the farms are now abandoned (although not all) so it has (in common with many Scottish glens) a fairly melancholy feel to the place, as it was a thriving community until relatively recently.

Anyway, it was a beautiful Autumn day so we borrowed a neighbour's dog and set off...

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The track to the kirk and old school

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Dog in mud... you will have to imagine the smell - it wasn't good.

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The ruined mill of Kirkstile

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The lochan above the mill

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Dalphuil Lodge - renovated as a picnic retreat (I believe) by Queen Mary and still well looked after.

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Recharcharie steading

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Old farm machinery - one of many bits of old machinery lying around, such as old horse ploughs, seed drills, etc.

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The remains of the old catholic chapel. This was apparently never completed due to the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden. Apparently 24 men from Glen Gairn fought on the Jacobite side, mostly McGregors, 18 of which were killed. The remaining McGregors went on to suffer persecution at the hands of government troops. There are meant to be old McGregor graves in the area but we didn't look for them.

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Inverenzie Steading

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Looking along Glen Gairn towards the River Dee

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Walking back from Inverenzie to Ardoch

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Ardoch steading (which has stunning views down the glen). There are the remains of a much older settlement here as well.

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View from within Ardoch steading

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The remains of an old lime kiln (I think) - there is another more obvious one nearby by the side of the A939. Limestone was baked to reduce it to lime, which was used on the fields. N.B. There are some really impressive ones on the coast near St Cyrus.

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Recharcharie steading

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The sun beginning to set, so time to get fish+chips.

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shrooms


I thought I'd finish with 'rock of the day'. Within Glen Gairn there is an area where volcanic rocks have intruded through ancient limestone. This has resulted in contact metamorphism, where the limestone has been partially melted and new crystals have formed; in this case, nice big garnets (not gem quality though unfortunately).
IMG_3426.JPG
Metamorphosed limestone with garnets.
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Reginald Rat
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Re: A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:26 pm

Cord ruim ....grand report and sad to see the emptying of a glen :(

Aberdeenshire was never included within the scope of the Crofters’ Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886 because the powerful lowland landowners refused to countenance such a move. As a consequence, vast swathes of the Highlands in the non-crofting counties have lost their people, their language and their culture as the tenants of the land were never more than one year away from eviction.
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Re: A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

Postby gaffr » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:02 pm

It is a similar story further up the glen. This was evident when we connected Gleann an t-Slugain to the source of the Gairn and followed the feint paths and later the 'land rover type tracks' down to the B976. There are many ruins to be seen. In those days, twenty years ago, it was possible to use the bothy at Corndavon. :)
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Re: A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

Postby Lenore » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:08 pm

Interesting report, Reginald! The black and white makes for very atmospheric photos. I like it, as we don't often see them that way.
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Re: A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

Postby Reginald Rat » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Cheers for the background gaffr + Collaciotach - it's always nice to know a bit about the local history of places I visit.

Lenore - glad you like the photos - I don't think you can beat b+w for giving a bit of atmosphere.
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Re: A walk around the the ruins of Glen Gairn

Postby Bod » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:40 pm

MOT failure Glen Girnock.jpg
This is my print of "MOT failure - Glen Girnock, Upper Deeside" Artist Craig Reid. Glen Girnock is on the opposite south side of the Dee near Ballater.


Very intriguing and thought provoking report RR :wink: :D :D
(See on your very same map Girnock Burn, perhaps this is the building marked Loinveg?)
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