Happy New Year from Sandy Stevenson in Scotland.
Eddi Reader sings Auld Lang Syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
A cold December night in Scotland. The weather on New Year's Eve in Scotland is expected to be rather chilly, but dry, so warm yourself in front of the fire before you go out, and wrap up well when you do go out.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Edinburgh Tron Kirk New Years Eve. Edinburgh is perhaps the most famous place in the world when it comes to the celebration of New Year's Eve, or Hogmanay, as we prefer to call it in Scotland. The Tron Kirk, on the Royal Mile, is where all the revellers meet.
Friday, December 28, 2007
A Blessing From Scotland.
May the blessing of light be on you
Light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
So that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in the window of a house,
Bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
May the blessing of the rain be on you,
May it beat upon your Spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
And sometimes a star.
May the blessing of the earth be on you,
Soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
Soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
And may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you
That your soul may be out from under it quickly;
Up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sandy, how are you doing ? We look back at our trip to Scotland like it was a dream I You were a marvelous host and guide. We want to come again soon. Please email me some open dates you may have in May. Take care, Greg. Tour Scotland 2008 with Sandy Stevenson on a small group tour of Scotland.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Dear Sandy, I thought about you during Christmas and tried to imagine the rolling hills that we saw all covered with snow ! I hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season. Thank you for showing us YOUR SCOTLAND! Our "foursome" has been asked to share our pictures with a club here in town, a Scottish group who meet regularly. We have the pictures that I made, and we are wondering if there is way we can retrieve the pictures that you have on your "Tour Scotland website" that were made during our stay. Our program is be the second Tuesday evening in January 2008.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Merry Christmas Sandy ! Thank you for the wish and the links to the beautiful music. We loved the picture and comments about Mharie. She should be your pride and joy. She has a beautiful soul as well as face. Visiting your site makes us “homesick” for Scotland. The pictures are beautiful. Fond wishes to you, Mharie, and Peter for a happy and healthy new year. Kathy and Dave. David Dove Photography.
One of the most beautiful songs from Scotland. Written by Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, and performed by Andy M. Stewart, one of the finest Scottish singers. I hope you enjoy this timeless classic song.
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
Oh, my love is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June
Oh, my love is like a melody
That's sweetly played in tune
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I.
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.
Till all the seas gang dry, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.
Till all the seas gang dry my, my dear
And the rocks melt with the sun
And I will love thee still, my dear
While the sands of life shall run
But fare thee well, my only love
Oh, fare thee well a while
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
Though it were ten thousand mile, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
Monday, December 24, 2007
For me, the most powerful aspect of the Christmas Story is that the message of hope was brought to this earth for those who needed it most. To those poor and shivering on a hillside on cold winter's night, the message of Christmas was a light shining in the darkness. It was, and still is, a spiritual message for those on this planet who are suffering. And that message is; you are not alone.
Sunset on Christmas Eve in Scotland. Just after 4pm tonight in Scotland. Didn't think I was going to get any photos or videos today, as the weather was dull and grey. Then, as if by magic, a beautiful sunset appeared.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
A Song by Capercaillie, the famous scottish group with the great singer Karen Matheson. A song about how the Scottish Highland Clearances have continued into the present day.
Living in a place with time
Living in a place where reality is
Standing on a big broad line
Watching it all go by
Ah, but you're taking it all away
The music, the tongue and the old refrains
You're coming here to play
And you're pulling the roots from a dying age.
Remember the Buachaille Mor
Reaching for the skies from the barren shores
Watching over the village of burns
And counting the days since the gael kept home
But the stranger claims it now
Sitting like a king with his gold from the south
Don't you see the waves of wealth
Wasing away the soul from the land.
Here come the Clearances my friend
Silently our history is coming to life again
We feel the breeze from the storm to come
And up and down the coast
We're waiting for the wheel to turn
Free were the fields of fern
Free was the fishing in the coves of care
Empty are the homes of old
Empty for the sake of summer's cause
Yes, you're taking it all away
The music, the tongue and the old refrains
You're coming here to play
And you're pulling the roots from a dying age.
Here come the Clearances my friend
Silently our history is coming to life again
We feel the breeze from the storm to come
And up and down the coast
We're waiting for the wheel to turn
Here come the Clearances my friend
Silently our history is coming to life again
We feel the breeze from the storm to come
And up and down the coast
We're waiting for the wheel to turn
"What You Do With What You've Got." How to use your gifts and talents to make a difference. Sung by Scottish Singer Eddi Reader.
You must know someone like him
He was tall and strong and lean
With a body like a greyhound
And a mind so sharp and keen
But his heart, just like a laurel,
Grew twisted round itself
Till almost every thing he did
Caused pain to someone else
It's not just what you're born with
It's what you choose to bear
It's not how big your share is
But how much you can share
And it's not the fights you dreamed of
But those you really fought
It's not what you've been given
It's what you do with what you've got
Now what's the good of two strong legs
If you only run away?
And what use is the finest voice
If you've nothing good to say?
And what good is strength and muscle
If you only push and shove?
And what's the use of two good ears
If you can't hear those you love?
Between those who use their neighbours
And those who use a cane
Between those in constant power
And those in constant pain
Between those who run to evil
And those who cannot run
Tell me which ones are the cripples
And which ones touch the sun?
A Salvation Army Band performing in Scotland just before Christmas. Please support the Salvation Army in Scotland.
Our joy, Christmas or otherwise, relates to living a life that is worthy and pleasing to God. Christmas, the time of Jesus coming to us, is about giving. God giving his Son to the world. And, as Christians, our worship has everything to to do with what we give.
What can I give him, poor as I am
If I were a shepherd I would give a lamb;
If I were a wise man I would do my my part;
Yet what I can I give him. Give my heart.
Our service and our worship mean that we need to pursue wholehearted, active giving of all we are and all we have. The Salvation Army has a desire to make a difference and to help others, The Salvation Army exists to save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity. 10 things The Salvation Army will be doing this Christmas.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Lecropt Church, Scotland, was built in 1827 to the designs of William Stirling, a local architect. Occupying a superb, elevated position overlooking the carse lands, Stirling castle and the Wallace monument can be clearly seen from the church grounds and is located about a mile from Bridge of Allan and three miles from Dunblane. Tour Lecropt, 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. Lecropt in 1846. Lecropt, a parish, partly in the county of Stirling, but chiefly in that of Perth, 4 miles (N. W.) from Stirling, containing, with part of the village of Bridge of Allan, 513 inhabitants. Some antiquaries identify this place with the ancient city on the west bank of the river Allan, about a mile above its confluence with the Forth, and which is by Ptolemy called Alauna; and they suppose that the Roman road to Ardoch passed through the lands of Keir, in this parish. There are still remaining here vestiges of one of a chain of forts designated Keirs, all extending along the north side of the vale of Monteith, and thought to have been erected by the Caledonians, to watch the movements of the Roman army: the sites are usually marked out by the mounds of loose stones, now covered with grass, on which they stood. Some of the forts, however, have been wholly destroyed to furnish stones for building inclosures and for various other purposes. The lands of Keir, according to records still extant, formed part of the possessions of the Princess Marjory, sister of Robert Bruce, which she surrendered to the king in favour of William de Monteith; and in the vicinity of the church is a hill where the ancient barons held their courts, and near it another called Gallow Hill, the place for the execution of criminals.
The parish is washed on the south-west by the river Teith, and on the east by the river Allan, both tributaries of the Forth, by which it is bounded on the south. It is nearly in the form of an equilateral triangle, and comprises by measurement 3102a. 1r. 24p., of which 2553 acres are arable, 30 pasture, 451 woodland and plantations, 18 peat-moss, and the remainder homesteads, roads, and waste. The surface is intersected by a high bank or ridge, stretching in a direction parallel with the north side, and which divides the parish into two distinct portions, the lower being rich carse land, and the more elevated of a dry light soil. From this bank is obtained an extensive and varied prospect of the adjacent country, including, in the foreground, the waters of the Teith, the Allan, and the Forth, flowing in one united stream, between wooded banks, through a tract of fine open champaign studded with well-cultivated farms having hedge-rows interspersed with stately trees. On the opposite side of the valley appear the castle of Stirling, covering the summit of a precipitous rock; the rocks of Craigforth and Abbeycraig; the tower of Cambuskenneth Abbey; the bridge of Stirling; and the meadows on the banks of the Forth, adorned by handsome villas and pleasure-grounds; with the hills of Falkirk in the distance. The Ochils are seen on the east, the mountains of Benvoirlich on the north, and Ben-Ledi and Ben-Lomond on the west. The soil of the carse land is extremely rich, and that of the uplands, though of lighter quality, is fertile; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips, with flax, ryegrass, and clover. The system of agriculture is highly improved, the farm-buildings generally substantial and well arranged, and the woods and plantations thriving. The substratum is a stiff clay, resting chiefly upon a bed of hard rock; and from an experiment lately made, it has been ascertained that coal and ironstone exist, but in seams too thin to remunerate the trouble of working them. The rateable annual value of Lecropt is £2227.
Keir House, the seat of Archibald Stirling, Esq., the principal landowner, is a spacious and handsome mansion, to which two wings have been added within the last twenty years. It is situated nearly in the centre of the parish, and contains numerous apartments splendidly decorated, and a picture-gallery seventy feet in length, having a valuable collection of paintings by the first masters; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and the gardens and hot-houses are extensive and productive. Bridge of Allan, a place of fashionable resort for invalids frequenting the mineral waters of Airthrie, is partly within the parish, in which there is no other village. An extensive bleaching establishment at Keirfield, conducted upon the most scientific principles, affords employment to nearly 100 persons, under the immediate superintendence of the proprietor. A flour-mill is in operation, as well as a mill for grinding oats and barley, both having machinery of the most approved kind driven by the river Allan; and there is a fishery, chiefly for salmontrout, producing a rental of about £20 per annum. The great road from Stirling to Perth, Aberdeen, and the Highlands passes through the parish; the Forth is navigable to Stirling for vessels drawing six or seven feet water, and the projected northern branch from the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway to Perth will probably intersect the parish. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £147. 13. 8., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £16 per annum; patron, Mr. Stirling. The church, built in 1827, is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower embellished with sculptured figures of some of the Scottish reformers, in high-relief, executed by Holmes, of Ayrshire. The parochial school embraces a very complete course of classical and commercial instruction; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees, averaging £12 per annum. An infants' school is supported by the Stirling family; and the poor till lately had the proceeds of several bequests, yielding £7 per annum. Principal Haldane, of the university of St. Andrew's, is a native of this parish.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Dear Mr Stevenson, I have used this word (Hoach) in ordinary conversation all my life (now 69) to mean there are lots of something around, as in "the place was fair
hoaching with the English" - but today someone (English) asked me where it came from and I can't find any reference to it in a dictionary. I have always assumed it was a normal English word, but it seems I'm wrong. Have you any information on "Hoaching" Best wishes, Robin Johnston.
Hoachin means - Lots of people, busy.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tour Stirling Castle Scotland. Photographs by Scottish Tours Guide Sandy Stevenson. Tour Stirling Castle, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland.
Tour St Monans Scotland. Photographs by Scottish Tours Guide Sandy Stevenson. Tour St Monans, 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.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tour Isle Of Skye Scotland. Photographs by Sandy Stevenson. Tour included; Armadale Clan Donald Center, Armadale Gardens, Broadford, Castle Moil, Black Cuillin, Cuillins, Elgol, Kyleakin, Quiraing, Loch Slapin, Old Man of Storr, Raasay Ferry, Red Cuillin, Skye Bridge, Sleat Peninsula, Skye Sunset, Sligachan, Talisker, Uig, White Heather Hotel and much more. The Isle of Skye, commonly known as Skye, is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Tour Isle Of Skye, 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.
Sunset on the Isle of Skye Scotland. Photographs by Sandy Stevenson. Tour Isle of Skye, 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.
Sunrise on the Isle of Skye Scotland. Photographs by Sandy Stevenson. Tour Isle of Skye, 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.
Tour Shieldaig Scotland. Shieldaig Photographs. Shieldaig is a small village in Wester Ross in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. Tour Shieldaig, 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.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Photographs from a Spring small group Tour of Scotland. Tour included; Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberlemno, Abernethy Tower, Airth Castle, Airth Church, Alyth Bridge, Alyth Church, Anstruther, Ardoch Church, Ardoch Roman Camp, Arnroach, Atholl Palace Hotel, Auchterarder, Auchtergaven Church,
Auchterhouse Church, Ballathie, Bankfoot, Birnie Loch, Blackford Church, Blairgowrie, Blairingone, Braco Church, Brechin, Buckie House Corner, Butterstone Loch, Cairngorm Mountains, Carnbee Church, Castle Huntly, Ceres Bridge, Clunie Loch, Coupar Angus, Crieff, Dairsie Castle, Dairsie Church, Dollarbeg Castle, Drystone Dykes, Dunblane, Dundee, Dunkeld, Dunning, East Neuk of Fife, Falkirk Wheel, Ferry Port on Craig, Finavon Doocot, Firth of Forth, Firth of Tay, Folda, Forter Castle, Gleneagles, Glenisla, Grangemuir, Hatton Castle, Highland Cows, Hopetoun House, Stanley, Innerpeffray Graveyard, Invergowrie Kirkyard, Inverkeithing, Inverkeithing Mercat Cross, Kellie Castle Fife, Kemback Church, Kincardine Parish Church, Kinloch House Hotel, Kirkton Of Auchterhouse, Kirkton Of Glenisla, Kirkton of Tealing, Largo Church, Largoward Parish Church, Lindores Loch, Linlithgow Cross Well, Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow Church, Linlithgow Town House, Loch Monzievaird, Loch Of The Lowes, Lordscairnie Castle Fife, Lower Largo Harbour, Lower Largo Shoreline, Lower Largo Viaduct, Monzievaird Cemetery, Moonzie Church, Newtyle Castle, Ochil Loch, Perth Museum, Perthshire, Pitlessie Village Inn, Pittenweem Old Churchyard, Rattray Parish Church, River Isla, River Knaik Bridge, River Tay, Scotland Narrow Boats, Scotland Vintage Ploughing, Scotscraig Golf Club, Scottish Daffodils, Scottish Liqueur Centre, Spittalfield, St Andrews, St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews Old Course, St Andrews Museum, St Andrews, St Madoes Stone, St Michaels Parish Church Linlithgow, Strathearn, Tayport Cemetery, Tayport Parish Church, Tayport West Lighthouse, Tealing Doocot, Tealing Earth House, Tealing Parish Church, Tulliallan Parish Church, Tulliallan Old Cemetery.
Old Scotsman; " If you look carefully now, you will be able to see the bottom."
Tour Loch Ness 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, December 13, 2007
Hello Sandy. I´m Alejandro from Argentina, and I was reading your site. I want to tell you that I get fascinated with its content. I love your country, and your site it´s so cool. Anyway, I don´t want to still taking out your time. I just wanna congratulate you and tell you that it´s a really nice job. Regards from Alejandro.
Tour Pluscarden Abbey Scotland. Benedictine monastery dating from 1230AD located near Elgin, Scotland. Tour Pluscarden Abbey 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.
Tour Plockton Scotland. Plockton is beautiful village in the Highlands of Scotland. the Television series Hamish Macbeth, starring Robert Carlyle, was filmed in Plockton, substituting for the fictional Lochdubh. Plockton was also used for various scenes in the movie The Wicker Man and the Inspector Alleyn Mysteries Television series. Tour Plockton 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, December 12, 2007
Tour The East Neuk Of Fife Scotland. Perhaps because I was raised in this part of Scotland, the East Neuk of Fife remains one my favourite areas of the country. East Neuk Photographs. Tour East Neuk Of 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.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Tour Scotland Early December. Very cold today in Perthshire, Scotland. Lucky though to have some excellent spells of sunny weather. The photograph above was taken at Balvaird Castle, from the road between the Bein Inn, Glenfarg, and Strathmiglo in Fife. Balvaird Castle is a particularly fine and complete example of a traditional late medieval Scottish tower house, built around the year 1500 for Sir Andrew Murray, a younger son of the family of Murray of Tullibardine. He acquired the lands of Balvaird in Perthshire through marriage to the heiress Margaret Barclay, a member of a wealthy family. It is likely that Balvaird Castle was built on the site of an earlier Barclay family castle. Tour Balvaird Castle, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Tour Ardrossan Scotland. Ardrossan in 1846. Ardrossan, a parish, in the district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr; including the thriving town of Ardrossan, and the greater part of Saltcoats, 74 miles (W. S. W.) from Edinburgh; and containing 4947 inhabitants. This place derives its name, of Celtic origin, from the situation of its ancient baronial castle on a small promontory. Little is known of its earlier history; and of its ancient proprietors, not much further notice occurs than that Sir Fergus de Ardrossan accompanied Edward Bruce, in his expedition into Ireland, in 1316, and was one of the Scottish barons who, in 1320, signed a memorial to the pope, complaining of the aggressions of Edward I. of England. The castle, during the time of Baliol, being occupied by the English, was surprised and taken by William Wallace, who, arriving in the night with a few of his followers, set fire to the few houses situated around the base of the hill on which it stood, and on the garrison going out to extinguish the flames, rushed into the castle, made themselves masters of the gates, and put all the English to the sword, as they unsuspectingly returned. The castle appears to have been inhabited till the time of Cromwell, who is said to have thrown down its walls, and to have not only demolished it, but carried away the materials, for the erection of the fort which he built at Ayr. On the death of the last Baron Ardrossan, without issue male, the estate passed, by marriage with his heiress, to the Montgomerie family, its present proprietors.
The town is beautifully situated on the shore of the Frith of Clyde, and owes its rise to the fostering patronage of the late Earl of Eglinton, by whom it was originally built, and by whom the harbour to which it owes its importance was originally constructed, chiefly at his own expense. It consists of various spacious and regularly-formed streets, intersecting each other at right angles, and containing houses uniformly and handsomely built, and is much frequented, during the season; the town is lighted, and has a good supply of water. Lodging-houses have been built, for the reception of the company who resort hither for bathing, and a spacious hotel has been erected, containing ten public rooms, and a proportionate number of sleeping rooms, with hot and cold baths. The public baths, for which a handsome building has been erected, were originally established, on the tontine principle, by the late Earl of Eglinton, after whose decease they were suspended for a time, till, in 1833, they were purchased by the present proprietor, by whom the buildings have been enlarged, and put into a state of complete repair. The baths are of marble, with convenient dressing-rooms attached to each; they are under excellent management, and hot, cold, shower, and vapour baths are prepared on the shortest notice. Connected with the establishment, are numerous lodging-rooms, which are fully occupied during the season; there is also a bath gratuitously appropriated to the use of the poor. In the immediate neighbourhood of the town are several villas, pleasantly situated, commanding good views of the Frith; and around the margin of the bay, a crescent has been laid out, forming a splendid addition to the appearance of the town. The pavilion, the marine villa of the Earl of Eglinton, is an elegant seat, occasionally the residence of his lordship; there are many agreeable walks in the environs, and between this and Saltcoats, is a fine sandy beach, about three-quarters of a mile in length, which is a favourite promenade. There are about sixty looms in the town, employed in the weaving of shawls and heavier articles, and lighter articles of silk and cotton, and in Saltcoats nearly 450; many of the females are also engaged in working muslin. Fairs are held in July, and on the fourth Thursday in November, for cattle and various kinds of merchandise; facility of communication is afforded by excellent roads to all the neighbouring towns.
The harbour, according to the primary plan, as projected by the late Earl of Eglinton, will very shortly be one of the finest harbours of Scotland. In the original undertaking, his lordship was joined by several gentlemen of the county, and others, who became shareholders; but the sums expended on the works having greatly exceeded the amount of the subscriptions, the subsequent expense was borne solely by Lord Eglinton, who spent little less than £100,000 in the prosecution of the undertaking. After his decease, however, the works were suspended, and the harbour remained in an unfinished state till 1844, when the works were resumed, and the construction of docks was proceeded with, in the most spirited manner, by the present earl. The harbour is easy of access, and screened from adverse winds, and, during rough weather, is frequently crowded with vessels which run in for safety; it has from twelve to twenty feet depth of water. The exports are, iron and coal, and general goods from Glasgow; and the imports, timber from America, corn, cattle and provisions from Ireland, and goods from the manufacturing districts of England. Many vessels in the coal trade, both from Irvine and Saltcoats, put in here, to complete their cargoes; the number of vessels which arrived at the quay in 1837, was 1963, of the aggregate burthen of 108,549 tons, and the number of men, 10,110. Ship-building is pursued on a considerable scale. Fishing is carried on to a moderate extent; salmon are taken in the Frith, by the bag-net, and forwarded to the Glasgow, Paisley, and Kilmarnock markets; few white-fish are taken, but several boats are employed in the herring-fishery, and some few in the cod and ling fishery, on the coast of Barra. In the formation of the harbour, it was the hope of Lord Eglinton, to render it the chief harbour of Glasgow, as, from the favourable nature of its position, it might supersede entirely the circuitous navigation of the river Clyde; and in this view, in order to unite Ardrossan with that town, he commenced the formation of a canal, which, during his lifetime, was completed merely from Glasgow to Johnstone, in the county of Renfrew. In 1827, an act was obtained for laying down a railway from the harbour, to join the canal at Johnstone, which was, however, effected only for about six miles, to Kilwinning, from which a branch of about four miles extended to the Eglinton collieries; this part of the work was completed in 1832, and in 1840, an act was passed, separating the management of the railroad from that of the canal, and incorporating the proprietors, with a capital of £80,000. At Kilwinning, the Ardrossan railway joins the Glasgow and Ayr line. Steam-boats sail four times a week to Fleetwood in Lancashire, and furnish the most rapid means of communication between this part of Scotland and the manufacturing districts of England; there are also steamers to Belfast, Londonderry, Glasgow, and other places.
The parish is bounded on the south and south-west by the Frith of Clyde, and comprises about 5520 Scottish acres, of which 1250 are arable, 2350 meadow and pasture, 1800 hilly pasture, and about 150 woodland and plantations. The surface is agreeably diversified with tracts of level land, and gentle undulations rising into hills of different elevation, which increase in height towards the coast; the highest of them is called Knock-Georgan, and is 700 feet above the sea, commanding a rich prospect. Of the others, only one has an elevation of 400 feet; several of them are ornamented with clumps of trees, and add much to the beauty of the scenery. The shore is generally level, and indented with bays of various dimensions, of which that of Ardrossan is very picturesque; it is about three-quarters of a mile in length, and to the north of it, is another fine bay, of larger size; the coast here becomes rocky and irregular, and ridges of shelving rocks extend for a considerable length. Nearly opposite the harbour, and about a mile from the shore, is Horse Isle, containing about twelve acres, on which a beacon tower was erected by the late Earl of Eglinton, for the benefit of vessels approaching the harbour, and which it has been in contemplation to convert into a light-house. The chief rivulets are, the Stanley and Monfode burns, which descend from the higher lands, and, after flowing through the parish, fall into the Frith; and the Munnock or Caddel burn, a more copious stream, which intersects the upper part of the parish, and falls into the river Caaf, which separates it from the parish of Dalry. The soil, towards the coast, is light and sandy, and in the higher grounds a tenacious clay, occasionally intermixed with loam; it has been rendered generally fertile by long cultivation, and a judicious use of seaweed and lime for manure. The principal crops are, oats, wheat, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is in a very advanced state; the lands are well drained and inclosed, and great improvements have been made, and much unprofitable land reclaimed, under the auspices of the Agricultural Society, which holds its meetings here in November. Great attention is paid to the management of the dairies; and about 10,000 stone of cheese, of good quality, are annually produced, which supply the neighbouring markets. The cows are generally of the Cunninghame or Ayrshire breed. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,775. The substrata are, limestone, freestone, and coal; the last was formerly wrought in the northern part of the parish, and in the vicinity of Saltcoats, but the workings have been, for some time, discontinued. There are three limestone quarries in the upper part of the parish; the freestone is found both of a red and white colour, and there is an extensive quarry of the former, close to the town of Ardrossan, from which was raised the stone for building the town and forming the quay. Near the town are also various kinds of whinstone, of which whole rocks have been blasted with gunpowder, and used in the formation of the breakwater. There are several strata of ironstone near the public baths, varying from two inches to nearly five feet in thickness, but, from their situation, the working of them has not been thought likely to repay the expense; a variety of fossil shells is found in several parts, and it is generally supposed that the sea has considerably receded from this part of the coast.
The parish is in the presbytery of Irvine and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the minister's stipend is £261. 1.3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum; patron, the Earl of Eglinton. The old church, which was situated on the Castle-hill, at Ardrossan, was destroyed by a storm, in 1691, and another erected on a site about half a mile further from the coast; and this church, also, being so much shaken by a storm, in 1773, as to be considered unsafe, was taken down, and the present church built, in the town of Saltcoats, in 1774; it is a substantial edifice, adapted for a congregation of 840 persons. A Gaelic church has likewise been erected in Saltcoats, for the accommodation of the numerous Highland families resident there, at an expense of £1000, and is a neat edifice, for 750 persons; another church was built in 1844, at Ardrossan. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession. The parochial school, situated in the town of Saltcoats, is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., and £25 from fees, with a house and garden. Of the ancient castle of Ardrossan, some small fragments only are remaining; on the lands of Monfode, are the remains of a baronial castle, much dilapidated, formerly the residence of a family of that name. On Knock-Georgan, are the remains of a Danish camp; and on one of the other hills in the parish, is an artificial mound, of rectangular form, sixteen yards long, nine yards wide, and the same in height, with sloping banks, concerning which nothing authentic is recorded. Dr. Robert Simpson, professor of mathematics in the university of Glasgow, was a heritor of this parish, where he was accustomed to reside during the vacations, on his estate of Knockewart.
Tour Applecross, Wester Ross, Scotland. Applecross in 1846. Applecross, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 18 miles (W.) from Lochcarron; containing, with the island of Crolin, and part of Shieldag, quoad sacra, 2861 inhabitants. This parish was originally called Comaraich, a Gaelic word signifying safety or protection, on account of the refuge afforded to the oppressed and to criminals, by a religious establishment that existed here in ancient times. The present name, which is of comparatively modern date, was given to the place by the proprietor of the estate, upon its erection into a parish, at which time five apple-trees were planted cross-ways in his garden. The parish, which formed part of that of Lochcarron till 1726, stretches along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, and is distributed into the three large portions or districts of Applecross, properly so called; Lochs, consisting of Torridon, Shieldag, &c.; and Kishorn. It is of irregular form, 20 miles long, and as many in breadth, and contains about 1800 acres cultivated, or occasionally in tillage, about 400 under wood, and 400 or 500 waste, besides an immense tract of pasture in a natural state. The surface, in its general appearance, is hilly and rugged, consisting of rocky elevations covered with heather and wild grass; the climate, though not unhealthy, is foggy, and very rainy. The soil is light and gravelly, and produces good crops of oats, barley, and potatoes; the two former are grown to the amount, in value, of £3000 annually, and potatoes and turnips yield about £1500; the farms are of small extent, averaging in rent not more than £6 or £7 each. The inclosures are very few, and though some advances have been made in the draining and improving of land, the agricultural state is low, the parish being compelled frequently to import grain and potatoes for home consumption. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2488. The rocks consist of red sandstone, gneiss, and quartz; at Applecross and Kishorn are found large quantities of limestone, and at the latter place is also a copper-mine, which, when worked some time since, produced a fine rich ore. The only mansion of note is on the estate of Applecross, and is a large ancient building, with some elegant modern additions, and surrounded by about 30 acres of thriving plantation.
At Poldown, Shieldag, and Torridon are convenient harbours, to which belong about twenty-one vessels of from 20 to 50 tons' burthen each, employed in the fishing and coasting trade: most of the population are in some way engaged in the herring-fishery, which in certain seasons is very profitable, and at Torridon and Balgie are salmon-fisheries that let at £15 or £16. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Lochcarron and synod of Glenelg; the Crown is patron; the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 5., partly paid from the exchequer, and there is a manse, built in 1796, with a glebe valued at £12 per annum. The parochial church, which was erected in 1817, is in good repair, and accommodates 600 persons; and at Shieldag, twelve miles distant, is a government church, built in 1827. There is a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £27, with about £8 fees, and teaches the classics, mathematics, Gaelic, and the ordinary branches of education; and four other schools are supported by societies for promoting education. Many fossils have been found, but their nature has not been satisfactorily ascertained.
Tour Annan Scotland. Annan in 1846. Annan, a royal burgh, and a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 16 miles (E. S. E.) from Dumfries, and 79 (s.) from Edinburgh; containing, with part of Brydekirk quoad sacra, 5471 inhabitants, of whom 4409 are in the burgh. This place, which is of remote antiquity, and supposed to have been a Roman station of some importance, was, after the departure of the Romans from Britain, occupied by the ancient inhabitants till their expulsion by the Northumbrian Saxons. After the dissolution of the Saxon heptarchy, the surrounding territories were annexed to the kingdom of Scotland, in the reign of Malcolm Canmore; and the lands were subsequently granted to Robert de Bruce, Lord of Annandale, who built a castle for the defence of the town, in which he occasionally resided. From its proximity to the English border, the town was frequently plundered during the Border warfare, and sometimes burnt; and it suffered greatly in the wars consequent on the disputed succession to the Scottish throne, in the reign of Edward I. of England. In 1298, the town and church were burnt by the English, but were subsequently restored by Robert Bruce, who, in 1306, ascended the throne of Scotland; and in 1332, Edward Baliol, after his coronation at Scone, repaired to the castle of Annan, whither he summoned the nobility of Scotland, to pay him homage. During his continuance here, Archibald Douglas, the firm adherent of the Bruces, having collected a force of 1000 cavalry at Moffat, advanced to Annan during the night, and having surprised and defeated his guards, Baliol was induced to make his escape from the castle, and, hastily mounting a horse with neither saddle nor bridle, with considerable difficulty reached Carlisle, without a single attendant.
In 1547, the town was plundered and burnt by the English under Wharton, accompanied by the Earl of Lennox, on which occasion, as the castle was at that time dismantled, the inhabitants fortified the church, and for some time successfully resisted the invaders. In the two following years, the town and the surrounding district were continually infested by the predatory incursions of the English borderers, against whose attacks the governor, Maxwell, levied a tax of £4000, for repairing the castle, and placing it in a state of defence. During the regency of Mary of Guise, on the arrival of a large body of French soldiers in the river Clyde, the greater number of them were stationed in the town, for the protection of the neighbourhood; and in 1570, the castle was again destroyed by the English forces, under the Earl of Sussex; but it was afterwards restored, and continued to be kept up, as a border fortress, till the union of the two crowns by the accession of James VI. At this time, the town was reduced to such a state of destitution, that the inhabitants, unable to build a church, obtained from that monarch a grant of the castle, for a place of public worship; and during the wars in the reign of Charles I., the town suffered so severely, that, by way of compensation, the parliament, after the restoration of Charles II., granted to the corporation the privilege of collecting customs and other duties for their relief. The Highland army, on their retreat before the Duke of Cumberland, in the rebellion of 1745, encamped here on the night of the 28th of December, after having lost great numbers of their men, who were drowned while attempting to cross the rivers Esk and Eden.
The town, which is pleasantly situated on the eastern bank of the river Annan, about a couple of miles from its influx into Solway Frith, consists of several spacious and regularly-formed streets, intersecting each other at right angles; and is connected with the country lying upon the opposite bank of the river, by an elegant stone bridge of three arches of 65 feet span, erected in 1824, at an expense of £8000. The houses are well built, and of handsome appearance, and in the immediate vicinity are numerous villas and mansions; the streets are paved and lighted, and the inhabitants amply supplied with good water. A public library is supported by subscription. From the beauty of the scenery in the environs of the town, and the facilities of seabathing afforded by the Frith, it is a favourite place of residence. The spinning of cotton-yarn, which was introduced here in 1785, is still carried on, and affords employment to about 140 persons; the factory, in which the most improved machinery is employed, has been recently enlarged, and the quantity of yarn produced averages 4000 pounds per week. The usual handicraft trades requisite for the supply of the neighbourhood, are pursued; and there are numerous shops, amply stocked with various kinds of merchandise. The trade of the port partly consists in the importation of timber, deals, lath-wood, and tar, from America and the Baltic, in which two vessels are employed; and about thirty vessels are engaged in the coasting trade. The exports are chiefly grain for the Glasgow and Liverpool markets, and timber and freestone, for various English ports. By the steamers which frequent the port, grain, wool, live stock, bacon, and hams, are sent to Liverpool and the adjacent towns of Lancashire, from which they bring manufactured goods; and the other imports are mostly coal, slates, salt, herrings, grain, and iron, from Glasgow and places on the English and Irish coasts. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port, is 34, of the aggregate burthen of 1639 tons. The port, which is under the custom-house of Dumfries, and is formed by an inlet from the river, has been much improved by the embankment of Hall meadow, on the Newby estate, by the proprietor, John Irving, Esq., at a cost of £3000, which has rendered the channel of sufficient depth for the safe anchorage of vessels of considerable burthen. Two piers have been erected by the proprietors of the steamers frequenting the port, to which has been formed a road from the burgh, by subscription, at a cost of £640; and a commodious inn, with good stabling, has been built near the jetties, within the enbankment.
The ancient records of the burgh having been destroyed during the frequent devastations of the town, a charter confirming all previous privileges, and reciting a charter of James V. in 1538, by which it had been erected into a royal burgh, was granted by James VI., in the year 1612; and under this the government of the town is in the controul of a provost, two bailies, and fifteen councillors. There are no incorporated guilds, neither have the burgesses any exclusive privileges in trade; the magistrates issue tickets of admission to the freedom of a burgess, without any fee. Courts are held, both for civil and criminal cases; but in neither do the magistrates exercise jurisdiction to any considerable extent. The burgh is associated with those of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Lochmaben, and Sanquhar, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the parliamentary boundaries are not co-extensive with the royalty, which comprehends a much wider district; the number of qualified voters is about 180. A new prison, containing three cells, was erected some years ago, in lieu of the old prison, which is dilapidated. A market is held on Thursday; and fairs, chiefly for hiring servants, are held annually, on the first Thursdays in May and August, and the third Thursday in October. Facilities of inland communication are afforded by good roads, of which the turnpike-road from Dumfries to Carlisle passes through the parish, and by cross-roads connected with those to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The parish is about eight miles in extreme length, and varies from two and a half to four miles in breadth, comprising an area of 11,100 acres, of which about 1000 are woodland and plantations, and the remainder arable, meadow, and pasture. The surface is generally level, with a slight inclination towards the south, and is intersected by three nearly parallel ridges of moderate height. Of these, the western ridge terminates in a conical hill called Woodcock-air, which has an elevation of 320 feet, and is completely covered with wood; and on the coast, are the Annan and Barnkirk hills, of which the former has an elevation of 256, and the latter of 120 feet above the sea. The soil, on the banks of the river, is a rich alluvial deposit; to the west, a clayey loam, alternated with gravel; towards the east, a poor deep loam; and in the northern districts, mostly light, with tracts of moor and moss. The chief crops are grain of all kinds, and the most improved system of husbandry is generally in use; a large open common, of nearly 2000 acres, has been divided among the burgesses, and is now inclosed and cultivated; the farm-buildings are substantial and well arranged. The pastures are rich; the cattle are of the Galloway breed, with a few of the Ayrshire and shorthorned; there are few sheep reared, but on most of the farms a considerable number of pigs are fed. Salmon, grilse, and trout are found in the Annan, and in the Frith; and in the former are three fisheries, one the property of Mr. Irving; the fish taken are, sparling, cod, haddock, sturgeon, turbot, soles, and skate. The rateable annual value of the parish is £13,297, including £5163 for the burgh. The principal substrata are, fine sandstone well adapted for building, limestone, and ironstone; several attempts have been made to discover coal, which are supposed to have failed only from the borings not having been made to a sufficient depth. Mount Annan, the seat of the late Lieut.-Gen. Dirom, is a handsome mansion, situated on an eminence on the eastern bank of the Annan, about two miles from the town, commanding a fine view of the Frith and the northern counties of England; the grounds are tastefully embellished, and the scenery is picturesque. Warmanbie, on the east bank of the Annan, about half a mile to the south of Mount Annan, is an elegant mansion, erected within the last few years, and surrounded with pleasure-grounds; and Northfield House, on the same river, is also a handsome mansion, recently enlarged.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Annan and synod of Dumfries; the minister's stipend is £279. 2. 4., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, Hope Johnstone, Esq., of Annandale. The church, erected in 1790, is a handsome structure, with a spire, and contains 1190 sittings. A second church, situated on the south of the town, a very handsome building, affording accommodation to 950 persons, was erected at a cost of £1400, and opened in 1842; and there are also places of worship for Episcopalians, Independents, Roman Catholics, members of the Free Church, United Associate Synod, and Relief Church. The parochial school is attended by nearly 100 children; the master has a salary of £31. 16. 6., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £40 per annum. The Annan academy, for which a building has been erected, containing commodious class-rooms, was built and endowed with the funds arising to the burgh from the division of the common land; it is under the direction of a rector and two assistant masters, and is attended by 140 pupils; the income from the endowment is £113, and the fees are considerable. The only remains of the castle of Annan, are, a small portion of one of the walls, incorporated in the town-hall, and a stone built into a wall of a small house, with the inscription, "Robert de Brus, Comte de Carrick, et seiniour de Val de Annand, 1300." About two miles from the town, and to the north of the Carlisle road, was a rude monument to the memory of the Scots who fell in a battle with the English, in which the latter were defeated, with great slaughter; among the English slain in the conflict, were, Sir Marmaduke Longdale, Sir Philip Musgrave, and Lord Howard, whose remains were interred in the churchyard of Dornock. Close to the spot, is a well in which the Scots washed their swords after the battle, and which has since been called the "Sword Well." Near the site of the castle, is an artificial mound, supposed to have been the spot for administering justice, during the times of the Saxons; and further up the river, is an elevated bank called Galabank, the place of execution. On Battle Hill, has been lately discovered a mineral spring, of great strength, which has not yet been analysed. The celebrated Dr. Thomas Blacklock; Hugh Clapperton, the African traveller; and the late Rev. Edward Irving, minister of the Scottish church in Regent-square, London, were natives of the place.
Tour Alyth Scotland. Alyth in 1846. Alyth, a parish, partly in the county of Forfar, but chiefly in that of Perth, 17 miles (N. W.) from Dundee; containing 2910 inhabitants, of whom 190 are in the county of Forfar, and 1846 in the village, which is a burgh of barony. This place appears to have derived its name, signifying, in the Gaelic language, an "ascent," from the gradually sloping eminence on which its ancient church, and the older portion of the village, are built. The most ancient document where its name occurs, is a charter of Alexander II., in 1232, granting the lands of Bamff, in the parish, to Nessus de Ramsay, ancestor of Sir James Ramsay, Bart., the present proprietor of that estate; the remainder of the lands belonged, for many generations, to the Lyndesays, earls of Crawford, till the year 1630, when they were purchased by the Ogilvy family. During the wars of the Covenanters, the army of the Marquess of Montrose was frequently stationed in the immediate neighbourhood; and during the siege of Dundee by General Monk, a meeting of the principal inhabitants, held in the village, to deliberate on the best means of defence, was surprised by a detachment of the English, who took many of the members prisoners. The parish is bounded on the south-east by the river Isla, and is about fifteen miles in length, and from one mile to six miles in breadth, comprising 34,160 acres, of which about 8100 are arable, 1070 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow and pasture land. The surface is diversified with ranges of hills, of which those of Alyth, Loyall, and Barry divide it into two unequal districts; the southern is in the valley of Strathmore, and the northern includes the forest of Alyth, and the Black-lunans, which last are in the county of Forfar. The height of the lands varies from 130 to nearly 1700 feet, ascending from the Isla to the summit of Mount Blair; the hill of Kingseat has an elevation of 1178 feet, and the hills of Alyth, Loyall, and Barry, rise about 700 feet above the sea. The principal rivers are, the Isla; the Ericht, a tributary of the Isla; and the burn of Alyth, which rises in the forest of that name, and falls into the Isla at Inverquiech, about two miles to the east of the village. Salmon occasionally ascend the river Isla, and trout are found in most of the streams, and in some, pike.
The soil is greatly diversified; on the level lands near the river, it is a deep rich black loam; in the Blacklunans district, a lighter, but fertile, loam; on the sides of the hills, a fine sharp gravelly soil, well adapted for oats, turnips, and potatoes; and in many parts, peat moss, and moor, of which a considerable portion might be brought into cultivation. The lands have been drained and inclosed, and much waste has been reclaimed; the farm-buildings, and the houses of the cottars, are substantial, and the lands near the Isla, which were exposed to frequent inundation, have been protected by embankments. The hills afford good pasture for sheep, of which from 2000 to 3000 are reared in the parish, all of the black-faced breed; the cattle, on the uplands, are of the native Angus breed, and, on the lower farms, a cross between the Angus and the Teeswater. The rocks are generally trap and conglomerate; and the principal substrata are, mica, and clay-slate, sandstone of the old red formation, with some small beds of a light grey colour, and a yellowish compact limestone, well adapted for building. The natural wood, of which but little remains, is birch, hazel, and alder; and the plantations, of which the greater part is of recent date, are larch, and Scotch and spruce firs, interspersed with various kinds of hard wood; but the larches are not in a thriving state. Bamiff House is a handsome mansion of great antiquity, with many modern additions and improvements, pleasantly situated about three miles from the village, in grounds commanding some fine views. Balhary, another seat, is a modern mansion, on a rising ground on the north bank of the Isla; and Jordanstone is also a handsome residence.
The village is on the burn of Alyth, and consists of several streets of good houses, of which those in the older part of it are of great antiquity; the inhabitants are well supplied with water, and there are three bridges of stone over the burn, of which the handsomest was recently built, by Sir James Ramsay, to improve the approach to Bamff House. Most of the population are employed in weaving coarse linen, for the manufacturers of Dundee, producing annually more than 10,000 webs, of 150 yards each; there is a fulling-mill in the village, and also at Inverquiech. The place was erected into a burgh of barony, in the reign of James III.; a baronial court is held on the first Tuesday in every month, under a baron bailie appointed by the Earl of Airlie, who is superior of the burgh, and a sytem of police has also been established. A market, well supplied with provisions, was formerly held on Tuesday; and fairs for sheep and cattle, are held on the Tuesday after the second Thursday in March; the second Tuesday, and the 25th, of June; the last Tuesday in July; the Tuesday before the 10th of October; the first Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Tuesday after the 11th, of November; and the second Tuesday in December; all O. S. A post-office under that of Meigle has been established here; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, kept in repair by statute labour, and by the Dundee and Newtyle railway. The ecclesiastical affairs of the parish are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns; the minister's stipend is £229. 19. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £14 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, situated in the village, is a handsome and spacious structure in the Norman style, built in 1839, from a design by Mr. Hamilton, and contains 1290 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Associate Synod, and Original Seceders, and a small Episcopal chapel. The parochial school was erected in 1835; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house, and an allowance in lieu of a garden, and the fees average £20 per annum. Five boys and five girls are instructed and clothed from a rent-charge of £30 on the Ballindoch estate. On Barry Hill are some remains of a Pictish encampment, and of a narrow bridge over the fosse by which it was surrounded; and on the south side of the hill are several upright stones, supposed to commemorate some warlike exploit. Stone coffins, containing human bones, have been dug up near them. At the influx of the burn of Alyth into the river Isla, are the ruins of the ancient castle of Inverquiech; and at Corb, on the south-west of the forest of Alyth, are the remains of a castle, probably a hunting-seat of the earls of Crawford. The place gives the title of Baron to the Earl of Airlie.
Tour Alva Scotland. Alva in 1846. Alva a parish, in the county of Stirling, 7 miles (N. E. by E.) from Stirling; containing 2216 inhabitants, of whom 2092 are in the village. The name of this place, the orthography of which has successively passed through the different forms of Alueth, and Alvath, or Alveth, to that of Alva, is of Gaelic origin, and is supposed to be derived from the term Ailbheach, signifying "rocky," and to have been applied to this spot, as descriptive of the general character of its hills. The parish is locally situated in Clackmannanshire, and formerly belonged to that county, by which it is bounded on all sides except the north, where it touches Perthshire; but, after the beginning of the 17th century, it was annexed to the county of Stirling, though four miles distant from its nearest point, to which it has since been united in all respects, till associated, for political purposes, under the Reform act, to its ancient shire. It comprises about 4120 acres, of which 867 are arable, 3072 natural pasture, including 140 or 150 acres of cultivated grass, and 181 are wood. The lands, on the north, consist principally of the Alva hills, which constitute the most interesting and beautiful portion of the Ochil range, forming here a rich mineral district, traversed in all directions by large flocks of sheep, and ornamented with numerous cascades. At the base of these lofty elevations, commences a valley, a part of which, stretching towards the south, covers the rest of the parish, and is replete with richly diversified and highly picturesque scenery, embracing, at its margin, the river Devon, which runs along the boundary of the parish in this direction, and contains, like most of the burns, abundance of excellent trout. The most lofty of the Ochils, Bencloch, or Bencleugh, rises 2420 feet above the Devon, and is situated at the north-eastern extremity of the parish, commanding, from its summit, not only fine views of local scenery, but, in the distant prospect, the whole Grampian range, with part of thirteen counties, and their villages and towns.
The soil has several varieties; that in the vicinity of the Devon, which overflows its banks two or three times in the year, is a rich, sandy, alluvial earth, of great depth, and forming what is termed haugh land. Next to this, northerly, is a strong clay, after which follows a tract of moss, from 50 to 100 yards broad, and, in some parts, 7 feet deep; and the remaining portion of the arable ground, extending to the hills, is a rich hazel mould, mixed occasionally with gravel and small stones. The system of agriculture is in a highly improved state; the crops consist of wheat, oats, barley, peas, beans, clover, potatoes, and turnips, and a small portion of ground is annually planted with woad for dyeing. The hills belong to the trap formation, and contain heavy spar, onyx, and, among many other pebbles, that called the Ochil eye, which is said to be peculiar to this range. The chief celebrity of the parish, however, as a mineralogical district, has arisen from its treasure of silver ore, which was discovered and worked, between the years 1710 and 1715, by Sir John Erskine, who is said to have derived from it £4000 per week, and an aggregate of £40,000 or £50,000, the material being so pure as to afford 12 oz. of silver from 14 oz. of ore. Attempts to obtain the precious metal were afterwards renewed, in 1759, by a branch of the same family, who had purchased the barony, when veins were discovered of lead, copper, iron, and cobalt; but the silver was found in such small portions, that the pursuit was abandoned, and the cobalt being so plentiful, and of such good quality, was worked extensively, and has since proved a source of considerable wealth to the different proprietors. The woods and plantations are so extensive and beautiful that they form a prominent feature in the scenery, and invest this place with a peculiarly sylvan appearance, especially when contrasted with the surrounding country. Woodhill, elevated 1620 feet above the lowest ground, is shrouded with almost every description of rich foliage, for more than two-thirds of the ascent, the plantations around the base comprising oak, elm, ash, beech, and larch, with various species of pine, planted by Sir John Erskine. Those on the east and west sides of the hill were planted by Lord Alva, and subsequent proprietors of the mansion of Alva, which is on a projecting part of the eminence, and commands very extensive prospects. The old mansion of the Stirlings, of Calder, in Clydesdale, who possessed originally these estates, and afterwards of the Erskines, was enlarged and modernised in 1820; it is surrounded by elegantly laid-out grounds, interspersed with stately ashtrees and several venerable oaks, and the road to the village church, about a mile distant, is through an avenue of richly verdant foliage.
The village, which is of considerable extent, but of very irregular form, having been built at different periods, and increased by cottages and houses erected on ground leased under Sir John Erskine and Lord Alva, has been doubled in size within the last fifty years; it has been known for its manufacture of serges, ever since the latter part of the 17th century. A woollen-mill was first established in 1801; the number of mills has now increased to eight, besides many smaller works, and the present articles wrought are, plaidings, blanketings, and coarse stuffs, those of chequered cassimeres, carpets, shawls, and trowser-cloths having more recently been added. The quantity of wool annually consumed is about 480,000 pounds, chiefly from the Cheviot sheep; and in the manufacture of these articles, which are sold at Stirling, Perth, and Edinburgh, but chiefly at Glasgow, about 560 persons are employed. The parish is in the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling, and in the patronage of James Johnstone, Esq.; the minister's stipend is £157. 5. 4., with a manse, and a glebe, valued at £27 per annum. The church was formerly mensal, and belonged to the bishoprie of Dunkeld; the edifice was built in 1632, by Alexander Bruce, then proprietor of Alva, and was entirely rebuilt in 1815, at the expense of James Raymond Johnstone, Esq., with seats for 586 persons, and is at present in very good repair. The cups for the communion service were made from the silver found in the parish, and presented by Lord Alva, in 1767. The parochial school is situated in the village; the master has a salary of £29. 18. 10., and £28 fees. The only antiquities are, several large stones supposed to be Druidical. The hawk used formerly in sporting, of the species falco peregrinus, is a native of this parish, and has nestled, from time immemorial, in a lofty perpendicular rock called Craigleith: from this place, Mary, Queen of Scots, procured falcons, after her arrival from France, and a short time since, a pair of these birds were sent by the proprietor of Alva, to the Duke of St. Alban's, king's falconer in England.
Tour Alloa Scotland. Alloa in 1846. Alloa, a burgh of barony, sea-port town, and parish, in the county of Clackmannan, 7 miles (E.) from Stirling; containing, with the villages of Cambus, Coalyland, Holton-Square, and Tullibody, 7921 inhabitants, of whom 5434 are in the burgh, and 2457 in the East quoad sacra parish. This place, of which the name, in various documents Aulewoy and Alloway, is supposed to signify, in the Gaelic language, "the way to the sea," includes also the ancient parish of Tullibody, memorable for the erection of its village, in 834, by Kenneth M'Alpine, on the plain where he encamped the main body of his army, previously to the victory which put an end to the Pictish dynasty in Scotland. In 1149, David I. erected, and annexed to the abbey of Cambus Kenneth, which he had founded on the field where the battle took place, the church of Tullibody, which he endowed with land, and with some islands in the Frith of Forth, for the maintenance of the officiating priests. In 1559, the French forces under General D'Oysel, who were stationed on the coast of Fife, on the appearance of the English fleet made a precipitate retreat to Stirling; but, being retarded in their progress by Kirkcaldy of Grange, who had broken down the bridge of Tullibody, they unroofed the church, and, converting the timbers into a temporary bridge, effected their escape across the Forth. The church, thus exposed to the injuries of the weather, soon fell into a state of dilapidation; and the parish of Tullibody, about the time of the Reformation, became united to that of Alloa. In 1645, the Earl of Montrose, on the night before the battle of Kilsyth, encamped his forces in the woods of Tullibody, and was hospitably entertained by the Earl of Mar, in his castle of Alloa.
The family of the Erskines, ancestors of the earls of Mar, were distinguished, at an early period, for their eminent services; and John, the 5th earl, who became Regent of Scotland, was entrusted with the guardianship of Mary, Queen of Scots, who, during her infancy, remained under his protection, at Alloa Castle, till 1548, when, by order of the estates of the kingdom, he conveyed her to the court of France. John, the 6th earl, was appointed guardian to the infant monarch, James VI., who spent many of his earlier years at Alloa, and also at Stirling. The castle of Alloa, anciently one of the residences of the Scottish kings, was, in the 13th century, given by David II. to Lord Erskine, in exchange for the estate of Strathgartney, in the county of Perth. Of the ancient edifice, one tower only is now remaining, 89 feet in height, and of which the walls are 11 feet in thickness; the other portions of the buildings which constituted the family residence, were destroyed by an accidental fire in 1800, and a splendid mansion has been since erected by the Earl of Mar. This is a spacious structure, of white freestone from a quarry in the park, beautifully situated on a gentle acclivity, within about 200 yards of the old tower, and inclosing a quadrangular area 180 feet in length, and 120 feet in breadth. The principal front occupies the whole width of the area, and is an elegant specimen of the Grecian style; and the interior contains numerous stately apartments, superbly decorated. Four entrance lodges, also, have been recently built; but the whole of the arrangements are not yet completed.
The town is situated on the Frith of Forth, and, though irregularly built, consists of several good streets, of which John-street, planned in the year 1704, is about 80 feet in width, leading to the quay, and terminating in a gravel-walk, shaded by a row of limetrees on each side, and forming a pleasant promenade. The old houses in the principal streets have been mostly taken down, and replaced with modern buildings of handsome appearance; and many of the shops display much elegance of style. The streets are well paved, and lighted with gas from works erected in 1821, by a company of shareholders, at an expense of £3000; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water, conveyed into the town by pipes, from springs in the vicinity. Considerable additions have been made to the town, which is rapidly extending towards the west; and within the few last years numerous villas have been erected, in that direction. The Clackmannanshire library, founded here in 1797, is supported by annual subscriptions of ten shillings each, and contains a collection of more than 1500 volumes; there are also a reading and news room, and an assembly-room. A mechanics' institution was established in 1826, and was, for some time, well supported, but, of late, has not been so warmly patronized; connected with it, is a library of 470 volumes.
The principal Manufacture is that of woollens, which, though formerly of very limited extent, has latterly much increased, and for which several additional mills have been erected on a large scale; there are at present six factories, of which four are worked by steam. The chief articles are, yarns, plaiding, shawls, tartans, druggets, blankets, and cloth of various kinds, together affording employment to 200 men, 72 women, and 90 children; and connected with these factories, is an extensive establishment for the manufacture of machinery. The glass manufacture, for which works, commenced at an early period, were extended by a joint-stock company, in 1825, produces glass bottles equal to those of Newcastle, in Northumberland. There are eight extensive breweries, of which five are in the town; and the ale produced is in high repute, and is sent, in large quantities, to London, and exported to the continent, North and South America, the East and West Indies, and other places. Large distilleries are conducted at Cambus and Carse Bridge: at that of Cambus, nearly 6000 gallons are produced weekly, consuming about 374 quarters of malt, and feeding 400 head of cattle; there are 60 men employed in the establishment, and the amount of duty paid to government, exceeds £50,000 per annum. The distillery at Carse Bridge is nearly equal in extent. Extensive tanneries are carried on at Tullibody, in which leather is made to the amount of £20,000 annually; and there are also works for the manufacture of glue, belonging to the same company, and mills, driven by steam, for grinding bones for manure, together affording employment to about 40 men. The iron-foundry, and works for the manufacture of steam-engines, are also very extensive, employing nearly 100 men. There are large potteries for white and coloured earthenware, of every kind, and the manufacture of bricks and tiles occupies more than 40 persons; the fire-bricks made here are considered equal to those of Stourbridge, and adjoining the works is a commodious wharf for shipping the produce. Ship-building is also carried on; vessels of 300 or 400 tons' burthen are frequently built, and in 1845, a vessel of 800 tons was built here, for the foreign trade. Boat-building is carried on, and there is a dry dock for repairing vessels; the making of sails and ropes is also considerable, and there are numerous mills, driven by water and steam.
The port, which includes the creeks of Kincardine and Stirling, and has recently been made a bonding port, carries on an extensive coasting, and a considerable foreign, trade, the latter chiefly with Holland and the Baltic. The principal exports are coal, pig-iron, woollen goods, glass, ale, whisky, leather, bricks, and tiles; the chief imports, coastwise, are, grain, malt, wine, groceries, wool, and fullers'-earth, and, from foreign ports, timber, deals, hemp, oak-bark, and bones for manure. The amount of registered tonnage, including the creeks, is about 19,000 tons, of which about 10,000 belong to Alloa; the number of vessels that entered inwards, in 1838, was 600, and the number that cleared outwards, 1250. The harbour is accessible, at high water, to vessels of large burthen, which may lie in safety at the quays, which are commodiously adapted to the loading and unloading of their cargoes, and on which is a custom-house. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday, the latter being the principal, and fairs are held on the second Wednesday in Feb., May, August, and November; the August fair, which is the most numerously attended, is for hiring servants, and for general business, and the other three are for cattle. The post-office has a considerable delivery; and facilities of intercourse with Edinburgh, Stirling, and the several towns on the Forth, is afforded by numerous steamers. The town was erected into a burgh of barony, in the reign of Robert Bruce, and is governed by a baron bailie, appointed by the Earl of Mar; the courts of the sheriff and justices of peace, have been transferred from Clackmannan to this town, and a county prison has been just completed.
The parish, which is bounded on the south by the Forth, and on the east partly by the Black Devon, is of very irregular form, comprising about 5000 acres, of which 4375 are arable, 514 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface, though not mountainous, is beautifully diversified with hills of moderate height, and fertile valleys. From the higher of the eminences, of which none exceed 400 feet in elevation above the Forth, are views of picturesque and romantic character; a fine tract of rich carse land extends along the banks of the Forth, and the scenery, enriched with wood, and interspersed with streams, is of very pleasing aspect. The river Devon flows through the south-western portion of the parish, into the Forth, at the village of Cambus, about two miles from Alloa; and the Black Devon, after forming part of its eastern boundary, takes a westerly course, and flows through the parish, into the Frith of Forth, at Clackmannan. A large reservoir called Gartmorn Dam, 160 acres in extent, and 37 feet in depth, was formed by John, Earl of Mar, about the year 1700, by throwing a dam-head across the Black Devon, at Forest Mill; the bed of that river was thus raised 16 feet above its former level, and from it he carried an aqueduct of four miles in length, for the supply of this reservoir, which he constructed for driving the machinery of the Alloa colliery, and of several mills.
The soil of the lower lands is richly fertile, but of the higher, thin and light, on a cold tilly bottom; the principal crops are, wheat, barley, and oats, with the various green crops. The system of husbandry has been much improved, under the auspices of the Clackmannanshire Agricultural Society; the lands have been well-drained, and partially inclosed, and the farm-buildings are commodiously arranged. The cattle are chiefly of the Ayrshire breed, with a few of the short-horned, though no great number are reared; and a few sheep, of various kinds, are fed for the butcher. Very little of the ancient forests of Clackmannanshire is now remaining; the principal woods are those of Tullibody, in which are many stately trees of venerable growth. The plantations consist mostly of oak and other hard-wood trees, intermixed with firs; they are regularly thinned, and are in a thriving state. The substrata are, sandstone of different colours, clayslate, limestone, and coal, which last occurs in seams varying from a few inches to nine feet in thickness; of the sandstone, two quarries are wrought, to a very moderate extent, the one of white, and the other of a reddish, colour. The coal is extensively worked in three several fields, the Coalyland, the Carse Bridge, and the Sauchy, which extends into the parish of Clackmannan; the average quantity annually raised amounts to nearly 80,000 tons, which are conveyed by railroads to the harbour at Alloa. Tullibody House, the seat of Lord Abercromby, and the birth-place of General Sir Ralph Abercromby, is pleasantly situated on the bank of the Forth, in a richly-planted demesne, abounding with fine old timber, and surrounded by thriving plantations. Shaw Park House, the seat of the Earl of Mansfield, formerly the property of the Cathcart family, is a handsome mansion on elevated ground, about two miles to the north of the Forth, and commanding a very extensive view, embracing the windings of the river, with the castle of Stirling, and the mountains of Ben Lomond, Ben Ledi, and Tinto, in Clydesdale.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling; patron, the Crown. The minister's stipend is £299. 3. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £63; there is also an assistant minister, who receives the interest of two bequests, one of £800, and the other of £500. The parish church, erected by the heritors and feuars, in 1819, on a site given by the late John Francis, Earl of Mar, is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty spire, together 207 feet in height, and contains 1561 sittings: the steeple of the old church is still remaining, and near it is the mausoleum of the Erskine family. The ancient church of Tullibody, which had been in disuse from the time of the Reformation, was restored about ten years since, and again appropriated to the purposes of divine worship. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Independents, Wesleyans, and Swedenborgians; and an episcopal chapel, erected in 1840 from a design by Mr. Angus. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with an allowance of £16 in lieu of house and garden, and the fees average £25 per annum. The Alloa academy was erected in 1824, by subscription, and for some few years, a salary was received by the rector, whose present income is derived solely from the fees, of which a portion is paid to an assistant; the course of studies is extensive, and the fees vary from 5s. to 11s. 6d. per quarter. In repairing the road, in 1828, about 20 sepulchral urns, of Roman pottery, were found, containing burnt bones, placed in an inverted position, on a flagstone; also two stone coffins, about 3 feet in length, in each of which was a pair of bracelets, of pure gold, highly polished, but without ornament, one pair of which was purchased from the workmen, by Mr. Drummond Hay, and deposited in the Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh. Several Roman coins have been discovered in different parts of the parish; and a few years since, a brass coin was dug up, having the letters S.C. on the one side, and on the other, the legend "Augustus Tribunus." About a mile to the east of the town, is an ancient upright stone called the Cross, near which, about 40 years since, human bones were found, and a coffin of flagstones, 3 feet in length, on which were cut two small figures of the cross.