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Glencoe is one of the most historic sites in Scotland. In 1692 it was the scene of the famous massacre of the MacDonalds.
The mountains of Glencoe are well known to climbers around the world. The Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team was started by Hamish MacInnes, who is a world renowned mountain climber, video photographer, explorer and author.
Glencoe Ski Centre (the White Corries) was the first commercial ski area in Scotland. The Fleming family owns the land. Crofting, fishing, climbing and hill walking are part of Glencoe's history also. Today, these are still part of Glencoe and visitors can enjoy the fishing, climbing, skiing, or hiking/hill walking.
Recently the last remaining lands of Lord Strathcona's Glencoe Estate were offered for sale; the land comprised of a half-share of the ancient burial Isle of St Munda, traditional burial place of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, also Camerons, McInnes, MacIntyres, McKenzies and Rankins along with other clanspeople.
Included in the sale was a considerable stretch of the picturesque River Coe, along with fishing rights on Loch Triachtan and Loch Leven.
An important appeal from The Glencoe Heritage Trust
Recently the last remaining lands of Lord Strathcona's Glencoe Estate were offered for sale; the land comprised of a half-share of the ancient burial Isle of St Munda, traditional burial place of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, also Camerons, McInnes, MacIntyres, McKenzies and Rankins along with other clanspeople. Included in the sale was a considerable stretch of the picturesque River Coe, along with fishing rights on Loch Triachtan and Loch Leven.
Also included in this sale was a number of attractive and important woodlands, containing oak, ash, hazel, scots pine, and many other species, which are home to a large variety of birds and wildlife. One of the most outstanding features of these woodlands is a line of ancient beech trees, planted by McDonald's of Glencoe to commemorate their fallen comrades, who were killed fighting under General Wolfe at Quebec, during the seven years war.
A large area of Crofters Common Grazings, situated on the Pap of Glencoe, along with the ruin of the 18th century Corn Mill, were also offered for sale; this area contains ancient oak trees, and the remains of the Fienn 'trenches' dating back over a thousand years.
Red deer stags also 'winter' here, and Roe deer, foxes, buzzards etc are to be found in this area, where the various rocks, streams and knolls all have their own gaelic place names. The main footpath to the summit of the 'Pap' and the neighbouring legendary peak Sgurr-na-fiannaidh (the peak of the Fienn) begins here.
These lands were formerly part of the old Glencoe Estate, which was owned by a succession of McDonald Chiefs including Alasdair (MacIan) McDonald, the chief slain in the 1692 massacre, down to his direct descendant, Archibald Burns McDonald who sold the lands to Lord Strathcona in 1894. A community bid for land fund money to acquire these lands was unsuccessful, and with only hours left until the closing date, local crofter Alistair MacDonald, who was not involved in the land fund bid, made a last desperate attempt to save the lands of his ancestors by borrowing money to cover the asking price. Mr MacDonald submitted an 11th hour bid, and after careful consideration by the sellers, Mr MacDonald's bid was accepted.
Mr MacDonald submitted an 11th hour bid, and after careful consideration by the sellers, Mr MacDonald's bid was accepted. This is the first time in 108 years that a MacDonald of Glencoe has been involved in the purchase of lands within Glencoe, which are of such historic significance.
Mr MacDonald has now set up THE GLENCOE HERITAGE TRUST to preserve the natural and cultural heritage for future generations and the GHT is making good progress in:
rotecting the wildlife and their habitats; Safeguarding the scenic areas around Glencoe and Raising awareness of the historic importance of these lands.
To achieve all this, we need your help to repay the donors who gave so generously, in order that an important area of Scotland remains firmly in local hands for perpetuity.
In April 2003, the world famous Pipers & Drummers of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, gave the Glencoe Heritage Trust a massive boost, when they came in strength to Glencoe to highlight the significance of the GLENCOE HERITAGE TRUST APPEAL, the trust's founder member Alistair MacDonald, being an ex Scots guardsman.
In glorious sunshine, the band marched through the village, much to the appreciation of hundreds of people who lined the village street.
One of the highlights of the day was when the band played beside the recently purchased River Coe, and ancient woodlands, as the strains of 'Mist Covered Mountains', Amazing Grace' and poignant, well known Jacobite tunes echoed round the surrounding mountains, many people present found this moment particularly moving.
A surprise was in store for the crowd, when 4 Scots Guards dancers stepped forward and performed a disciplined & dazzling display of the sword dance, to the prolonged applause of the people watching.
GHT secretary, Rosalin MacDonald said "This is the first time a pipe band has visited Glencoe Village, and it was a very successful fund-raising event, much of the success, due, to the hard work and dedication of the Glencoe community, helped by members of the surrounding communities". The sum of £600 pounds was raised on the day in support of the appeal.
Since the summer of 2002, the GHT immediately embarked on a host of fund-raising activities, starting with a TEA DAY which raised £600; this was followed by the re-instatement of the traditional Halloween party, which was attended by over 50 local children, this raised £100.
In Christmas 2002, it was decided by the Trust to distribute logs to the senior citizens of the village, which was well received. In February 2003, the GHT held a 'Ladies Night' demonstrating beauty products, this raised £100. In April, the 1st Battalion Scots Guards marched through Glencoe village in support of the GHT appeal, £600 was raised on the day, the GHT Director being an ex Scots Guardsman.
In the summer, a kind gesture to pay for our printing costs was made from a husband and wife from England who are regular visitors to Glencoe. In July, at short notice, it was decided to hold a Flower Show in the village, and on the 31st August the inaugural Glencoe and district flower show was held, which proved to be a great success raising £600. Many high class exhibits were on show, and by popular demand it is hoped this will be an annual event.
The Massacre of Glencoe:
In August 1691, William of Orange proclaimed a pardon for all the clan chiefs who had not already sworn allegiance to him if they took the oath by the 1st of January 1692.
None of the chiefs who were loyal to the Jacobite cause were willing to sign such an oath without the permission of the exiled James, so messengers were secretly sent to Paris to see if King James would release the chiefs from their oath of allegiance to him. Reluctantly on the 12 th of December he sent word, releasing the chiefs. However, he left his decision too late to allow the messengers to get back to Scotland to circulate the news to the clan chiefs.
Because of the bitter weather, Duncan Menzies' messenger did not reach Glencoe until 29 th December. The old chief MacIain set off on the 30th December for Fort William to swear his oath of allegiance before Colonel Hill, the Governor at Fort William. There he was told that the oath had to be signed at Inverary.
Travelling slowly because of snowstorms he finally reached Inverary on the 2nd January and found the Sheriff to be on holiday. He finally signed the oath on the 5 th January and unbeknown to him the plan to make his clan an example was well underway. Sir John Dalrymple, one of William's close advisors, had made plans to destroy the Clan Macdonald in Glencoe if MacIain did not sign the oath. Although he knew of the late dated oath of allegiance, Dalrymple went ahead with his plan to destroy the clan.
It was on the 1st February that Campbell of Glenlyon and 120 men of the Argyll Regiment asked to be billeted in the glen. Clan MacDonald not knowing the reason, the regiment made friends with the clan before the order came. In the early morning of 13th February at 5am all the MacDonald's who could not escape into the blizzard were massacred. MacIain was killed along with 35 others.
Thirteen people were killed at Inveriggan. It was estimated that there was about 400 MacDonald's in the glen, so the planned mass annihilation obviously failed. MacIain's two sons escaped, although an unknown number of the clan perished in the hills trying to escape. It is thought that the atrocious weather conditions hindered the government troops sealing the various exits from the glen enabling those who escaped to negotiate the high passes before the passes were sealed off.
Many of those who died in the massacre, including MacIain, are buried near Glencoe on the island, Eilan Munde, in Loch Leven. Boat trips to view the burial island can be arranged locally.
Every year now, on the 13th of February, a memorial is held in Glencoe to honour those who died in the Massacre of 1692.
An abundance of activities and interests are available in the Glencoe and Lochaber area. These include hill walking, climbing, golf, pony trekking, fishing, boating, sailing and canoeing and skiing.
Because of Peter's many years in the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team and living in Glencoe, and Paulette's love of running in the mountains they are able to assist you with your plans for exploring the area. There are many walks in the area, mountains to climb, waterfalls and wildlife to view.
The Glen offers superb hill walking, however, you must have proper footwear, waterproofs, food, water and a map or knowledge of your route.