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Distillery ‘baffled’ by Chinese rock carving

Scotland’s oldest whisky distillery is appealing for information after a rock carving depicting its name was uncovered by construction workers in China.

The rock carving was discovered by Chinese workers in a mountainous region of Moganshan, east of Shanghai.

The word ‘Glenturret’, a whisky distillery in Perthshire, was discovered by Chinese workers carved into the face of an 8 foot rock, 5,500 miles away from its home in Perthshire, the BBC reports.

The remote location of the carving makes its existence all the more perplexing, with the inscription discovered during the construction of a holiday resort in the mountainous Moganshan region, east of Shanghai.

Shedding some light on how it might have come to be, developers said the land was once owned by a Scottish missionary doctor who worked in the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Dr Duncan Main had a castle on the land, built in 1910, that was used as a summer retreat.

The castle was passed to the government of Zhejiang during China’s nationalisation, before being handed back to Dr Main’s son. It was then sold to a car company and opened as an inn before being torn down in the 1960s.

Glenturret Distillery in Crieff has said it is “baffled” by the discovery, with its general manager, Stuart Cassell, confirming that it is yet to find a link between Dr Main and Crieff.

“We’re wondering if perhaps Dr Main was such a fan of his native drink that he was one of the first importers of Glenturret whisky to China”, said Cassells. “Another possibility is that the rock has uncovered a link not to Glenturret distillery but to a British steamship called Glenturret that we also know existed. We’d love to have someone come forward to shed some more light on what is truly a fascinating story and a very colourful cast of characters”.

Glenturret Distillery appealing to anyone who might have information on Dr Duncan Main, particularly regarding his time in China, or the rock carving, to get in touch. The Glenturret Distillery was founded in 1775 and produces Famous Grouse and the Glenturret Single Malt whiskies.

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