Glen Artney to Crieff via Muthill – The High Road

Returning to Comrie we must now explore the south side of the river Earn starting at Melville Square and following the road to the south over the bridge into Dalginross which once was a separate village from Comrie. We will trace, to the south-west the course of the river called the Water of Ruchill (red) which joins the Earn at Comrie. We are in the lower reaches of Glen Artney. Set in a broad flat fertile plain we follow the bank of the river passing Agricola’s marching camp (Victoria) to Tullichettle (a mound) - an ancient place, and much older than Comrie. Its old graveyard tells many a tale.

Making our way passed Cultibraggan (Cultybraggan) Farm we join the single-track paved road at Nellie’s Brae and haul ourselves up past Milntuim (mill on the hillock) to Mailermore (high and large) - a spectacular view can be had from this spot. The upper reaches of the Ruchill lie well below us to the south-west and the sweep of Strathearn to the east is unrivalled in Scotland. Streaming off the hillside is Allt Tairbh and as we continue on our journey we cross many lesser streams such as Allt a’Chaoruinn, Allt Ollach and Allt Mor and many unnamed others. In summer they are all beautiful but in the wintertime very fast flowing, deep and dangerous. Our way passes the farmtouns of Dalness, Mailerfeur (high and cold), Dalchruin and Findu Glen (a degree of coldness) with its bonnie burn, on and up to Auchnashelloch (the hunting field or the field of the willow copse). The road then becomes a track and a right of way continuing on over the hills to Callander in Strathyre. Most of this land was owned by the Drummonds of Drummond castle with some parts owned (or disputed) by the Murrays.

Retracing our footsteps down the Glen to Mailermore we take the right-hand fork and pass Trian (third part), East Meigar (a boggy place) to Blairnroar (the place of violent attack). At this crossroads the Lang Syde road to Braco and the south passes between Little Hill and Ben Clach (533m) (stoney mountain) on the west side and Dunruchan hill. At Tighnablair (house in the field) with its nearby coffin stone (Clach Anan) the road meanders through treeless, open moorland quite different in topography to Strathearn and in Glenlichorn is accompanied by the Knaik River which flows downhill to Braco with its great Roman fort(s) at Ardoch – there were a total of seven camps). The Ochills lie in the distance.

However, coming back to the Blairnroar crossroads and by continuing on east at Blairnroar passing Craigneich (craig of the horse), Shillinghall, Craggan (rocky place) and Ochtermuthill we approach the old village of Muthill.

The Village of Muthill

At Muthill we turn north towards Crieff passing Drummond Castle on its rock formation.

Drummond Castle, Muthill

The straight road passes an ancient standing stone alone in a field to the east and enters Crieff by its beautiful old arched bridge at the Brigend.

The Road between Muthill and Crieff