Tears in the Glen

Tears in the Glen is the family history of an Australian family who have traced their roots back to Baron McInturner of Craigcoll/Craighoyle, Glenfinart, Ardentinny.

Dedicated to the history of the Turners of Craigcoll/hoyle, their ancestors and their descendants who migrated to Australia in the 1800s. The video tells the story of the family from its beginnings until the 1850s.

Created by Richard Balsillie, the story recounts how Baron McInturner received his Barony from Robert the Bruce and how members of the Campbell clan killed him one night on his way to Whistlefield for his supposed support of the Lamont clan. Remains of the cairn still exist and it is one of Ardentinny Community Council’s ongoing projects to restore it.

Additional images and footage were provided by ardentinny.org. Richard would welcome viewer comments and any additional historic information. A video on the next part of the story, focussing on the Turners of Eaglehawk, Victoria is expected to be published late in 2011.

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Alison Duncan
4 years ago

Hi again Richard – don’t know if you have read my comments or managed to contact Catherine Montgomery yet? Some of the information in your video is incorrect, requires updating! (Think previously there was a printed history – can’t seem to find that now video has returned? )
Catherine has more accurate information about the history and particularly the murder on Larach Hill , also map reference and photos of site of cairn.
Another point is that the pronunciation in the video of many of the clan, place and castle names is not correct! I realise that someone raised in Australia will not have a Scottish ‘ear’ – but it would be good to ask a local for advice as to how we say (and understand!) the names in Argyll!
Hope to meet some of your family when they next visit the area – alas the plan to reinstate / have signboard by cairn site seems to be on hold, but as I mentioned Catherine has good knowledge and pictures of it as it was and is now.

Charles Witherow
4 years ago

In the early 80’s, we did bus tours for the new sailors and their families arriving at the Holy Loch. We would regularly stop at the Baron Turner cairn. Several years later I tried to find the cairn again but with no luck. It appeared as though works on the road and roadside areas had destroyed the cairn. Could someone tell me if I had just been looking in the wrong place or has it, in fact, been destroyed. Thanks, Charlie, Queen Street, Dunoon.

Alison Duncan
4 years ago

Hi Again Richard – I now have some more info about the murder of Baron MacIntourner (Gaelic pronunciation of the name – tho not the spelling!) from Catherine Montgomery – but I need to scan it in so I can attach copies, shall get round to that soon. It includes the site of what remains of the cairn marked on an OS map, and a photo of the old man (Duncan Whyte) sitting against the cairn in 1898 (I got date wrong in my previous post). The cairn in the photo is much larger than what now remains.
One of the documents Catherine has contains a short verse in Gaelic which is supposed to be what the murdered uttered when he came back down into the inn
I will also send the words of my ‘Ballad’/song about the death of MacIntourner, which I completed recently. Please note it is a song so some is speculation! – I have no idea why (if?) he was walking alone over the Larach, or if it was close to Lammas-tide – – tho I recall hearing in a talk that it was a harvest ball?
I shall probably tweak the song a bit more if I discover any further information – as for the tune you will have to ask me to sing it to you sometime as I don’t write music – tune is in my head!
It does seem that this was not a Campbell/Lamont feud (I think MacIntourner was related to the Lamonts) but occurred while the Campbells were in rebellion against the king, who called on the Earl of Atholl to bring his men down to quell the Campbells. (the Earl of Argyll had been in Europe, but on his return was jailed in Edinburgh then hung.)
Catherine has some of her own family tree information (showing she is descended from the Baron) and is involved with Strachur History Society so it really would be worthy contacting her.
Aye, Alison
NB Robert the Bruce was around in the 1300s (Battle of Stirling Bridge was 1314) Baron McInturner’s death was in 1685 (or possibly 1686)

(The Death of Baron MacIntourner on the High Larach)
(Alison Duncan 2018)
In saxteen hunnner and eighty five
Baron MacIntourner did live
at bonnie Craighoyle in the Finart Glen
wi his wife and his family and his serving men

Noo MacIntourner was the best o’ men –
loo’d by a’ folks in the glen
an’ he cared for his stock, an’ his woods an’ land
Frae th’ Larach Hill tae the Loch Long strand

And the moon hung low …o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacIntourner was doomed …tae die

Noo, comin’ nigh on Lammas tide
wis be a ball on Loch Eck side
at Whistlefield Inn, for yin an’ a’
Frae cott an’ tower baith large an’ sma’

But the Baron’s mare was tae drap her foal
So he sent his folks a’ ower the hill
Sayin’ he wad follow them later that e’en
Aince the bonnie foal was born
And the moon hung low… o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacIntourner was doomed… tae die

The men o’ Atholl were in Argyll
by the King’s command, Campbell chiefs tae kill
Some cam tae the Whistlefield, heard the talk
o’ a Baron wha alane wad walk

Sae yin o them slippit oot o’ the inn,
an up tae the tap o’ the Larach did rin
wi’ his musket – he hid ‘neath the elder an’ the sloe
Whilst the bricht moon o’er the hill hung low

And the moon hung low… o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacIntourner was doomed… tae die

The Baron cam striding alang the road,
whistling an air sae clear and loud;
he was fleet as a deer and strang as a bull
but was soon laid low by a musket ball

Yon Atholl man gaed doon tae the inn,
Cam by the kitchin so as no’ tae be seen
Telt the guid wife a bottle for tae fill –
– th’ Black Cock’s lyin’ streetch’d hauf-wey o’er the hill

And the moon hung low… o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacIntourner was doomed.. tae die

– yin o’ th’ baron’s freens o’er-heard whit was said,
vowed the Atholl man s’n himsel’ wad be deid
Sae early next morn he folly’d him doon
Left him lying by the loch at the rise o the sun

Syne ev’ry traiv’ller wad lift a stane
An’ cairry it up tae lay oan a cairn
That tow’r’d sae high it near touch’d the sky
In mem’ry o’ whaur Macintourner did die

And the moon hung low… o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacInturner was doomed …tae die

And the hairst moon shone …o’er the Larach high
On the nicht MacInturner – he did die

(Composed by Alison Duncan Summer/ Autumn 2018)

Alison Duncan
4 years ago

Hi Richard, Catherine Montgomery of the Strachur Historical Society has information about the site of the murder of Baron McInturner. There is still evidence of a small cairn – if you know where to look! Catherine also has a photo of a car belonging to the farmer from (Corantee – this is incorrect spelling of a Gaelic name meaning corrie of the faeries) on Loch Eckside – he and some friends had stopped to view the cairn a long time ago — 1920s, 30s?
I enjoyed the first video — has the second one been posted anywhere? I am particularly interested in anything farther about the murder of Baron McInturner on the High Larach. (I have read the Whistlefield data boards)
One comment tho’ – it would have been good to have had correct / Scottish pronunciations of names and places! They don’t necessarily sound the way they look – — !!
Aye, Alison

kerryn Greenwood,(McArthur)
10 years ago

Hi was saddened to see that this short film has been removed, My mother is Margaret maiden name Bayliss from woodvale who is in the Turrner family is there any way of getting a copy of the film thanking you Kerryn.

Richard Balsillie
11 years ago

While most of the footage was shot by myself, I relied heavily on the support and contrinution of people like David McDowall, John McIntyre, Alan Wallace and others to provide some of the local imagery. To them I am very grateful. David’s broader support is also very much appreciated.

I would be grateful too, to anyone who can pinpoint the location of Baron McInturner’s Cairn and provide a contemporary photo of the site. After makng the video, I uncovered more information about the murder of Baron McInturner. A copy can be seen at the Whistlefield Inn.

Richard Balsillie
Melbourne, Australia

John McIntyre
11 years ago

I also put images into Richard’s video the ones of Old Craigholyle House and the old one of the same which I got from Allan Wallace who very kindly sent it to me.

John McIntyre.

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