by Thornie - 19:18 on 22 September 2020
by Thornie - 18:29 on 22 September 2020
by Thornie - 11:46 on 22 April 2020
In which Thornie uncovers a Grand Plan for Birnam from 1876.
by Thornie - 20:12 on 10 March 2020
In which Thornie remembers Father Robert Abercromby SJ (1536 - 1613) of Murthly Castle who was responsible for seeing a Catholic queen onto the English throne. He also considers the evidence for Sir William Steuart (1567 -1646) of Grandtully blackmailing the Abercrombies into giving up Murthly, which earned him the nickname, 'William the Ruthless'.
by Thornie - 12:35 on 09 March 2020
When goat whey was popular everywhere around . . . except in Murthly.
by Thornie - 15:40 on 06 March 2020
In which Thornie doffs his wig to a trio of academics who place the Pittensorn stone in its Pictish context.
by Thornie - 12:05 on 01 November 2019
In which Thornie serendipitously finds a derivation for 'Dalpowie'. Which is then expanded and refined by a local expert.
by Thornie - 11:56 on 14 September 2019
There was a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when PD Malloch of Perth was much more than a tackle shop. The firm was a major player in arranging shooting and fishing lets for estates across Scotland, and even had an office in London. Sometimes, however, their clients left a lot to be desired . . .
by Thornie - 19:55 on 09 September 2019
A clash between the laird and a few tenants seems to have been smoothed over by giving one of them more responsibility . . .
by Thornie - 18:46 on 29 August 2019
Another entry on the origins of Dalpowie Lodge, and how 'mission creep' caused charitable trustees to veer off course . . .
by Thornie - 19:21 on 05 June 2019
According to some social theorists, there are only six degrees of separation between you and Donald Trump. And anyone on the planet. In this blog, Thornie tries it out in a historical context.
by Thornie - 16:37 on 21 May 2019
The Douglas Cause was the biggest, most expensive case of its kind in Scotland, ever. Did Colonel John Steuart of Murthly at the age of 60 father twins with 50-year-old heiress Lady Jane Douglas? Or did they buy the bairns in some Parisian back-street? The case split the nation, and the verdict caused a riot in the streets of Edinburgh . . .
by Thornie - 12:22 on 13 May 2019
Dalpowie Lodge stood for over 200 years . . . in a variety of guises and names. Originally The Hospital, a refuge set up by John Steuart (c1643 - 1720) for the 12 poorest old men on his estates. It saw service as a church, meeting house, factor's house and office, bijou love nest, shooting lodge, auxiliary hospital, and wartime billet. It was also known at various times as Glen Birnam, Dalpowie Lodge, Birnam Hall, and Dalpowie House.
by Thornie - 16:02 on 30 April 2019
The truth about what happened on 16th January 1925 at Baldarroch House - father shoots son and heir dead while absent his faculties - seemed fairly straightforward. Was there a rush to judgement by the Lord Advocate, however, leaving the Procurator Fiscal fizzing?
by Thornie - 16:35 on 11 April 2019
Thornie finds common cause with some of the bletherings of Donald Rumsfeld . . .
by Thornie - 15:09 on 01 April 2019
The Pre-Raphelite painter, Sir John Everett Millais loved Perthshire. He leased Birnam Hall (formerly known as Dalpowie Lodge) in the 1880s, during which time he tore into gamebirds and salmon alike; a ferocious sportsman, even for that period. However, he also painted some of his loveliest landscapes locally. Much of what we know of his experiences at Birnam Hall come down to us courtesy of his youngest son, John. But he has proved to be the very model of the Unreliable Narrator.
by Thornie - 11:15 on 16 March 2019
Murthly didn't get a church until 1913. Until then locals were faced with a trip across the Tay to Caputh, in a different parish, or a four or five-mile trek to the church in Little Dunkeld. Although the village was growing it wasn't an easy task to persuade the Church of Scotland that Murthly deserved, and could sustain its own church.
by Thornie - 15:14 on 11 March 2019
The History Group was intrigued by stories of the Malakoff Arch, now just a space on the landscape. Particularly, that estate workers used to hold dances there. Tracking down the truth took a bit of archival digging . . .
by Thornie - 11:04 on 06 March 2019
The first cartographer to map the stone circle in Druid's Park was James Stobie (1775 - 1804). Some people question his accuracy. However. Thornie takes three local examples of things he is deemed to have got wrong; and humbly begs to differ . . .
by Thornie - 10:52 on 05 March 2019
The stone circle in Druid's Park is immensely old. There are five stones, but space for eight. Can we ever know what happened to the other three? Well, the site has been extensively developed twice in the past 155 years: which set of builders can we frame?
by Thornie - 10:04 on 01 March 2019
The Perth - Dunkeld Railway opened in April 1856. Towards the end of the year, work began on the station building. For several years after that Murthly consisted solely of the station, goods yard and Strathearn's Inn. This blog introduces Thomas Roger who had the vision and smeddum to up sticks from Caputh and build Murthly's first house.
by Thornie - 16:14 on 14 February 2019
Local historians have learned not to depend ower much on Clio, Muse of Big History. But we have a champion of sorts from Eastern mythology . . . Lady Serendipity.