Sunday, 4 August 2013

Exciting Development in Glendrian's History

Look carefully at this picture and you will find the houses of an abandoned village.  Around them are their stone walls and fields.  This is Glendrian, a township in a beautiful position almost in the centre of the peninsula, a place of loneliness and peace.

Some months ago, a history of the abandoned village of Glendrian was added to 'A Kilchoan Diary' with a link in the right-hand column.  Towards the end of this history, a somewhat despairing note was added saying that much of the human story of the township was very likely lost.

 Just over a week ago, Andy Carter wrote to say that his family came from Glendrian.  He continued, "Glendrian (it was always spelt Glendryen by my family) has a special place in my heart as it is where ten or eleven generations of the MacLachlan side of my mother's family lived before crofting was finally given up in about 1925/6. The MacLachlans who were the last people to inhabit Glendrian, in the largest house in the township, are not related to my family though. Researching my family tree six or seven years ago also led to my trying to make sense of Glendrian as a settlement. Working from birth, marriage and death records, information passed down through the family, census information, and other documents all helped to build part of the picture, though we will never know it all."

Andy included this wonderful photo of the croft with his great grandmother standing outside it.  He thinks the picture may have been taken in 1925 as a keepsake, as the house was abandoned around that time.

This is a remarkable photograph, the only known one of a Glendrian house in use - unless someone knows of another.

Andy has edited the family history he so painstakingly researched, and has made it available on the internet.  The Diary is very grateful to him for allowing this wonderful document to be read by us all.  It's here.


  1. What a great read, a great amount of time and effort must have been put into this great bit of research. I have sat in front of these houses eating my piece and having a cup of tea from my flask wondering what it must have been like to live and work in such a beautiful and remote place, now I have a better understanding of those lives so long ago. a great read.

    The Raptor

  2. Having walked to Glendrian on numerous occasions it has been so interesting reading Andy's family history. Thank you for sharing. The photograph is fascinating. Like so much of Ardnamurchan Glendrian is a very special and peaceful place. To have an insight into its history is very special too.

  3. You are most welcome Jon. My cousin once joked that my family history document was never likely to become a 'best seller' but I'm delighted to discover that parts of it at least are apparently of interest to a wider audience through this site.

    I am working on a second extract with a little more of the story linking Glendryen, Kilchoan, and Plocaig.

    1. Thank you Andy Carter for a fascinating piece of research. My g/g/grandfather worked for James Dalgleish as a woodforester until his death from smoke inhalation in 1876. I can't confirm it because the Oban Times archives are currently closed, but believe he may have died fighting the fire that destroyed the manor house at Glenborrodale. His widow migrated to Paraguay with eight of her children shortly after, I think with some support from James Dalgleish as they corresponded for the rest of her life and he sent her copies of a Scottish periodical. Thank you for making your researches available.

  4. Superb Jon & Andy,

    especially the pictures comparing the stone walls as they currently exist with how they were when lived in.

    thanks very much,

    Dave K.

  5. Hi Andy -

    I'm sure there are many of us who are looking forward to the next episode.


  6. What an excellent piece of historical research and a great story. Thank you.