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TITLE
Dr. Isabel Grant remembers a visit to Duthil Church
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_I_F_GRANT_05
PLACENAME
Duthil
DISTRICT
Badenoch
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duthil and Rothiemurchus
DATE OF RECORDING
1969
PERIOD
1960s
CREATOR
Isabel F. Grant
SOURCE
The School of Scottish Studies Archives
ASSET ID
1355
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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In this audio extract, Dr. I. F. Grant remembers a visit to Duthil Church where several of her ancestors were buried. She is being interviewed by Eric Cregeen, Glasgow University Extra-mural department's first Resident Tutor in Argyll (1954-66).

Audio extract by kind permission of the School of Scottish Studies Archives, University of Edinburgh.

'When I was young I had an aunt who was very keen on old things and she thought it was right that I should be taken to see some of the graves of my forebears. And we went to Duthil Church and there we saw the graves of my great-great grandfather - Great-great grandmother - Great grandmother, up there. And the - and various other relations - and the old mannie, who was I think church officer and was tidying up the graveyard, entered into conversation - my aunt would talk to anybody - and discovered who we were; that we were Grants of Tullochgorm. And he was most interested and he said that his mother had been servant to my great grandmother, and we were asked to her house.

Well, she was a very old woman, and she was almost blind, and she was devoted to my great grandmother - and she told us a lot about her and she said that my great grandfather had been rather extravagant and when he died, leaving an enormous family, they were very hard up, and so she had gone to live in a very small house in Nairn. And this maid saved up her wages and went to see her and then she thought 'Oh well, she's lost her husband and two sons went off to India, and everything's changed for her, and I won't remind her' and she just came away without seeing her.'

And we were very touched, and my aunt said, 'Oh now, is my niece at all like her?' and I was terribly keen to be like this lady that the old woman told - sang such praises of - and she said, 'Let me see you.' Well she was almost blind, but I knelt down and she put her face close to mine and she looked at me and she said, 'No, she's not like her' she said, 'but, she's like the old lady.' Well, the old lady was my great-great grandmother, the mother-in-law of this person she was so devoted to. She had been a Campbell down in Troon and she - as a matter of fact - had been a great friend of Stewart of Garth who wrote that very attractive book - we have a book with his dedication to her - and she'd written two things, and she was a tremendous character, but the old woman looked at me - though she was almost blind - she said, 'Oh, she's like her. She has her sad eyes, and through her tears, she'll see the sorrows of the world.' Well, for a person who was going to write history it was rather a queer thing, wasn't it?

Interviewer: Yes, yes.'

Although born in Edinburgh and brought up in London, Isabel Frances Grant was 'first and foremost a Highlander, with a strong sense of belonging in the north country and in particular to the Grant country of Strathspey. She was justifiably proud of her family and their long domicile in the Highlands as the Grants of Tullochgorm' (Hugh Cheape, 2007).

Her interest in Highland life and culture shaped her writing and the museum she founded. Originally known as Am Fasgadh, (the Shelter), her collection and vision form the basis of what exists as the Highland Folk Museum today.

Well versed in Scottish history and Highland folk culture, Isabel Grant wrote her first book 'Everyday Life of an Old Highland Farm' in 1924, based upon the eighteenth-century account books of a distant ancestor, William Mackintosh of Balnespick, near Kingussie. Travelling through Europe, she was profoundly influenced by the open air museum movement and in 1934 she determined to follow by establishing a Highland folk museum. She resolved to record as much as she could of the quickly disappearing ways of Highland life as well as preserve many of its associated objects.

In parallel to her collecting activities, Isabel Grant continued writing and publishing. Her seminal work, 'Highland Folk Ways' (1961) detailed the material and non-material culture of the Highlands, primarily illustrating the former using the collections she had established herself. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1948 by The University of Edinburgh and an MBE in 1959 for her contributions to scholarship.

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Dr. Isabel Grant remembers a visit to Duthil Church

INVERNESS: Duthil and Rothiemurchus

1960s

audio; literary landscapes

The School of Scottish Studies Archives

Literary Landscapes: Isabel Grant

In this audio extract, Dr. I. F. Grant remembers a visit to Duthil Church where several of her ancestors were buried. She is being interviewed by Eric Cregeen, Glasgow University Extra-mural department's first Resident Tutor in Argyll (1954-66).<br /> <br /> Audio extract by kind permission of the School of Scottish Studies Archives, University of Edinburgh.<br /> <br /> 'When I was young I had an aunt who was very keen on old things and she thought it was right that I should be taken to see some of the graves of my forebears. And we went to Duthil Church and there we saw the graves of my great-great grandfather - Great-great grandmother - Great grandmother, up there. And the - and various other relations - and the old mannie, who was I think church officer and was tidying up the graveyard, entered into conversation - my aunt would talk to anybody - and discovered who we were; that we were Grants of Tullochgorm. And he was most interested and he said that his mother had been servant to my great grandmother, and we were asked to her house. <br /> <br /> Well, she was a very old woman, and she was almost blind, and she was devoted to my great grandmother - and she told us a lot about her and she said that my great grandfather had been rather extravagant and when he died, leaving an enormous family, they were very hard up, and so she had gone to live in a very small house in Nairn. And this maid saved up her wages and went to see her and then she thought 'Oh well, she's lost her husband and two sons went off to India, and everything's changed for her, and I won't remind her' and she just came away without seeing her.' <br /> <br /> And we were very touched, and my aunt said, 'Oh now, is my niece at all like her?' and I was terribly keen to be like this lady that the old woman told - sang such praises of - and she said, 'Let me see you.' Well she was almost blind, but I knelt down and she put her face close to mine and she looked at me and she said, 'No, she's not like her' she said, 'but, she's like the old lady.' Well, the old lady was my great-great grandmother, the mother-in-law of this person she was so devoted to. She had been a Campbell down in Troon and she - as a matter of fact - had been a great friend of Stewart of Garth who wrote that very attractive book - we have a book with his dedication to her - and she'd written two things, and she was a tremendous character, but the old woman looked at me - though she was almost blind - she said, 'Oh, she's like her. She has her sad eyes, and through her tears, she'll see the sorrows of the world.' Well, for a person who was going to write history it was rather a queer thing, wasn't it?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes, yes.'<br /> <br /> Although born in Edinburgh and brought up in London, Isabel Frances Grant was 'first and foremost a Highlander, with a strong sense of belonging in the north country and in particular to the Grant country of Strathspey. She was justifiably proud of her family and their long domicile in the Highlands as the Grants of Tullochgorm' (Hugh Cheape, 2007). <br /> <br /> Her interest in Highland life and culture shaped her writing and the museum she founded. Originally known as Am Fasgadh, (the Shelter), her collection and vision form the basis of what exists as the Highland Folk Museum today. <br /> <br /> Well versed in Scottish history and Highland folk culture, Isabel Grant wrote her first book 'Everyday Life of an Old Highland Farm' in 1924, based upon the eighteenth-century account books of a distant ancestor, William Mackintosh of Balnespick, near Kingussie. Travelling through Europe, she was profoundly influenced by the open air museum movement and in 1934 she determined to follow by establishing a Highland folk museum. She resolved to record as much as she could of the quickly disappearing ways of Highland life as well as preserve many of its associated objects.<br /> <br /> In parallel to her collecting activities, Isabel Grant continued writing and publishing. Her seminal work, 'Highland Folk Ways' (1961) detailed the material and non-material culture of the Highlands, primarily illustrating the former using the collections she had established herself. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1948 by The University of Edinburgh and an MBE in 1959 for her contributions to scholarship.