MHG22819 - James of the Glens Memorial, South Ballachulish


A memorial to James Stewart who was executed at this spot in 1752 for the notorious "Appin Murder".

Type and Period (2)

  • COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (18th Century - 1752 AD to 1752 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

James of the Glens, hanged at Cnap Chaolis Mhic Pharaig, near the slip at Ballachulish Ferry. <1>

Photographs of this memorial were submitted to the HER by Martin Briscoe via our Flickr group in June 2011. Martin notes that two of the steps up to the memorial have slipped out of place so care needs to be taken when walking up to it, particularly when wet. <2>

This site was the subject of an article in the Oban Times in November 1994 after concern was expressed over tree felling in the area. Historical details were sourced from 'The Appin Mystery', No 1. The West Highland Series of booklets published by the West Highlands and Islands of Argyll Tourist Board. The article includes a photograph of a cairn marking the spot of the Appin Murder. <3>

From the leaflet Tales of Argyll: Lismore and Appin edition, published by the Argyll branch of the British Red Cross to mark the International Year of Disabled People 1981:

"Red Fox's real name was Colin Campbell, who came from Glen Ure near Creagan. One day he was going along the road near the Ballachulish Ferry with five or six men. All of a sudden he got shot in the back twice. Nobody knew who shot him so one of his men went to Glen Ure to try and find the person but he could not.

James Stewart was executed at Ballachulish in November 1752 for a crime of which he was not guilty. After Red Fox was killed he was buried at the Priory and the real murderer was never found. The inscription on the Stewart Monument which is a granite block crowned by a quartzite boulder reads:-
James Stewart
James of the Glens
Executed here November 1752
For a crime of which he was not guilty

In hanging James of the Glens the Government had found their scapegoat and the body was hung in chains under guard so that all who used the Ballachulish Ferry would see it and even crows pecked it clean and when the skeleton fell down the bones were strung together and rehung on the gibbet. Then in time it was taken from its knoll and the gibbet remains were thrown into the sea, casting up eventually in Loch Etive where the wood of the gibbet was used in a bridge at Bonawe." <4>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NN 0517 5961 (5m by 5m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NN05NE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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