BALQUHIDDER, a very large parish in the south-west of Perthshire; bounded on the west and north by Killin; on the east by Comrie; and on the south by Callander. Measured from its north-east to its south-west corner, it is 20 miles in length; and from Craig-na-Cailliach on its north-eastern border, across the country in a north-west direction, it is 10 miles. Its general outline is triangular, and it is nearly enclosed by ranges of lofty mountains, from which numerous torrents descend to Loch Voel, which, with its adjunct Loch Doine, occupies the centre of the parish. These lochs discharge themselves by the Balvaig, into Loch Lubnaig, of which the northern half is projected into this parish, on the east of Craig-na-Cailliach. See articles LOCH DOINE, LOCH LUBNAIG, and LOCH VOEL. After heavy rains the low grounds around these lochs are widely inundated – as might be expected from the form of the country. According to tradition all the lower grounds, and the foot of the mountains in this parish, were formerly covered with wood; and large trunks of oak and birch trees are still found occasionally in the mosses. There is still a considerable quantity of coppice within this parish. The writer of the first Statistical account claims the south part of Benmore as in this parish, and estimates its height at 3,903 feet above sea-level; also the western side of Ben Voirlich, to which he assigns an altitude of 3,300 feet. A little to the south of Benmore is Binean, or ‘the Mountain of Birds,’ which has a nearly equal elevation. To the south-west of Binean is Benchroan; and to the south-east of Benchroan are Stobdune and Benchoan. All these are very lofty mountains; but we have not admeasurements of their respective heights. The principal roads which intersect this parish is that from Callander, by Loch Lubnaig, to Lochearnhead, and through Glen Ogle to Tyndrum; and that from Lochearnhead to Balquhidder. Glen Ogle is a narrow pass hemmed in for several miles on both sides by very lofty and precipitous rocks. Glen Ample is a narrow deep ravine on the eastern skirts of the parish, intersected by a rapid mountain-torrent called the Ample, which flows north into Loch Earn. The vale of Balquhidder, and its two fine lochs, presents some very beautiful scenery, and is rife with traditions of Rob Roy, many of whose exploits were performed here; and whose ashes rest in the little churchyard of Balquhidder. To the west of the kirk-town are ‘The Braes of Balquhidder,’ celebrated in Scottish song. This village is 12 miles distant from Callander. Population of the parish, in 1801, 1,377; in 1831, 1,049. Houses 200. Assessed property £6,794. – This parish is in the presbytery of Dunblane, and synod of Perth and Stirling. Patron, Sir Evan J. Macgregor, Bart. Minister’s stipend £275 15s. 11d., with a manse, and a glebe of the value of £20. Church built in 1631; repaired in 1810; sittings 425. The district of Lochearnhead, called the half-parish, being part quoad civilia of Comrie parish, is annexed to Balquhidder quoad sacra. It contains about 200 individuals. There are about 20 dissenters within the parish.
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