Around the area of Dunkeld, Trochry and Amulree are traces of paths, ruined houses, and endless questions.
Was this the remains of a house? Why was it here? Why are there so many puzzling traces of paths or roads?
One answer, I discovered is that there was a well trodden route, now rarely used, though which the whisky smugglers trekked by night. In fact so popular was it that a rest stop, a house now ruined existed for travellers, legitimate or otherwise, to stay the night. Named Rosecraig, there is still a date of 1827 visible.
There were dozens of illicit distilleries scattered in the hills, or, as one enterprising farmer concocted, beneath the kitchen floor.
However, the excise duty was considerable, hence the attraction of illegal stills. In 1823 the excise duty was halved, and the more go ahead of the distillers decided to produce whisky legally, from which emerged the great distillers, frequently still in existence today.
As for Rosecraig, such was its popularity that local tittle tattle spoke of its use by ‘ladies of the night’. I couldn’t possibly say.