The Duelling Trees
Ballencleroch was originally a modest laird’s house of the 17th century but was destroyed in a fire in 1982 but has been re-built as the ‘Schoenstatt’ (beautiful place), a retreat and conference centre. The house stands just to the west of the Clachan, East Dunbartonshire.
The lands of Ballencleroch belonged to the Brisbane family from early years of the 15th c, being sold to the MacFarlans in 1642, the house of 1655 was built by James MacFarlan. The estate passed from the family in 1921.
A carved stone on it’s wall dated 1665 celebrates the marriage of James McFarlan and Mary Keith.
In the grounds of the former Ballencleroch House are two Spanish Chestnuts known locally as ‘The Duelling Trees’. During the 1600s a feud between the tory Stirlings of Gloat and the Kincaid whigs resulted in a duel and the death of Malcolm Kincaid. While the trees mark the site of the duel, no-one is quite sure if they date to that time or if they were planted later, unfortunately one of the trees fell over in 1990 but is still showing signs of life.