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TITLE
Life on the Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (7 of 16)
EXTERNAL ID
EOHP_FOULIS_ESTATE_07
PLACENAME
Foulis
DISTRICT
Dingwall
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Kiltearn
DATE OF RECORDING
1991; 1992
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Marianne Chamier & Joan Paton
SOURCE
Evanton Oral History Project
ASSET ID
41138
KEYWORDS
audios
estates
Clan Munro
Munros of Foulis

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This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark.

In this extract, sisters Marianne Chamier and Joan Paton (née Gascoigne) recall their earliest recollections of Evanton, parish of Kiltearn, including their memories of Balconie Castle.

Interviewer: Your earliest recollections of Evanton, as a village?

Marianne: Well, walking and bicycling and riding the pony, especially, down to Evanton, almost every day, I suppose, and get sweeties in the shop and ...

Interviewer: Which shop? There were lots of shops, were there?

Marianne: Oh, there were lots of shops; there was the Torran's shop.

Interviewer: Is that the ... ?

Marianne: He had the corner shop, didn't he? Yes, which is now the Spar. That was his shop.

Interviewer: Right.

Marianne: It was quite a little shop - fishing tackle and all that sort of thing, and sweeties, and everything under the sun. Don't take my word for, for all about the Torran.

Interviewer: Is it the taxidermist?

Marianne: Yes, everything he had. It evolved into a taxidermist in the end. And he was great friends, the Torran, old Torran, with George Banks at Balconie. You know, Balconie is no longer, as you know, but there was this funny old boy George Banks whose, had connections up here, but he was basically came from Lancashire where he had an enormous pile at, just outside Wigan, and he was a terrific sportsman, and fisherman, and shooting of all sorts, and he and the Torran were just like that. And he used to keep, I think when he left these parts he left all his fishing rods with Torr, the Torran. I could tell you quite a lot about Balconie because that has a good deal to do with Evanton, doesn't it, really?

Interviewer: It does indeed, yes.

Marianne: You see, there was an only daughter there, who was about my age - a little bit older - and I was a great friend of her's (she's dead now) and I was there a lot. It was a shame it was pulled down - rather - It was a lovely old house, really. It was rather like - do you know Teaninich?

Interviewer: Yes.

Marianne: Well, it was the same type of house as Teaninich - that sort of thing - sort of battlemented top. But they were very well off, the Banks's; they had a lot of money, made out of coal, presumably, at Wigan, I should think.

Interviewer: They say that the Lady of Balconie isn't very happy that the house was pulled down.

Marianne: Has she been manifestating herself, or something?

Interviewer: Well there's the story that because the foundations of the smelter ...-

Marianne: Yes.

Interviewer: ... at Invergordon used ...

Marianne: Oh, they've taken, have they taken?

Interviewer: ... some of the stones from the castle ...

Marianne: Oh have they? Oh how interesting. I didn't know that.

Interviewer: ... Lady Balconie didn't like being moved up to Invergodon.

Marianne: Yes. And what did she ...?

Interviewer: Well, she caused some of the cells to seize up occasionally.

Marianne: Did she?

Interviewer: Yes.

Marianne: Well, I used to spend hours and when I was in my teens, with Joyce, going down to the Black Rock where she was supposed to have met the devil, you know, and sold her soul to him, and I always think that we found the rock - she's supposed to have thrown her keys, taken her keys off her chatelaine, and thrown them as she stepped into the river with the devil, onto a rock, and there was supposed to be the imprint of the keys. And I always think that we found them - I don't know whether we really did or whether I imagine it. And there was supposed to be an underground passage from Balconie, across to Castle Craig, on the other side. We used to spend hours looking for that in the basement at Balconie. Of course, we never found anything. But how interesting. I wondered what had happened to the stones because I realised there's nothing left at all, is there?

Interviewer: No, nothing.

Marianne: That's where they went - fancy.

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Life on the Foulis Estate, Kiltearn (7 of 16)

ROSS: Kiltearn

1990s

audios; estates; Clan Munro; Munros of Foulis

Evanton Oral History Project

Evanton Oral History Project

This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark. <br /> <br /> In this extract, sisters Marianne Chamier and Joan Paton (née Gascoigne) recall their earliest recollections of Evanton, parish of Kiltearn, including their memories of Balconie Castle.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Your earliest recollections of Evanton, as a village?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Well, walking and bicycling and riding the pony, especially, down to Evanton, almost every day, I suppose, and get sweeties in the shop and ...<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Which shop? There were lots of shops, were there?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Oh, there were lots of shops; there was the Torran's shop. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Is that the ... ?<br /> <br /> Marianne: He had the corner shop, didn't he? Yes, which is now the Spar. That was his shop.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Right.<br /> <br /> Marianne: It was quite a little shop - fishing tackle and all that sort of thing, and sweeties, and everything under the sun. Don't take my word for, for all about the Torran.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Is it the taxidermist?<br /> <br /> Marianne: Yes, everything he had. It evolved into a taxidermist in the end. And he was great friends, the Torran, old Torran, with George Banks at Balconie. You know, Balconie is no longer, as you know, but there was this funny old boy George Banks whose, had connections up here, but he was basically came from Lancashire where he had an enormous pile at, just outside Wigan, and he was a terrific sportsman, and fisherman, and shooting of all sorts, and he and the Torran were just like that. And he used to keep, I think when he left these parts he left all his fishing rods with Torr, the Torran. I could tell you quite a lot about Balconie because that has a good deal to do with Evanton, doesn't it, really?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: It does indeed, yes.<br /> <br /> Marianne: You see, there was an only daughter there, who was about my age - a little bit older - and I was a great friend of her's (she's dead now) and I was there a lot. It was a shame it was pulled down - rather - It was a lovely old house, really. It was rather like - do you know Teaninich?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Well, it was the same type of house as Teaninich - that sort of thing - sort of battlemented top. But they were very well off, the Banks's; they had a lot of money, made out of coal, presumably, at Wigan, I should think.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: They say that the Lady of Balconie isn't very happy that the house was pulled down.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Has she been manifestating herself, or something?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well there's the story that because the foundations of the smelter ...-<br /> <br /> Marianne: Yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: ... at Invergordon used ...<br /> <br /> Marianne: Oh, they've taken, have they taken?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: ... some of the stones from the castle ...<br /> <br /> Marianne: Oh have they? Oh how interesting. I didn't know that.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: ... Lady Balconie didn't like being moved up to Invergodon.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Yes. And what did she ...?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well, she caused some of the cells to seize up occasionally.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Did she?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> Marianne: Well, I used to spend hours and when I was in my teens, with Joyce, going down to the Black Rock where she was supposed to have met the devil, you know, and sold her soul to him, and I always think that we found the rock - she's supposed to have thrown her keys, taken her keys off her chatelaine, and thrown them as she stepped into the river with the devil, onto a rock, and there was supposed to be the imprint of the keys. And I always think that we found them - I don't know whether we really did or whether I imagine it. And there was supposed to be an underground passage from Balconie, across to Castle Craig, on the other side. We used to spend hours looking for that in the basement at Balconie. Of course, we never found anything. But how interesting. I wondered what had happened to the stones because I realised there's nothing left at all, is there?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: No, nothing.<br /> <br /> Marianne: That's where they went - fancy.