Around the beginning of the
19thC, in the name of progress, the agriculture of all the Scottish Highlands
changed dramatically. In came huge flocks of sheep and out went most of the
population and their crofting way of live. It was the only life most Highland
dwellers knew but must have been wretched, poor and short. The perpetrators
of what is now seen as a crime were the local landowners, often the peoples
own Clan Chieftains. In many places this was a time of eviction, house burning
and worse - behaviour verging of ethnic cleansing.
In the late 18thC Glen Lednock
above Comrie alone had a total of over 200 families spread among 20 small
communities. Although the Highland Glens of Strathearn Western did not escape
this 'revolution', it appears to have occurred without the violence. Possibly
because the populace were close to towns they knew well and where industry
However for many the only
option was the same as for most Highlanders to the north - emigrate.
Sometimes they left in small
numbers, maybe individual families. But often they left en-mass. In 1818
over 200 people from Western Strathearn left from Greenock on one boat for
the New World. In 1829 60 families left for Upper Canada - Ontario and the
area which includes Carlton Place, Comrie's present twin town. The Ontario
settlements of Amulree and Glenquaich were named after their 'old homes'
by the 300 crofters who moved their.
Up until this time Gaelic
was the language of Highland Strathearn but with The Clearances it quickly
ceased to be a first language.
In 1834 the members of the
Church in Auchterarder began what was to lead to a split in the Protestant
Church of Scotland for almost a 100 years. Local landowners had a legal right
to play a part in the appointment of a church minister. This was rejected
by those how opposed such secular 'meddling' in religious affairs. After
a 'walk out' in 1843 the Free Church of Scotland formed with almost a third
of the original Scottish ministers. They then gathered congregations and
built their own churches. In 1929 the split eventually joined again. This
explains the apparent proliferation of Church buildings in Scotland
In 1838 malt barns at Castleton,
Auchterarder were converted into a weaving factory and in 1873 power looms
were introduced. In Crieff mains gas became available from 1842, the same
year that Queen Victoria visited Strathearn. Victoria Terrace in Crieff marks
the occasion. The railway arrived in Crieff in 1856 and mains water was laid
In 1870 Crieff held it's first
The l9th century saw the beginning
of tourism - hotels, large villas, fine public
parks and Crieff became a fashionable holiday resort as the 20thC
High Street, Crieff
Drummond Street, Muthill
Ruthven Street, Auchterarder
Two foundations were established during the 19thC in Crieff.
Thomas Morison, originally
from Muthill, had made a fortune as a builder in Edinburgh. When he died
in 1826, he left money for an academy to be built in either Edinburgh or
Muthill. It was not until 1860 that Morrison's Academy was opened in Crieff,
in neither of Morison's suggested locations and with a different spelling
with 'rr'. Morrison's continues to this day as an independent school.
In 1868 a large Hydropathic
Establishment opened in Crieff, itself administered as a foundation. Crieff
Hydro as it has come to be known, originally had a strong religious element
- a fine of one penny was levied on any guest who was late for grace at meal
times! Today it is a quality family hotel with wide ranging facilities such
as sports, stables and golf and is the largest employer in Crieff.