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September 2019



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dougalsservant in photo_scavenger


I have a confession to make. I thought I knew my village well as I have lived here for six years and had holidayed here so many times before. I thought I knew where the village war memorial was and set off there this afternoon with my camera. I didn't find the war memorial, but I did find a memorial and with quite a story attached.

James Ross at one time kept the Broadford Hotel, which is at the end of my road and is credited with being the home of Drambuie. There is a mixture of history, myth and legend here......

The legend is after the failed Jacobite rebellion in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to Skye where he was sheltered by Capt. John Mackinnon. On leaving Skye to return to Europe he gave the Mackinnons the recipe for his personal elixir which was a mix of whisky, honey, herbs and spices. Over a hundred years later one of the Mackinnons gave the recipe to James Ross who produced a drink like the one we have now, which was really for local family and friends. Sadly he died relatively young and his widow had to sell the recipe, to get the money to fund the childrens'education, to another Mackinnon family who then commercialised it.

This is the memorial looking north-west towards Irishman's Point

Just around the corner from the memorial is a bench with this plaque

(Professor) Ross Mitchell was a pioneering paediatrician who was born on Skye but was sent south to Glasgow to be educated. It makes me wonder whether he would have been able to do what he did without the benefits from the sale of his grandfather's recipe.


What a fascinating story. So many threads, and then that final what-if? And I particularly like that final shot, with the raindrops and the bench looking all purpley.
Thank you. I was rather pleased with myself as I had set out to photograph one thing and in fact found something very different. And although I had heard of Prof. Ross Mitchell - he wrote a lot about the history of medicine in Scotland - I hadn't realised he was part of the Ross family. I have also checked where the war memorial actually is.
I must show this to my parents -they love Drambruie .... Thanks for sharing.
When you pointed out that Dr Ross Mitchell probably benefited from Drambuie I did wonder whether there was a link to Rev. Dr. Donald MacKinnon (of the memorial hospital ) as well.

I thought that he might well have been one of the pre-Ross beneficiaries of the recipe - but on finding his history discover he was the third generation of his family to have been the Church of Scotland minister at Broadford - they covered over a century between them.

Mind you, the C of S isn't teetotal, I don't think - so maybe they were quietly producing enough Drambuie for family consumption up at the manse for over a century...
Well done that Wombat. We are so awash with Mackinnons (and Macdonalds and Macleods) that I had totally forgotten about Mackinnon-the-Hospital and not thought about whether there might be a connection.
Funny you mentioning the CoS in Broadford - where I was taking 'photos today was directly opposite the 1840 church in the village.
And earlier I was thinking about going to take photos at the earlier (pre-reformation, and now a ruin) church which is just down the Elgol road at Cill Criosd (Kilchrist) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cill_Chriosd Last time I went down there the gates were chained and I couldn't see how to get in.
Absolutely beautiful setting.