Clach Dhiarmaid, Diarmaid's Pillar, near to Torr an tuirc and Loch Nell, from R. Angus Smith, Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach, London, 1885.
Clach Dhiarmaid, Diarmaid’s Pillar, near to Torr an tuirc and Loch Nell, from R. Angus Smith, Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach, London, 1885.

How the Campbells came into possession of Torr-an-tuirc.

TORR-AN-TUIRC is partly an arable but chiefly a grazing hill-farm,
and is situated at the north-east corner of Lochnell (Loch-nan-eala).
This farm gave its name to a property which comprised several farms—viz., Torr-an-tuirc, Cabrachan, Kilmore (A’ Chill-mhòr), Dailnacàbaig, Kille-choinnich (Cille-Choinnich), Srontoilleir, and Baile-ghobhainn—all lying around Lochnell. This property belonged at one time to a family of MacDougalls, who were called the MacDougalls of Torr-an-tuirc. The last of them was an unmarried man who had no heirs, or at least none to whom he was inclined to bequeath his property. When he was well advanced in years it occurred to him that it was proper for him to settle it on some one. From a feeling of friendship to the Dunollie family, and of loyalty to his clan, he resolved to make it over to the laird of Dunollie’s second son. He went on a certain day to Dunollie (Dunolla) Castle with this object in view, taking with him the title-deeds. On entering the hall he unbuckled his sword and left it there. When he was shown into the room where his chief was, he informed him of the business on which he had come, and handed to him the title-deeds of Torr-an-tuirc. While these two worthies were together settling affairs, some of the idlers (there were generally plenty of such about the mansions of Highland families in the olden time) about the castle bethought them of playing a practical joke on the old laird of Torr-an-tuirc. Taking the sword out of its scabbard, they poured water into the scabbard and placed it against the wall, with the sword beside it. When the laird of Torr-an-tuirc came down to the hall and put the sword back into the scabbard, the water squirted on his hands. Resenting at once what he regarded as an indignity, he returned to the room where the chief was and demanded back the title-deeds, alleging that a clause had been omitted which would require to be supplied. They were given back to him at once. He no sooner received them than he took his departure, mounted his horse, and rode to Inverary (Ionaraora), where he made over the property to the Earl of Argyll’s second son. This was John Gorm, the first of the Campbells of Lochnell, with whom the property has continued ever since.

The date of the subject of this tale is about 1500.

Note.—Cabrachan was given by John Gorm to his son John, who was called John òg of Cabrachan.

— Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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