This weekend marks the 2018 Annual Lamont Clan Gathering held in Dunoon on the West Coast of Scotland. Every year the weekend after the Cowal Highland Gathering the Lamont's gather together for a packed weekend full of activities celebrating the clans heritage.
This year the weekend kicks off with the AGM on the Saturday morning followed by the laying of the wreath at the Lamont Memorial with a dinner and the chance to ceilidh the night away in the Braes Restaurant in Dunoon centre. The next day sees the group visit the Invercholain Manse (Society HQ and home to Augusta Lamont, the last of the McGorrie Lamonts) for afternoon tea on the east shore of Loch Strive before everyone heads home again. The gathering first came about after the Clan Lamont Society erected a memorial in 1906 to commemorate the Lamont's executed in battle against the Campbell's.
During our damp weekend at Cowal Highland Gathering our day was brightened when we met a lovely couple from Bath, Lennard and Diana Burden, who have been attending the gathering for over 25 years, and they told us all about the Lamont Clan Gathering held in Dunoon every year during the weekend following the Games. They first travelled up to Dunoon to learn about Lennard's Scottish heritage and that is when they discovered both the Clan and Highland Gatherings. They are now Life Patrons of Cowal Highland Gathering and spend two weeks in Dunoon each year to attend the events.
Dunoon makes up a big part of Clan Lamonts history, hence the location chosen for the clan gathering. The devastating end to the age-long feud between the Lamont's and the Campbell's took place here, better known as the Dunoon Massacre. The feud first came about during King Charles I reign, as he kick started a division in the country over his decision to not work with the Parliament in his ruling of the country. This left the citizens of the country in two groups; the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. The Clan Lamont Chief, Sir James Lamont, supported the Royalist cause which caused conflict with the Campbell's who were on the opposite side. The Lamont's did raid a portion of the Campbell land to prove they were a clan that could protect themselves. Unfortunately, the Campbell's were a much bigger and more powerful clan and they fought back harder taking control of the Lamont Castles. It was at this point that Sir James surrendered.
The Campbell's stated in the terms of surrender that the people of the Lamont Clan were guaranteed safety, but they were soon to go against their word and locked the chief up for five years in Dunstaffnage Castle and massacred 200 clansmen, including men, women and children. Sir John's sister managed to escape from the Campbell's hold with the surrender document and presented it before the King. The Chief of Clan Campbell was executed and Sir John was rightly given his land back, including the destroyed Castles. The Castles have sadly never been re-built and today all that is left is the ruins.
So there you have a mini round up of the history behind why the Lamont Gathering is held in the lovely town of Dunoon. If you are attending the gathering this weekend, there's still time to pick up your Lamont Tartan, just pop into our Edinburgh store and see what we have in stock. We would love to see pictures of you sporting your Lamont Tartan, so be sure to send them over to us, you may even be featured on the Facebook Page!