The 2019 Clan Gathering
Photographs by Krisp Camp Photography and Paul Campbell (paulcampbellphotography)
The Clan Munro (Association) held a three day Gathering over the weekend of 9th 10th & 11th August as part of the commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the last time the Clan fought as a military unit in its own right.
Visiting Dornie, the international group of clansmen & clanswomen (from the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, England and from the Highlands), toured Eilean Donan and learnt how in late May of 1719 on hearing of the threat from a Spanish led Jacobite Rising, George Munro of Culcairn, the second son of the Munro Chief immediately came to Inverness to offer his Clan’s support to the Government Commander, General Whightman, and in his own words, the very next day marched into town with “….one hundred private men, six officers, four serjeants and one pyper with who he went to Glensheil ….”. Acting as scouts for the Government army, the Munros walked the 50 miles from Foulis to Inverness and back in a day, then 70 miles more down the south side of Loch Ness and through Glenmoriston into Glenshiel where on 10th June 1719 they played a vital part in defeating the Jacobite force, dislodging the enemy’s right from strongly held positions. Three Munros were killed in action, and thirteen wounded, two of whom later died.
At the battlefield site, Clan Chief Hector Munro of Foulis laid a wreath in memory of all the dead, Brigadier Hugh Monro and NTS Head Archaeologist Derek Alexander, gave stirring descriptions of the action, ably assisted by Willie Fraser (NTS Ranger) who led a group in torrential rain up the hill to the remains of a redoubt build by the Spaniards.
In the evening the Inverness Deputy Provost Bet MacAllister hosted a Civic Reception for the Clan in the magnificently refurbished Town House.
With the Strathpeffer Games cancelled for the first time since the War due to the inclement weather, Saturday might have been a disaster, but at very short notice the Strathpeffer & District Pipe Band, the Marion Munro & Aileen Wilson Schools of Dance, Melanie Simpson (accordion) Alpha Munro (fiddle), Felix Beavitt (fiddle), Quin Simpson guitar came to the rescue performing for the Clan at the Pavilion.
Visits to the Eagle Stone, once said to mark the grave of Munros killed in a 15th Century Clan fight, and the picturesque village of Beauly for the Craft Fair in the Phipps Hall saved the day. In the evening the Clan were joined for their meal by The Earl & Countess of Cromartie and his son Lord Tarbat. John Cromartie, the Chief of Clan Mackenzie gave a short talk on looking after his ancient Clan seat Castle Leod.
But the highlight of the Gathering by far was the Sunday at Foulis Castle. It was a highly successful and happy day. The Chief greeted the visitors in the morning regaled by the Ardross Pipe Band and in the afternoon the 200 clansfolk were joined by over 200 members of the general public.
All were treated to an afternoon of Traditional music, dance, Gaelic song, a wildlife photographic exhibition, a talk on the Clan DNA project, a presentation on Kiltearn Church and graveyard, the Highland Archive Centre had on display a selection of important Clan documents taken from the Writs of Munro of Foulis 1299-1823 currently in their care, whisky tasting, craft stalls, a magic show for children and refreshments took place elsewhere in the castle and grounds.
It was all over too soon, but everyone left with a renewed sense of kinship and the lasting bond of being members of a close knit Highland Clan.
Thanks are due to all those members of the Clan and Foulis family who assisted in setting up and running the Gathering but particularly Lesley Strang Event Production and the Clan Event Fund of Event Scotland who made it all possible.
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