Clan MacFarlane Survey and Excavation Project 2016
For hundreds of years our ancestors called the area between Loch Long and Loch Lomond home. A simple drive through the area teases at their existence as some of the old ruins are still visible. If one were to stop and take a deeper look, one that goes below the surface, a fuller story of our ancestors begins to appear.
As with all things, time has taken its toll and has covered their labors and accomplishments. We want to rediscover what time has hidden and history has forgot. To accomplish this, we have teamed up with Northlight Heritage, a well respected archaeological group, to survey and document several important Clan MacFarlane sites. The 2016 season will culminate with a dig on the most promising site. This project will literally unearth our history and provide more information to our incomplete past.
The Black Village (Stuckievoulich) Tarbet, overlooking Loch Lomond (©Sue Furness)
CLAN MACFARLANE RUINS ON FOUR LOCH LOMOND ISLANDS
Presented here is a major revision of the earlier articles found on pages 45-52 in Loch Sloy! magazine, March 2013. This is now considerably updated with new information and references.
P F McFarlin, June, 2015
The 1200’s and 1300’s LENNOX CHARTERS gave feudal land ownership to the
The early Mormears (stewards) were under the Scottish kings and were settled more or less in their fiefdoms by the 1000-1100's. The Kingdom of Strathclyde came to an end in 1018 and that fiefdom passed to Duncan, grandson of King Malcolm II. The central Scottish area controlled by the 1st Lennox Mormear, Murdac (b1050), encompassed all the lands surrounding Loch Lomond, including from Loch Long across to Loch Katrine and all the lands south to the River Clyde. Alwyn (b1125), Murdac's gr grandson, became the 1st Earl of Lennox and then two of his grandsons Malduin, 3rd Lennox Earl, and Gilchrist, 1st Baron of Arrochar. Malduin apportioned various tracts of lands to his sons and relatives. He granted to his brother Gilchrist as follows:
First Charter - About 1225 in a deed written in Latin and then translated, Malduin 3rd Earl of Lennox granted to his brother Gilchrist 1st Baron of the House of Arrochar the; "...terras de superiori Arrochar de Luss..." translated as; "land of upper Arrochar of Luss”. Apparently an ‘arrochar’ was a portion of land, possibly meaning high land or land on the East, or a ploughgate. This has been estimated to be 31,000 acres which encompassed the north and western area of Loch Lomond.
Another description of this early charter adds; " ...cum insulis de Elanvow, Elanvanow, Elanouglas, et Elaig," meaning; "with islands of Elan Vow, Elan Vanow, Elan Uglas (i.e. dark) and Elaig" (Douglas, 1798, p 93). This original charter has been lost and there are only later references and associations to it. So here, by about 1225, MacFarlane's four Loch Lomond islands were first identified by name. However, this description of the islands by sir Robert Douglas (prior to his death in 1770) may have been taken from the later Charter of 1354.
HIDDEN HERITAGE ENTRY ABOUT TARBET ISLE
This notice was kindly sent from Hidden Heritage (http://hiddenheritage.org.uk/explore/tarbet-isle/ ) to PFM by Fiona Jackson. Thank you Fiona for the connection!
Tarbet Isle lies in Loch Lomond, within a few hundred metres of the shore at Tarbet. It is also known locally as 'Honeymoon Island', because of the tale that newlyweds were sent to spend a week on the island - if they were still on good terms at the end of the week, it was deemed a sign that the marriage would be successful!
Arrochar and Tarbet are steeped in Macfarlane heritage,