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Glen Kinglass Hermit

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Glen Kinglass, 2006
Glen Kinglass
© Patrick Mackie

Glen Kinglass was home to a hermit during the 1950s, who lived on the road connecting Butterbridge in the east with Cairndow in the west, on the eastern shores of Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute.

Glen Kinglass has steep and forested sides, and carries the A83 road next to the River Kinglass which empties into the loch near Cairndow.

The hermit is believed to have started out in a simple shelter formed under some rocks, but which gradually expanded as more materials were found and added. Over the years he became something of a tourist attraction, and passing visitors would stop and give him food and money, while national newspapers would a occasionally featured stories about him.

Two markers show areas where he may have been found, but these should not be considered exact as they are merely placed on the basis of description of his shelter having been at the jucntion with the Dunoon road, and at Butterbridge.

A new road was built through the glen during the 1960s, forcing him to move as his makeshift home was on the new route. By way of compensation, he was given a four wheeled roadsman's caravan, and he moved to the head of Loch Fyne, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Thanks to information we have been passed, and credited to research by those at Dunoon's Castle House Museum, the gentleman referred to here has been identified Alex Drummond, formerly employed as a forestry worker during the 1920s and 1930s at Fernoch, near Taynuilt, he left his job following a disagreement. His home was known as Drummond's Castle. The new information also tells us that the caravan referred to earlier was lost in a fire, after which Alex Drummond moved to Struan Lodge in Dunoon, where he passed away a few months after the event.

This account contrasts with the story we have been told of an elderly lady from the 1990s, who decided to live in her Austin Metro in a layby near Glenbranter. Deemed by the authorities to be a nuisance, she was eventually sectioned and moved to Lochgilphead Hospital under Mental Health Legislation.

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