It’s official – Chocolate is good for you!


Glenfinart Walled Garden supporters Ali and Friederike Gower, who over the years have generously donated many of their excellent Chocolate Tree products to Walled Garden fundraising, were featured in a recent news item on STV. Researchers at Queen Margaret University have found that high levels of polyphenols in certain premium chocolate, if eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, can offer significant health benefits. So those of you with a sweet tooth can now indulge a little this Christmas in the knowledge that at least some of those chocs could be good for you!

– Read more and view the video: Chocolate research discovers sweet treats can boost your health
– The Chocolate Tree


Tinsel and treats at Ardentinny party


Ardentinny’s Annual Christmas Party for the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the village was another great success.

Organisers, Anna and Mary Jane provided lots of good, old fashioned, party games and there was an even greater array of cakes and goodies, thanks to the many volunteers who baked.

Excitement for the children culminated in hearing Santa’s distant bell and his eventual arrival to deliver their gifts.




National Park provides further support

Ardentinny’s Glenfinart Walled Garden has been awarded a £768 administration grant by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

According to Ardentinny Community Trust Treasurer, Dennis Gower, this most welcome additional funding will go towards insurance and other administration costs of the Walled Garden project.

The National Park previously provided support to this community initiative through the tireless efforts of its volunteers during the preparations for the Glenfinart Walled Garden’s episode of the BBC’s Beechgrove Garden programme and the Trust continues to maintain a close liaison with the Park regarding its ongoing work on the project.


Who do you think you are Glenfinart?

Continuing on from our previous article on Glenfinart House when it was used as a holiday centre between the 1930’s and early 60’s. Elizabeth Brooking, granddaughter of  the late Henry C. White, owner of Friendship Holidays Association, has provided us with  more images and information from her archive. In addition to Glenfinart House, Henry C. White owned a chain of holiday centres throughout the UK as well as offering holidays in France, Switzerland and Italy.

The house finally closed as a holiday centre in 1961, on the death of Henry C.White and the majority of the building was destroyed by fire in 1968. All that remains today is the main turret.

Through the previous posts on Glenfinart House at, Elizabeth (whose parents met at Glenfinart House) has also found a long-lost relative who shares the same great grandfather as her. This has resulted in dozens of unknown relatives being traced. She’s looking forward to meeting at least some of them in the future!

With the help of Elizabeth has also been in contact with others researching the history of the Friendship Holidays Association and the hope is that the FHA material which has been collected will be archived for future generations, to provide a history on the organisation and the people involved.

As a footnote In 1966, Elizabeth Brooking’s mother wrote a story for a competition based on the Ardentinny fire. It can be read here.

Photographs courtesy Elizabeth Brooking. 

Advertisement from 1934.
1930’s: ‘Promotional’ letter on the opening of Glenfinart House.
Glenfinart House probably in the 1950’s.


1932 holiday brochure.
Article on the man behind Friendship Holidays Association, Henry C. White.
1961: Probably the last group of guests at Glenfinart House, as the centre closed that year following the death of H.C.White.
1968: Article from Dunoon newspaper on the Glenfinart House fire.
Cuil Burn as referred to in the comment below.

A home grown Christmas

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Anna Williamson and Merle Ferguson with the Walled Garden produce.

It’s been a busy week for the Glenfinart Walled Garden volunteers who today put on an amazing display of produce and crafts at Blairmore’s Local Produce Christmas Market.

Anna Williamson, Linda Naismith, Ann Morrison, Janette Reilly, Merle Ferguson, Lynn Kerr, Margaret Robinson and the Community Payback Team created beautiful wreaths and Christmas decorations to raise funds for the Walled Garden. Linda Naismith provided the venue for the village crafters and was a wonderful host, keeping the workers fed and watered (not to mention dealing with the mess left behind!).

Forest foragers gathered berries, hundreds of pine cones, holly and greenery for the wreaths and many from the community donated Christmas decorations, ribbons and craft items to complete the wreaths.  Locals also donated home baking and preserves, hand crafts and designer jewellery. The creative hands of Chris Emmett constructed bird boxes and feeders, the proceeds from which will buy wood for raised beds for the Walled Garden.

A big thank you to everyone!!

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Handmade and grown in Ardentinny!