McIntosh & Beatrix Potter and their common bond in the Natural
History of the Dunkeld and Birnam Area.
people will have heard of Beatrix Potter, the writer of childrens
stories. Far fewer will recognise the name of Charles
McIntosh the rural postman from Inver, near Dunkeld. These
two very different individuals, brought together by a common interest
in fungi, met and subsequently exchanged letters and specimens
over a number of years. This is the story of their fascinating
setting is the area around Dunkeld, Birnam and Inver, some twelve
miles north of Perth at the gateway to the Highlands.
eleven consecutive summers, the Potter family came to Dalguise
House near Dunkeld. Their only daughter, Beatrix was four when
the family first travelled by train to Scotland in 1870. In 1884
when Beatrix was about 18 she wrote in her diary:
when the thunder growled in the distance, and the wind swept up
the valley in fitful gusts, oh it was always beautiful, home sweet
home, I knew nothing of trouble then.
These long holidays first awakened the interest of the young girl
to the delights of wildlife and nature.
was born in Inver in 1839 in the cottage where he was to spend
his entire life. His father, also Charles, was a hand-loom weaver,
famous fiddle player and music teacher. His mother Mary was a
descendent of the MacDonalds of Glencoe.
story of this Fascinating Acquaintance is the subject
of the exhibition in the Birnam
to Dunkeld History