Directions to Inchaffray Abbey (ruins) & Belliclone (still a working farm)
Belliclone is east of Crieff on the old Perth-Crieff road. You can come from that direction, or reach it off the A85 east of Crieff. These directions take you by the A85 route.
About 6 miles from Crieff is an unnumbered road on the right that leads in about a mile and a half to the ruins of Inchafray Abbey. You’ll see them on your right, not very large, across a field. You can search online and find a few images–basically you will see a single tall wall half-hidden by trees. There’s a private house beyond the ruin, and the owner let myself and friend in to see the ruins in ’99. (The electronic gate says Inchaffray Abbey.) If you can get in, you’ll see that more of the building is still standing, including a complete vaulted room, strong enough (at least in ’99) to walk on the top of the vault and look out through the upper windows of that tall wall visible from the road.
Madderty Church is just past Inchaffray, off the road to the right. No McGruther graves show in the graveyard, but quite a few were buried and baptised there.
To find Belliclone, keep going on that road past Inchaffray about 2.5 miles to a paved road, which is the old Perth-Crieff road. Turn right. There are new houses along that road, in case you have to ask directions. It’s about a mile and a half from there to the Bellyclone road on the right, a private road. Once you turn right on the Bellyclone road it will run north a short way then hook back to the right (east) and you’ll see Nether Belliclone on the right. Because of a plaque placed on the house by American Magruders in 1975, current tenants should not be too surprised by strange Americans at the gate.
If you look at the outbuildings, you’ll find a partition wall between two sections where the stonework looks markedly older than the rest. It is visible from the outside where the end of the partition wall forms part of the exterior wall. This is said to be stonework dating from Alexander Magruder’s time, though I don’t’ know how this was established, nor what kind of building it is supposed to have been.
Here is a snapshot off the Ordnance Survey Map (OS Explorer Series #368: Crieff, Comrie, & Glen Artney) which I encourage you to purchase if you are traveling to Perthshire. So many wonderful little spots you’ll miss without it! And the place names–a trip unto themselves.
I know it’s a lousy image. It’s intended to help you correlate the McGruder sites with road maps, Googlemaps, or whatever you are using.
The red road at the top of the image is the A85. My directions to Belliclone Farm start on that road, then take you south down the yellow road to Inchaffray Abbey (ruins) and Madderty, then south and west along the yellow roads toward Bellyclone. The farm now “Nether Bellyclone” on this map is the site where we believe Alexander McGruder/Magruder was born–not the one directly on the yellow road. Follow my directions to reach the right one.
Inchaffray Abbey page on Scottish Places has some history, some legend, and a map that places it in relation to other sites. #10 on that Map is the ruin of Innerpeffray Castle, seat of the first Lord Madderty, for whom Alexander’s father served as chamberlain. The third Lord Madderty, who was roughly Alexander’s contemporary, built the nearby Innerpeffray Library, the oldest free lending library in Scotland (founded 1680). Though not far from Belliclone, Innerpeffray is most easily reached via road B8062 leading southeast out of Crieff.
Drummond Castle, seat of the Lords Drummond, later Earls of Perth, is farther west, near Muthill. Find directions on their web site.