I once made a film about the lost garden of D U N I R A .
A number of years later, I came across this verse inscribed on a tombstone in Comrie Churchyard:
These buds of love,
So young and fair,
Came just to show,
How sweet these flowers
in Paradise still bloom.
These words took me back to D U N I R A. The verse was written by young parents: Alexander Clark and his wife Catherine MacFarlane. Alexander was Coachman for Lord Dundas.
As young parents, Alexander and Catherine Clark had to bear the unbearable, the early death of three children. All as a result of diphtheria [before the introduction of vaccines, diphtheria was a leading cause of childhood death around the world].
Next door to the Coachman’s House was the Gardener’s Bothy. In 1861, Robert Little Grainger was an ‘Under Gardener’ for D U N I R A:
The following Winter diphtheria ‘visited’ D U N I R A. Robert Grainger, the under gardener, and his new wife Isabella, lost their first child.