22 August 2013
The new Kiltyrie Hidden History trail offers walkers the chance to explore the rich archaeological evidence of settlement in the Kiltyrie glen close to Ben Lawers. ...
The new Kiltyrie Hidden History trail offers walkers the chance to explore the rich archaeological evidence of settlement in the Kiltyrie glen close to Ben Lawers.
Like many hillsides across Scotland, the Kiltyrie area on the slopes of Ben Lawers are now almost completely unpopulated and are mainly used for grazing. This was not always the case – the area was once well-populated by families making their living through farming on the Laird’s land.
The new self-guided trail, created by National Trust for Scotland, allows walkers to follow a way-marked trail mapped in a leaflet to discover a series of archaeological features on the hillside. The walk highlights the evidence of settlement in the 18th and 19th centuries and how the population and approach to land distribution changed over this period. It is a story very typical to the Central Highlands in particular, but it applies to much of the rest of Scotland too, with similar remains to be found in numerous glens.
'Symbols of the past'
National Trust for Scotland head of archaeology, Derek Alexander, said: 'This area is rich with archaeological evidence for human activity going back thousands of years. From the relatively recent history of the agricultural improvements which saw people move or forced off the land to make way for new farms, and later sheep runs, to the prehistoric communities which, thousands of years ago created the enigmatic cup and ring marks which are found around the area, this is a fascinating story.'
Helen Cole, property manager at Ben Lawers, added: ''At first glance, it might appear that there is nothing remarkable about this spot at Kiltyrie. Much of the archaeological evidence is now covered in vegetation and could be mistaken for a pile of stones, but it actually tells us a great deal about the social and cultural history of this area.
We hope that the new trail enables visitors to find out more about the heritage of Ben Lawers, but also that it encourages them to look afresh at the landscapes around them and see what symbols of the past they can spot there.
Kiltyrie Hidden History Trail is located approximately 6 miles east of Killin, below Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. The site is free to visit and the walk takes around one hour to complete across rough and sometimes boggy terrain. Stout footwear is strongly recommended.
For more on the work of National Trust for Scotland, visit the website.
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