A Pilgrimage in the National Park

Article Index

Three Distinguished Ministers…

Rev Robert Kirk (1644-92), Minister of both Balqhuidder and Aberfoyle published a Gaelic version of the psalms of David. He then went on to transliterate Irish Gaelic versions of the Old and New Testaments (i.e. Kirk’s Bible was not a new translation, but something Highlanders could read.)

Rev James Stewart (1701-89), Minister of Killin, first translated the New Testament into Scots Gaelic published in 1767. Prior to this Gaelic was, in effect, suppressed, but Dr Samuel Johnson was one Stewart’s well-wishers and offered to help him in any way he could. 

Rev John Stuart, (1743–1821) was a notable Gaelic scholar and botanist, who was born in Killin, the son of the above James Stewart. Immediately before he was translated to Luss he accompanied Pennant on his second Highland tour.The elegant Balquhidder Parish Church [NN 536 209] in dressed stone, was built in 1853 by David Bryce. There is a Bell donated by Rev Robert Kirk, a notable boulder font and a supposed grave of St Angus. The ruins of the old parish church are in the graveyard where there are many intriguing carved stones, and graves, including that of Rob Roy MacGregor  From Balquidder pilgrims make for Lochearnhead, then Glen Ogle by either RN7 (on the old Oban railway line), or the A84

The ruins of St. Blane’s Chapel, Lochearnhead [NN 5974 2304] are near Edinample Castle. It is said to be the burial-place of the saint, who, before his death predicted the possessors of the land where he was buried would neither be rich nor lasting, which, in the case of Edinample, appears to have been so

St Angus's Church, by LochearnheadSt Angus, Lochearnhead [NN 588 232] is another simple country church in the Arts and Crafts style. One of two “Grouse Chapels” in the district, it was erected by the Estate, partly, at least, to serve visiting shooting parties. From the head of Glen Ogle walkers and cyclists make directly for Killin. The second “Grouse Chapel” is St Fillan’s, Killin [NN 572 338], a handsome ‘tin’ chapel, originally erected by the Earl of Breadalbane in 1876. Killin and Ardeonaig Parish Church [NN 571 330] is a distinctive white-hurled octagonal classical church built in 1744 by the mason, Thomas Clark.

Inside it has been altered from a 'wide' church to a 'long' church. In front of the church is a monument to Rev James Stewart (1701-89), minister of Killin, who first translated the New Testament into Scots Gaelic (published 1767). The church is at the eastern end of the village.

Article by Louis Stott, the Local Representative of the Churches Open Scheme for Stirling