TRIBUTE TO THE CHIEF’S PIPER

Piper Major Duncan Urquhart (1939 – 2009),
Piper to the 27th Chief, Kenneth Trist Urquhart of Urquhart

TRIBUTE TO THE CHIEF’S PIPER 

On July 24th, 2009, during Clan Urquhart’s International Gathering in Edinburgh,  The Urquhart, and members of Clan Urquhart paid tribute to Duncan and awarded him  in memoriam the Chief’s silver medal Clan Urquhart’s  highest  award .

Before  Duncan’s sudden passing, it had been the Chief’s intent to present his Piper with the medal during the 2009 Gathering in recognition of his many years of outstanding service  to Clan Urquhart.

CASTLE URQUHART, as seen from Google maps

So, has anyone else ever gone to Google Maps and just checked out Castle Urquhart virtually? I wonder how many people knew you could take virtual tours of the this castle, as well as many more castles, and even some hotels and restaurants and businesses, all around the world?

Well, strangely, I didn’t realize you could do that until today! LOL

Yep, I knew you could see satellite views and street views, but it appears that with the help of Google User Content, we are now able to take virtual tours all around this beautiful castle!

Click Here To Take A Look!

It’s amazing what technology can do these days!

~ Vince ~

A Romantic Love Story Of Eternal Love Told In The Lands Of Urquhart And Glenmoriston

In the windows from Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness, one can imagine this legend of undying love being spoken amongst fair maidens of Urquhart in giggles and sighs, or even of between lovers who knew their love forbidden. The legend goes thus:

Colum Cruitire of Ireland, whose daughter, Deirdire or Dearduil was the most beautiful in all of Ireland, the most beautiful virgin to ever walk in the lands of Ireland, had his daughter noticed by Conachar MacNessa, King of Ulster, in the 1st century AD. Conachar resolved to have Dearduil and she agreed if he would allow her to spend one year and one day as a virgin within his castle first. He agreed. During that time, Dearduil fell in love with Conachar’s cousin, Naois and Naois with her. Naois and Dearduil then made haste to Scotland to try and avoid the King’s wrath. They built a tower on Loch Naois – now called Loch Ness – and for one year they lived joyfully there. King Conachar found out and asked them to return to Ireland in peace and with his assurance for their safety. Dearduil believed the King false, but Naois returned to Ireland with his brothers and Dearduil. Naois and his brothers were slain at the King’s command and placed in the same grave. Dearduil, on seeing them in the open grave asked the dead to move enough to let her in with them, which they did and she lay with Naois and died. The king, enraged, order Dearduil to be placed in another grave on the other side of the stream from them, so that they could not be together in death. The eternal love sprouted a young pine tree from Naois’s grave and another young pine from Dearduil’s grave. The two pines grew, their branches intermingled above the stream and the two trees were joined, so that even in death Naois and Dearduil were together.

Those who believe in this legend, believe Loch Ness was another spelling for Loch Naois and got it’s name that way. I can imagine my Urquhart ancestors, in the cold of night or in moments of forbidden passion, speaking of this beautiful legend and of their own undying love for each other or waiting for the right lover to appear.

The legend also speaks of a king’s dishonor and to mind the words spoken by people, something some Urquharts learnt all too well in the dealings with the English King’s authorities.

Urquhart Castle And The Magic Well Of The Great Glen

Long, long ago, in the days when the Great Glen held it’s deepest valley, before Urquhart castle was even a thought. The valley’s steep sides had pathways that wound up and down and around them. A large number of people had settled – perhaps some of our Urquhart ancestors before the name of Urquhart was even spoken – and took advantage of it’s abundant food and resources. It was a fertile valley which made life easy.

These fortunate people also had a magical well, a spring which Daly the Druid had made magical, which brought forth healing waters for all ills. There was a condition placed on using this magical well – after each use, the cover had to be placed back upon the well lest the well rise up and destroy the valley.

Alas, one day, a mother had removed the cover from the well and was drawing the magical water. Her baby started to cry and when she heard, like all good mothers, she went to her child’s aid. In her speed to do so, she neglected to replace the cover upon the magic well and although she may have had all intentions of doing so, by the time she realized she had left the cover off unattended, the well had turned into a roaring fountain of water, gushing forth water with such force that she had no option but to run with her baby, clambering up the sides of the valley.

The other settlers, seeing and hearing the great commotion and roaring of the water, also took to the paths up out of the valley, knowing that all was now lost. Their homes, possessions, but they escaped, all escaped I believe.

One of those who escaped, looking back at their great valley filling with water almost as fast as they could climb, cried out in disbelief and anguish “Tha loch ann a nis!” – which means “There is a lake in it now!” That great valley of the Great Glen, draws it’s name from those words “Loch ann a nis”: Loch Ness.

So, all I can say is this, if your over by Urquhart Castle having a look for Nessy, remember those waters around the Urquhart stronghold have magical healing properties, as I cannot find any reference to that healing well ever being covered again. So if you are feeling crook, dip your toe in and see if it helps. Would not advise drinking the water from around Urquhart castle, as the peat bogs the lochs’ water runs over puts a lot of small debris into the water, which affects the sonar of ships. So Nessie may still be hidden in the waters around Urquhart Castle.

But, getting back to Urquhart Castle, that magical well and the careless action of that mother in haste, produced the landscape and loch that Urquhart Castle took advantage of – in fact, you could say the magical well was responsible for Urquhart Castle ever being built there!

An Cu Mor The Great Hound

Conachar Mor possessed a hunting dog, “An Cu Mor” or Great Dog as it is translated, who has made the legends of Urquhart lore and won a place immortalized by the greyhound supporters on the Chief’s arms and standard.

As the legend goes, An Cu Mor was a large hunting dog who served his master faithfully until his old age and infirmity caused such distress that Conachar desired to put the dog down. It was on the counseling of an old woman, who warned him the dog had not yet had its day, that he let the great dog live.

During those days the woods had been ravished by a wild boar of such tremendous ferocity that who ever happened upon  it  did  not live to tell the tale of the encounter and only by the grizzly evidence left behind was their  testimony of the danger that prevailed over the region.

It was one day when Conachar was hunting that he came upon the ferocious beast, and as great a man and as skilled a warrior as he was, he could make no fatal impression on the boar.

With his own death prescribed by this treacherous beast, Conachar’s last hope and prayer was delivered in the form of An Cu Mor. The great dog, with renewed vigor of youth, battled the boar to its death, saving the first Urquhart, and the name we so proudly bear.

Alas, the great dog received such a mauling that it soon faded from this life in the arms of his beloved master.

The Mermaid

There is said to be a mermaid, of enchanting beauty who graces the Black Isle with song and voice no mortal can match. Many men have seen her, but only the most resolved or most foolhardy will dare to approach her. It is said that if you can catch her, to gain her freedom she will grant you three wishes…. but if you fail to hold her fast to the shore, she will drag you down to the secret depths from which no man has returned. You might think this an easy task, but do not be fooled for she has the magical strength of five men. Therefore, be warned by the wisdom of ages to trifle not with the beautiful creature, but be content to listen to her song.

05 SEPTEMBER 2019

This website has been compiled from the previous Clan Urquhart website, but it is still currently under construction.

Please be advised that there will be updates done to this site much more frequently, and new content can now and will be be created for this site.

Many photos and images are still currently missing from this site, but I will add them before the end of this month.

Also, the Facts of Urquhart Interest page has some broken links currently. I will be uploading the PDF files and linking them again soon.

If anyone would like to submit their genealogy, or stories of how they are descended from Clan Urquhart, please email that information to ClanUrquhartOnline@gmail.com. We will review the information and add it to the Clan Urquhart Genealogy Database that we have begun constructing.

~ Vince ~

09 September 2019

I have done some updates to the site and edited a little back end coding, but I still have a long way to go before I am 100% pleased with all that I have accomplished so far.

In so saying, I have done some research into the previous Clan Urquhart domains and have found tons of old information, and great ideas on what I want to do with the site going forward.

I will be discussing some ideas with The Chief to see what he thinks about adding some of the older content to the site, but over all, I am really excited to have found such great information.

If you do not know what I am talking about, head on over to our Facts of Urquhart Interest page page and you will see!

~ Vince ~