Today I’m taking you to a special secret place that not many people visit. Are you ready ?
We will start here. Inviting, non ?
After struggling along an overgrown path we arrive at this Alice type doorway.Entry is made by pushing aside the pallet and we are in.
Follow the merest suggestion of a path through the trees.
What’s this ?
There you go !
We are on the Keir estate outside Bridge of Allan, home to the Stirlings of Keir since dinosaurs roamed the earth (according to Sarah Palin). A family with a distinguished military tradition, the monument to Sir David, founder of the SAS, is just up the road.
The parish for the estate is called Lecropt and there used to be a small village of this name and a church. Around the beginning of the 19th century it became fashionable for landowners to enclose their estates. The Stirlings built a high wall and several lodges and relocated the tenants and the church to the outside.
If you are heading North on the M9 heading for the A9, you will cross the flat carse land with Stirling Castle on your right, and as you start to climb towards the roundabout, the new Lecropt Kirk is on your right and Keir is on your left.
And this, of course is the Old Lecropt Kirkyard
In the 1960s, Archie Stirling, businessman, farmer, impresario, politician (failed) and Sir David’s nephew, had to sell the house and policies to a Middle Eastern gentleman as a result of “cash flow” difficulties.The current owner does not encourage visitors and sails very close to the wind with regard to the Countryside (Scotland) Act.
This is sometimes referred to as the Stirling Graveyard, but, although many family members are buried here, it was also the last resting place of ordinary local folk up until 200 years ago. So anyone can visit it.If they can find it
This cross marks the site of the altar
Looking down what was the nave
Back down on the carse, haymaking seemed to be racing on in near perfect conditions.Such a change from last year.
This boy is using an old pick-up baler and sledge to make traditional “square” bales for the private horsey people who can’t handle big round. Notice the wee tractors.