Killiecrankie, Tenandry and Strathgarry
Tenandry and Strathgarry.
Killiecrankie is one of the famous names of Scotland, renowned
both for its history and its scenery. The Pass of Killiecrankie
lies three miles north of Pitlochry, and for a mile threads the
deep, steep, thickly-wooded gorge of the Garry, between a spur
of Ben Vrackie (2757 feet) and Tenandry Hill, with the village
at the north end. Through this narrow winding defile, above the
rushing river, run the A 9 highway and the railway to Inverness.
About a mile beyond the Pass, to the north, was fought in 1689
the famous battle, between the forces of William of Orange, newly
brought to the throne, and the unseated and exiled James VII and
II. General Mackay, a veteran of the foreign wars, led the government
forces, and Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, the Jacobites.
It is rather strange how popular a hero he has become in Scottish
minds--for he was scarcely popular at the time, his stern hand
at the putting down of the Covenanters, during the preceding 'Killing
Times', making his name execrated by many. However, his looks
and the well-known song between them, seem to have metamorphosed
him. 'Bonnie Dundee' won this battle, but fell in the moment of
victory, a stone marking the spot. His dying words are famed.
"How goes the day ?" he gasped, of a man named Johnson, who had
aided him down from his saddle. "Well for King James," the other
answered. "But I am sorry for your lordship." The dying Dundee
said, "If it is well for him, it matters the less for me" He did
not speak again. Two thousand of the government troops were killed
or captured, for a loss of 900 Highlanders. Nevertheless, with
Dundee's death, the victory was more or less fruitless, and that
Jacobite campaign soon ended.
The Pass, once a dangerous trap for travellers, and the key to
Atholl, is now a popular venue for visitors, and the National
Trust for Scotland, owners of the property, have an attractive
centre here. Towards the north end is the famed Soldier's Leap,
where one of Mackay's fleeing men managed to jump the foaming
cataract between two fearsome rocks, and so escape the pursuing
Spanning the river to the south is Bridge of Garry, recently replaced
by a modern structure. This carries the road to Tummel and Rannoch.
Just over the bridge, a small and very steeply-climbing side-road
branches off to the right, to ascend high above the Pass on the
west side, passing the remotely but beautifully sited church and
manse of Tenandry. Although an ancient parish, the present church
was built only in 1836, with seating for 430-- an extraordinary
provision for a place of worship with no centre of population
for miles around. The graveyard is most attractively carved out
of the steep birchwoods.
This high back-road drops as steeply beyond, to rejoin the A 9
by another bridge, at Killiecrankie village, passing a lofty-sited
dun on the way. But a branch-road continues on up the south side
of the Garry for nearly four miles, coming to a dead-end opposite
Blair Atholl, with which it communicates only by a footbridge.
On the way, this riverside road serves the scattered farms and
mansion of Strathgarry, and the large and inevitably unsightly
quarry near Glackmore. Two fords are marked on the map as crossing
the wide and rushing river; but it would be a bold motorist who
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