Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Walk Around Old Crieff in the Steps of the Drovers



When the Crieff Tryst ( Cattle Market ) was active , our little town was , for a month in October , a bustling frenetic place . There was an intriguing mixture of hardened  Gaelic speaking Highlanders and quick talking Lowland cattle dealers forever on the look out for a quick deal and profit . Many of the Highlanders came from the West - from Kintyre, Skye and other parts  of Argyll- the Dalriata of Celtic legend . 


They made their way to Crieff by traversing the south bank of the Earn and crossing into the town by Gallowford ( Ford Road ) , passing the Kind Gallows  and entering the free pasturage that was the Acrelands in what is now the Market Park . 



Market Park or the Acrelands was where the good citizens of Crieff could graze their beasts without hindrance or charge  and where the drovers rested their cattle before the start of the Michaelmas Tryst . There were a number of sites about the town where the cattle were kept prior to sale . 





Small cairn and plaque and cairn erected by Hillcrest Housing at their Gallowhill Development indicating the historical significance of this part of the town . The “ Kind Gallows “ were mentioned by Sir Walter Scott and also Macaulay in his “History of England” ( honest !! ) The drovers heading for the Acrelands would doff their bonnets as the passed the 7’ long gibbet in superstitious respect . 



Joseph Sharp’s Ale House in Burrell Street ( somewhat modernised ) was a " howf " much favoured by the droothy drovers  en route to the final halt .






It was shown on Wood’s map of Crieff dated 1822. 

The“ drover’s boozer “ was located at the rear of the present building which was renovated about 1985 . 





                                                                       
                                                             Gallowhill House 


This late 18th century Georgian building is shown on Wood’s map of 1822 . The lower part of the fabric including the vaulted cellar probably dates back to an earlier period. The cellar appeared to function as a cell in days gone by and in the 1980s there still remained a chain bolted to the stone ceiling . 









St Fillans RC Church built in 1871 by Andrew Heiton Jr and one of the town’s ecclesiastical gems . Relocated here from site at top of Mitchell Street .St Dominic’s School was located in what is now the car park before moving across to its current situation.




Crieff Cemetery Ford Road



Cast iron fountain by George Smith & Co of the Sun Foundry Glasgow 1887 with figures of herons . Listed.

The Crieff Cemetery was opened in the late 1850s  on the closure of the one in Church Street ( Kirkgate ) adjoining the old Parish Church . The Ford Road Cemetery is in reality a garden of remembrance for  more than a few of  the town's worthy sons.

Lewis Miller and his wife Annie McEwan . Incredible man and a true “ lad o’ pairts “. Strong supporter of the Seceders and opposed to the Parish Church . Ploughboy who by the age 30 owned half of Bennachie in Aberdeen , forests in Sweden and Labrador , had two towns named after him , constructed 100s of miles of Canadian railroad and in his spare time built what is now Richmond House
( formerly Bennachie ) and provided the money to allow the Free Kirk Steeple to dominate that of the Parish Kirk opposite in Strathearn terrace  by 2 feet ! Wife was a McEwan who owned the Dallerie Mill and produced renowned tartan cloth . Lewis’s grand daughter lived in Ward House Muthill aged 94 ( 2009 ) 







Daniel Robertson another of Strathearn’s sons of the soil who made his mark . Ploughboy – dux of Monzievaird school – founder of the National Provincial Bank in London . Built Dalnaglar on Comrie Road (now Balhousie Dalnaglar Care Home ) as a summer home  and restored Dalnaglar Castle near Blairgowrie . 

        



                                                                    


Stone to the MacRosty family . Family originated in Monzievaird and are buried in the cemetery at Strowan beside the pre Reformation Church at the foot of Bairds Monument . James was Provost of Crieff , solicitor and bank agent . His father was a weaving agent and family lived in what is now Earnbank Road . Bought and donated the nursery at Barnkittock now MacRosty Park .




mposing edifice to Monteith / McLaurin family – the Lairds of Broich – the lands extending east- west to the south of the town . Monteith Street named after them . Built Broich House  beside the Earn.


Like Lewis Miller , the Morgan family were eminent in the forestry business which brought much prosperity to the town in the 19th century. The Morgans owned the sawmill at Turretbank now Park Village . 



The Last drove !!























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