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'Village Images, Old & New' is our big summer event: a 10 day exhibition of paintings and photos of Dunning loaned for the occasion by local people. We'll include your favourite old pictures plus current works by Dunning artists and photographers. If your generous help and loans match last year's Museum of Village Memories, it should be a smashing affair. Details on the back page.

At the recent a.g.m. the '95-96 committee was elected: chair Colin Young, vice-chair Ian Philip, secretary Shona Sinclair, treasurer Bill Peebles. Continuing: Albie Sinclair, Lorne Wallace, Finella Wilson, Grace McFarlane, Sheena Proff, Kirsty & David Doig. New: Alan McFarlane, Myrtle Potter, Nancy Hurry. Retiring: Judi Slater, Kirsty Macnab, Louise & Catherine Crowe, Jane Young. Thanks to all for an excellent job unselfishly performed!

Memberships are now due, and a bargain to report! The same rates continue for overseas (£7.50) and for residents of Dunning parish (£1 child/pensioner, £3 adult, £5 family), but the a.g.m. decided to reduce rates for U.K. members living outside the parish. The new rate is £3.00, reduced from £5. Please send your renewal (make out cheques to Treasurer, D.P.H.S.) to Bill Peebles, 10 Romangate, Dunning, Perthshire PH2 as soon as possible.


Last April 6, our Honourary Vice-President Dr. Malcolm Graeme was to have given a talk to the Society about his noted branch of the family, of which he's last in the male line. Because Dr. Graeme was seriously ill, Kirsty and David Doig gave the programme, based on his notes. We thought you'd like to share some of these notes and others penned in hospital since then by Dr. Graeme. He explains 'I have no documentary evidence to support the following statements. Available reference books in many cases give contradictory versions of events e.g. the family's involvement in the '45 Rising, and the acquisition of Kippen Estate'.

William Graeme (or Graham) was a son of Sir William Graham of Kincardine (Castle by Auchterarder) by his second marriage to Mary Stewart, a daughter of King Robert III of Scotland. The estate and Barony of Garvock, of 644 acres, was conferred on William Graeme by his uncle King James I of Scotland for militay services to the crown, i.e. before 1437 when King James was assassinated.

William's grandson, 3rd of Garvock, was killed at the disastrous Battle of Flodden in 1513.

John, 7th of Garvock, married Agnes Drummond of Balloch. Her brother was mentally retarded and was persuaded to sell his estate to the Earl of Perth for a trifling sum , 'a bodle a day during his lifetime'. Agnes' son, James, later 8th of Garvock, disputed the sale. When the case was tried the Earl of Perth, as Chancellor of Scotland, gave judgment in his own favour!

The 18th century saw the family deeply involved in the Jacobite cause. Robert Graeme, 10th of Garvock, was married to a daughter of Oliphant of Gask, one of the most committed Jacobite families (Bruce Lenman, in Jacobite Risings, describes 'the Oliphants of Gask, that outrageously eccentric dynasty of lairds whose Epsicopal religion went hand in hand with total devotion to the Roman Catholic Stewart monarchy, and whose convictions were impervious to all facts, including Culloden').

In 1745, Robert Graeme, with his father-in-law and brother-in-law were officers in Lord Strathallan's Horse (Perthshire Horse). Oliphant, Younger of Gask, later became aide-de-camp to Prince Charles, and Gask was briefly Jacobite Governor of Perth. The regiment did not go south with the Jacobite army, but on its return went north to Inverness, and took part in the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 in which Lord Strathallan was killed. Being mounted no doubt saved the others from being taken prisoner with the dire consequence for so many. They spent the summer of 1746 in hiding, probably in North Angus. In November Gask and his son, and Garvock, with others, sailed from Arbroath to Sweden and thence across northern Europe to France. Garvock returned home in 1753, but was soon arrested and spent two years in the Tolbooth in Perth. While there he was allowed to walk on the North Inch. It is recorded that he was 'a tall and stately man'.

His grandson, Robert Graeme, 12th of Garvock, was active in local public life. His memorial in St. Serf's Church, erected by his daugher Mary Turner, reads:

Robert GRAEME of Garvock and Kippen, 1766-1846
Alike distinguished for undeviating kindnness and affection towards his family and friends as for the exemplary discharge of his duties as a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the County.

The family in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was engaged in importing wine from Spain, Portugal and France through the Channel Islands. My great-grandfather, James Graeme, 13th of Garvock, married the beautiful daughter of Charles de Jersey, a lawyer and Attorney General of Guernsey, in 1837. They had a large family, 3 sons and 7 daughters. My grandfather Frederick James Graeme was born at Kippen House in 1857 and his mother died the following day. His father is said to have died of a broken heart two years later.

The estates, Garvock which was entailed, and Kippen ,which was not, passed to eighteen year old Robert Graeme, 14th of Garvock. From Edinburgh Academy he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and was then called to the Edinburgh bar as an advocate. Unfortunately he had extravagant tastes, which the modest income from the estates was insufficient to support. He borrowed money, mortgaged the Garvock estate and in (about) 1870 sold Kippen to his aunt's husband Angus Turner, a wealthy Glasgow lawyer. Robert died unmarried in 1902, living latterly in a cottage in the north of Scotland while Garvock House was let.

The estate then passed to his brother, Charles Graeme, 15th of Garvock. He had been in the Army, a Lt. Colonel in the Northumberland Fusiliers. His first wife died shortly after he inherited Garvock, but he remarried and his daughter was born in 1906. He lived at Garvock until about the end of the First World War. It was described to me by Lady Wilson as being at that time 'a little gem, so beautifully kept'. He went to live in Cheltenham where he died in 1929. His daughter inherited Garvock under the entail, and immediately put it up for sale. The continuous ownership for most of 500 years by the same family of the lands and Barony of Garvock thus came to an end.

Garvock House. The first or original Garvock House, perhaps a tower house, was probably some way south of the present house, up the hill. The corner tower of the present house is clearly of an older architectural style than the rest, perhaps 17th century.

It is said a Jacobite white rose was planted near the house below the window of the room in which Prince Charles slept. There was also a tree nearby he was supposed to have planted. He certainly visited the Oliphants at Gask House: the table at which he breakfasted is preserved at Ardblair House, just outside Blairgowrie, with other Jacobite relics including bits of the Prince's clothing which he seems to have carelessly scattered about wherever he went! There is, however, no evidence that he ever visited Garvock, let alone spent a night there. More probably the rose and tree were planted by the family around that time to commemmorate the Rising, and only in after years was the planting ascribed to Prince Charles himself.

The main part of the house, the north-south wing and the two smaller east-west wings (one now demolished) was probably built in the 1820s by Robert Graeme, 12th of Garvock. It was almost completely rebuilt by its present owners, the Stothards, a year or two ago.

The burial ground with surrounding walls lies south of Garvock House on the edge of what was the 'park' by the ha-ha wall (now demolished). When St. Serf's Church was extended in the early 1800's the Garvock vault was built over. Robert Graeme removed his wife's and parents' remain to the private burial ground at Garvock. Altogether 15 people are buried there, the last in 1902 being Robert Graeme, 14th of Garvock (my grandfather's eldest brother).

Kippen. The Kippen Estate was probably bought by Ninian Graeme, 6th of Garvock, in 1612 from Haldane of Gleneagles. The middle part of the present building was probably built for my great-grandparents, James Graeme, afterwards 13th of Garvock, and his wife Helena de Jersey on their marriage in 1837. Their two crests, the Graemes' rampant lion and the de Jerseys' phoenix arising from ashes, adorn the south front . They appear not to have moved to Garvock when his father died in 1846; certainly my grandfather was born at Kippen in 1857. The Turners to whom the house was sold built the much larger wing to the east of the old house, and the Wilsons built the wing on the west. (Note: Fay Paterson Cumming published 'Kippen House: a short history of a Scottish Country House'. There are so many identifiable errors of fact in it concerning my family that it cannot be relied upon).

-Dr. Malcolm Graeme, Ceres, May 1995


Would you believe that in 1725 the population of Dunning numbered just about what it is today? Here's a brief description of Dunning as it was then:

'Dunning Parish. Belonging to the Lord Rollo, it has a church or steeple, likewise a town where may be had entertainment &c On the north side of the town, a little distant, the house of Dilcroube belonging to John Drummond of Raltie, there is on the west side of the said wood a great rock and hill called the hill of Craigrossie: Eastward from the said town stands the house of Pitcairn belonging to David Graham, and east from Pitcairn the house of Garvock, belonging to James Graham with a wood lying close by the house, and a little east from that again, the house of Innermay with a wood and water running close by the said house, called the Water of May, and it runs into the river of Earn, about a mile north.'

That passage is taken from 'Geographical Collections relating to Scotland, made by Walter Macfarlane' dating back to 1725-7. It was edited by Sir Arthur Mitchell and published by the Scottish History Society in 1906. In our next Newsletter, we'll present the full passage from the Macfarlane collection describing Dunning Parish, reprinted with the gracious permission of the Scottish History Society.

Click here to read it.


linocut (15.8kb)

Linocut by Albie Sinclair

Everyone who strolls along the path beside Dunning Burn below Newton of Pitcairns is familiar with what's popularly called the Polly, sometimes spelled Pauly or Pauley. It's a pool in the burn, a favourite summer recreational spot for small boys. But where did this pool get its name?

Finella Wilson of Dunning and Bridge of Allan resident John Murphy have pointed out a reference to Dunning in a book called 'The Saints of Scotland' by Edwin Sprott Towill (St. Andrew Press, Edinburgh 1978). The author describes a deacon called Palladius said to have been sent in 431 by Pope Celestine to be the first bishop of the 'Scottos'. He may have gone first to Ireland, where the bulk of Scots lived, and then come to various parts of Scotland as an evangelizer. One claim is that the travels of this Palladius accounts for various Perthshire place names like Paldy Well and Paldy Fair in Fordoun. A conflicting account says such place-names are based on another missionary, one Pauldoc or Paul the Aged. Whichever man it was, Towill's book states there is in Dunning a St. Paldoc's Lynn. A lynn or linn is a pool or a waterfall.

Towill's sources were 'The Oxford Dictionary of Saints' by David Hugh Farmer (Oxford University Press 1987) which tells the Palladius story but makes no mention of Dunning, and 'The Pictish Nation, Its People and Its Church' by Archibald B. Scott (T.N.Foulks 1918) which contains this reference to St Paldoc's Linn: 'At Dunning, one of the foundations of the historic S. Servanus or Serf, the Briton, on the Burn of Dunning, was St. Paldoc's Linn, where the local tradition is maintained that there S. Servanus or Serf baptized the converts (adult baptism, of course).' Scott goes on to argue that this bishop who made the historical Servanus his assistant was neither the mythical Palladius named by John of Fordoun...nor the historical Palladius sent by the Roman bishop Celestine to the Irish', but an entirely different missionary, Paul the aged or Paldoc.

But where did Scott, writing in 1918, get his information? Where is the primary source which definitely ties the name Paul or Paldoc to our Polly or Pauly? Is there an old map on which St. Paldoc's Linn appears? At the suggestion of that redoubtable researcher of place-names, Angus Watson of Forgandenny, we looked at various maps with the help of the A.K. Bell Library, but no luck. No such reference exists on the early maps of Stobie or Ainslie or the first 1859 Ordnance Survey map. McFarlane's Geographical Collections from the 18th century make no mention of it.

Kirsty Doig recently noticed in the old kirk session record of Sept. 16, 1929, that when the former United Free Church in Dunning united that year with the Church of Scotland it was decided to call the present church on Perth Road St. Paul's. The record says this decision was made ' in memory of the early Christian missionary so called who spread Christianity in Strathearn in the fifth century and who was already commemorated in the parish by the name 'Paul's pool' given to a pool in the Dunning Burn where his converts were baptised.' (Dunning United Free Church Session Records, Vol II).

So that would appear to settle the matter then. Toss away any romantic notion you might have had about the pool being named after a woman (one idea had been that it was perhaps a woman who had drowned herself in the pool). It's a masculine pool, and it's Pauly or Pauley, not Polly.

But just to clinch the matter, we'd be delighted to hear from anyone who has documentary evidence like an old letter or a diary or a map which makes any reference to our Pauley or St. Pauldoc's Linn. -L.A.W.


David McLuckie of Balloch, continues his reminiscences of summers spent with his grandmother, Christina Jack, in Dunning from World War One on. Mr. McLuckie celebrates his 85th birthday this year. Here's Part Two.

To get back to my Granma: when my Aunt Liz was born my Grandfather was sent to register her birth. 'We'll name her after my mother and sister', Granma reminded him as he left. But Grandfather just put her name down as Lizzie Jack, not the hereditary Elizabeth. I think she regretted that.

The family all had jobs to do. Of course there was porridge every morning for breakfast. Lizzy didn't like it so she made a pact with her brother Jimmy. His job was to clean out the hen house. If he ate her porridge she would do the henhouse. She didn't like her brother and often said 'he's an awful boy that Jimmy'. Later when Uncle Jimmy went abroad, coming back to Dunning occasionally, Liz said he was a blowhard and liked to lord it in the Kirkstyle buying all the natives drinks. Even when he was bankrupt in Hong Kong she wouldn't send him a penny to help him. He ended up in Australia then disappeared and was heard of no more. In my seafaring days I was instructed to contact a Davie Gloag , a Dunning man who was in Sydney and who I believe had contacted Jimmy Jack, but my search ended in failure. I was a young man then. I wasn't too despondent having other interests.

A Mrs. Wilson stayed below my Grandma, a widow. There were a lot of widows staying in the village at that time, many of the men being killed in the war. There were also an awful lot of bairns running about. When I am discussing Dunning I often think about the joke of the American touring the Highlands. he came across an old worthy in a very remote village. 'What do you do to pass the time in a place like this?' 'Oh,', says the worthy, 'there's the bowling and the fishing and the tennis and the hunting and sex.' 'Yes, but what about the winter?' 'Well,' he says, 'there's no fishing, no tennis, no bowling, no hunting'.

Mrs. Wilson was a wee squat woman, nicknamed Sturdy, and she had three of a family, a daughter and two sons Rab and Sandy. Sandy was a snubnosed frecklefaced boy, just like Huckleberry Finn. Sturdy had a soo at the back, the sty wasn't in good repair and her soo often got out. When this happened the cry went up 'Sturdy's soo's got oot!'. Consternation affected the village. Adults and hordes of small boys went in pursuit. I found it great fun. Pigs are very difficult to catch and some of the adults went tumbling which made it funnier still. I occasionally gave the sty a kick when I was passing, which didn't help matters.

Another memory was of Tam Winton. He sold game of all description in his shop across the road from Hoggs the Grocers on the corner of Station Road (called the Alley in those days). Tam was a mighty hunter. He was a big strong tall man. He reminded me of Jonathan and Wetzel the Indian hunters in 'The Last of the Mohicans'. I remember him coming down from the hills with his gamebag over his shoulder and his gun under his arm and swinging two hares or rabbits at arm's length. I don't remember much about his family but Tam was vivid in my memory.

Over the bridge of Leadketty Burn and further along the Station Road you come across a rise on the road. This was called Fairweather's Brae. Fairweather had a house there. He was the keeper in those parts. He was a very tall man and he wore knickerbockers and rode a very big bike with double crossbars on it. He was quite a sight. There was a loch in the grounds and my father fished it often with Fairweather's permission. My father said there were awful big trout in it. Trout, mushrooms, rabbit appeared a lot in our diet in those days.

We drove many times to the station along the road in Pete Stevens' horse carriage with its two wooden seats along each side. When the horse got to Fairweather's Brae it walked. Pete had his business down by the burnside. A track led down to it just beyond St. Serf's kirk gate. I first learnt to ride a bike by hiring one from Pete's wife, she kept a few. I gave her a few coppers and brought it back hours later. She didn't bother. Going down the Kirkwynd I panicked and lost control and went right down and into the Burn. The bike was alright and so was I.

As I said my grandma was a hard woman. When Lizzie was fourteen she was sent off to domestic service, starting as a kitchenmaid in Tilliechuan Castle, a little west of Balloch. Her father and mother saw her off at Dunning station with all her possessions in a tin box, containing writing paper and stamps to write to her mother every week, all her mother said was 'Never forget the kirk on Sundays.' Lizzie eventually finished up as Banarta House at Arden on Loch Lomondside owned by the Miss Brocks, famous in the area for the Brock Baths and the Brock Hospital. She married but was childless, her husband George Budden being one of the many youths killed in World War One. She died aged ninety six, and is buried in St Serf's kirkyard. One of the things she left behind was a Victorian mahogany bed. I still sleep in it.

When my Granma died her daughters were in attendance. Her instructions were to see there was a dram for the minister, that the gravediggers were rewarded and also to see that a thick cloth was laid over the coffin so that she would not hear the stones rattling on the lid. Granma was a good Christian woman and strict sabbatarian, although I never recall her going to church. The minister called regularly and got his half of whisky.

On one occasion my elder brother and I set off on a fishing trip to Big Polly with a bunch of the village boys. They called themselves 'Dunnin' Lauds'. They reckoned we city boys didn't ken the difference between a bee and a bull's foot. Jim's rod was a hazel cane, a bit of line, a good bit of gut and a real hook and a can of maggots from the slaughter hoose.

Jim got a bite right away and pulled out a fine big trout (or yellow belly). As it was swinging on the line the lauds tried to dislodge it, but it was well-hooked. He caught a few more and went home proud. In time they would be gutted and fried. In any escapades with my brother he always took the leading role. I was just his disciple.

Andrew McRae was the local carter. He stayed in the Perth Road just along from Joe Walker's. He had two carts, a two-wheeled one and a four-wheeled one and one horse. I liked the four-wheeled one best. You could sit nearer the horse on it. I travelled a lot with Andrew back and forth to the station and occasionally a long trip to Forteviot. Andrew didn't speak much. I think the clip clop of the horse and the long country roads set him dreaming. In the evening he unhitched his horse, stabled it and gave it a serving of oats. When he had gone inside I gave it another serving of oats and then made for The Granco.

Jocky Deuchars was a little older than me but we were great friends. He stayed just along the burn from us. He moved in when the Calders moved out to The Castle around the corner. Jocky had a dovecot on the gable end of the house and kept white fantailed pigeons. There would be about eight to ten pigeon holes. They were prolific breeders. In no time the cot was full of squabs.

Another lad, Rab Wilson, had a lingo all his own. He'd say 'Uga ba taidies in th' ool pool', meaning 'Plenty of tadpoles in the cool pool'.

When I was a small boy walking along the Perth Road coming from Milady's Wood, a tinker approached in his horse-drawn caravan. His wife was sitting beside him, and the bairns were peerin from behind. He drew up and asked me 'Is this where a' the tinkers gang?'. I said 'Aye, richt behint the wid there'. I spoke their lingo to be friendly. I wasn't frightened, just a bit uneasy. Granma had told me 'dinna go near the tinks, or they will tak ye awa''.

Many years later a friend and I were on a camping holiday. We proceeded up the Lochside into Perthshire and eventually arrived in Dunning, camping beside Milady's Wood. Joe Walker had a hen house nearby. We prodded the hens off the nests and rolled the eggs to the opening, and had fresh eggs for breakfast for a week. I don't think Joe would have been very pleased because his philosophy was 'Mak siller. It desnae matter how ye mak it, mak it!' Occasionally we took a walk up the Dragon and passed the time of day with Mary Dougall in her wee shop. This would be about 1929.

And now, what have they done to my village. The habitat has been ruined, the trees and hedges of the Ditches are gone. The tennis court ploughed up. Houses built on Hepburn's strawberry patch. Houses built on the public park. No more Babies' Bell. Houses built on the Perth Road. Even the Kirkwynd has been built up. No more can I look upon Dunning through the eyes of a small boy. Such is progress. We must adapt. I quote from the words of an old Irish song

Why stand I here like a ghost in the shadows?
It's time I was moving. It's time I passed on.

David McLuckie, Lilybank, Drymen Road, Balloch, 1995


Saturday, July 22-Sunday, August 6, 'Village Images, Old and New'. A wide-ranging photo and art exhibition in the Village Hall featuring Dunning as subject plus other pictures by village artists and photographers. Like 1994's Museum of Village Memories, all pictures will be on loan and everyone is asked to help out by lending old and new photos, paintings or other art objects which they think others might like to see. Volunteers are also needed to supervise the exhibition. Please contact Albie Sinclair 684 566, Alan Robson 659, David Doig 321, Ken Laing 598, or Patricia or Lorne Wallace 581.

Sunday, September 3 An informal get-together by evacuees is being planned in Dunning. For details phone George Boardman 01355 221 972.

Saturday or Sunday in September TBA. Another archaeological fieldwalk will be held at Leadketty with the Tayside, Fife and Angus Fieldwalkers. This Dunning area has the last 2 years turned up rich neolithic and even mesolithic finds. If you're interested, please leave your name with Shona Sinclair at 684 566.

Thursday, September 28 in St. Serf's Church, 7:30 pm. The Historical Society sponsors the first public gathering held in St. Serf's since it was closed over 20 years ago. Historic Scotland's Chris Watkins & Dr. Michael Burgoyne meet Dunning residents to discuss future use of the church. All local residents are welcome.

Saturday, November 4, 10 am-12, Village Hall. Our annual coffee morning, this year on a wedding theme! With old mementos and photos.

Thursday, November 23, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. 'The Great-walled Estate'. With illustrations by her husband Captain David Wemyss, Lady Jean Wemyss will talk about Invermay, their historic Forteviot estate which overlaps into Dunning parish.

Coming up in 1996: programmes with Ann Mitchell, author of Hidden Scotland, archaeologist Derek Hall and archivist Steve Connelly, a members' night, coach trip, field trips and walks and much more. More details in the October newsletter.

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