The Friends of Balquhidder Church Association
Courtesy of local photographer Alistair Barclay
Click here to download application form. (Opens in a new window)
The parish of Balquhidder, which covers the villages of Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead, lies in one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland . It is blessed with lochs and mountains, rivers and glens and extends from Loch Lubnaig in the south to Loch Earn in the north. To the west, the parish reaches the mountains beyond Inverlochlarig.
Bronze Age relics tell us that the area has been inhabited for at least 4,000 years. Christianity was brought into Balquhidder by Saint Angus, possibly in the 7th or 8th century. He lived in the low-lying lands by the river at Kirkton of Balquhidder and was buried on the hill overlooking the site. Eventually a little church, “Eaglais Beag”, was built over his grave and it is believed that Abbot Laurin from the monastic settlement at Cuilt in Balquhidder was responsible for its construction. Clan MacLaren, the first recorded clan to have lived in the Glen, took its name from Abbot Laurin.
In 1631, David Murray, Lord Scone, built another church alongside Eaglais Beag. This incorporated part of the original little church and Rob Roy MacGregor is buried in what was once the chancel of the first church. David Carnegie of Stronvar gave the parish its present church in 1855 when Lord Scone's earlier building was suffering badly from damp and fungus (always a problem in Balquhidder!). The architect was David Bryce. The ruin of the 1631 church still stands, adding to the attraction of the site.
Every year the church is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. Some of them are descendents of the many who left the parish to live overseas during hard times. Many visitors come to see the lands of their clans - for here lived MacLarens, Stewarts, MacGregors and Fergussons - while others come simply to enjoy the exceptional beauty of the area.
If you are a visitor to Perthshire and have enjoyed the beauty and tranquillity of Balquhidder Parish, keep in touch with us by joining the Friends of Balquhidder Church . by clicking on Application Form.
THE AIMS OF THE FRIENDS OF BALQUHIDDER CHURCH ASSOCIATION
- The safeguarding of the amenity of the parish church and the beautifying of its surroundings
- The adornment and equipment of the parish church and its further endowment
- The support and encouragement of music in the parish church
- The encouragement of research into the history and worship of the parish
- To assist in providing information relating to the display of objects of historical interest of Balquhidder Church and parish
- To undertake the publication of a newsletter suitable for distribution among members at home and abroad
- To provide a focal point for the attraction of visitors to Lochearnhead, Strathyre and Balquhidder
- Generally to support any object connected with the parish as approved by the Council of the Association.
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