The History of Torren, Glencoe
Torren including An Torr was purchased
at the sale of the Glencoe Estate on the death of Lord Strathcona in 1935 by Dr
Alister Sutherland, the father of the present owner Alister Sutherland WS at
the same time as the National Trust for Scotland acquired its first foothold in
Glencoe. Dr Sutherland immediately gifted the Signal Rock to the NTS and
allowed a right of way through his woods for access.
Five generations of Sutherlands from Dr Sutherland’s
mother, who was born Macdonald, to Dr Sutherland’s son Alister and his children and
grandchildren have looked after and enjoyed this unique place.
In our woods you will find 100 year old species
conifers brought over from Canada
by Lord Strathcona (born John Smith from Elgin
in Morayshire) of the Canadian Pacific Railway fame who owned the Glencoe
Estate in the early 1900. Lord Strathcona also created the 2 lochs at Torren.
He had married a Red Indian Squaw and tried to recreate the environment from
where she came so she would feel at home in Glencoe! Torren House itself was built as a Keepers
House. The whole 100 acres which made up Torren was fenced off by a galvanised
steel deer fence. Much of that original
fence still exists.
By the side of the Torren Lochan you will see if you
look carefully the remains of 2 small “black houses”. These houses would most
probably have been in use at the time of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. There
are also remains of another 2 houses from that same period by the side of the
track from our Byre to the Signal Rock. Apart from some old ruins up Glen Leach
na Muidh these are as far as we know the only remains of houses from that date
Though the part of Torren called An Torr was sold to
the Forestry Commission in 1958 who then sold it on to the NTS in 1975 the
remaining 50 acres have been left for the most part undisturbed for the 75
years that Torren has been in the ownership of the Sutherland family. This has
resulted in the rich mixture of flora and fauna which lives and flourishes at
We have made a list of which animals, birds and
butterflies live here, however we acknowledge that the list is by no means
complete. Please help us! If you see
anything that we have failed to add, let us know by adding it to the list of
Birds and Butterflies which is in your Visitors Map in the Cottage We would
love to have a list of the wild flowers and moths so if you feel like helping
us with our list and /or photographs we should be delighted. You can also add
it yourself to our wildlife page on the Glencoe-Cottages.com website.
We hope you find this short history of our lovely
corner of Scotland
interesting and that you will be back again to enjoy this unique place.