Monday, 20 August 2012

TORRIDON

The village of Torridon within the area of the same name is a tiny settlement close up, but from a distance it appears positively minute set against the enormous backdrop of the Liathach mountain. Beinn Alligin and Beinn Dearg are two other peaks contributing to the dramatic scenery surrounding the village, with the mountains rising up to 3,500 feet above the lochs. Walking is a favourite pastime here, and the Countryside Centre, run by the National Trust for Scotland, has plenty of information on walks in the area. The estate where the centre is located is also home to a Deer Museum, and herds of red deer and Highland cattle can be viewed nearby, while the loch is frequented by otters and seals. Birdwatchers should keep an eye out for sea eagles and golden eagles.

Life in Torridon has not always been so idyllic. The area suffered particularly badly during the Highland Clearances at the hands of one Colonel McBarnet who, not content with having exploited workers at his plantation in the West Indies, moved on to kicking out the local populace of Torridon, forcing them to move to inferior land at the head of the loch. However, better times came with the sale of the estate to Duncan Darroch, who was responsible for introducing the deer to the area and gave evicted tenants their land back. There is a memorial stone by the roadside erected by Darroch's widow in 1921 with an inscription which makes reference to the "devotion and affection shown by one hundred men on the estate of Torridon".

Map of the area.


© 1994 Nigel Brown, via Wikimedia Commons


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