Glentore

In 1904 Donald MacDonald now aged 73 moved with his wife and family from Cudrish to Glentore.

In its heyday Glentore was allegedly a' shebeen' i.e. an illicit bar where excisable beverages were sold without a licence. Neighbouring crofts had stills and their remains were still around in the 1950s. When the road next to the house was widened in the 20th century a large dump of broken whisky bottles was uncovered.

The 1870 OS map shows a single long-house. Donald MacDonald extended the house creating a new wing, courtyard, 3 bedrooms, wash house, dairy and a bothy.

After my great grandparents died in 1915 and 1919, their daughter Margaret, known as Maggie or Auntie Peggy, stayed on in Glentore until her death in 1952. When her sister Jeanie's husband died in 1940 their daughter, Betty, was effectively brought up in Glentore. For my mother the happiest days of her life were summers spent at Glentore with Auntie Peggy, bare-footed, playing in the river, swimming in Loch Meikle and playing tennis on a make-shift court in the field above the house with her sisters and cousins.

Maggie and Jeanie's correspondence with their cousin Isabel in Australia gives an interesting account of life at Glentore around 1930.

As a child I had my summer holidays there with my mother, brothers, aunts and 'uncle' John Fraser. With no services we relied on candles, storm lanterns, an outside toilet, drinking water taken daily from the well in two buckets and rain water for washing up. Each bedroom had a chamber-pot and bucket and a washstand with china bowl and jug of water. For more thorough bathing people would head off with towel and wash-bag to the River Enrick running along the edge of the property below the washing green.

This area was surveyed by the ordinance survey in 1870 for their 6inch and 25 inch to the mile maps.

Rental of Glentore

The information in the table below was taken from the 'Valuation Rolls for the County of Inverness - Urquhart'.

There were 3 Tores. The 1870 OS maps only name no. 3, i.e. the Tore with the Corn Mill. Glentore, labeled below as 2 Tore, is the first roofed building east of this on the north side of the road. The site of 1 Tore is not known.

Date Farm Tenant Occupier Rent
1902/3 1 Tore Peter MacDonald Tenant 4/1 1/6
  2 Tore Alexander MacDonald Angus M‘Donald 3/10/0
  3 Mill of Tore John MacDonald (Crofter) Tenant 2/0/0
1903/4 1 Tore Peter MacDonald Tenant 4/11/6
  2 Tore Donald MacDonald Tenant 7/0/0
  3 Mill of Tore John MacDonald (Crofter) Tenant 2/0/0
1917/8 2 Tore Reps of D. MacDonald    
  3 Mill of Tore Reps of J. MacDonald    
1929/30 2 Tore Reps of D. MacDonald 7/6/0 rent 7/5/0Agric. RV 10s/-

The proprietor of these properties was stated as Dowager Countess of Seafield.

Purchase of Glentore

After being in the possession of the Grant Clan since 1509, Balmacaan Estate was divided into 192 lots and auctioned in 1945. A brochure was made containing information about all the separate properties. Glentore was part of lot 55

Donald MacDonald was given the option of purchasing it for 7 times the annual rent at the time, i.e. £58, and so acquired the property.

In later years the maintenance of the property was heavily dependent on my mother's cousin, John Fraser, and indeed he was the person who brought it to life when we stayed there in the summers of the 1950s. With his death in 1965 there was really no way to keep it on so it was sold shortly thereafter.