Inchaffray Abbey in Madderty
I have written more than a few lines over the years ( including a few blogs ) on this much neglected and significant part of our ancient heritage . Since the Reformation it has suffered neglect and much of its fabric has been plundered to provide amongst other things hewn stone for houses , farms and indeed the " new " church built in the 17th century a short distance away. The insensitivity of the Local Authority to allow the building of a modern dwelling cheek by jowl was inexcusable and questionable .
Having had yet another rant let me highlight a couple of wee tales concerning Inchaffray . These indeed were ably covered by the late Bessy MacLagan in her classic book on Madderty published in 1932 and although out of print since before the War , can be borrowed from the Strathearn Campus Library in Crieff. Let me copy the respective passages from her book and thank the dear lady who is no doubt watching us from a celestial cloud ! Thank you Bessie x.
" Through two Abbots of Inchaffray . Madderty has has an interesting connection with Scottish warfare
First through Maurice , who was present at Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 . It is told how, on the battlefield , when the Scottish soldiers had arranged themselves under their different banners and the enemy approached close to them , Maurice , bare headed and bare footed walked slowly along the Scottish lines holding a crucifix aloft and , as he passed along , the whole army kneeled down to receive his blessing .Maurice acted as chaplain to King Robert the Bruce , and it is further said that he bore about the arm of St Fillan on the battlefield , which The Bruce carried with him to ensure victory .The King was duly grateful for the services of Abbot Maurice and it is said he odered the marshy ground round the Abbey to be cut and drained after the Battle of Bannockburn, presumably at the expense of the State .
The second instance in which the Abbey was represented on the field of battle was when the reigning Bishop was killed on Flodden Field . This was Laurence Oliphant, son of the first Lord Oliphant, appointed Abbot of Inchaffray in 1495 and killed on Flodden in 1513.Two centuries later , through the Oliphants , Madderty had many Jacobite adherents, and they all took part in , and paid heavy toll for, their loyalty to the Stewart cause . "