Glen Lednock and Milton Glen

In Burrell Street we must pause at the junction in the road because this time we will detour to the north into Glen Lednock and return via Milton Glen on the other side of the village and thereafter return to this corner to continue our sojourn towards Crieff.

As we turn the corner into Monument Road on our left we find the beautiful old cottage called Glen Cottage. It was built in the nineteenth century and today has been completely refurbished as a self catering guest house.

Glen Cottage, The Balloch, Glen Lednock - Malcolm Allan

Opposite lies the Carmichael company workshop. This company has been in the building trade for nearly 200 years and it was always a cheery place.

Looking from the Balloch down Monument Road into Dundas Street in Comrie

Carmichael's workshop is the second building on the left

Almost at the Sheuch o' the Balloch, and at the west entrance to Comrie house, was the site of one of the old homes of the McEwans.

Old McEwan Family home in the Balloch, Comrie

From here we can take the woodland path through the Balloch wood. On its right we border the “Coo Park.” In the near middle ground to the east Comrie House can be seen and our path leads on past Rosehip and Bramble bushes towards the banks of the River Lednock. The path moves on ever upwards passing the site of an old saw mill on the riverside with a spillway, and on up passing the little Deil's Cauldron on to the Deil’s Cauldron (Slochd an Donais-the Devil’s Pit) - a beautiful waterfall and pool. On a wet day it can be a dangerously slippery spot. Our upwards climb continues on, taking us out at the paved road near the Coachman’s Turn. It was so-called because this was as far as the coach went in the old days before turning around and going back down towards Comrie. Here one can take the steep path up the hillside of Dunmore to Lord Melville’s monument. To the north the road continues into the upper glen.

The entry to Glen Lednock at Comrie following the paved road is a narrow, steep-sided defile. On our left is Willie Bain's wood and at the second bend in the Balloch (narrow gap), the old original road from Comrie to St Fillans can be traced. The countryside breaks open shortly passing the Lechkin farm (leacann - a sloping side of a hill). The farm's original name was Torry farm. A pathway cuts off to our left to the old family home of the MacIntyres however, if we keep to the main, but narrow road, we will pass the old slate quarry housing the Stone of Destiny. This area is shrouded in trees and they will be with us on our upwards climb for about two miles. On our right we pass the gaunt, withered trunk of an elm tree which was struck by lightning a long time ago. The glen broadens beyond the Coachman's Turn. At this point the woodland path joins the main road.

To our left we can take the steep hill climb to the Melville Monument or continue on for a few minutes to take the easier path at the Kinkhoast well. Here the view of Glen Lednock provides a panorama encompassing Balmuick and Carroglen in the distance with Kingarth in the near distance to the north west. A small path leads to the Shaky Bridge and the start of the upper reaches of the River Lednock. The bridge is so called because the river Lednock was crossed by a wooden bridge which replaced an early ford. It could be be rocked gently from side to side. Near here on the river bank in the field known as the Castle Park is evidence of a man-made structure on a rounded knoll. It is conjecture to suggest it was the site of an ancient fortified place, however it bears a remarkable likeness to the motte (probably Norman) found at Coneyhill, near the Laggan Park.

The Kinkhoast Well became well known and famous for its healing power over whooping cough. Interestingly enough the Dutch word for whooping cough is Kinkhoest. Here the Ma’am (a hill pass) Road leads by a small track over the shoulder of Dunmore Hill passing by the Craw Rocks, famous for their Jackdaws, to Duneira (now called Dunira). To the north are a series of rocky outcrops - Tom A’ Mhin (knoll of the kid), Bad na Beithe (Birch Copse), and Am Binnein (pinnacle, high conical hill) and then on up to Balnacoul Castle. Oddly there is no castle there!

Opposite the well lies Kingarth (originally Kingairt-head of the cornfield) and behind it out of sight there is the very old abandoned village of Tynacroy (tigh na craoibhe-house of the tree) and an adjacent crumbling ruin, Balmenoch (Balimeananach-baile-farm, meadhonach-middle, middle farm). Following the river bank round the knoll called Cnoc na Sithe (knoll of the conical hill) and known locally as the Drum we come to Tynasithe, a long house which was once home to generations of McIntyres. We rejoin the Glen road at Anaba Brig named from Ath na ba (the field of the cows). One of the fields here was disputed land between Lawers and Dunira. The two landowners played a game of cards for it and Lawers won so it is now part of the Lawers estate. It is also said that somewhere in this field lies a buried pot of gold (of more later) and I could well believe it!

In staying to the west of the river we pass over the Ballindalloch (farm in the meadow, riverside haugh) Burn, skirting through Carcase Wall, Creag Bhuidhe (yellow craig) and Creag Ghorm (blue craig), and on up passing Creag na-h-Arairidh (craig of the sheiling) and the Daden Burn. Further on are the delightful Allt Na Criche (stream of the boundary or March) and Allt Mathaig rounding on to Creag Nan Eun (craig of the hill of the birds) and below, Loch Lednock appears. The Loch was created in the 1950’s for water catchment reasons for power and used in the hydro-electric dam’s scheme.

Looking towards Comrie

Our route continues up beyond Bovaine (both-meadhoin-middle stream) and Bowalker (Bogh Uachadar-upper bothy) and on the opposite shore Keplandie (head of a marsh) – all these steadings/farms are now under water. The surrounding hill slopes abound with little sheilings close by many burns which spawned the river Lednock. The slopes of Ruadh Bheul offers Allt Na Drochaide (burn of the bridge), and other nameless streams are supplied by Creag Uigeach and from Creag nan Eun flows Allt Mor Nan Speir (big burn of the sparrowhawk).

In retracing our steps down the east side of the river we come to Sput Rolla. In its day it was a marvellous waterfall before the dam was built and sadly is now a shadow of its former self.

Spout (Sput) Rolla

Our road passes below Creag Iochdair (lower crag) and An Dun to Invergeldie (at the mouth of the Geldie Burn,(geal-bright and shining) with the Invergeldie Burn coming off the hill and on to West and East Ballindalloch, Fintulich (fintullich-fionn-tulach-little (grassy eminence on a knoll), and above is the great bowl shape of the Cushavachan (coishavachan-possibly cois a’bhacain-lying below steep ground) Rocks consisting of Creag na h-Iolaire (eagle’s crag) Creag Liath (grey crag), Creag an Fhithich (raven’s crag), Creag Tharsuinn (cross or transverse crag) - all supporting hills to Ben Chonzie and Carn Chois and on down through Cowden Knowe (hazel knowe) crossing the Lurg Burn at Carroglen (glen of the sheep) and down the glen to Balmuick (farm of the swine). From here we enter Milton Glen and parallel the Milton (milltown) Burn passing the Happy Valley, private burial ground of the McLagans. Close by is the very substantial, solid stone wall dam, complete with sluices. It was built for the Lawers estate two hundred years ago by a family called Cram who lived here. They were part of the Diaspora of 1819 and 1820 and founded Comrie’s twin town, Carleton Place in Ontario, Canada.

There is also a woodland path which starts at the Shaky Bridge on the east side of the river following its route to come out at the east end of the village very close to the Fairy Den Putting Green. It was here that my parents first met. Now, it is lost and sadly forgotten.

The Fairy Den Putting Green, Comrie

The route is known as the Birken Walk and much loved by the local people and others.

From this point we rejoin Strathearn just to the east of Tomperron.