”With bird songs being the score for your ears and nature being the canvas for the eyes we love sharing this experience!”

Signal Rock Glencoe History

Torren including An Torr was purchased at the sale of he Glencoe Estate on the death of Lord Strathcona in 1935 by Dr Alister Sutherland, the father of the present owner Alister Sutherland WS at the same time as the National Trust for Scotland acquired its first foothold in Glencoe. Dr Sutherland immediately gifted the Signal Rock to the NTS and allowed a right of way through his woods for access.

Five generations of Sutherlands from Dr Sutherland’s mother, who was born Macdonald, to Dr Sutherland’s son Alister and his children and grandchildren have looked after and enjoyed this unique place.

In our woods you will find 100 year old species conifers brought over from Canada by Lord Strathcona (born John Smith from Elgin in Morayshire) of the Canadian Pacific Railway fame who owned the Glencoe Estate in the early 1900. Lord Strathcona also created the two lochs at Torren. He had married a Red Indian Squaw and tried to recreate the environment from where she came so she would feel at home in Glencoe!  Torren House itself was built as a Keepers House. The whole 100 acres which made up Torren was fenced off by a galvanised steel deer fence.  Much of that original fence still exists.

By the side of the Torren Lochan you will see if you look carefully the remains of two small “black houses”. These houses would most probably have been in use at the time of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. There are also remains of another two houses from that same period by the side of the track from our Byre to the Signal Rock. Apart from some old ruins up Glen Leach na Muidh these are as far as we know the only remains of houses from that date in Glencoe.

Though the part of Torren called An Torr was sold to the Forestry Commission in 1958 who then sold it on to the NTS in 1975 the remaining 50 acres have been left for the most part undisturbed for the 75 years that Torren has been in the ownership of the Sutherland family. This has resulted in the rich mixture of flora and fauna which lives and flourishes at Torren.

We hope you find this short history of our lovely corner of Scotland interesting and that you will be back again to enjoy this unique place.