The earliest definitive Chief of clan Menzies was Sir Robert de Meyneris (possibly the son of Anketillus) who was at the court of King Alexander II and became Chamberlain of Scotland in 1249. Sir Robert presumably received a grant of lands in west Atholl including 'Culdares' the valley between Fortingall and Fearnan. A charter of 1250 reads 'Robert de Menzies has given, granted, and by this his present charter established to Matthew of Moncreiffe, knight, ‘Culdares’ and the other ‘Culdares’ (Culdaremore and Culdarebeg in barony of Moncreiffe, PER), with their right bounds and pertinents, without any reservation, in all liberties and easements, saving his fishing on the water called ‘Lyoun’, and making the service of the 20th part of a knight and forinsec service of the lord king.'
In 1599 Sir Duncan Campbell the 7th Laird of Glenorchy procured the lands of Duneaves and Culdares from William Moncrieffe.
The listing text of the current grade B listed building states:
'Symmetrical farm group, rubble built: 2 storey centre feature with segmental arch flanked by segmental arches and two 2-storey 3 window piend roofed units, that on N. being farmhouse (with later porch) that on S. having dummies. Late 18th century.'
On 1st July 1830 an advertisement was placed in the Perthshire Courier (right) which suggested that the dwelling-house was new at that time.
The 1851 census described Alexander as a farmer of 40 acres. In 1881 the farm was said to be 150 acres, 32 of which were arable.
The valuation register for Perthshire 1859-60 shows that Culdaremore was being rented by Alexander Fisher from John Stewart Menzies of Chesthill for £130 per annum.
The 1915-16 valuation rolls show that Robert and John Fisher were paying £81 2/7 to the trustees of Sir Donald Currie per Charles Munro, bank agent, Aberfeldy. By 1927-8 they were paying over £100 for the rental of Culdaremore and the croft at Croftgarrow to Major Wiseley.
In 1943 John and his son Jack received a letter offering them the first opportunity to purchase the farm land and the buildings thereon, but not the salmon fishing right, for £2,500. A disposition dated May 1944 reveals that John Fisher junior did subsequently purchase the farm from Major Wisely. John Fisher sold it in August 1964.
The honest tenant of Culdaremore
The following story has been recounted to me by more than one source and seems to be well known in the area. Could the tenant have been a Fisher?
When the rent time came the tenant of Culdaremore happened to be short of money. While walking along the bank of the river he noticed on the other side a man from Artrasgart who was known to be in easier circumstances than most of the local inhabitants. At that time there was no bridge across the river, which happened to be in flood.
The man who was in financial straits hailed his neighbour on the other bank across the river and asked if
he would let him have the sum required to complete the rent.
To this the other agreed and an appointment was made that they should meet at McGregor's leap a short way up the pass where the river was narrower so that he could throw the money over.
duly followed. The Artrasgart man threw a packet across, but it fell short and into the river. The Culdaremore man was in
great distress, but said that as the money was intended for him he felt honour bound to repay it. To this the reply came across the river: ' Seeing you are so honest I will still help you,' and it was followed by a second packet containing the required sum, thrown with sufficient force to land safely on the south side. The first packet, he then explained, only contained a stone and he deliberately threw
it short to test the other man's good faith.
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