History of the Clan Macrae


Macraes in the Districts of Clunes and Glenurquhart

The Macraes who settled in Kintail are said to have lived originally at Clunes, on the Lordship of Lovat, near the southern shore of the Beauly Firth, where the site on which stood the house of their chief is still pointed out.1  So far as the date to which these traditions refer can be fixed, this would be about the middle of the thirteenth century.  It is also said that the name was known in Glenurquhart2 in the twelfth century, which is an earlier date than can well be assigned to any traditions that have come down to us with regard to the settlement at Clunes, but there appear to be no existing traditions connecting the origin of the Macraes of Kintail with the district of Glenurquhart.  There are, however, many traditions connecting them with the district of Clunes, and explaining the cause of the migration to Kintail.3

Next: Migration to Kintail

1. The site of Macrae's house (Lorach tigh Mhicrath) is on the southern slope of the Hill of Clunes, and is marked by a number of large stones, which are supposed to have formed the foundation of the house.  Tradition says that the house was originally built in the course of one night by supernatural agencies, and the place has always been regarded as a favorite haunt of the fairies.

2. Mackay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston, P. 12; and also the Rev. John Macrae's Account of the Origin of the Macraes.

3. See chapter on Legends and Traditions of the Clan, and Appendix A.