Like The White Bridge that I wrote about last week, today’s post features another amazing, serendipitous find. Scotland certainly does seem to be full of those.
One afternoon a few weeks ago, Mr. C and I were driving through the southwest portion of the Cairngorms National Park near the village of Laggan.
We had just turned onto General Wade’s Military Road from the A86 when we spotted the fantastic ruins of a church to our left. Naturally, we pulled over to check it out.
Sadly, there was no information posted, and the only clue was a sign on the road for something called ‘The Monarch.’ It appeared to refer to the house sitting across the yard from the church. That evening, I did a Google search (what in the world were our lives like before the internet?) to discover more information. Though I couldn’t find a date for the church’s construction, I learned that what we had seen were the ruins of the Laggan Free Church (Free Church being an evangelical and reformed branch of the Presbyterian Church).
And as for the Monarch, it does, in fact, occupy the same property as the ruin. It was recently run as a country hotel but is now permanently closed. Interestingly, the home-turned-inn was at one time, the church manse (parsonage).
I would so love to know more about Laggan Free Church. When was it built? Why was it abandoned? Was a newer, shinier version built somewhere nearby? Why is the steeple and entry more intact than the rest of the ruin? Did it suffer a fire? Did it just weather away from disuse? All questions my curious mind would like to know the answers to! Perhaps I will never know.
Incidentally, before I wrap things up for today, I want to mention a great little cafe that we stumbled upon shortly after we had left the church. It’s called Caoldair Coffee and Craft Shop. Located on General Wade’s Military Road about a half-mile or so from the ruin, it’s a lovely shop that sells (as their sign says) coffee, cakes, clothing, and other yummy things. Right they are. Another terrific find. Did we buy anything? Why yes. Yes we did. As for me, I left with a very lovely plumb tart. Mr. C ended up with a very nice hat.
Until next time, friends.