The Clan Macnab Burial Grounds are a poignant symbol of the rich and often turbulent history of the Macnabs in Scotland. Located near the Bridge of Dochart in Killin, the burial grounds are imbued with the clan's battle cry, "Dread nought!" and their emblematic imagery, including the severed head of the chief of rival Clan Neish. This striking contrast between the quiet enjoyment and landscape beauty of the present day and the tumultuous clan histories adds depth to the site's allure.
The Clan Macnab, whose name comes from the Gaelic "Mac an Aba," meaning "son of the abbot," has roots reflecting ancient connections with religious communities. Members claim descent from an abbot of Glendochart, highlighting a unique sacred lineage.
The Macnabs owned lands stretching from Tyndrum to Loch Tay during the Middle Ages. This ownership, coupled with their vibrant tartan of red and green stripes on a black background, is a proud symbol of their cultural heritage.
Feud with Clan Neish: Among the many feuds and rivalries that marked the Clan Macnab's history, their long-standing feud with Clan Neish is the most famous. A brutal incident in the early 1600s where the Macnabs' badge featured the severed head of the Clan Neish's chief underscores their unyielding and fierce spirit.
Supporting Royal Causes: Their loyalty to the Royalist cause during the Scottish Civil Wars of the 17th century aligns with their combative reputation. They actively participated in various skirmishes and battles, showing allegiance to the monarchy.
Tartan and Battle Cry: The Macnab tartan, bearing red and green stripes on a black background, is a distinctive mark worn with pride by clan members. Their battle cry, "Dread nought!" meaning "Fear Nothing!" resonates with their history of courage, reflecting their fearless spirit and readiness to fight for their lands and the clan's honour.
The Clan Macnab's legacy is rich and multifaceted, steeped in religious connections, territorial ownership, cultural symbols, and a history of battles and feuds. It all adds depth to their identity as one of Scotland's prominent clans, embodying courage, loyalty, and a connection to their ancestral lands.