Comrie to Crieff - the North Road

We must however return to our starting point at the entry to Glen Lednock at the corner of Burrell Street and Monument Road. Diagonally opposite is the Church of St. Kessog built in 1888. There is a knoll behind it overlooking the river where it was said that the earliest Christian services were held. The principal streets in the village are taken from the local landowners and their estates; Burrell, Drummond, Dunira, and Dundas. Dunira Street leads us through Comrie into Drummond Street.

There was a bridge, now gone, close to this point which supported the railway line crossing the River Earn. The railway line continued through the Ross bending to the north, and west, and on to St. Fillans. When the wee vessel the “Queen of Loch Earn,” plied her trade on Loch Earn was being shipped through the village to St. Fillans, there was much speculation as to whether she could pass under the arch of the bridge. I believe she did so with about an inch to spare!

The Queen of Loch Earn being transported to Loch Earn

The Queen of Loch Earn at St. Fillans

Just beyond is a very sharp corner opposite the White Church which was built in 1805. This beautiful church lies at the point where the rivers Earn and Ruchill meet. The steeple, designed by John Stewart, shows a clock face on three sides only.

Note: A Window, where a clock should be but is not, faces the Ross!

The story goes that one of the estate owners in the Ross would not make a contribution to the building so they just went ahead and incorporated the clock faces on three sides only! The west side has a window!

On the now A85 immediately beside the church a very helpful mirror was placed. It assisted all who used the road round a ninety degree corner. It was so positioned allowing travelers in either direction to be aware of oncoming vehicles. As the A85 is now classified as a trunk road the mirror has vanished – achoan, achoan!

Melville Square is the hub of the village and the community at large and also is located at a junction point. Comrie’s streets portray low, single storey cottages and two storey houses on both sides with most being built between 1800 and 1850. The adjoining lanes and pends however, by their names are fascinating and are a history in themselves. We should also notice a name change away from the Gaelic and into the Doric or Lowland Scots and in modern times the traveller must relish their names; Acres, Back o’ Toon Lane, Pudding Lane, Feuars’ Lane, Bowlie Lane, the Balloch, Melville Lane, the Coo Park and others - all symptomatic of a bygone era and perhaps on occasion wished for today. Can one compare Oxford Street, or Princes Street, or Fourth and Sixth, with the “Sheugh o’ the Balloch?” or “Bungy’s Yard.”

One of the earliest photographs of Drummond Street, Comrie - The Toll House and Booth are on the left.

The man in the foreground is thought to be the doctor of the time. The author was born just beyond the building on the left.

Comrie with the Old Dalginross Bridge

Moving to the east on our journey we cross over the River Lednock passing by a long-lost, and now disappeared clachan called the Laggan. The stones of this clachan were used to build a house called the “Transvaal.” It once was a family home to three families of which two produced Princes of the Roman Catholic Church. Later when it was knocked down its stones were used to build the little Roman Catholic Chapel by Father Williamson of Lawers. Above it and edging the golf course is Coneyhill. It is built on the site of a Norman Motte.

The Lednock enters the Earn at this point. Continuing on the road to Crieff and passing the Laggan Park and on the right the site of the now disappeared old abattoir and the railway station the river is joined by the Milton Burn.

Continuing eastwards we pass by Fordie (originally called Fordew) and the Georgian mansion of Lawers with the gable end of its ancient chapel still standing and pass Braincroft (upper part of the croft) on to Monzievaird.

Lawers House

Lawers House

From here the road passes Quoig, Locherlour (luachair, rushes, lour from lar, of low ground), and hidden behind a screen of trees, Castle Cluggy and the Murray lands of Ochtertyre (uachdair thir, upper part of the land), with its handsome, stately home overlooking Loch Ochtertyre. Near here a King of Scotland was killed and a considerable massacre of people happened, a long, and not so long, time ago.

Ochtertyre House and Loch

Our road passes by the Currachs farm (marshy place) and the Hosh (the foot of the slope (of Glen Turret) where Scotland’s oldest, and one of the smallest, distillery still operates. Owned now by Highland Distillers it produces Famous Grouse Scotch whisky. It is a major tourist attraction in Strathearn and its restaurant offers awesome Haggis! It lies on the river Turret which is a tributary to the Earn.

Our journey concludes after crossing over the Turret Burn and entering Crieff, with its beautiful MacRosty Park lying on the south side of the road.

Glen Turret Distillery

Macrosty Park, Crieff