History of Balloch Park
As the glaciers gorged out beautiful Loch Tay, they left behind rich deposits of glacial fill. The River Tay meandered through this valley and formed huge flood plains and raised river terraces.
Balloch Park sits on one of these river terraces and was, through time, the NE entrance to Taymouth Castle. The Rustic Lodge (soon to be restored) was the gate house.
Over the centuries the Lairds of Breadalbane built and added to Taymouth Castle, or Balloch Castle as it once was called. They were good custodians of their land and built the village of Kenmore at the apex of Loch Tay, forming the foundations of the community as it is today.
Land uses have changed many times over the years on the upper Tay Valley and for centuries wild animals would graze off the rich dry land until more intensive farming began in the early 1800s. Around that time people discover the natural beauty of the area and choose to visit and reside and make more leisurely use the valley.
In the 1920`s the remaining lands of Taymouth and its castle were sold and the Menzies family bought the lands of Mains of Taymouth on the north side of the river and whose descendants still own the land. For many years the field of Balloch Park was sown with oats and barley producing rich harvests.
In the 1950`s tree planting started on the adjacent Drummond Hill with commercial woodland and forestry becoming the main local industry. The forestry commission using their “crown rights” started to quarry the rich gravel deposits below Balloch Park to build the network of roads required to harvest the trees and gradually over the next 60 years the field was lowered to the levels it is today.
In 2012 the quarry finally becomes obsolete and the land owners were left with a disused quarry blighting the landscape. At the same time Rustic Lodge was acquired after many years of neglect and a plan was forged to combine the development of the quarry with the restoration of Rustic Lodge.
The sensitivity of the area was always at the forefront of the plans and comprehensive ecological and environmental studies were undertaken to ensure man can share the land in harmony with the wildlife. Otters, red squirrels, ospreys and many other indigenous species surround Balloch Park.
Restoration of the quarry finally began in 2015 with the completion of phase one as it is today. More specimen trees and shrubs are being planted to give the finishing touch.
Of course there were many hurdles along the way not to mention water connections! However every day was a joy to work on Balloch Park. Workers appreciated the fantastic setting, watching the ospreys fishing on the river, the stunning views that change every second and the peace and quiet...
Now that is all yours too.