August 31, 2002

Kentallen, Birthplace of John MacColl

About 20 miles north of Oban, a few miles south of Ballachullish, is the tranquil village of Kentallen, where the great piper and composer John MacColl was born on January 6, 1860.

At the head of Loch Linnhe, Kentallen is a quiet, picturesque town, and the local hotel (a former train station) is the most active aspect of the village. On a clear day, Kentallen is as beautiful as any place in Scotland.

John MacColl’s mark on piping was and is profound. Known as perhaps the greatest composer of 2/4 marches the world has yet known, MacColl was to Argyllshire what the MacCrimmons were to Skye. His compositions include “Mrs. John MacColl,” “Jeannie Carruthers,” and “The Clan MacColl.” His competitive record during the late 1800s and early 1900s is regarded as one of the greatest in piping history.


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