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This afternoon, I visited Dunkeld, a small town which sits in the centre of Scotland. The reason was to witness a march by the Atholl Highlanders, the only legal private army in Britain (and Europe), to commemorate the 200th anniversary of completion of the bridge over the River Tay at Dunkeld. There are a couple of issues of significance here, viz:

Read more on Atholl Highlanders at Dunkeld Scotland…



This evening, I am presenting a selection of images following my visit to Dunkeld yesterday.

Images were taken in the early morning and temperature about zero Centigrade.

This first image is of the River Tay looking upstream. On the right bank, behind the trees, is located Dunkeld Cathedral, a famous religious site dating back about 1500 years. The Tay represents Scotland’s largest river system. Origin of the name ‘Tay’ is unknown but may mean ‘fast flowing water’ or similar. Phonetically, not dissimilar to the River Tyne in England.


Hear is an image of Dalguise, a small village located in the Tay Valley about 3 miles from Dunkeld. Dalguise is a rural/residential community with connection to Beatrix Potter who vacationed there and obtained inspiration for some of her characters, e.g.Mrs Tiggy Winkle.

Another winter morning view of the Tay Valley at Dalguise looking east.

The following two images are of Dunkeld town centre. This is a prosperous small town, popular with tourists. Central location is ideal for touring Scotland. Note the hotel is named ‘Atholl’. Many places and streets feature the name ‘Atholl’ in this part of Scotland with reason being vast tracts of the area are owned by the Duke of Atholl whose base is nearby at Blair Castle.


Read more on Tour Dunkeld Region Perthshire Scotland….



The waterfall of the Braan at the Hermitage is the great attraction to some 200,000 visitors each year . It has been described as one of the most ingenious and pleasurable ornaments to rural scenery that can be beheld.

The Hall comprised part of a ‘finger’ of landscaped garden which in turn was part of the nearby Atholl Estates.

The approach to the Hall is via a trail through a large grove of Douglas Firs which was planted in 1920. The trees originate in North America and will probably last another 300-400 years.

The river hurtles through the dark and deep chasm then under the highly picturesque bridge (c.1770) that crosses the river then runs black and silent into a pool on the edges of which grows one of the tallest trees in Britain, a Douglas Fir with a height of about 200ft. Salmon are found in the pool but they have difficulty moving upstream through the falls.

Ossian’s Hall sits forty feet above the bottom of the waterfall and was constructed (1758) in such a manner, that the visitor, approaching the cascade, is entirely ignorant of the waterfall, it being concealed by the walls of the Hall. In its original design, the visitor would undergo a series of “experiences”, firstly a painting of Ossian, the last of his race, blind form age, lamenting to Malvina the death of his son Oscar:-

Darkness comes on my soul, O fair daughter of Toscar!
I behold not the form of my son at Carun,
Nor the figure of Oscar on Crona
The rustling winds have carried him far away
And the heart of his father is sad.
But lead me, O Malvina! to the sound of my Woods,
To the roar of my mountain streams.
Let the chase be heard on Crono;
Let me think on the days of other years.
And bring me the harp, O maid,
That I may touch it when the light of my soul shall rise.
Be thou near to learn the song:
Future times will hear of me!
The sons of the feeble hereafter will lift the voice on Cona
And, looking up to the rocks, say, ‘here Ossian dwelt!

Then the visitor was presented by a loud noise, and the whole foaming cataract before him/her was reflected in several (20?) mirrors, and roaring with the noise of the thunder:-

A gay saloon, with waters dancing
Upon the sight wherever glancing;
One loud cascade in front, and lo!
A thousand like it, white as snow,
Stream on the walls, and torrents foam
As active round the hollow dome.
Illusive cataracts! of their terrors
Not stripped nor voiceless in the mirrors;
That catch the pageant from the flood,
Thundering a-down a rocky wood,
Strange scene! fantastic and uneasy
As ever made a maniac dizzy.
When disenchanted from the mood
That loves on sullen thoughts to broad.

The Hall interior was decorated with finely executed Arabesques which captured visitors attention. It was originally decorated by a Mr.Stewart of London, a native of the Strath in which the Hall is placed.

In 1860 the Hall was blown up by local rioters. The mirrors were shattered but not replaced and remained in situ until the 1920s. The Hall was in danger of collapse in 1944 when the National Trust acquired the property. It was then rebuilt using a design by Basil Spence (architect). Another rebuild was undertaken in 2006 with aim of retaining the original series of experiences. Doors reinstated and also the mirrors; the latter using polished stainless steel.

The building described above is not the true Hermitage (or Ossian’s Cave) which is situated a little further on.

Experience the Hermitage with catswhiskerstours


Read more on Ossian’s Hall and the Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire…