This memorial is on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh. The Murchison Memorial (sometimes called the Murchison’s Monument) is one of the attractions on the drive along Lochalsh in Scotland on the road to Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye. The perfect place to take photographs of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge. Be sure to wear good walking shoes, although it is not a long walk, if it has been raining it can be quite slippy.
Leaving from Kyle and heading towards Dornie, you will pass Murchinsons Monument. There is a big car park here, so you won’t have to park on the main road. The monument was raised in 1861 to commemorate Colonel Donald Murchison, who was factor to the Earl of Seaforth between 1715 and 1719. From here, if you look towards the base of Beinn na Caillich at low tide you can see the wreck of the WWII minelayer, Port Napier. This hulk of a ship went on fire during the war when Kyle was used to stock the minelayers. For safety reasons, she was pulled to the middle of Lochalsh, and left to sink in deep water. (Lochalsh is about 250 feet deep) Instead, she lasted longer than anticipated, floated toward shore, blew up and sunk in about 80 feet of water. It is advisable to view her with binoculars, or take a trip in the glass bottomed boat from Kyle.
Erected in 1861, this monument remembers the extraordinary loyalty of Colonel Donald Murchison. Donald risked his life time and again to collect rents for his exiled Jacobite-supporting employer, the Fifth Earl of Seaforth. Eventually caught and imprisoned in the Tower of London, Donald was pardoned and granted land by King George I for his outstanding display of loyalty. The memorial was raised in 1861 by his great-grand-nephew the celebrated geologist and geographer Sir Roderick Murchison of Tarradale. The Trust has erected a handsome explanatory board and indicator naming the great peaks that can be seen from this panoramic viewpoint.
The Memorial was erected in 1863 in honour of Colonel Donald Murchison who had risked his life collecting rents in the Highlands for fifth Earl of Seaforth. Murchison was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a time as a result, until he was eventually pardoned and granted land by King George I. The original monument was destroyed by a lightning strike in 1927, but has been rebuilt and today the obelisk stands overlooking Lochalsh and over to skye.
There is an inscription on the memorial which reads: “Tulloch Ard” to the memory of Donald Murchison, Colonel in the Highland Army 1715. He successfully defended and faithfully preserved the lands of Kintail and Lochalsh from 1715 to 1722 for his chief William, the exiled chief of Seaforth. Erected by his great grand-nephew Sir Roderick I. Murchison K.C.B., 1863. Restored by his grand nephew Kenneth Murchison Massie Cox Murchison 1928.
The National Trust for Scotland has established forestry around Auchertyre and Ard Hill 85m (279 ft) south of the A87 which is prominent in the view east from the Lochalsh Woodland Garden. The area of forestry has been extended since 1970. Good views south to Skye are gained from the garden and a viewing area is provided. From the higher paths within the garden, fine views can be gained to Ben Attow. The garden itself is of little scenic significance from the A87 as it is concealed by the roadside shelter planting. Murchison’s monument can be seen from the A87. Donald Murchison Monument is a listed monument of National Monuments Record by National Trust for Scotland.
Murchison Memorial (Murchison’s Monument)
On the side of the A87, East of Kyle of Lochalsh, Balmacara Ard Hill across Balmacara Bay, near Balmacara Square, Loch Alsh
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