Happy New Year from Visit Scotland.
Monday, 31 December 2007
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Visit River Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland. Tour Ayrshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Visit Blyth Bridge, Scottish Borders, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Visit a Tartan Weaving Mill in Scotland. Tour Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Visit Martyrs Bay, Iona, Scotland. Tour Island of Iona, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Visit Harthill, between West Lothian and North Lanarkshire in central Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Visit Midlem, Scottish Borders, Scotland. Tour Midlem, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Airlie Castle, Angus, Scotland. Airlie Castle is the official seat of the Earl of Airlie, the title being granted in 1639 to the Ogilvy family when James, the eighth Lord Ogilvy of Airlie became the first Earl of Airlie. Visit Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Visit St Andrews Castle, Fife, Scotland. Photographs by Scottish Tours Guide Sandy Stevenson. Tour St Andrews Castle, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. St Andrews Castle is a picturesque ruin located in the coastal Royal Burgh of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Visit Ardnamurchan Scotland. Ardnamurchan in 1846. Ardnamurchan, a parish, partly in the county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness; comprising the quoad sacra districts of Aharacle and Strontian, and containing 5581 inhabitants. The present parish of Ardnamurchan, previously to the Reformation, was distributed into three separate parishes, comprehending the five districts of Ardnamurchan, Sunart, Moidart, Arasaig, and South Morir. These districts still remain as distinct portions, and from the first the parish takes its name, signifying "the promontory" or "heights of the great sea." This term was originally applied with great propriety, the district of Ardnamurchan being nearly a peninsular promontory, thrusting itself out from the mainland to a considerable extent, into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The districts of Ardnamurchan and Sunart are in the county of Argyll, and the other three in Inverness-shire; and the whole extent is supposed to comprise 200,000 Scotch acres, of which 87,753 are in the Argyllshire portion. The parish is bounded on the south by Loch Sunart, separating it from that of Morven; on the south-west, by the northern end of the Sound of Mull; on the north, by Loch Morir, and the river flowing thence, which separate it from North Morir, in the parish of Glenelg; and on the north-west and west, by that part of the Atlantic Ocean which reaches to the opposite shores of Skye and the Small Isles. The coast, which is continuously, and remarkably, indented with creeks and bays forming numerous points and headlands, is supposed to embrace a line of several hundreds of miles, and exhibits a bold and rocky appearance. It displays, at some seasons, the foaming cataracts of the neighbouring waters driven landward by the westerly winds, and occasionally rendering inaccessible the several creeks and landing-places. The headland of Ardnamurchan, which is the most westerly part of the mainland of Great Britain, and the most prominent on the line of coast between Cape Wrath and the Mull of Cantyre, was formerly used as a geographical mark, in respect to which the Western Isles were denominated north or south. A creek on its extreme point, the picture of dreariness and desolation, marks the place where the remains of numbers of unfortunate sailors have found a grave, their barks having been dashed to pieces on the adjoining rocks; indeed, the whole coast surrounding the district of Ardnamurchan, is a series of indentations and prominences. Beyond this, the southern part of the parish, the line of coast runs along the Moidart district, on the west and north, and then forms the western limit of Arasaig and South Morir, jagged with many rocky points and headlands, of which the point of Arasaig, the next in importance to Ardnamurchan, is well known to mariners, and is visited by steamers plying from Glasgow to Skye and other parts. The coast here is very rugged, but not abrupt or precipitous; and it has numerous shelving rocks, extending under water to the northern boundary of the parish. A deep and wide bay is formed by the line of shore stretching in an easterly direction from the point of Ardnamurchan to the isthmus of that district, then northward, and afterwards round to the west, reaching to the point of Arasaig; and at the flexure of the northern coast of Ardnamurchan towards Moidart, is Kintra bay, with its fine sands, the latter measuring about two square miles, of nearly circular form, and covered, at high water, by the sea, which enters by a small inlet.
The principal Harbours along the coast are, the bay of Glenmore, on the south of Ardnamurchan, affording good anchorage; that of Kilchoan, a small harbour on the same coast, furnishing the chief point of communication with Tobermory; and, on the north coast of Ardnamurchan, at Ardtoe, a small bay, where inferior craft may find a safe retreat. At the island of Shona, north of Kintra bay, also, and in the opening of Loch Moidart, are several creeks with good anchorage, the resort of boats from the southern highlands, in the season for cod-fishing; and in Loch Sunart are the harbour of Strontian, and the creek of Salin, at which latter a pier has been built. There are likewise several maritime lochs in the parish, which are of considerable extent and importance, and form a distinct feature in the general scenery of the coast. Loch Sunart shoots off from the Sound of Mull, where it is about six miles in breadth, and, in its inland course of about twenty-five miles, runs, with much impetuosity, through the channels formed by the islands of Carna, Resga, and Oransay, six or seven miles from its mouth, and then lies quietly, with the exception of the ebb and flow of the tides, between lofty rocks and precipitous banks overgrown with wood. Loch Moidart is about four miles long, from east to west, and communicates with the open sea by means of a narrow channel on each side of the island of Shona: being surrounded with steep lofty mountains, it is usually unruffled, and its scenery embraces all the striking features of a highland district. The remaining salt-water lochs are those of Loch-nan-Uamh, situated between Moidart and Arasaig; Loch Ainart, a branch of the former; and Loch-na-Reaull, just north of Arasaig point; all of comparatively small extent. In different parts of the coast are caves, some of them very extensive, but none of much note, except one at Baradale, in Arasaig, a damp, rough, dark excavation, where Prince Charles Stuart, after his defeat at Culloden, concealed himself for three days.
The Interior of the parish, consisting of a sweep of land of very rugged character, is crowded with the features, variously combined, of almost every description of wild and romantic scenery, comprising lofty mountain ranges, precipitous rocky elevations, thickly-wooded hills, dells, and ravines, with numberless inland lochs, and several rivers. The Ardnamurchan portion is strongly marked by a range of hills, though of no great elevation, running from the western point, for about twenty-four miles, towards the east, and varying from four miles and a half to seven in breadth. Near the coast, are many farms under good cultivation, within the first ten or twelve miles, but afterwards the pasture becomes coarser. Oak, birch, and hazel are seen covering the rocks, and the lower hills on the south, to Loch Sunart; while, on the north, the district, at its eastern extremity, is occupied by a very extensive moss, girt by the river Shiel; this stream, which flows from Loch Shiel, and one from Loch Morir, being the principal rivers, and both falling into the western ocean. The name of the Sunart district, written, in some ancient records, Swynefort, or Swyniford, is supposed to have been derived from the circumstance of a king of Denmark named Swin, who was driven from his own country for apostatizing from Christianity, having, in the 10th century, landed in a creek here, on the western shore, called, in consequence of that event, Swineard. This tract is a continuation of that of Ardnamurchan, about twenty-five miles long, and ten in average breadth, and, for several miles from its commencement, has the appearance of a mountain ridge. After this the eminences expand, reaching to Loch Sunart on the south, and Loch Shiel on the north and north-west, leaving a large intermediate space, filled up with lofty hills and deep valleys and glens, thrown together in the greatest irregularity and confusion. The most lofty mountains are, Ben-Reisipoll, Scur-Dhoniel, Scour-Choinich, Creach-Bhunn, and, Glaschoiren Hill, reaching respectively 2661 feet, 2730 feet, 2364 feet, 2439 feet, and 1920 feet in height. The district contains two extensive and interesting valleys, of which that of Strontian, near its eastern extremity, opening at Loch Sunart, stretches for about five miles inland. It is ornamented in succession from its entrance with clusters of fine natural oak, flourishing plantations surrounding a tasteful mansion with well laid out grounds, an excellent and well-cultivated farm, with the crofts and tenements of numerous cottagers, the government church near the stream that runs through the valley, and, further on, the pleasing manse. Glenaheurich, a few miles north of the former valley, contains a spacious lake, and affords excellent pasturage for sheep; and besides this, there are other glens of inferior dimensions, bounded with picturesque bills displaying a profusion of verdure and ornamental wood. The district of Moidart takes its name from a compound Gaelic term signifying "the height of sea-spray," and extends about ten or twelve miles in breadth, and twenty-five in length, in a direction parallel with Sunart, along the whole boundary of Loch Shiel. It is bounded on the west and north by the sea, and the continuous range of mountains along the coast on each side, incloses an intermediate and lofty ridge, exhibiting a summit with a magnificent assemblage of crags, rocks, hills, and ravines, rendered more interesting to the curious observer by the almost impossible attempt to find their parallel. There are, however, in this elevated portion, some tolerably good plains, and a valley called Glenaladale, about 300 yards broad, and containing fair arable and pasture land. The districts of Arasaig and South Morir, not separated from each other by any marked features, constitute together a tract twenty-four miles in length, and fifteen broad: a long and very dreary valley named Glenmeuble, stretches along Arasaig for ten miles, with a farm at the eastern end, and a small loch called Brosaig, not very far off. The parish contains numerous fresh-water lakes, many of which abound with trout; the principal of them is Loch Shiel, which separates the county of Argyll from that of Inverness, and is embosomed amid mountains of the most magnificent description, very little known to travellers. At the western extremity of this lake is the beautiful island of Finnan.
The soil is various, but generally light and shallow; only a small portion is fit for superior husbandry, and the remainder is moor and moss, of which latter kind there are several large tracts styled moss-flats, especially adjacent to Loch Shiel. That called the Moss of Kintra covers an area of seven square miles, and, like some of the others, is a quagmire in the middle, of unknown depth, though considerable portions near the margin are capable of improvement. Oats and bear are raised; but potatoes, hay, wool, and the cuttings of wood, make the largest items in the returns of produce. The black-faced sheep are those chiefly kept, and the cattle are the Argyllshire; the pasture lands are in many parts of an excellent kind, and both sheep and cattle are generally of a superior description, and receive much attention. The method of cultivation varies according to the nature of the soil and the locality; the best implements are in use, and shell-sand mixed with kelp, and various deposits from the sea-shore, are extensively employed as manure. Considerable improvements have been made on some estates, within these few years, and the farm-buildings of superior tenants are good, but those of the inferior class of the worst description. The extent of arable land in the Ardnamurchan and Sunart districts is upwards of 5000 acres, about half turned by the plough, and half by the spade; and it is supposed that the quantity throughout the parish might be doubled, with a profitable application of capital, there being, in these two districts alone, more than 12,000 acres of pasture, 3000 or more of moss, and 80,000 of moor, much of which is capable of tillage. An agricultural association, principally connected with Ardnamurchan and Sunart, and some neighbouring places, meets annually at Strontian, under the auspices of which great improvement has taken place in the breed of horses, blackcattle, and sheep. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6894. The rocks, to the distance of eleven or twelve miles eastward from Ardnamurchan point, are of the trap formation, whinstone being most prevalent, and appearing in numerous dykes which intersect each other in all directions; and in some places are found portions of slate, sandstone, and limestone, the last in large masses. Beyond these strata, further eastward, the gneiss, or mica-slate, shows itself, and the rocks become much more abrupt and lofty; a quarry is in operation at Laga, of micaceous rock, of fine quality, abundant in the parish; and at Strontian, excellent granite is raised, at which place, also, lead-mines are open, but not at present worked. Previously to 1722, these mines were let to the Duke of Norfolk and others, and afterwards were held by the York Building Company, and worked to the conclusion of the last war, the proprietor receiving at that time, from £1000 to £1500 per annum for rent, amounting to one-eighth of the produce; they were also let in the year 1836, but the works were shortly discontinued. The wood is of considerable extent throughout the parish, including much oak, valuable for its timber, birch, hazel, alder, and ash, all of natural growth; and the plantations comprise fir, plane, oak, and ash trees. Arasaig House is an elegant modern mansion of polished freestone. The population is chiefly rural, and scattered through the different districts; a few are engaged in salmon-fishing, on the river Shiel, and others in taking herrings on some of the lochs; two decked-vessels belong to the place, one of fifty, and the other of twenty tons. There is a post-office at Strontian, with a daily post; also one at Arasaig, with a delivery three times weekly; and a third at Kilchoan, communicating, by a messenger, with Strontian, twice each week. A road runs from Arasaig, by Glenfinnan, to Fort-William and the Caledonian canal, and another from Strontian to Corran Ferry, by each of which cattle and sheep are driven to the southern markets. The principal communication, however, is by steam-vessels from Glasgow, which touch at the point of Arasaig, and at Tobermory, a sea-port, in the northern extremity of the island of Mull, about five miles south from the harbour of Kilchoan, in Ardnamurchan. A fair is held at Strontian, in May, and another in October, for cattle and sheep; and there is also a cattle and sheep fair at Arasaig.
The parish is in the presbytery of Mull and synod of Argyll, and is ecclesiastically distributed into five portions, namely, the parish church district, two quoad sacra parishes, a district under the care of a missionary, and another under that of an assistant. The first of these embraces the western portion of the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, and contains a place of worship at Kilchoan, on the south, four or five miles from the point, and one at Kilmorie, on the northern coast, at which the minister officiates alternately. The Kilchoan church, which, on account of its situation, commands the larger attendance, is a superior edifice, built in 1831, and accommodating more than 600 persons; that of Kilmorie, raised by a late incumbent, is a very humble structure, originally built of dry stone, and thatched. The minister has a stipend of about £270, with a manse, and a glebe of 27 acres, valued at £10 or £12 per annum; patron, the Duke of Argyll. The quoad sacra church at Strontian is thirty miles distant from the parish church; that at Aharacle is situated at the west-end of Loch Shiel, 23 miles distant. The mission of Laga comprehends about eleven miles of the coast of Loch Sunart, partly in the parish church district, and partly in that of aharacle; the minister receives £60 per annum from the Royal Bounty, and has built a preaching-house at his own expense. The district of the assistant is by far the largest ecclesiastical division, embracing the principal part of Moidart, and the whole of Arasaig and South Morir, and has a small preaching-house, built partly by subscription, at Polnish, near Inveraylort, and a school-house at Ardnafuaran, in Arasaig: he receives from the parish minister £55. 11. 1., and £32 from the Royal Bounty, with £5 for communion elements. There are five Roman Catholic chapels, with two officiating priests. The parochial school, situated at Kilchoan, affords the ordinary instruction; the master has a salary of £25. 13. 3., with £10 fees, and a house, garden, and two acres of land, the whole valued at £7. The parish contains several vitrified forts; but the chief relic of antiquity is the castle of Mingary, on the southern shore of Ardnamurchan, once the stronghold of Mac Ian, from which James IV., in 1493, granted a charter, and where, two years afterwards, he held his court, to receive the submission of the nobles of the forfeited lordship of the Isles. On the plain, at Glenfinnan, is a tower erected in commemoration of the events of 1745, by Alexander Mc Donald, of Glenaladale, with an inscription by Dr. Donald McLean; the successor to the property, Angus Mc Donald, Esq., has lately much improved it, and crowned the summit with a statue of Prince Charles Stuart.
Visit Ardchattan Scotland. Ardchattan in 1846. Ardchattan, a parish, in the district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 8 miles (E. N. E.) from Oban; containing 2421 inhabitants, of whom 960 are in the quoad sacra parish of Muckairn. This place is supposed to have derived its name from Catan, who accompanied St. Columba to Scotland, about the year 563; and from its mountainous aspect, of which the term Ardchattan is also descriptive, signifying "the hill" or "promontory of Catan." It obtained, for some time, the appellation of Bal Mhoadan, or " the residence of Moadan," in honour of whom a church was erected in the vicinity, which afterwards became the church of the parish of Kilmodan; and that portion of the parish which is comprehended between the river Awe and Loch Etive, still retains the name of Benderloch, descriptive of a mountainous district between two arms of the sea. The Parish is bounded on the north by the river and loch of Creran; on the south and east, by Loch Etive, and the river and loch of Awe; and on the west by Loch Linnhe; and, exclusively of Muckairn, is about 40 miles in length, and 10 miles in average breadth. The surface is generally mountainous, but diversified with several glens and valleys of considerable extent, some richly embellished with wood, and displaying much romantic scenery; the level lands are intersected with numerous streams, and the hills of more moderate height are crowned with plantations. With the exception of the valley of Glenure and a few other spots, the only arable lands are towards the north and east, beyond which little cultivation is found; lofty mountains, in various directions, rise so abruptly from the sides of the lakes, as to leave little land that can be subjected to the plough.
Of these mountains, the principal is Ben-Cruachan, the highest in the county, having an elevation of 3669 feet above the sea, and rising from a base of more than twenty miles in circumference; the acclivity, towards the vale of Glencoe, is precipitously steep, but from the south, behind Inverawe, the ascent is more gradual, terminating in two conical summits commanding a most unbounded prospect. Ben-Cochail, to the north of it, though little inferior in height, appears much diminished by comparison; and Ben-Starive, still further up the lake, rises from abase of large extent, to an elevation of 2500 feet. The acclivities of the latter, of barren aspect, are deeply furrowed; and in the channels of the streams which descend from it, are found beautiful crystals, little inferior to the cairngorms of the Grampians. Ben-Nan-Aighean, or the "mountain of the heifers," to the south of Ben-Starive, rises to a great height, terminating in a peak of granite; for about, half way up the acclivities it affords Tolerable pasture, and is thence rugged and barren to its summit; rock crystals are found near its base, and in the beds of its numerous streams. Ben-Chaorach, or the "mountain of the sheep," near Ben-Starive, is of inferior height, but affords good pasturage. Ben-Ketlan, to the north of it, is of greater elevation, and presents a finer outline, bounded on the one side of its base by the Alt-Ketlan stream, and by the Alt-Chaorach on the other; it is the most fertile of the mountains. Two most conspicuous mountains called Buachail-Etive, or the "keepers of the Etive," and situated near the termination of the lake of that name, are distinguished by the names Buachail-Mor and Buachail-Beg, from the respective extent of their bases, though neither of them has an elevation of less than 3000 feet. Ben-Veedan, called also Ben-Nambian, or the "mountain of the deer-skins," from the number of deer which are killed there, is separated from Buachail-Beg by the mountain-pass of Larig-Aoilt, a stupendous range scarcely inferior, in elevation, to Ben-Cruachan, and which opens into the vale of Glencoe. Ben-Treelahan, on the west side of Loch Etive, which washes its base for nearly five miles, and Ben-Starive, on the opposite side, greatly contract the breadth of the lake, and, by their rugged aspect, spread over it a romantic gloom hardly surpassed in mountain scenery. In the north-east of the parish, also, are other mountains, of which the principal are, Ben-Aulay, the highest of the range; Ben-Scoullard, Ben-Vreck, Ben-Molurgan, and Ben-Vean.
Of the numerous glens interspersed between the mountains, is Glen-Noe, about four miles in length, and one mile in breadth, inclosed on the north side by Ben-Cruachan, and on the south by Ben-Cochail; it is clothed with rich verdure, and watered throughout by a stream, of which the banks, as it approaches the sea, are finely wooded. A house has been built near the opening, for the residence of the farmer who rents it, than which a more delightful summer retreat can scarcely be imagined. Glen-Kinglas is about nine miles in length, and nearly two in breadth, and watered by the river to which it gives name; the north side is rocky and barren, but the south affords excellent pasture. It formerly abounded with timber, which was felled for charcoal, by an iron-smelting company, about a century since; but, with the exception of a few alders on the banks of the river, and some brushwood of little value, it is now destitute of wood. Glen-Ketlan, inclosed on one side by the mountain of that name, is about two miles in length, and watered by the river Etive, which enters it, about three miles from the head of Loch Etive. Glen-Etive commences at the head of the lake of that name, and is more than sixteen miles in length; it was formerly a royal forest, of which the hereditary keeper claims exemption from certain payments. One portion of the glen,with a contiguous tract in the parish of Glenorchy, has been stocked with red deer, by the Marquess of Breadalbane, and another portion of it has been appropriated by Mr. Campbell, of Monzie, to the same purpose. The whole tract is marked throughout by features of sublimity and grandeur, though stripped of the majestic timber with which it was anciently embellished. Glen-Ure, or the "glen of yew-trees," opens from the river Creran, and expands to the south and east, for about three miles; near the river are the dilapidated remains of the ancient mansion of the family of Glenure, and adjacent is the farm of Barnamuch, which has been always famed for the richness of its pastures. The remote extremity of the glen is marked with features of rugged grandeur. Glen-Dindal, or Glen-Dow, about seven miles to the west of Glenure, is three miles in length, and, in the lower part, luxuriantly wooded; it is frequented by numbers of fallow deer, originally introduced about the middle of the last century. Glen-Salloch, the most elevated of the glens, is situated between Loch Etive and Loch Creran, and extends from south to north, for about six miles; it comprehends much variety of scenery, and the views from any point commanding either of the lakes, are romantically picturesque.
The principal lakes are, Loch Etive, and Loch Creran; the former branches from the Linnhe loch, near Dunstaffnage Castle, and extends eastward to Bunawe, after which, taking a northern direction among the mountains, it terminates at Kinloch Etive. It is about twenty-two miles in length, varying from less than a quarter of a mile to more than a mile and a half in breadth, and is from 20 to 100 fathoms in depth. The bay affords safe anchorage to vessels not exceeding 100 tons; and at. Connel Ferry, near the western extremity, the tide rises to a height of 14 feet, forming in the narrow channel, which is not more than 200 yards in width, and obstructed by a ledge of rock, a foaming and apparently terrific rush of water, which the skill of the boatmen has rendered available, to facilitate the passage. There is another ferry across the lake at Bunawe, opposite to which is the small island of Elan-Duirnish, inhabited only by the family of the ferryman, and connected with the mainland, on the opposite shore, by a stone causeway, along which passes a road which afterwards diverges to Inverary and Glenorchy. Loch Creran issues from the Linnhe loch, near the island of Griska, and extends in a north-easterly direction, for about twelve miles, the breadth, on an average, being a mile and a half. It is about 15 fathoms in depth, and the spring tides rise from 15 to 16 feet; the bay, having a clayey bottom, affords good anchorage, and there is a ferry across the loch at Shean, in the narrowest part. It has several barren and uninhabited islets; and the island of Griska, which is well wooded, contains a considerable portion of pasture and arable land, forming a very compact farm.
Among the chief rivers is the Awe, which, issuing from the loch of that name, and flowing between richly-wooded banks, after a course of about four miles, falls into Loch Etive, at Bunawe. The Etive, which has its source near Kings-house, in the parish, flows in a westerly and south-westerly direction, and, gradually expanding in its progress, after a course of nearly sixteen miles, falls into Loch Etive, near its head. The Kinglas has a course of about twelve miles to the south-west, flowing through a channel of rock and granite; its waters are remarkably transparent, and salmon are found in numbers. The Liver, which rises to the south of the Kinglas, flows for about six miles in a westerly direction, and falls into Loch Etive, at Inverliver. The Noe, which waters the glen of that name, has a course of four miles between rugged mountains, and, near its confluence with Loch Etive, forms a romantic cascade. The Creran, which has its source near Ben-Aulay, flows for nearly twelve miles, westerly, and, after passing through the inland lake of Fasnacloich, forms a channel navigable for small boats, and falls into the sea at the head of Loch Creran. The Ure has a course of about seven miles in a northerly direction, and, passing to the west of Glenure House, falls into the river Creran. The Tendal has a westerly course of about six miles, through the glen of that name, and forms several interesting cascades. The Buie, after a course of little more than three miles, and the Dergan, which rises in the heights of Glen-Salloch, both fall into Loch Creran; and the Esragan-More, and the Esragan-Beg, separated by the mountain of Ben-Vean, after a course of about five miles, fall into Loch Etive. The rivers generally, in their course, form numerous cascades, of which many, especially those of the mountainous districts, are incomparably beautiful.
Though generally a pastoral district, there is still a considerable portion of arable land, estimated at about 1700 acres; the soil is chiefly a light loam, requiring much manure, but producing good crops of oats, bear, potatoes, and turnips. The farm-houses, with very few exceptions, are of an inferior order, thatched with straw, and ill adapted to the purpose. Great numbers of cattle and sheep are fed in the pastures, and considerable attention is paid to the rearing of stock; the cattle are of the Highland black breed, and on the dairy-farms, the cows are of the Ayrshire breed. The sheep, which were originally of the small white-faced kind, have been almost entirely superseded by the black-faced, and a few of the Cheviot breed have been recently introduced; the number of sheep reared annually is estimated at 32,000. About 2700 acres are woodland and plantations; the coppices are chiefly oak, ash, birch, and mountain-ash; and the plantations consist of ash, beech, elm, sycamore, larch, and Scottish and spruce firs, all of which are in a thriving state. The rateable annual value of Ardchattan and Muckairn is £10,987. Lead-ore has been discovered on the farm of Drimvuick, but not wrought; large boulders of granite are found in abundance, and on the upper shore of Loch Etive, a quarry has been opened by the Marquess of Breadalbane, from which are raised blocks of large size, and of very superior quality. The principal mansions in the parish are, Lochnell House, originally built by Sir Duncan Campbell, and improved, at an expense of £15,000, by General Campbell, his successor; Barcaldine House, recently enlarged, and beautifully situated in a richly-wooded demesne; Ardchattan Priory, a portion of the ancient convent, converted into a private residence; Inverawe House, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Awe, and surrounded with stately timber; and Drimvuick House, a pleasant residence. There is a post-office at Bunawe, about four miles distant from the church; the mail from Fort-William, likewise, passes through a portion of the parish, and facility of communication is afforded by good roads. A fair for cattle and horses, which is also a statute-fair, is held at Shean Ferry twice in the year.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Lorn and synod of Argyll; the minister's stipend is £283. 3. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £8 per annum; patron, Archibald Campbell, Esq., of Lochnell. The church, erected in 1836, is a neat structure, situated on the north shore óf Loch Etive, and containing 430 sittings. There is a preaching station at Inverghiusachaw, in Glen-Etive, about 16 miles distant from the church, where a missionary supported by the Royal Bounty preaches once in three weeks. A place of worship in connexion with the Free Church has been recently built. The parochial school is attended by about 50 children; the master has a salary of £29. 16. 7., including the proceeds of a bequest producing £4. 3. 4., with a house and garden, and the school fees average about £11 per annum. There are some remains of Ardchattan Priory, founded in 1231, by Duncan Mc Coull, the supposed ancestor of the lords of Lorn, for monks of the Benedictine order; the house of the prior has been converted into a residence, by Mr. Campbell, the proprietor, and there are traces of the abbey and cloisters, with numerous monumental relics. Some remains also exist of the ancient churches of Bal-Moadan and Kilcolmkill: the Castle of Barcaldine, erected in the 15th century, by Sir Duncan Campbell, on a neck of land between Loch Creran and the bay of Ardmucknish, is rapidly falling into decay. There are remains of Druidical circles, of large columns of granite, and smaller circles of upright stones, on the summits of which are large slabs of granite; also stone coffins, in some of which have been found rude urns, containing human bones; and numerous tumuli, in one of which was an urn, containing calcined bones, and an arrow-head of flint. Many ancient coins have been likewise discovered, including several silver coins of the reign of Edward I., on the reverse of which were the names, London, Cambridge, and Oxford, in good preservation. The site of the old city of Beregonium, supposed to have been the ancient metropolis of Scotland, and concerning which so many conflicting accounts have been written, and so many fabulous legends propagated by tradition, is referred to an eminence between the ferries of Connel and Shean, called Dun Mac Sniachan, on which are the remains of a vitrified fort. The Rev. Colin Campbell, an eminent mathematician and metaphysician, was minister of the parish in 1667.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Visit Aberchirder, Scotland. Aberchirder in 1846. Aberchirder, a village, in the parish of Marnoch, county of Banff, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Turriff; containing 819 inhabitants. The whole parish was formerly called by the name of this place, derived from Sir David Aberkerder, Thane of Aberkerder, who lived about the year 1400, and possessed great property here. The village consists of three streets, regularly laid out, parallel to each other, with a square in the centre, in addition to which, several good substantial houses have been recently built. It contains a branch of the North of Scotland bank, a stamp-office, and a post-office; it is crossed by the turnpike-road between Banff and Huntly, and that between Turriff and Portsoy also passes through it. There is an Episcopalian chapel.