Sunday, 5 February 2012

Memorial to a Warm Hearted Pedlar

One of our favourite walks is a short drive from home. We park the Land Rover off road and walk the old pilgrims route to Iona. Or to be much more precise a short section of it. It is at the very beginning of Glenmore and wends its way alongside the River Lussa from where the river enters Loch Spelve up the Glen. The old road, now not much more than a track is an easy walk sheltered from the wind by trees. Holly, Birch and Beech are the main species, though quite near the northern side of the track the Forestry Commission plantation of Sitka Spruce and Japanese Larch is maturing with some tracts already felled and shipped away. The old woodland is home, of course, to many wild birds including buzzards who seem to manage just to keep out of my camera range. There is an interesting place of tranquility between the track and the river. It is called Pedlars Pool. So named because a pedlar died there in 1891. He was a caring man who travelled the island selling his wares. In his time disease was rife on the Island and it was the end of the infamous clearances. He called at one of the crofts,down on the Ross of Mull, on his round to find a sad scene. All the occupants of the house were dying of smallpox and their neighbours too fearful of catching the disease would not look after them but as an act of kindness left food for them to get. The pedlar, John Jones, was appalled and decided to stay to look after the family. Inevitably, he caught the disease and manage to get to his camp by the pool before dying. He was buried at the side of the pool, a cairn and with a cross erected on the sopt, which remains to this day. The place has an indefinable tranquilly.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to walking this walk with you guys when we visit. Beautiful story.


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