Monday, June 14, 2021

Kenmore

When we decided to have this little holiday, Mr Life suggested that we go to Kenmore on Loch Tay and stay in what claims to be Scotland's oldest inn, dating from 1572. Mr L's Great Aunt Agnes lived in Kenmore, and he and his parents and grandparents used to go and spend the Easter holidays with her. Her husband had been the postmaster in the village but Mr L never knew him. 

We hadn't been to Kenmore for years.


There's not much to the village but it and the countryside are rather scenic. This was the view from our bedroom and there's not a lot more - another street and some individual houses round the loch, some of which look like holiday homes. As with other Scottish villages, it used to be in a slightly different place till 1540, when the local laird (lord) decided to build himself a castle and (as you do) moved the village out of the way. The street in the photo above is later, though. The 3rd Earl of Breadalbine built it as a model village to house his workers around 1760. 

A modern extension has been built on the back - this is the view of Loch Tay from the dining room. The bridge was built in 1774. 


Just across the road from the hotel is the church. Aunt Agnes was friendly with the minister and his family; and Mr L used to go around with the minister's sons when he was up there.  


This is Aunt Agnes's house - it was rented. We have a table that used to be hers - she married late and had no children. 


Here's Aunt Agnes, on the left, with her four sisters and their mother. (I don't feel the fashions are the most flattering ever.) Mr L's granny is second from the right. She always used to talk about the five sisters and the different lives they had - in birth order Agnes, Jean, Jess, Mary (Mr L's Granny) and Barbara. They'd all died by the time I came along except Granny, who lived to 99. Or in fact, the first time I was in Kenmore was just after Aunt Agnes died and Mr L's parents were clearing the house. 
 


We walked round the churchyard to see if Aunt Agnes was buried there. Mr L didn't remember. If you have to be dead, this would be a nice peaceful place to lie. 


And we found Aunt Agnes. 

Mr L uploaded this photo to one of those family tree sites and the very strange thing is that the site then proposed another sister, Christina. We assumed that this was a mistake - the five Bayne sisters were such a fixture in our minds - but on further investigation on the internet, Mr L found her. The poor little thing, the youngest of the family, died at 8 months of "measles and general debilitation" when Mr L's granny was four. I suppose it's possible that Granny had forgotten about her but Aunt Agnes was 11 when Christina died. Mr L's mother died in 1991 but her brother is still alive and had never heard of this sixth sister of his mother's. Different times, I suppose - but it seems so sad that she was apparently never spoken of. I wonder what she would have done with her life. Two of the sisters didn't marry and Aunt Agnes had no offspring - they were of the generation whose potential husbands died in World War One. Maybe Christina would have produced more cousins - but it wasn't to be. 

Anyway, we had a lovely relaxing time revisiting old haunts and beautiful gardens.  


4 comments:

  1. I loved the peace and beauty of Kenmore, and the hotel had some of the best food we had on our trip. I'm glad you enjoyed your get away. As you know, I am very interested in cemeteries and genealogy. What a find!

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  2. Mr Life just made me laugh

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  3. Oh how fun! And how exciting to find a missing Aunt.
    I love visiting places with family ties. I google-earthed Kenmore to see where you were -- it looks beautiful! Did you drive through Crieff on the way up? And now, after having spent an hour on the family history sites thanks to you haha, I must go get something done.

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    1. No, we didn't drive through Crieff. We're going there soon, though!

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