Cindy Vallar

Author, Editor, & Pirate Chronicler
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Thistle's Scotland - Part 2

(Links to additional pictures are at the bottom of this page)

Glen Orchy
Clan Gregor once claimed ownership to Glen Orchy. They held the land by the sword rather than by royal charter. Through cunning and deceit other clans, particularly the Campbells, obtained titles to MacGregor lands. Rory's clansmen were driven from their homes and sought shelter in the desolate wilds of Rannoch Moor, which is where they were attacked when she was a young girl. (left)

When Duncan brought Rory to Achnacarry, they came down this hill and crossed the River Arkaig to reach Lochiel's home. (right)


Achnacarry Gable

This gable is all that remains of Achnacarry, clan seat of the Camerons after Ewen Dubh moved from Torcastle because of the nearness of the British fort. After Culloden, soldiers looted the house and set it afire while Rory watched from the hills above.
Achnacarry Gable

Sir Donald Cameron, the
                        Gentle Lochiel
These oil paintings hang in the dining room of the current Achnacarry. The left portrait is of Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel, Duncan's foster father and chief during the Rising of 1745. Its rendering was done after Lochiel's death in 1748.

When Rory met with Lochiel at Achnacarry, she admired the right portrait of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, Sir Donald's grandfather. Born in 1629, he became the seventeenth clan chief, a position he held until his death in 1719. During his lifetime, he married thrice. He had no issue from his first wife, Mary, but Isobel bore him seven children and Jean bore sixteen. Sir Donald's father was Isobel and Sir Ewen's eldest son, John, who became chief in 1719, but spent most of his life in exile for his participation in the 'Fifteen. Sir Donald's uncle, Ludovic of Torcastle, was the second of Jean's sons.

Sir Ewen Cameron


While Rory and Duncan toured Cameron lands, they may have seen low clouds
like these hiding the bens of Lochaber on rainy days.

Loch Arkaig

When Lochiel called the clan to gather, they did so at Muirlaggen at
the far end of Loch Arkaig.

Falls of Cai-ig

After Rory's duel with Cathal, Duncan tends her wound at the Falls of Caig (Eas Chia-aig). This bridge passes over the waters of Caig below the falls.

The picture of the falls is taken from the bridge, just as the one was eight years ago that is shown on the first page of Thistle's Scotland. Notice the difference? Recognize the bridge? A scene from Rob Roy was filmed here. Liam Neeson, who played Rob Roy MacGregor (uncle to Gregor Glengyle and father to James Mor and Robin Og), jumped off the bridge and into these waters to escape from the soldiers who had captured him.
Bridge over Falls used in
                        Rob Roy

Ruthven Barracks

Duncan's first skirmish after the 'Forty-five begins at Ruthven Barracks. Archie, Lochiel's brother, devises a plan to gain entry into the fort through the back gate. They climb the hill behind Ruthven and its stables, from which Duncan watches the ill-fated attempt unfold.
Ruthven Barracks

Clava Cairns

When Rory and Duncan go riding with Gregor Glengyle, they travel to these prehistoric burial cairns, known today as the Clava Cairns.

Clava Cairns

Two passage graves flank a ring cairn, which possesses no passage into the burial chamber from the outside. Only some standing stones that ring the passage graves remain today.

Clava Cairns


When the Jacobite Army faces the Hanoverian Army on Drummossie Moor, Clan Cameron stood here in the front lines. (Culloden Battlefield)    


Prior to battle, Lord Murray foresees the danger of not pulling down the turf dykes enclosing the various steadings to the right of the Jacobite line. These reconstructions show how the walls were built and demonstrate why the Argyll militia positioned themselves behind them to rain down a terrible fusillade of fire that inflicted high casualties upon the Atholl Brigade and Clan Cameron.

Peter Lawrie

Peter Lawrie, a descendant of Gregor Glengyle, wears the style of plaid worn during the '45. The tartan design is based on the remaining swatches of a plaid Prince Charles Edward Stuart wore. The weapon Peter holds to my throat is a Scottish dirk.

In contrast to the box-bed pictured on Thistle's Scotland, this bed belonged to a wealthier class of people. D. MacPherson constructed this box-bed in the nineteenth century for his wedding night, whereas the other bed was built in 1702.


Old Inverlochy Castle, a square castle with four corner towers, lies between Achnacarry and Fort William. This thirteenth-century stronghold was home to the Comyns and the site of three battles, including one in 1645 when Montrose defeated Covenanters led by Argyll. (left)

Many people recognize Eilean Donan, one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, from the opening scenes of The Highlander. During the Iron Age, a fort occupied this ground on the north shore of Loch Duich. In 1220, Alexander II erected a castle to deter Norse invaders. Eventually, the castle passed into the hands of Clan Mackenzie and during the Rising of 1719, it served as a garrison for Spanish soldiers until a Hanoverian warship blew it apart. It remained in ruins for two hundred years before being rebuilt. (right)

Eileen Donan Castle


Noted for its stunning scenery, the Isle of Skye is the largest of the Hebridean islands. It was home to Christian missionaries, Norse settlers, and the Lords of the Isle. After Culloden, Flora Macdonald brought Prince Charles, disguised as Betty Burke, to Skye. The ruins of two Macdonald strongholds, Dunscaith Castle and Knock Castle, can be found south of the Cuillin Mountains.  Dunvegan Castle, the seat of Clan MacLeod since the eleventh century, lies to the north at the head of Loch Dunvegan.

Old Man of Storr, Isle
                            of Skye

At the foot of The Storr, a 2,360-foot cliff, stands the Old Man of Storr. Clouds shroud the pinnacles and crags of the cliff, while the dark monolith stands guard.

Kilt Meat
Kilt Rock, so named because the basalt column resembles a kilt's folds, also lies to the north on Skye. Mealt Falls cascades over a sheer cliff three hundred feet into the sea. (left)

On a wind-swept, steep-sloping cliff on the eastern coast of the Northwest Highlands stand the ruins of a crofting village known as Bad Bea. Twelve families relocated here in 1840 during the Highland Clearances. They built stone houses in which both they and their cattle lived, sometimes without a partition between them. Instead of fireplaces, the hearth was an open fire in the middle of the floor with a smoke hole in the roof above. They grew oats and potatoes in the rocky soil. Hens and children were tethered to prevent the high winds from blowing them into the sea below. Eventually, many of the nearly eighty villagers immigrated to New Zealand. In 1911, they and their families erected a memorial using the stones from the cottage of John Badbea, a respected preacher and doctor who owned the only watch in the village. (right)

Ruins at
                            Bad Bea

Dunrobin Castle

Seat of the Duke of Sutherland, Dunrobin Castle overlooks the sea and beautifully landscaped gardens. The original square keep, built around 1275, hides amidst the turrets of a French chateau.
Gardens at Dunrobin Castle

Cawdor Castle
In the fourteenth century, Cawdor Castle was the seat of the Thanes of Cawdor. While most people associate the Thane of Cawdor as the title the witches promised Macbeth, Shakespeare's play takes place in 1040 when the castle occupied a different site. The central tower was built in 1372 and fortified in 1454. Within the keep's walls are the remains of a hawthorn or yew tree. The castle belongs to the Campbells, who have been Earls of Cawdor since 1827.

Dunstaffnage Castle
Dunstaffnage Castle, near Oban, guards the entrance to Loch Etive. Its battered walls tower atop a rocky platform, and more legends and history are associated with this castle than anywhere else on the west coast. King Erwin, possibly of Dalriada, built the first dun (fort) on this site. Or it may have been the seat and burial grounds of the kings of Dalriada and where the Stone of Destiny resided until Kenneth mac Alpin moved it to Scone in 843.

These ruins date from the thirteenth century. It is believed that Duncan MacDougall, founder of Ardchatten Priory, built the castle. In 1409 the first Earl of Argyll was granted permanent tenure to the property. A Cameron of Lochiel was beheaded within these walls in the sixteenth century, and Flora MacDonald was briefly imprisoned here after the Rising of 1745. In 1810 fire gutted the gatehouse, ending the castle's use as a residence.

Kilchurn Castle belonged to the Campbells of Glenorchy, a cadet branch of Clan Campbell. They occupied the castle for about a century, although MacGregors were keepers of the castle. The five-story tower house dates back to the fifteenth century. The barracks, built in the late seventeenth century, garrisoned soldiers after the Rising of 1715 and again during The 'Forty-five. Pictures of the castle often adorn calendars.
Kilchurn Castle

Thistle's Scotland - Part 1

International Gathering of Clan Cameron

Scottish Highlands

Copyright 2022 Cindy Vallar

All artwork and photographs are copyrighted and may not be used without permission of the owner.
If I do not own the copyrights, I have legally secured permission to use them.

Home About Me Appearances & Book Signings Editing Services
Excerpts of My Stories Gallery: Clan Cameron Gallery: Rebel & Spy Gallery: Scottish Highlands Workshops
Gallery: Thistle's Scotland 1 Gallery: Thistle's Scotland 2 Historical Fiction vs. History My Interviews & Other Writings
My Research Resources My Reviews & Website Awards Pirates & Privateers Recommended Books to Read
Recommended Research Links Workshop Offerings & Schedule

Contact Me Sign My Guestbook Subscribe to my T&P Newsletter