There are a number of burial plots for just one family in Scotland and Leckine is one of them. Situated on the land that belonged to the MacLarens of Ardveich for centuries it has been the burial ground for generations that lived in the area around Lochearnhead.
Leckine burial ground is not easy to find, it can be accessed through a small wooden gate in between a row of modernised cottages, Earnknowe. Once past the houses, you enter the burial plot through a gate.
Leckine is well cared for by the owner of one of the houses that hide ist existence. An earlier caretaker, a local builder called William Angus, was the only person not of MacLaren origin that ever was buried in this small enclosure.
The site is close to Loch Earn and the remains of the old railway between Lochearnhead and St. Filllans. MacLarens have been buried here since the late 17th century, the oldest gravestone on site is about 100 years younger.
The Clan still owns the site and a few more modern graves can be found within the surrounding dry-stone walls; around a dozen gravestones, not more.
The Clan lived in this area for seven centuries, but they did not always bury their dead here. In fact, they were traditionally buried in Killin, a graveyard about ten miles away from Ardveich.
One day, legend has it, a storm interrupted proceedings as a Clan Chief was to be laid to his final rest. the journey to the graveyard could not be undertaken. The Chief was the first to be buried in Leckine, others followed.
„There is no documentary evidence to support this, which came word-of-mouth from Miss Margaret McLaren, who was the last member of the McLaren Clan to be buried at Leckine in 1993. A document within the papers of the Earl of Breadalbane in the National Archives of Scotland is a letter to the Earl asking permission to repair the burial ground, which is described as having been, ‘constantly used for that purpose for 100 years back and upwards’.“ (1)
Apparently even within this small enclosure for one clan there were certain assigned areas for the different branches of the clan according to a 19th century map.
„Within the burial ground is the grave of Donald MacLaren, the banker, wool merchant and local businessman who formed the MacLaren High School and was one of the highest employers and most influential men in the area in the early 18th century. The grave of a local builder, William Angus from Auchraw, is also found within the burial ground. Whilst not of the MacLaren Clan, Angus repaired walls enclosing the burial ground and built the present gateway on the S wall, in exchange for a burial plot for himself when he died.“ (1)
Dear Ms. Erkenbach. I was most intrigued by your article on the MacLarens graves in Ardveich. I’m researching the MacLaren line from there and was wondering if you have any images of graves located in the graveyards dating back to the 15th century. In particular I’m trying to find the name of a MacLaren woman who married a Stewart in the mid-1400s. The only information I can find on her parents were her father’s name of Dugald MacLaren. But I cannot say for certain that is correct. Any information you might have as to photos of graves or records of graves located in that cemetery would be very helpful. Thank you.
Dear Peggi, This was a very small graveyard with only a few stones left in it. There are certainly no 15th century stones anywhere. I don’t think I have ever come across one so early. The pictures in the blog are all the pictures I have taken of the site. I wish I could’ve helped. All the best with your research, Nellie