Many thanks to Hugh Rose, at Trian House, for sending these shots of farms in Glen Artney, a McGruder homeland from the mid 16th c. until the early 19th c. Glen Artney lies on the geological fault line that crosses Scotland from SW to NE, marking the boundary between Highlands and Lowlands. Since most of us will visit in summer, it’s especially nice to see this autumn colors.
While you celebrate its beauty and give thanks that it hasn’t fallen prey to modern development, keep in mind that before the Clearances Glen Artney was a thriving community, far larger than it is today. By the late 18th c. it was home to as many as 2,000 people–farmers, weavers, mill workers, shepherds, woodsmen, and artisans–possibly beyond the carrying capacity of the land, but nonetheless a community of souls that were scattered to the winds by the Clearances.
MacGrouthers/McGruders held the lease of Craigneich until the end of the 18th c. Alexander the Immigrant’s father was born there, and we believe that Alexander was raised there after his father died and his mother remarried. He named one of his Maryland plantations Craigneich, which was quickly Anglicized into Craignight.
See comments at the bottom of this page for discussion by Gaelic speakers of the possible derivation(s) of Craigneich.
Here’s a close-up of the current farm house.
Farther up the glen lie several farms at Meigor/Meiggar, where John McGruder (Alexander the Immigrant’s uncle) acquired land in 1630, making the rare transition from tenant to landowner. In the records, he changes from John MacGrouther IN Meigor to John MacGrouther OF Meigor.
His descendants owned land and houses here, and part of a mill, until the early 19th c. After the 1745 Jacobite uprising, they fought hard to retain their land, including extensive leases they held from the Drummonds. Drummond estates had been forfeited following the rebellion, so the MacGrouthers and other tenants found themselves dealing with new owners, new estate factors, and new laws.
Traveling up the glen, the first site is Easter Meigor/Meiggar.
Next comes Trian, or Treyanmanich (Treyanmianuach), also known as the Middle Third lands of Meigor. The house now called Trian Cottage is on the original home site.
Hugh notes that though the house has been added onto on both sides, and the conservatory added at the front door, you can still see the two-up, two-down construction of the original house. Here’s an aerial shot.
Close by Trian Cottage stands the modern house at Trian, built in 1924.
- Trian House from Milntuim. Photo by Bob Fryer.
Beyond the trees in the photo of Trian lies Lower Meiggar. This shot shows the house with its additions and garage. The next shot shows just the original house, rebuilt in 1815.
Wester Meiggar, the last of the four farms, lies to the far left in this aerial, which also shows how the farms lie in relation to each other.
If I’m understanding the photo correctly, this aerial was shot from the southeast. Trian House & Trian Cottage are in the foreground, nestled into the woods; Lower Meigor/Meiggar lies just beyond them, partly obscured by the trees; Wester Meigor/Meiggar is by itself off to the left. And here is a close-up of Wester Meigor.
This one shows Trian House & Trian Cottage at the lower left, Lower Meigor just above that, and Milntuim House at center right. The view is looking northeast. These aerial shots were taken by Bob Fryer from a helicopter.
The Dunira estate is northwest of Comrie, and the Meigor area is southwest of Comrie; so this shot looks south/southeast from Dunira. The prominent white house in the middle distance is Trian House. Just lower and to its right, rather faint, is (I think) Milntuim House, while Easter Meigor lies at the far left edge of the photo.
At Milntuim were several mills, including a lint mill and a corn mill that employed residents of the glen and served their needs.