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James V

Glen Tilt Maps


Tour Glen Tilt

Glen Tilt extends north eastwards for about twelve miles from Blair Atholl. There the river Tilt joins the Garry. A road penetrates seven miles up the glen but the track through to Mar on Deeside is a right of way. King Robert the Bruce is said to have come this way from Deeside whilst heading westward with his force to the battle of Dalrigh which was fought at Tyndrum near the Perth-Argyll county boundary in 1306.

On the south side of the upper part of the glen is the dominant peak of Beinn a’ Ghlo, 3,671 feet. Its ascent from Blair Atholl is long but not difficult. Glen Fender branches off from the lower part of Glen Tilt. As in every Highland glen Glen Tilt is full of history. In ancient days the glen was owned by the Macintoshes, descendants of the old Thanes of Glen Tilt and the Robertsons of Lude who descended from Patrick de Atholia, the eldest son of Duncan de Atholia by his marriage with a daughter of the Lord of the Isles.

In 1529, in the days of John, third Earl of Atholl of the Stewart line of Lorn, King James V visited Atholl for the pleasure of deer hunting, being accompanied by his mother, the Queen Dowager and the Pope’s Legate. The Earl was noted for his great hospitality and lavish style of living. For his numerous Royal guests he provided splendid entertainment and had built for them a magnificent lodging. The site of this was on the north side of Beinn a’ Ghlo at the junction where the small river Loghaine, which issues from Loch Loch. unites with the Tilt.

It was a great event in the annals of Atholl. This temporary castle was built of timber and was surrounded by moats or fosses. Costly wines and spices, game and provisions, with cooks to prepare them, were supplied in plenty. The Italian Ambassador was amazed at the magnificent lodging and excellent entertainment but what surprised him more was to see that when the hunting was over and they were in the act of departing the Highlanders set fire to the building. King James remarked to him, “Such is the constant practice of our Highlanders, however well they may be lodged overnight they always burn their lodging before they leave it.”

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