Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Glencoe Heritage Trust

As an amateur genealogist and a lover of history, I believe we need to preserve as much of our history and heritage as possible. That's why when I read about The Glencoe Heritage Trust organization in the Henderson Clan newsletter, An canach, I knew I wanted to blog about it in hopes of raising more awareness to the effort of saving and preserving the ancient lands of the MacDonald Clan.

Clan Donald has been associated with the Glencoe lands since the 14th century when Angus Og MacDonald of Islay bestowed the lands to his son, Iain Abrach. By the 17th century the land passed to control of the Campbells of Argyll when the MacDonald chief had to forfeit his lands for supporting King James. A couple of years later he was murdered at what became known as the Massacre of Glencoe. The MacDonalds gained a portion of the lands back until 1894 when the lands were put up for sale.

The lands contain a house that was build by Lord Strathcona, which now serves as a hospital. Along the River Coe, the historic Eilean Munde lies as the traditional burial ground of the MacDonalds. Other historic significance includes the Old Mill of Glencoe, the Crofters Common Grazings, the last remaining Ancient Woodlands of Glencoe, fishing rights on Loch Triachtan and eight miles of salmon netting rights on Loch Leven.

Alistair MacDonald raised private funds ($105,000 pounds) to save this land in unsecured loans and established The Glencoe Heritage Trust, which now owns the land. A sum of $49,000 has been raised to repay the debt, but the rest must be secured to ensure that these lands are never sold again and the ancient history of Glencoe is preserved.

If you'd like to help, email: glencoe-heritage@talkj21.com for more information.
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