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Gaelic Heritage
Gaelic Heritage

One of the most obvious and tangible assets of the Gaelic heritage of Rothiemurchus is its great legacy of Gaelic place-names. For over 1000 years Gaelic was the principal language spoken in Rothiemurchus and as recently as the 1901 Census, 56% of the residents are recorded as being Gaelic speaking and one person as being ‘Gaelic only’. At one time everyone including the Laird spoke Gaelic and participated fully in all aspects of Gaelic culture. Today, there are no native speakers of the local Strathspey dialect of Gaelic resident in Rothiemurchus Although we are fortunate that Saemus Grant, a leading Gaelic scholar was born, brought up and now lives here with his wife Alison who is also a Gaelic scholar.

Johnnie Grant's father and grandfather were both fluent Gaelic speakers. It was thought so important that his father spoke Gaelic that when he was 4 he was sent to live with his nanny in Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness, to learn Gaelic. One of Johnnie Grant’s ancestors was a competent Gaelic poet. James, the 5th Laird was born around 1592 and died in 1678 and only one of his compositions survives, Oran Broin air Tighearna Ghrannda, composed in 1719. Colonel John Roy Stuart, one of the two principle Gaelic poets of the 1745 rising had strong Rothiemurchus connections. He was born in 1700 in Kincardine, just 3 miles to the east of Rothiemurchus, his mother came from Guislich in Rothiemurchus and he composed poetry to the Grants of Rothiemurchus family.

> To see some Gaelic place names and their translations please click here.

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