General History of the Area

General History of the AreaIntroduction

The area of Glenshee and Strathardle is full of history.  The Kings of Scotland travelled through here in ancient times, when Scone was the nation's capital.  Kings Alexander, Malcolm and David all had hunting grounds which included the whole area and extended as far afield as Braemar.  Castle Dhu in Braemar was the Kings' hunting lodge.

Parliaments were held in the glens, as and when it was considered necessary; for example to settle a dispute between local barons.  One place where the Parliament is claimed to have met was at the Parliament Stone, which stands behind the church at the Spittal of Glenshee.

Many traditional drove roads converged on Kirkmichael where, at one time, one of the largest cattle markets in Scotland, was held.  Lowland traders would buy a number of lots of Highland black cattle.  Once they had acquired a decent sized herd, they would then take them on to the Lowland markets.  The cattle and horses of the area were a draw to the raiders or "Caterans" from the west, and there is tell that on one occasion they succeeded in making off with over 1000 head of "knot" (horses) and cattle from the area.

It is a little known fact that Rob Roy was a drover.  On his visits to the area he stayed in the "Rob Roy" room in Ashintully Castle as a guest of the Spaldings.  The Rob Roy room exists in Ashintully Castle to this day.

The area has a number of standing stones, at least 8 of which are named.  There are also a number of very well preserved hut circles in the area.  Among these is a unique type of house, found nowhere else in Scotland.  This is called "The Pitcarmick House" in recognition of the Estate on which it was found after a serious moor fire in the 1970s. 





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