Abandoned Village, Monachyle Glen

Balquhidder Glen has a modern population of just over 200. Yet, from around 1768 to 1777, the population peaked somewhere between 1600 and 1900, having been fairly steady at around 1300-1500 for a couple of centuries before that – allowing for the occasional ravages of famine, plague and English soldiery. Thereafter, the population dropped steeply until, by the 1891 census, the total population was down to 600.

Popular myth would blame the infamous Highland Clearances for this, but forced clearances were probably less of a local issue than the growth of both mass emigration to the New World (most notably, to Georgia and Prince Edward Island) and the growth of the new villages of Lochearnhead and Strathyre – indeed much of the depopulation seems to have been from the harsher Western end of the Glen. The legacy there is a number of abandoned and mostly summer villages (Shielings) in the remoter parts. These pictures then are from a scouting mission for a photoshoot at one such cluster of ruins in Monachyle Glen.