Historical Crianlarich

Historical Crianlarich and the surrounding area is full of interesting facts. While on holiday in Strathfillan you may visit neighbouring places such as Glen Coe, Loch Lomond, Glen Dochart or Loch Tay, to take some photos, enjoy a picnic, breath in the fresh air and marvel at the tranquility of it all ... but it was not always so peaceful! Neighbouring landowners squabbled, traveling warriors clashed swords, and bandits rustled cattle. History and legend is abundant, and the full story is not easily told in a few paragraphs. I have put some historical Crianlarich facts with dates here in chronological order:
  • Iron-age Celts (300BC)
  • warrior Fingal (umm ...once upon a time!)
  • Ossian the Bard (300AD)
  • St Fillan (700AD)
  • Robert the Bruce (1300)
  • Macnabs, Menzies and sundry clans (1400 onward)
  • James IV (1500)
  • Mary Queen of Scots (1550)
  • Black Duncan Campbell (1600)
  • his son Robert of Glenorchy (1650)
  • Rob Roy (1700)
  • George I and General Wade (1720)
  • Sir Robert Clifton (1730)
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie (1745)
  • an Englishman who steals a bell (1800)
  • Queen Victoria and Albert (1840)
... to mention but a few!

"Breadalbane" means "the high country of Scotland" and our journey should start with a look the geography, because it was the glens and rivers which made travel into the Highlands possible. From Ben Lui above Tyndrum, the streams to the west feed into rivers flowing west, while those to the east form the head waters of the Tay: starting off as the Connonish, becoming the Fillan and then the Dochart before flowing into Loch Tay and the great River Tay which delivers more fresh water into the sea than any other British river.

In the 1750s two military roads met here. One came from Stirling via Callander and approached from the east along Glen Dochart. The other started in Dumbarton and approached from the south along the banks of Loch Lomond and Glen Falloch.Anyone travelling in Scotland will pass through the village sooner rather than later as it lies at the junction of two of the main routes from the lowlands to the north west highlands. Having met in this point, they proceeded north west along Strath Fillan to Tyndrum before splitting again to head north towards Fort William and west towards Oban. This pattern is matched today by the A85 and A82 roads, following almost exactly the same lines as the old military routes.

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