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TITLE
'The Fairy Hunter'
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_I_F_GRANT_07
PLACENAME
Corrieyairack
DISTRICT
Laggan
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Laggan
DATE OF RECORDING
1969
PERIOD
1960s
CREATOR
Isabel F. Grant
SOURCE
The School of Scottish Studies Archives
ASSET ID
1358
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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In this audio extract, Dr. I. F. Grant relates the story of the 'Fairy Hunter' at Corrieyairack. 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.

'During the big strike - I can't remember the exact year but it was - Oh, it was after the First World War, but a long time ago, you know that ...

Interviewer: Yes

... my mum and I were up at Inverness and because of the strike we were stuck there, and there were several people stuck in the little hotel - we were staying at a hotel across the river - and there was a charming couple. He had been head of the Fisheries and he'd just retired and was walking about his old haunts with his wife. And he told me this story. He said that he was inspecting the salmon fisheries in Strathspey and he thought it would be most interesting to walk over Corrieyairack, and at the end of his - he was going on leave and he thought he'd just do that, and his wife was to go with him - and so they started off. And they went some distance and they weren't at all sure of the way, and they met a man, and they asked the way and he told them. And they went on, and he again was not quite sure of the way. And he turned to his wife, and he said now, 'What did he say? Can you remember?' And she said, 'Well I didn't really listen very much to what he was saying to you because I was looking at his two beautiful dogs.' And he said, 'But the man didn't have beautiful dogs.' She said, 'Oh yes, he had two beautiful greyhounds.' He said, 'Oh no, he didn't have' and he was very grieved with her for being so foolish as not to have listened in to the way. And afterwards they heard that that was the 'Fairy Hunter' and I have heard from two other sources that the Fairy Hunter is up there; he's quite kind and friendly.

One story, this is not a first hand, was that people were going up the other way from Fort Augustus, you know?

Interviewer: Mmm

And they were going along and they weren't quite sure of their way, and a thick mist came on and in the mist they met somebody coming towards them and they asked him the way and he told them. And they followed exactly where he'd come out of, and immediately afterwards they came up on a herd of wild deer, which rushed away. And one of them said, 'Well now that must have been a ghost or a fairy, because no human being could have walked through a herd of red deer.'

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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'The Fairy Hunter'

INVERNESS: Laggan

1960s

audio; literary landscapes

The School of Scottish Studies Archives

Literary Landscapes: Isabel Grant

In this audio extract, Dr. I. F. Grant relates the story of the 'Fairy Hunter' at Corrieyairack. 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 /> 'During the big strike - I can't remember the exact year but it was - Oh, it was after the First World War, but a long time ago, you know that ...<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes<br /> <br /> ... my mum and I were up at Inverness and because of the strike we were stuck there, and there were several people stuck in the little hotel - we were staying at a hotel across the river - and there was a charming couple. He had been head of the Fisheries and he'd just retired and was walking about his old haunts with his wife. And he told me this story. He said that he was inspecting the salmon fisheries in Strathspey and he thought it would be most interesting to walk over Corrieyairack, and at the end of his - he was going on leave and he thought he'd just do that, and his wife was to go with him - and so they started off. And they went some distance and they weren't at all sure of the way, and they met a man, and they asked the way and he told them. And they went on, and he again was not quite sure of the way. And he turned to his wife, and he said now, 'What did he say? Can you remember?' And she said, 'Well I didn't really listen very much to what he was saying to you because I was looking at his two beautiful dogs.' And he said, 'But the man didn't have beautiful dogs.' She said, 'Oh yes, he had two beautiful greyhounds.' He said, 'Oh no, he didn't have' and he was very grieved with her for being so foolish as not to have listened in to the way. And afterwards they heard that that was the 'Fairy Hunter' and I have heard from two other sources that the Fairy Hunter is up there; he's quite kind and friendly. <br /> <br /> One story, this is not a first hand, was that people were going up the other way from Fort Augustus, you know? <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Mmm<br /> <br /> And they were going along and they weren't quite sure of their way, and a thick mist came on and in the mist they met somebody coming towards them and they asked him the way and he told them. And they followed exactly where he'd come out of, and immediately afterwards they came up on a herd of wild deer, which rushed away. And one of them said, 'Well now that must have been a ghost or a fairy, because no human being could have walked through a herd of red deer.' <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.