Glenesk church tour

THERE are plenty of gripping stories about the churches in Glenesk and on Sunday, September 9, there will be a wonderful chance to visit all four of them and be immersed in their history.

Guided by local historians Agnes and Gilbert Lowden, explorers will enjoy a true Glenesk welcome, enjoying a fascinating history tour followed by refreshments and home baking at the unique Glenesk Folk Museum.

Tickets, at £5 each, with children free, include tour and refreshments and entrance to the museum. Each participant will also be gifted a souvenir booklet especially produced by the Lowdens, covering many rich details of the history of Glenesk’s churches. The event is part of Angus Council’s Heritage Week.

The tour starts at 1 p.m. at the Retreat, home to the Glenesk Folk Museum, nine miles up Glenesk, off the B966 Fettercairn to Edzell road. Cars will then be guided to all four churches - Maule Memorial, St Drostans, New Lochlee at Invermark and the beautiful ruins of Old Lochlee on the banks of the loch. At 3.30 p.m. cars will return to The Retreat for refreshments and a chance to share ideas and information and to ask Gilbert and Agnes Lowden further questions.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the development of a new agricultural display of working life in the glen, a long awaited project starting this month with support from Museums and Galleries Scotland which will once more see open to the public the superb stables at the community run Glenesk Retreat.

Agnes and Gilbert Lowden, volunteers at the folk museum, have spent decades immersed in Glenesk’s engrossing history and are valued members of the small museum working group. There’s drama and humour as well as quiet contemplation in the four Glenesk churches, of which three are still in use. From the drama of Culloden and ‘Balnamoon’s cave’, the Marquis of Montrose and the poetry of Alexander Ross, stories of burnings and treachery, humour and heroism match forlorn funerals and lively festivities.

Agnes explained: “We have plenty of stories to share and we are looking forward to hearing what visitors offer too.”

For more information and to book tickets, ‘phone 01356 670 242 or 01356 670 304. Numbers are limited so it is essential advance bookings are made.

The Retreat is open from 12 noon to 6 p.m. daily. For a limited period, the gift shop is offering items of up to 50 per cent off in its summer sale. For a delicious freshly cooked meal before or after the tour, it is advised to book in advance by ‘phoning the Retreat at 01356 648070.