Beglan (Allt Coire Beag-Ghleann)
Beglan, shortened from the Gaelic Beag-Ghleann, was a township within the valley of Glenmore. Today you can walk amongst the remains of the farm, located on either side of a small burn within Glenmore Forest Park.
The 1st edition Ordnance Survey 6-inch map (1874-75) shows that the township was abandoned before the end of the 19th century. The structures are white indicating that they do not have roofs but are ruins.
This glen has been farmed for a long time. It was also forested long before Forestry Commission Scotland owned it. In the 17th century, the name Alexander McCurle, Forester of Glenmore, is listed in tenant records.
Beginning of the township
The township of Beglan, however, may have been built late in the history of the glen; its first mention in records dates to around 1740. In the early 19th century this farm became the home of John MacDonald, the Duke of Gordon's gamekeeper and woodkeeper for Glenmore.
In 1836, George, the 5th Duke of Gordon died with no son to take over. Lennox, the Duke of Richmond inherited the lands of Glenmore, amongst others, and the management of the estate changed. The eviction of tenants began, and the Duke looked to more profitable ventures.
The Duke turned nearby Glenavon into a deer forest in 1839. To achieve this, however, one of the Duke's valued tenants, a sheep farmer called James Shaw, had to be moved from the land. The Duke gave James other land instead, including the whole of Glenmore.
By 1842 all the people who lived at Beglan, including the MacDonalds, had left. All the small tenant farms were cleared to be replaced by Shaw's sheep farm.
Only twenty years later, Glenmore, too, became a deer forest.
The exact location of Beglan is grid reference NH 965 114 and the closest site is Glenmore Forest Park Visitor Centre.
The Beglan site is accessible by foot on forest tracks.
Walk along the minor tarred road heading west from the Visitor Centre, which passes behind Glenmore Youth Hostel. At the junction with Old Logging Way, take the forest road on the right. Follow the road for 1.5 miles until you reach a junction, then take the forest road on the right. Beglan is situated 200m along this road, on the left side, accessible via a small, wooden bridge.
All sites managed by Forestry Commission Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.
Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.