In 1689, during the Jacobite Rebellion, the Battle of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, was fought on the northern edge of the village. The Highland charge of the Jacobites took the government forces, under General Hugh MacKay, by surprise and they were completely overwhelmed in only 10 minutes.
Donald MacBean, one of William 111 of England's supporters, having lost the battle, is said to have cleared the pass from one riverbank to the other at The Soldier's Leap (pictured). Even though the battle was disastrous for the government forces, in reality it was the end of the insurrection, because the commanding genius of the rebellion, John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, was killed in the battle. The following month the Jacobites were soundly beaten at the Battle of Dunkeld.
The sun going down caused the Highlandmen to advance on us like madmen, without shoe or stocking, covering themselves from our fire with their targes; at last they cast away their musquets, drew their broadswards, and advanced furiously upon us, and were in the middle of us before we could fire three shots apiece, broke us, and obliged us to retreat.
Some fled to the water, and some another way (we were for the most part new men). I fled to the baggage and took a horse in order to ride the water; there follows me a Highlandman with sword and targe, in order to take the horse and kill myself. You'd laught to see how he and I scampered about. I kept always the horse betwixt him and me: at length he drew his pistol, and I fled; he fired after me.
I went above the Pass, where I met with another water very deep; it was about 18 foot over betwixt two rocks. I resolved to jump it, so I laid down my gun and bat and jumped, and lost one of my shoes in the jump. Many of our men were lost in that water.
Many say that MacBean couldn't possibly have leapt 18 feet across the river, but I've visited this area several times over the years and if I had a claymore-wielding, adrenaline-fueled Jacobite chasing me over such barren ground, I'd give it a go too.
The National Trust for Scotland now own a large section of the riverbank and have joined forces with Highland Fling, an adventure tourism company, has finally been given the go-ahead to build a permanent bungee-jumping platform under the Garry Bridge (pictured below) - Scotland's first bungee-jumping attraction. The 120 foot drop into the River Garry's eerily beautiful gorge will cost £80 a head.
Murray Trail, the New Zealander who owns the business, expects the first official jump to take place on Friday 13 May and it is open to those thrill-seekers over the age of 14.
I wonder what Donald MacBean would think about anyone who chooses to dangle from the end of a reinforced piece of elastic without the screaming of a raging Jacobite at their heels. It could be he'd think they were just as daring as himself.