Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hill of Fare and the Battle of Corrichie

Recently my wife and I went for a walk on the Hill of Fare. Despite having lived in Banchory for 4 years, and nearby for over 20 years, I'd never been on the Hill of Fare. 

At one point in the walk we came upon this ruined cottage:

I've been told it's known as the Shepherd's Cottage. 
An old Leopard Magazine (October 2008), had an article written by David Coleman, and in it, David suggests it was an under-keeper's home and that it was built between 1896 and 1910.

The cottage is close to the site of a battle that took place in October 1562, fought between Mary Queen of Scot's half-brother, Lord James Stewart's men and Sir John Gordon, the Earl of Huntly's men.

The build up to this battle is a long story but essentially, Catholic Mary was now Queen of a mainly Protestant Scotland and, although she continued to privately attend Catholic mass, she publicly reassured Protestant nobles and Scots that she was Queen of a Protestant Scotland. Also, Mary knew that she would never succeed to the English crown if she showed any inclinations and support for the Catholic faith.

The Earl of Huntly kept encouraging the Queen to declare her support for the Catholic church. Huntly was also jealous of the power and positions awarded to James Stewart. Mary eventually decided to take action against Sir John Gordon and so strengthen her claim to the English throne.

At the battle, not far from where this ruined cottage now sits, James Stewart's forces were completely victorious. Sir John Gordon, the Earl of Huntly dropped dead on the battlefield, and his two sons John and Adam were taken to Aberdeen. John, and other leaders were beheaded in the Castlegate. It is said that James Stewart forced Mary to watch the executions of these Catholic supporters.

What happened to the deceased Earl of Huntly is worth telling. In order for him to be put on trial for treason and his lands confiscated, his body was preserved and sent to Edinburgh where he was put on trial, in his coffin, in 1563. The lid was removed so he could 'hear' the charges against him!

The Earl of Huntly, 'The Cock o' the North', was eventually buried in Elgin Cathedral, three years later.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Meikle Kinord.

Hello again.

I took a wander round Loch Kinord yesterday and passed this building. I find it a very photogenic building. I always think it looks like a school house, but it is a private chapel built, perhaps, on the site of a 16th Century chapel. From the Canmore website:

" A chapel was built near Meikle Kinord (NO 44 98) in the 16th century to serve the castle in Loch Kinord (NO49NW 16). There is now no trace, but the sites of chapel and graves were pointed out before 1858, and the walls and gravemounds were remembered by older inhabitants in 1910. A Medieval font of rough granite, 5 feet 2 1/2 inches in circumference, was found near the site of the chapel.
J G Michie 1910; J Stuart 1868.
No trace of chapel or graveyard, but it is believed locally that the private chapel at NO 4407 9891 occupies the site of an older chapel. This later structure built c 1880, was converted into a museum in 1912 to house the oak canoes etc found in the area, but is now used only as a hay-store.
Visited by OS (N K B) 12 November 1968."

By chance I was reading Glen Tanar: Valley of Echoes and Hidden Treasures by Fran├žois Louis Pierre Fouin, and came upon this:

Mr and Mrs Charles Wilson, who built Dinnet House in 1890, also built the old chapel at Meikle Kinord in the same year. Although never consecrated, the building was used to store local artefacts and in particular, one of the old Pictish canoes from Loch Kinord. When Mr Wilson sold the Kinord Estate to James C Barclay Harvey in 1896, Mrs Wilson was so irate that she hurled all the historic relics out on the moor. The Wilsons took the canoe back to Lincolnshire when they flitted, but because it was too long and bulky to go on to a railway wagon it was allegedly sawn in half. (p.114)