Duncan Ban MacIntyre (1724-1812)
One of Glen Orchy's most famous sons, the Gaelic Bard, Duncan Ban (or "Fair" Duncan), was born in a now deserted township on the shores of Loch Tulla.
Early on he worked for the Earl of Breadalbane on his deer forests on Ben Dorain and round about. Although he was, strictly, illiterate (the parish school was too far away probably) his songs and poems, especially his celebration of his native hills and forests and their wild life, brought him honour and fame. At the end of his life he was found a post in Edinburgh and spent his last years comfortably there.
His extraordinary granite monument (44 feet high on the Old Military Road from Inveraray to Dalmally) was raised by public subscription in 1859 and dominates Glen Orchy and Loch Awe and its islands. Queen Victoria was thrilled by the view when she came to see it in 1875.
Some idea of the wild scenery Duncan Ban enjoyed can be had at the Inveroran Hotel. where as a young man he courted the landlord's daughter and where the hungry and thirsty will still be made welcome if they take the detour by car from Bridge of Orchy or (on foot) from the magnificent West Highland Way.
As a deer forester Duncan Ban was no friend of sheep or of the Clearances which were well under way in his lifetime. So. local people still delight in quoting his "Song of the Foxes":
"My blessing with the Foxes dwell
For that they hunt the sheep so well.
Ill fa' the sheep, a greyfaced nation
That swept our hills with desolation."