Coille Leitire

At some periods of history Ardchattan and Muckairn parishes were co-joined, and so new locations became associated with the parish. Then parts of the larger parish were transferred to the adjoining parish.

This is certainly true of the places along Loch Awe side to the south and east of Ben Cruachan up to Allt Moille.
Latterly these settlements have become part of the Glenorchy and Innishail parish area.

Coille Leitire

translation of the gaelic
leitir / leitire = a long ridge
coille / choille = a wood or grove

or from Place names of Argyll

leitir, a slope (G.) (leth, half, + tir, land)
Leth, a half, comes into place-names in interesting ways. Leith-ead is a brae, usually not facing another brae, and leideag is the diminutive of this = leathad-ag. Then Leitir, a very common name (Eng. Letter), is for leth-tir, half-land — always perfectly descriptive, meaning a hill-side without another opposite. Leth-allt is a single Burn, where, for natural reasons, two might be looked for ; so also Leth-bheinn, half -mountain, where there is a felt want of another. There are many other such words and names. In body-part names, which are also extended to the land, the word comes in very interestingly, and as a very good side-light upon the general names just mentioned. Leth-cheann is half-head, or a cheek ; Leth-shuil is one-eye (lit. half-eye) ; Leth-lamh (ach) is a man with only one arm ; Leth-chas is (having only) one foot. It is the same idea throughout.

Along the north edge of Loch Awe, south of Ben Cruachan.
This area is mostly a woodland area, with a few houses left.. including Letterwood Croft and Tigh Cheracher .. which may be the location of Leitre lower house.

There have been settlements here for many centuries
- |Canmore record suggests early cultivation and Sheilings.
West of Scotland Archaeology Service. (1997a) [sites identified and recorded in Argyll and Bute during fieldwork carried out by West of Scotland Archaeology Service]', Discovery Excav Scot, 1997. Page(s): 16

in the 1500's it was wadset to the McIntyres :

The three-and-a-half merkland of Letterbaine borders directly onto Glenoe, and has three component parts. Lettermore, “The Big Slope”, plunges down from Cruachan summit to The Falls of Cruachan by Loch Awe, encompassing today´s Cruachan dam. Letterbeag, “The Little Slope”, is the Beinn a´Bhuiridh limb of the mountain, which overlooks Kilchurn Castle and the entrance to Glenorchy. While Innischonan, (Innis Chonain on the map), is the small island at the fork of Loch Awe. Letters itself is close to the lochside in Letterbeag. Much of old Letterbaine is now protected as the Coille Leitire Site of Special Scientific Interest, containing some of the finest ancient oakwoods in Scotland. Letterbaine, like Glenoe, lies in the parish of Ardchattan, though the nearest parish kirk is that of Glenorchy.

Early 1800's John McNicol and Flora Munro (who had Inveraray connections) lived here.
Children born 1807 - 1816 all baptised in Glenorchy of Leatters
The farms of this area had been transferred "quoad sacra" from Ardchattan to Glenorchy in the late 1700's.
1820's - the McNicols left for Canada when John was in his 50's
This is the story of his kilt, taken with him, and now in the collection of the Lanark and District Museum, Ontario.

McIntyre Bard
Patrick MacIntyre of Loch Awe (b. 17??, d. 1855)
Some poems are meant to be sung, and this is particularly true of "Cruachan Ben" composed by Patrick MacIntyre who was born at Letterwood, Loch Awe, in 1782. In 1811, he became the parish schoolmaster of Innisail, at Achnacarron, and served there until his death in 1855. He is buried in Glenorchy.1

(1870's) Leaving the head of Loch Fyne it is necessary to return to Dalmally, which, with its railway station, is now a central point among the mountains. Arrived then at Dalmally, and looking towards Ben Cruachan, the large tenement of Castles will be seen. Mr John Grieve has long been in possession of Castles, Drisaig, &c, which have very extensive bounds. The tenement includes the wood of Leitter, fringing Loch Awe and the base of Ben Cruachan for six miles, and having its north-west boundary at the pass of Brander. The rent is £750, and the stock is blackfaced sheep, ewes, and wethers. A considerable number of cattle can be summered on this farm. Mr Grieve is an excellent manager of sheep and cattle, and has often been called upon to act as a valuator of sheep stock on a change of tenants. A portion of Ben Cruachan is within the bounds just mentioned, at the whole front of the mountain belongs to Inverawe.2

The railway is built cut through the Letterwood, opening in 1871, and bringing more families to live along the trackside.

Margaret Donald was born at Letterwood
Elizabeth Donald, nee Fenion, ms Blackwell died at Letterwood

Alexander Donald was living at the Iron Hut
Iron Hut Alexander MAC DONALD Head W 36 M Railway Foreman Bellie MORAYSHIRE
Jane MAC DONALD Dau 8 F Scholar Wigtown WIGTOWN
Robert MAC DONALD Son 8 M Scholar Wigtown WIGTOWN
Peter MAC DONALD Son 5 M Scholar Wigtown WIGTOWN
Margaret MAC DONALD Dau 2 F Ardchattan ARGYLL
William ROBERTSON Lodger U 37 M Railway Labourer Speymouth MORAY
James MURPHY Lodger U 29 M Railway Labourer Calton EDI
Charles MURPHY Lodger U 27 M Railway Labourer Calton EDI
Alexander ROSS Lodger U 23 M Railway Labourer Glasgow LANARKSHIRE

There is a school at Letterwood, before the primary school opened at Dalmally
It was in 2 locations, the latter still being called Letterwood School House (2015 house for sale)
school history

[ Notes that the woodland here is natural forestation of oak, ash, birch and wych elm

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