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An #OldWeirdScotland thread.

You've heard of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, but have you heard about the Seven Wonders of Scotland?

These come from the Gaelic tradition and were known as "seachd mìorbhuilean na h-Alba". (Seven Marvels of Scotland). Image
#1 Torbraichean Ghlinn Iuch.

The Wells of Linlithgow (Ghlinn Iuch) have long made the town famous. An old saying went "Glesca for bells, Lithgae for wells". The Cross Well was built in 1535 but was ruined by Cromwell and rebuilt in 1628. Image
Lead pipes brought water to it from 1659 and it was said to "excite the envy of the citizens of Edinburgh for the copiousness of its supply of water." The current well was carved in 1807 by Robert Gray, a one-armed mason who had a mallet for a prosthetic.
#OldWeirdScotland Image
#2 Cluig Pheairt

The Bells of Perth (not Glasgow), specifically the bells of St John's Kirk. The largest collection of bells in the British Isles (63). The oldest bell is from 1340 and many were made in Flanders in 1526. ImageImage
Hearing the carillon or call to worship boom out over the streets of Perth must've been a rare thing back in the day (here is the current carillonneur playing).
#3 Drochaid Obair Pheallaidh

"General Wade's Bridge" at Aberfeldy was built in 1733 and at the time was the only way across the Tay. Really designed and built by William Adam, Wade had this inscribed (in Latin) on the bridge giving himself a good pat on the back.
#indignantTay ImageImage
Thomas Telford thought it was all-fur-coat-an-nae-knickers when he saw it in 1819. "At distance it looks well, but makes a wretched appearance upon close inspection. Four unmeaning obelisks upon the central arch [i.e. waste of space] and a parapet so high you cannot see over it." Image
#4 No Friùthachan

This Marvel is less than a bridge. The Fords of Frew is one of the shallowest points on the Forth and was a good place to have an army cross and was a natural bottleneck between north and south Scotland. ImageImage
Fortified by Kenneth II (10th C.) and tactically important for the Battles of Sauchieburn (1488), Kilsyth (1645) and Falkirk Muir (1746), today it's just a stream bank in a cow field. Rob Roy was supposed to have escaped from Montrose by swimming at the ford. #OldWeirdScotland Image
#5 Geata Inbhir Aòra

The "Gate" of Inveraray. I'm not sure specifically what in Inveraray this marvel is. Discussing it with @molach95, we thought maybe the town itself was a "gate" to the surrounding area because of the geography. I'll say more later on.
#OldWeirdScotland Image
#6 A' Chraobh a tha fàs an Gàradh na Ceapaich

Oddly specific, this is "the tree that grows in the garden of Keppoch". Keppoch is near Roybridge in Lochaber that had a castle from about 1500 and later a chieftain's house built by the 9th Chief of Keppoch, Raonall Og (1554-1587). Image
Raonall also planted one of the oldest orchards in the Highlands, the Gàradh nam Peuran (garden of pears). Famous across the Highlands, It stood for over 100 years until it was burned by the Duke of Cumberland's forces in 1746. The only thing left standing was a single pear tree. Image
#7 Answers on postcard, please! 🤷

When the mìorbhuilean na h-Alba were collected by folklorists from Perthshire in late 19th/early 20th century, only six were known to the folk they interviewed. I haven't found the seventh. #OldWeirdScotland
So why are these "wonders" the seachd mìorbhuilean na h-Alba and what links them?

The TL;DR version of the rest of the thread is "I don't know. If you do, let us know!", but allow me to speculate...
At first glance, 3/6 have links to Jacobites and the '45. Charles Stuart crossed at Frew and Wade's Bridge in Feb 1746 on the retreat north after the Battle of Falkirk Muir. Keppoch was burned after Culloden. Image
As @molach95 pointed out to me, Inveraray is important defensively. It guards Glen Aray and Loch Fyne and does act as a "gateway" to Kintyre and Knapdale. Old Inveraray Village was demolished and the new castle started in 1746... Image
...for the Duke of Argyll, who fought the Jacobites at Loch Fyne in Nov 1745. If anyone has any ideas about "Geata Inbhir Aòra", gies a shout. So that leaves the wells and the bells. Image
Charlie visited Perth and attended St John's Kirk in Sept. 1745 to try to get folk to warm to Catholics a bit. On October 30th a mob of Hanovarians occupied the Kirk and rang the bells incessantly and attacked Jacobite sympathizers.
As for the Wells of Linlithgow, I'm not sure. I think there was something about folk swapping out water for wine in the Palace fountains when he visited on his way south, but I'm reaching here...
So there you have it. A place to drink, two places to cross water, a gate, a tree, some bells. Six of the Seven Wonders of Scotland of unknown importance. I like the Jacobite story, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. Fin.
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