Choire-Dho

Now known as Corrie Doe this large area of flat land from whence the River Doe arises, is famous in MacDonald folklore and history most of which I have taken from William MacKay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston. Olden times in a Highland Parish.

Clachan Mhercheird is a graveyard which lies east of Corrie Doe beside the River Morriston below Balintombuie.

The Choire-Dho MacDonalds

There were five septs of Macdonalds in Glenmoriston—Clann Iain Ruaidh, Clann Iain Chaoil, Clann Eobhainn Bhain, Sliochd Ghilleasbuig, and Clann Alasdair Choire-Dho. The first four were descended from four sons of Iain Mor Ruidh nan-Stop. That personage was on one occasion returning from Glen-Urquhart, along with his sixteen stalwart sons, when they all sat down to rest at Fasadh-an-Fhithich, near Allt-Iarairidh. As they rested, a raven flew over their heads, and dropped a bone in their midst. Twelve of the young men handled the bone with curiosity, and as the thirteenth was about to do so, he was stopped by his father, who said, “ Ma ’a fortan e, tha gu leoir againn ; ma ’s mi-fhortan e, tha tuille ’s a choir againn”—“ If it augurs good fortuue, we have enough ; if it forbodes evil, we have too much.” Before the end of a year and a day, the twelve who touched the bone were all dead. The other four—Iain Ruadh (Red John), Iain Caol (Slender John), Eobhan Ban (Fair Ewen), and Gilleasbuig (Archibald)—survived, and from them sprang the four septs called after them. Sliochd Alasdair Choire-Dho lived in Corri-Dho. It has been, and still is, the custom in the Parish to bury the dead on their backs, with their feet towards the east, in order that when rising at the Resurrection, they may have their faces towards our Lord, as he appears in the east. Sliochd Alasdair Choire-Dho, however, lie with their feet to the west, in order that, in rising at the sound of the last trump, they may face their beloved Corri-Dho. Their graves occupy the nearest corner to that Corrie of the old churchyard of Clachan Mhercheird.

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Rev McCulloch

In 1671, this minister of the Parish of Urquhart was forced to stand down following accusation of neglect of duties. He is remembered in the glen, not for his work in the ministry, but for his prowess in avenging a dastardly outrage on two young women of the glen. While the two girls were attending cattle in the sheilings of Choire-Dho, to which the tenants of Urquhart then had rights, certain men of Glenmoriston seized them and cut off their breasts. The minister soon afterwards met one of the men and slew him on the spot.

Folklore

The mountain stretch at Corri-Dho which is known as Tigh-Mor-na-Seilg—the Great House of the Hunting—was the haunt of a male goblin known as Daibhidh (David), and of a female spirit named Mor. These two strongly objected to the right which the Glen-Urquhart tenantry had of grazing their cattle in summer on the shielings of Corri- Dho, and they were repeatedly seen driving away the Glen-Urquhart flocks. At last Daibhidh was so thoroughly roused that he pulled a great fir tree up by the roots, and, with the assistance of Mor, chased the Urquhart men and their bestial for many miles, until he sent them over the Glenmoriston march beyond Achnagoneran.

Another male goblin, known as Bocan-na- Sleabhaich—the Goblin of the Sleabhach—haunted the high ridge (An Sleabhach) lying etween Aonach and Fort-Augustus ; but he, although ugly, was of a harmless character. Not so harmless was Lar Bhan Choire-Dho—the White Mare of Corri- Dho. The White Mare was for generations the cause of much trouble to the farmers of Urquhart and Glenmoriston ; for if they let loose a horse any­where within the wide bounds of the Parish, it was almost certain to make off and seek her society. At last the people of both glens met and resolved to endeavour to destroy her. A large number of the boldest and swiftest among them accordingly formed a ring around her usual haunts, and gradually closed in upon her until she had apparently no way of escape. One of them, Alasdair Cutach (Alexander the Short), a member of the Clann Iain Chaoil of Glenmoriston, was bold enough to seize her by the tail. He had cause to repent. The mare rushed furiously through the crowd, dragging behind her the wretched Alasdair, who, to his horror, found
himself unable to let go the tail. On, on she flew, followed by the fleetest of her would-be capturers, until, after a run of many miles, she came to Ruigh an t-Slochdain Duibh, in the mountain region between Achnagoneran and Urquhart. There she and Alasdair disappeared. Next day his mangled corpse was found on the moor. She has never since been seen.