Friday, 30 March 2012

A Bloody Battle in the Heart of Strathearn

PART TWO

Some of you older bloggers may recall a quite dreadful movie called Brigadoon which even the talented Gene Kelly and the legs of Cyd Charisse failed to save from ignominy! . Brigadoon was a mythical Scottish village which only appeared once every 100 years .One only hoped that perhaps it never would reappear ! Brigadoon never fails to remind me of that ancient battle referred to by historians as Mons Graupius . Varying accounts as to “when and where” abound as does the actual existence of its Pictish hero and leader aptly named Calgacus - the swordsman . Calgacus appears as an important character in the biography of the Roman Governor of Britain, Julius Agricola , De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae, written by his son-in-law, Tacitus, in AD98. Nothing else is known about him from any other source, and there has to be some question about whether he actually existed at all. But if he didn't then someone like him probably did. Julius Agricola began his campaign to conquer the land we now call Scotland in AD80. By the beginning of AD84, they controlled everything up to Southern Perthashire and in that year pressed still further into northern Scotland, trying to draw the main forces of the Caledonian leader Calgacus into open battle. The Caledonians, however, were intent on maintaining their hit-and-run tactics. But when Agricola's troops captured many of the storehouses holding the Caledonians' recently gathered harvest, Calgacus had to choose between fighting, or letting his people starve in the forthcoming winter. The final showdown occurred at the Battle of Mons Graupius, apparently in Autumn AD84. Fought at Dunning in Strathearn Curiosity reigns over where exactly the battle was fought Until recently it was more or less assumed that the battle in fact took place in Aberdeenshire on the slopes of Bennachie . “ Authoritative “ opinion have come up with alternative locations including Glen Devon , Comrie , Fendoch in the Sma Glen, the Knock of Crieff , Edzell ,Monifieth , Peterculter and Dunning . The historian Richard Feacham proposed the site of Dun Knock on the fringes of the village of Dunning in 1970 . The extent of the marching camp at Dunning was at that time improperly understood and Feacham suggested that it was a small marching camp that faced the small hillock of Dun Knock near the Duncrub Burn . Aerial photography later indicated that the marching camp was much larger Further findings on the site potted of continuing interest . Aerial photography again demonstrated that the small hillock was in fact the site of a multi walled iron age hill fort proving therefore that the Duncrub Burn took its name from the fort . Dun Knock was a later Gaelic naming simply meaning Fort Hill . The web site Roman Scotland http://www.romanscotland.org.uk/is analytical and balanced and here is its conclusion : “Considerable attraction devolves to sites around the River Earn and in Perthshire, and here at Dunning, on a site located on the Clevage Hills the remarkable and exemplary probability of 100% is achieved across a thoroughly wide ranging and tough set of criteria, the likes of which these contenders have never been put against to date. When we set out to explore the contenders and started writing this work we hoped to be able to conclude “on the balance of probability” that one site perhaps best merited the accolade of being identified the site of Mons Graupius. There is now no need for such caution, the Clevage Hills superbly fit the description of events by Tacitus, they are located in a proven area of Flavian campaigning and the camp at Dunning – the correct size for the likely Roman forces involved - sits in a coherent series of the largest known and irrefutably proven Flavian camps north of the Forth. A Caledonian mustering there makes perfect sense with the Romans likely to pass near but not directly through this location in any march north through Strathallan, and cannily away from the direction Rome saw of concern following the preceding season; the area fronting the Trossachs. Located to the south of Venicone territory – one of the major stakeholders in the Caledonian tribal confederacy - the position on the Clevage Hills is perfect for a formidable defensive encampment and its location enables the tribes to take whatever action was deemed necessary before the Roman columns started harrying their lands to the north of this position again. It is singularly well located to either address any Roman expansionist moves north in the campaign season of 83 AD or to take the fight further south perhaps with the aim of encouraging the tribes in southern Scotland to throw off the Imperial yoke. The rare survival of the original sites name Croup or Croupii to this day at Dunning and Carey would suggest that the Ochil`s Northern Hills, seen even to this day as a distinct component of the Ochil Hills was the region known as the Croup or Croupi. The later medieval battle of Dorsum Crup proves this, the battle at Dunning on the “Ridge of Cr(o)up” while the association with the hill ranges name survives at nearby Carey with the Croupie Craigs. “

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pictish Strathearn – the Kingdom of Fortren - birthplace of modern Scotland




Part One – Who Were The Picts ?
When I was first taught “ Scottish” history as a school boy many decades ago , I recall being told emphatically that the Picts had “ just vanished leaving a mystery behind that will never likely be solved “ . In previous Blogs we have looked at numerous aspects of our valuable heritage here in Strathearn . It is clear that too little is being done to high light our incredible past for both present and future generations . Let us now examine something about those people who had “ just vanished “ !
Classical and later historic sources use a variety of evolving terms to signify the people who inhabited Scotland and /or their territorial divisions prior to the late eighth century. Of these terms Picti , first recorded in 297 and derived from the Picts’ own name for themselves , or possibly a Roman nickname meaning ” the painted ones” , has been the most enduring . The Picts were referred to as assailants of the Roman frontier in northern Britain. Much ink has been spilt over what the ancient writers meant by Picts, but it seems to be a generic term for people living north of the Forth - Clyde isthmus who raided the Roman Empire. There need be no suggestion that they were a nation or indeed a uniform people. Two of the main tribes are referred to as the Maeatae and Caledones . We cannot even be sure that these were the sole inhabitants of the country.


In historical terms the term Pictish might be applied to the period between 79 AD ( when the Romans advanced beyond the Forth - Clyde isthmus into Caledonia) and 850 AD – when Kenneth mac Alpin becomes the first King of the Scots . What then is the connection with Strathearn and the Picts ? Working back from late ninth - century documentary sources, it appears that there were at least seven provinces in Pictland . The earliest source is a king list which contains a pseudo- tradition that Cruithne , the “ eponymous father of the Picts “, had seven sons . The names of some of these correspond to Pictish districts or Kingdoms . Pictland or Pictavia was sub divided into north and south by the Grampians or Mounth ( modern Deside ) The southern Kingdoms were four in number : Fife – called Fib ; Atholl called Foltlaid ; Strathearn and Menteith called Fortrenn or Fortriu ; Angus and Mearns called Cicrcinn ; Although this legend was undoubtedly created to imply that Pictland had long been unified , the seven Kingdoms probably came into existence at different times. Their description includes all the Pictish mainland, but Caithness would have been Norse by the time the tradition was included in the king - list ; Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles , all excluded from this description, would already have been under Viking domination. In the 6th century Bede , a Northumbrian monk , differentiates between the Northern Picts and the Southern Picts , the latter having been converted to Christianity by St Ninian. In the fourth century Pictish power lay in Strathearn. By the time of the battle of Dunnichen Moss on Angus when the Picts defeated the Northumbrian invaders, Fortren was unchallenged as centre of Pictish royal power where it remained. To quote the historian Lynch : “The growth of the kingdom of Fortren/ Fortriu conveniently summarises the development of Pictish kingship. The seventh century saw the development of this tribal power into being ‘ overkings’ of all Pictland south of the Mounth by the second half of the 7th century.”
Part Two will look at what Pictish remains survive in the Strath as well as some surprising information concerning the battle of Mons Graupius between the Picts and the Roman invaders .
























Thursday, 22 March 2012

THE CRIEFF TRYST



The Crieff Tryst

From Grimnish to Lochmaddy
Dunvegan to Glenelg
We’ll rope the kye together
When we reach the river’s swell
We’ll keep a weary virgil
As we rest them for the night
And we’ll follow on the droving road
To meet the Falkirk Tryst


Tryst ( pronounced “ Tr – eye –st “ as per poem above ) is an old Scots word originating in Banffshire and described local cattle markets . Modern English has the word “ tryst “ - a lovers’ meeting a la Mills and Boon - and it is pronounced “ trist “ ! I am conscious that many people in Crieff use the latter and to be honest it doesn’t really matter as the original concept survives !

The Tryst

The Earl ( of Perth ) was the "patron " who held court for the purpose of regulating disputes and keeping law and order . Certain of his feuars were bound by their charters to provide guards for policing the market .The Statistical Account for the Parish of Monzie recounts that when the Tryst was at its height the inhabitants of the Parish went in fear of their lives from the Highland drovers who broke into their houses , forcibly billeting themselves and often carried away part of their household goods . The NSA for Crieff dated 1794 stated that " the old people here sometimes speak with regret of the glorious scene displayed to view when 30,000 black cattle in different droves over spread the whole adjacent country for several miles around the town .

The Earl of Perth was entitled to dues amounting to 2d per beast .The right of collecting was "let " by him for six hundred pounds Scots or fifty pounds sterling. Much of the trade was done by means of bills and during the second quarter of the century Crieff became one of the main financial centres of Scotland . Considerable sums of money also changed hands in gold . Minute Book of the Royal Bank of Scotland shows that tellers were sent that year from Edinburgh to Crieff with three thousand pounds in notes to put into circulation in return for cash. The 1745 uprising seemed to have little effect. There was an increase in the number of English dealers which resulted in pressure to find a suitable market nearer to the south .This led to the eventual eclipse of Crieff and the rise of Falkirk . The Crieff market declined between 1760 and 1770 .Even by 1770 the market dues were still being levied at Crieff . Pennant writing in 1772 estimated the number of cattle sold in Crieff to be 24,000 . Haldane' s book , " The Drove Roads of Scotland "quotes an interesting extract from the "Forfeited Estates Papers , Perth ". "In October 1770 a petition was signed by 27 dealers in black cattle from the North of Scotland . This was presented to the Commissioners for the annexed Estates . It complained that "customs " were still levied at the Michaelmas market despite the fact that Crieff was only a passing place .They had no opportunity to sell their cattle their as the market stance had been fully enclosed and " that if custom dues at Crieff were continued they would take some proper method for remedy “.

According to Gisbourne writing in the 19th century , the drovers were " mounted on small shaggy spirited ponies " and when at the trading stage , " a good deal of wriggling takes place and when the parties come to an agreement the purchaser clasps a penny of arles in to the hands of the stock holder observing , at the same time , " its a bargain ! " Although the author wrote these words pertaining to the Falkirk ( actually Larbert ) Tryst, they , I am sure quite apposite to the dealings at Crieff some decades earlier .
After the sale , the beasts are duly marked - " tar dishes are then got and the purchasers mark is put upon the cattle "

Crieff and The Tryst

What was the town like at the height of the annual Michaelmas Tryst ? I am a great admirer of Scottish artist Sir David Wilkie . Wilkie painted in 1804 ,aged 19 , a remarkable picture entitled “ Pitlessie Fair “ It happened to be his birth place in that most lovely part of the “Kingdom” . It , I am sure , would be very similar to a Crieff a few decades earlier . The Tryst was not just a cattle market but a holiday for townspeople of all ages . Add the verbal description and we have it ! " sixty to seventy tents selling spirits and provisions many kindle fires at the ends of the tents over which cooking is briskly carried on . Broth is made in considerable quantities and meets a ready sale . As most of the purchasers are paid in these tents , they are constantly filled and surrounded by a mixed multitude of cattle dealers , fishers , drovers , auctioneers , pedlars , jugglers , gamblers , itinerant fruit merchants , ballad singers and beggars . What an indescribable clamour prevails in most of these partly coloured abodes ". Apart from the above we have little but circumstantial evidence to go by but that in itself is informative . Woods Town Plan of 1822 ( digital version which you can blow up by clicking : http://maps.nls.uk/towns/detail.cfm?id=321 ) shows the traditional centre of the town – The Cross with the roads emanating off . My old friend the late John Robertson , builder of the Parish , discovered a drover’s sporran in a house he was renovating on Hill Street aka Hill Wynd . The house had been a drovers’ howff or pub ! The large stone to the rear of Rockearn in Perth Road was reputed top have been where the auctioneer stood to get the bids. Fascinating but improbable! We know that the beasts were sold y negotiation ( see above ) . With some 30 000 beasts in and around the town it is certain that there were more than one place where the cattle were actually sold . There were numerous “ free grazing “ areas known as “ pecks “ including the Market Park , Strathearn Terrace and possibly Callum’s Hill . The epicentre of the trade was in probability the old Market Park now the site of Morrison’s Academy . Farmer Bob Simpson once told me Duchlage was also an area where sales were made .

My Blogs seem to bemoan the fact that we as a town ( Crieff ) and an area (Strathearn) singularly fail to exploit our heritage resources to the betterment of us all . In the case of Tryst we have a modern celebration in the Drovers Tryst Walking Festival held in 2012 from the 6th to 12th of October . Check it out on http://www.droverstryst.com

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Oldest Roman Frontier




The Oldest Roman Frontier !

Around AD 80, some 40 years before the construction of Hadrian's Wall the northern frontier of Roman Britain was marked by a series of forts and watch towers along the Gask Ridge, a ridge of high ground running from south of Crieff to Bertha (Inveralmond, Perth ) .
The Romans eventually retreated to what is now the Scottish-English border and in the AD 120s constructed Hadrian's Wall. Twenty years later the frontier had moved north again and the Antonine Wall was constructed stretching from West Kilpatrick on the Clyde to Carriden on the Forth At this time some of the Gask forts were reoccupied. .
Ardoch Fort at Braco is one of those early Gask system forts - possibly constructed at the time of the Battle of Mons Graupius (between the Caledonians and the forces of Roman Governor of Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola). When it was reoccupied in the 140s it was one of the largest Roman stations in Britain. In area it extended to some 3.2 hectares / 8 acres .
Although there are no visible buildings, the defensive earthworks that remain make this a most impressive location to visit.

Gask Ridge
The Gask Ridge frontier is a group of towers , forts and fortlets that run along a Roman road from south of Ardoch ( Braco ) to Bertha at Inveralmond . It is possible that the series extends further south to Doune or even to the Clyde – Forth isthmus . The Traditional view gave its abandonment at circa 87 AD but there is now evidence for a longer occupation . The traditional dating is from either before the building of Inchtuthill or just after the fortresses abandonment . Inchtuthill is just south of Spittalfield between Caputh and Meiklour ) .
The Gask Ridge is the oldest known land frontier system anywhere in the Roman Empire .

Fendoch ( Sma’ Glen ) and Dalginross (Comrie ) – “ Glen Blocker ” FortsThe term “ glenblocker fort ”( sometimes also called the Highland line fort ) is used to describe members of a line of Roman forts along or close to, the Highland boundary fault line .The forts all share the common characteristic that they are close to the mouth of a glen a narrow valley or a strath and can thus supervise passing “traffic”. Fendoch extended to some 2 hectares or 5 acres with a watchtower on the hill to the west .
Another “ glenblocker “ is in the village of Comrie and named Dalginross . There are two forts at Dalginross, one set entirely within the defences of the other, located on the south bank of the River Earn, immediately east of the point where it collects the Water of Ruchill and west of the River Lednock confluence. The site now lies beneath the modern village while two marching camps are situated in fields to the south (at NN7720). It is possible that a Roman military supply-road led from here eastwards along the valley of the Earn towards the Gask Ridge fort. One of the forts was most-likely established by the governor Sallustius Lucullus sometime during AD85, only to be demolished after a short period of occupation, perhaps the following campaign season. The site was one of a series of Roman military camps established at the same time and dubbed by modern archaeologists the Glen Forts .
More information on the Gask Ridge frontier

The web site on the Gask Ridge is quite superb . There has been a prodigious ammount of research , excavation and discussion on the Gask Ridge . Work sponsored by the Parth & Kinross Heritage Trust and carried out under the wise auspices of Dr David Woolliscroft of Liverpool University .The web site is worth a a look :

http://www.theromangaskproject.org.uk/

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Cursus of Crieff


The Cursus of Crieff – More of Our Incredible Past !



We have looked at in previous Blogs , the considerable number of known Neolithic or New Stone Age sites around Strathearn and indeed Crieff . The numbers seem to grow by the year and are an increasing part of our heritage . They are relevant not just in a local sense but on the national and indeed international archaeological stage . They date back some 6 000 years and are older than many of the pyramids of Egypt ! Apart from the ancient tomb discovered 150 years ago on the ancient site of the Stayt of Crieff on Broich Road , most recent discoveries include the timber circle at Pittentian and the habitations at Forth Cottage at Fendoch at the entrance to the Sma Glen .

Perhaps however the most incredible was the realisation that we had in our own back yard on the site of the new Strathearn Campus a Neolithic cursus . No , a cursus is not some celestial finger of doom pointing at our fair town and predicting pestilence and disaster ! A cursus can be described in numerous ways . To be honest even now archaeologists are somewhat uncertain as to what its purpose or function was those 6 000 years ago . The following was written by Kenneth Brophy , the Photographic Liaison Officer with the Scottish Royal Commission dealing with historic sites .

Cursus monuments are among the most impressive yet mysterious prehistoric sites in the British Isles. Their sheer size - gigantic even by today's standards - exceptionally early date, and apparently inscrutable function make them a particularly fascinating subject for study and speculation.
These long, narrow earthwork structures date from the Neolithic - many from the early part of the period about 6,000 years ago - and are thus some of the oldest monumental buildings in the world. They have been found across the country from southern England to north-eastern Scotland, and stand beside some of the most famous archaeological sites in Britain and Ireland, such as Stonehenge, Newgrange, and in Argyll's celebrated Kilmartin valley.
Cursus monuments are essentially very long and relatively narrow rectangular enclosures, with a near continuous boundary of an interior bank and an exterior ditch. The only breaks in this boundary are the `causeways', or possible entrances. The ends of a cursus are either squared-off or rounded. In Scotland, about half the known sites (which now number over 50) have a boundary of pits or post-holes which held large upright timbers, rather than earthwork perimeters. A few sites have a single mound running along their centre, rather like a bank barrow.
But what were cursus monuments for? Initially, they were regarded by antiquaries such as Stukeley as Roman circuses or race-courses. However, by the middle of the 20th century Neolithic ritual explanations had taken root. Theories have varied around the theme of ritual processions (first suggested by Richard Atkinson in 1955), although there have been other ideas. These range from pathways linking a series of events in the night sky, and representations of snakes, to enclosures marking the pathways of prehistoric tornadoes!
In general, however, most ideas have developed the processional theory. Recently, some archaeologists have suggested that only certain people may have been allowed in the cursus to take part in such rituals, and that these sites may have represented planned-out pathways joining natural and ancestral places together to form a ritual experience.
Brophy wrote the above in 1999 long before the Crieff Cursus was discovered .It runs in n east to west direction for more than a mile starting in the area where the new houses of Strathearn View have been built as far as Duchlage and the Market Park . This “symbolic river “ was linear with earthen walls on either side thus making believable the theory that our Neolithic fore fathers might walk in meditation in a westerly direction . The dramatic views of the towering peaks of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin lend credibility to the powers of nature on man’s mind .Indeed Brophy in his discourse on cursus sites comments on a similar experience with Cleaven Dyke near Blairgowrie
Walking along beside the 6ft high mound, I could see the low hill on which the cursus ended. The wide ditch on my right-hand side and the mound on my left encouraged me to look, and walk, straight ahead. I could not see what was on the other side of the mound - but I could hear everything going on over there.
As I got closer to the end, the land beside the ditch began to rise up in a long natural spur, until I could see nothing on either side because of the mound and spur. It even became hard to tell which feature was natural and which artificial. Then I reached the hill-top and the end of the bank, and the view ahead stretched down to the River Isla ahead, and the mountains beyond.
To walk along a cursus in this way may well have been a rare experience for Neolithic people, and perhaps some were never allowed in this strange enclosure, which had been extended again and again by the ancestors. It could perhaps have been a mysterious experience, where the outside world was blocked out to one side, or even both. These enclosures leave you with the impression of being in a special place, removed from the world.
The archaeologists investigating the Crieff site prior to the opening of the Campus were Alder Archaeologists and discussions with them did indicate that a younger cursus was found passing the Stayt site and extending down to the Earn and beyond to Bennybeg . We clearly have much yet to find out !

Sunday, 11 March 2012

CRIEFF SOME 6000 YEARS AGO


Crieff some 6 000 years ago !

The last few decades have seen an incredible increase in knowledge about our town or t o be specific that part of it lying immediately to the south near the banks of the River Earn .The Beauly to Denny power line with its Eiffel Tower like structures has caused not a little consternation amongst those living in its shadow . The project is now making its way through the Strath and in the course of work near Pittentian Farm to the south east of the town , the remains of a timber circle have been revealed . It is believed to date back over 5000 years and is similar to others previously excavated in other parts of Scotland . Fragments of burnt clay, flints and bone have turned up on the site which lies approximately a mile from the Neolithic cursus found during the construction of the Strathearn Campus . Archaeologists from Northlight Heritage who were responsible for the dig are quoted in the Strathearn Herald this week ( 9 March 2012 ) as saying theories include beliefs that the structure may have been some kind of temple or community meeting place with the timber posts being some sort of totem pole or poles that may have had carvings representing each different family in the community .

The proximity of the Pittentian circle to both the cursus and the ancient Stayt ( Parliament ) of Crieff with its Neolithic ancestry is fascinating .

What was the Stayt of Crieff ?

An earlier blog shows the coat of arms of Crieff with the Steward sitting on his chair atop a large mound clutching the scales of justice and with the jougs or stocks of the town beside him . The Steward was the representative of the Earl of Strathearn and administered justice on a regular basis at the Stayt in what is now Broich Road .

The Stayt or Stait of Crieff means simply a place . It’s spelling varies over the years and in the many citations and historical documents – Stede- Steid – Scait- Skait and Skath – all are synonymous !

Unforgivably no trace of its location remains It has even been removed from the current Ordnance Survey maps ! It lies in the farm field approximately opposite to the Goods Entrance to the Campus in Broich Road and approximateely6 12 metres into the field ! Amazingly it was investigated in 1860 and a written account recorded by one Mungo Headrick , an ancestor of the late Fraser Neill , well known Crieff auctioneer and valuer .Sadly much of this has been forgotten and until recently with the discovery of the cursus , totally ignored !

The Stayt of Crieff was where the Earls of Strathearn held Court and his Steward or Seneschal administered justice . When Robert the High Steward of Scotland, nephew of David ll (afterwards Robert ll) was Earl of Strathearn, he held a court
“ apud Creffe” on 8th May 1358 ( Charters of Inchaffrey Abbey ), and this appears to be the first record of the court we have.

From the Statistical Accounts we learn that the Old Tolbooth in Crieff was erected in 1665 for the accommodation of the steward’s court, “ which from this period ceased to be held in the open air. “ It is known that some forty volumes of records of the steward’s court were stored in the Tolbooth, and that they were destroyed by soldiery quartered there in 1798, who feeling cold on a winter's night used the ancient tomes for fuel!

What then has this to do with the Neolithic era ? In the month of November 1860 the mound was levelled and ploughed over, and in the course of the operations two cists containing human remains were exposed, along with an urn of clay the measurement of which is given as 5 inches in height by 5 inches across the mouth.

The hillock 36 feet in diameter and surrounded by a wall of earth and stone that was the Stayt of Crieff throughout the Middle Ages was in fact much earlier - a Neolithic tumulus or barrow with its burial chamber below !We are beginning to see that our local heritage dating back an incredible 6 000 years is still with us . The Stayt , the Cursus and the Pittentian Circle are our Neolithic jig saw . It is time for the authorities to realise that this must be publicised and descriptive signage erected to benefit not only the local citizens but also the outside world at large !

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Crieff Coat of Arms



The old arms of the Burgh of Crieff show the Steward sitting on the ceremonial chair on top of the old Stayt or hill in Broich Road holding the scales of justice and in front are the stocks or jougs and to his left the Cross of Crieff . The design of these heraldic insignia is attributed to one Duncan Kippen . Kippen was a Crieff man , a musician , composer and organist , as well as being a more than talented local historian and scribe . Indeed he is mentioned in the preface to Porteous’s History of Crieff and it would appear that much of the local historical information contained therein ,came from his pen . A more avuncular individual than Porteous , he tended to shun the lime light but on reflection must be rated alongside his Perth contemporary Fittes in contribution to research into our past . Both the cross and the jougs are now lodged inside the Town Hall basement area where a permanent display is mounted .

Thursday, 1 March 2012

SOME STRATHEARN SURNAMES AND THEIR ORIGINS

Some Surnames of Strathearn

For those of us engrossed in family history , it is quite usual to become aware of names that keep cropping up in a particular area . Having been involved with Starthearn genealogy for mor than a few years I thought it of interest to point out a few that originated locally or are indeed were found in abundance in these airts

TOSHACH :.Strangely enough those football fans amongst you will yell out “ John Toshack ”. Although the former Welsh captain was a sporting legend in the Valleys , the name actually originated here in Strathearn . Akin to MacKintosh , the Toshacks of Monzievaird were a leading family in the 16the and 17th centuries whilst the Toshacks of Pittenzie were a powerful bunch centuries prior to this . Finlay Toshack of Pittenzie is mentioned in documents in the 1500s whilst one Alester McAndro Tossoche was fined for reset of members of the outlawed Clan Gregor in 1613 !

BROCK : Sometimes spelt Broch ( they lived close by the Pictish stone structures of that name ) and found in Caithness but mainly in the Black Isle of Easter Ross . The first Perthshire Brock recorded seems to have been a Henry Brock in Dunkeld in 1328 . With regard to Strathearn , there was a Joannes Brock in Kinkell in 1663 .

BROUGH : Generally believed to be from Harray in Orkney ( 16th century ) but found in Perthshire from the 16th century ( John Brough in South Kinkell in 1598 ) . Interesting alternative is that many of the Strathearn Broughs were descended from Flemish weavers who came over on the invite of the John Drummond , Earl of Perth and the name is derived from the town of Bruges in Flanders .

HALLEY or HALLY : Helleys were around Perthshire certainly in the late 17th century . There is a William Hally recorded in Perth in 1666 and a John Hally, portioner of Balbrogo in the Diocese of Dunkeld in 1700 .

MCOWAN : Not to be confused with McEwan , the McOwans or McOwens are a sept of the Breadalbane Campbells ( Lawers and Kenmore ) and are found locally often to the west of Crieff around Monzievaird and Comrie

MACROSTIE or MACROSTY or MACCROSTIE : Probably the only Scottish
“ Mac “ without a tartan ! The MacRosties are pure Perthshire . The name is said to have derived from St Drostan a Celtic saint . Found locally in Monzievaird where the ancestors of James of Park fame originated .