Lawers (1816-1817)

"The Rev. Mr Findlater, the minister on this station, has his residence at Ardionick, and the tent is close by his house; but he preaches also on the opposite side of the loch, where there is a small chapel, called Lawers Kirk. We had a letter of introduction to this gentleman, but regret we did not find him at home, as he would no doubt have communicated many interesting particulars. We had some conversation, however, with a very intelligent servant, who told us they had ‘a great day' there the week before. It was the time of dispensing the Lord's Supper, and it might have been called the anniversary of the first revival. Mr M'Donald had preached; and many, chiefly among the young, seemed to be seriously impressed. The congregation was estimated at between eight and nine thousand, who were all able to hear the preacher's voice. The place could contain ten times that number; and it is not easy to say how many might be able to hear in such a situation; for I was convinced, by subsequent experience, that it is easy to speak so as to make people hear upon the rising side of a mountain.

"About four miles east on the same side of the loch, there is a tent erected for preaching by ministers or missionaries of the Tabernacle connexion.

"Mr Findlater preaches, I believe, every second Sabbath at Lawer's Kirk, on the north side of the loch. Indeed, this and Ardionick may be considered the same station, the kirk being on one side of the loch, and the manse on the other; and such is his zeal and diligence, that sometimes after having preached twice on one side of the loch on Lord's days, he goes over to the other side and preaches in the evening. The awakening has been chiefly among people on the north side; and Lawer's Kirk, as might be expected, is well attended. To this place the Glenlyon people resort, coming round the bottom of Ben Lawers, a distance of fifteen or twenty miles, and some a great deal farther; and besides travelling thus far, they must ferry across the loch, which is here about a mile wide, when the preaching is at the tent. The country is very populous on both sides of the loch, notwithstanding the late emigrations; and I believe there are as many people on the north side alone as would fill five such houses as Lawer's Kirk.

Willaim Burns visited the area in 1840. A Bonar wrote, At Lawers, Mr Campbell, their pastor (who has now fallen asleep in Jesus), spoke of the awakening as " like a resurrection," so great and sudden was the change from deadness to intense concern. On several occasions, the Spirit seemed to sweep over the congregations like wind over the fields which bends the heavy corn to the earth.

See more on the Breadalbane Revivals.

Additional Information

The Ben Lawers building would have been there during the revival. The church was probably built as a result, but is no longer in use. There are ruins by the side of Loch Tay, one of which was where the meetings were held. You can get to the ruins by taking a path down by the side of a farm house to the east of the Hotel.