Lochearnhead, lands of Stewart of Ardvorlich, via St Fillans
Drive 3 to Lochearnhead, South Lochearn, St Fillans
A visit to Lochearnhead, and to the mysterious stones of Ardvorlich
A scenic drive with historical interest. A roads 30m. Unclassified 6m.
From Callander, drive northwest on the A84 via Kilmahog and Strathyre. As you approach Lochearnhead at the foot of the long downhill stretch, watch out for a converted church (currently under repair) on the right just before Lochearnhead.Turn right here onto the unclassified road which now follows the south shore of Loch Earn.
Just a few hundred yards down this road on the left you will see GlenAmple Castle - once a Campbell stronghold. There is no public access to the castle, but its worth looking at!
Continue down this road and in a couple of miles or so, as the road gets close to Lochearn, watch on the right for a weathered gravestone beside a little burn near Ardvorlich house. The stone carries an inscription which reads something like: 'Near this spot were buried the bodies of 7 McDonalds of GlenCoe killed when attempting to harry Ardvorlich House AD1620'
Seven MacDonalds from Glencoe raided Ardvorlich when the Stewart men were away, but
were killed when the Stewarts returned unexpectedly.
At this point you get an excellent view of Ben Vorlich - a favourite mountain for walkers
Continue eastwards for about a mile and now watch on the left where the road nears the loch for another similar stone near to a little bridge. This stone also carries an inscription: 'This stone marks the place of interment of Major James Stewart afterwards removed to the family vault at Dundurn died about 1660'
The chief of the Clan Stewart had made many enemies, but always managed to avoid them. He died peacefully in bed but his enemies, possibly Grahams or MacGregors heard of his death,and, furious at having been cheated of their revenge swore to desecrate his body on its way to burial at St Fillans. The funeral procession, having left the Stewart home at Ardvorlich house further down the road, then a track and much higher up the hillside at that time, were forewarned and buried their chief in a shallow grave down the hillside close to Lochearn where he was left for several years until more peaceful times. He was then dug up to be safely buried in the proper place at Dundurn, burial place of the chiefs of the Clan Stewart.
This stone marks the spot where his body was hidden.
Continue to join the main road at St Fillans (avoiding looking at the ugly caravan site on the left!
At the main road turn left and drive through the pretty little village of St Fillans after which some wonderful opportunities for photos looking up Lochearn towards Lochearnhead. (Toilets on the right opposite the big lay-by).
Continue westwards up the lochside to Lochearnhead and turn left to return to Callander the way you came.
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