The Dunkeld Hermitage,
The Hermitage (Officially the Hermitage pleasure
ground), at Dunkeld was created by John Murray the 3rd Duke of
Atholl, in the mid to late 18th century as part of his home,
Dunkeld House - to heighten his guests experience thrill and shear
enjoyment as they walked to view the falls.
Ossian's Hall, Hermitage Bridge and Ossian''s Cave were all
added as "part of the 3rd Duke's scheme to heighten the
visitor's thrill and imbue the area with a mystical
Ossian's Hall was built in 1757 to 1758, to spark excitement as
a viewing platform for the dramatic falls of the River Braan. Today
it has not lost any of its splendour, you pass through a door that
leads to a large circular room with mirrors which opens through
glass doors to a bulcony over looking the falls. The noise of the
water cascading over the falls, the light from the glass doors
bouncing on the mirrors and the sight of salmon leaping the falls,
all add to the excitement of the visit.
Over the years the Hermitage at Dunkeld's Ossian's Hall
described as "one of the most elaborate furnished decorative
garden buildings in Scotland," has drawn many famous visitors
include Queen Victoria, the English poet William Wordsworth, J.M.
Turner to name a few.
In 1869 Ossian's Hall was partly blown up, by a barrel of gun
powder, it is thought in protest to the Duke of Atholl continuing
to levy tolls on the Dunkeld Bridge.
Today Ossian's Hall is back in full operation, with
glass doors and metallic mirrors replacing the once glass mirrors
that were originally in the large circular chamber.
In 1869 Donald Anderson the local Hermitage guide, would dress
up with a long beard of lichens and cloths of animal skins, to add
to the theatrical experience and sheer thrill of the visit.
The Dunkeld Hermitage today
The Hermitage is open all year round, it is run by the National
Trust for Scotland. It is located just off the A9 after the Dunkeld
going north turning on the left, where there are two large car
parks (a £2 per car parking fee helps maintain the grounds) and the
falls, Ossian's Hall, Hermitage Bridge are about 1km away walking
through some magnificent Douglass Fir trees, some of the tallest
trees in Britain.
Wheel Chair users are accommodated for along a special route and
there are a number of excellent way marked trails for those who
wish to walk or cycle in the area. The Hermitage at Dunkeld is