On the Doorstep...
The Smiddy is situated in what is locally known as “The Braes of Glenlivet,” braes meaning hills, which you can see in every direction. There are many things to do right on your doorstep, from walking, cycling and wildlife watching to just relaxing and enjoying the views of the countryside.
There are also notable local places of historical interest to be discovered and recommended a visit.
The secluded building of Scalan (from the Gaelic sgalan , meaning turf roof) was a small, clandestine community set up in 1717 in the isolated Braes of Glenlivet for the training of Catholic Priests. At this time the practice of the Catholic religion was illegal and theoretically punishable by deportation. Scalan nevertheless remained in existance as a seminary until 1799, and was one of the few places in Scotland where the Catholic faith was kept alive during the troubled times of the 18th century.The present building was built in 1767 and is a simple two-storey house of harled stone with a slate roof. Today Scalan is a restoration project and a Pilgrimage Centre and open all year for visitors .
For generations the focus of the glen, The Braes Chapel, also known as 'Our Lady of Perpetual Succour' was designed by well-known late Victorian/Edwardian architect John Kinross of Edinburg and built in 1897 to replace a smaller, earlier Catholic church on the site in the late 1820's. They were built as a consequence of the closure of the Scalan after repeal of the Penal Laws made it feasible to set up a larger and more visible seminary. The church comprises a large square tower, nave, chancel and an attached presbytery. The simplicity of the grey harled exterior with prink granite dressings contrasts sharply with the richly decorated interior with the ceiling and mural stencilling in colours of gold, scarlet and green while the wood panelled altar is decorated with angels playing musical instruments.
Below are some examples of other sites and scenes to be enjoyed in the surrounding area.