Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tour Dunkeld Scotland 2008

Tour Dunkeld Scotland 2008. A description of Dunkeld in 1846. This place, which is of very remote origin, and is supposed to have been the capital of the ancient Caledonia, appears to have derived its name from the erection of a castle or stronghold, towards the close of the 5th century, on an eminence commanding the passes of the vale of Atholl, and still called the King's seat, from its having been the resort of some of the earlier monarchs for partaking the diversion of the chase. There are yet remains of this ancient fortress; and near the site, Mary, Queen of Scots, narrowly escaped a serious injury from one of the herd, while witnessing a chase for the celebration of which the Earl of Atholl had employed 2000 of his Highlanders to collect the deer of the central Highlands. A monastery was founded here about the year 570 for brethren of the order of St. Columba, subordinate to the abbey of Iona, over which that saint at the time presided; and Columba remained for some months at this place, for the instruction of the people of the surrounding district, who assembled in great numbers to hear him. The establishment was placed under the superintendence of an abbot, many of whose successors held the most distinguished offices in the state; and the brethren, who are identified with the ancient Culdees, employed themselves chiefly in teaching and transcribing the sacred Scriptures, but had no communion with the Church of Rome. The monastery, originally of rude construction, was rebuilt with stone about the year 729, and continued to advance in importance; numerous dwellings gradually arose in the immediate vicinity, and in 834 the town had so much increased in extent that Brudus, king of the Picts, with a numerous army, after crossing the Tay, found sufficient accommodation in the town and castle preparatory to his battle with Alpinus, king of the Scots, at Angus.

In 845, the Danes, on their march to plunder the monastery, were encountered near Dunkeld by Kenneth Mc Alpine, who defeated them with considerable loss; but, in 905, again advancing for the same purpose, they succeeded in plundering the monastery and laying waste the town. In the reign of Kenneth III., a numerous army of Danes, in a third attempt to commit the same depredations, were intercepted on their march by that monarch, who, in a severe conflict near Luncarty, defeated them with great slaughter. The buildings connected with the monastery still increased, and the relics of St. Columba were removed from Iona, and deposited in a church erected here, and dedicated to his memory by Kenneth Mc Alpine after he had united the Scots and Picts into one kingdom. The Culdees continued their establishment under a superior of their own nomination, and had, in the parish of Dowally and other places in the district, various smaller institutions, till they were superseded by canons regular in the reign of David I., who, in 1127, converted the monastery into a cathedral establishment, and made Dunkeld the seat of a diocese, which retained the primacy of the kingdom until the distinction was transferred to the see of St. Andrew's in the reign of James III. The prelates of Dunkeld were much exposed to the aggressions of the heads of the Highland clans in the vicinity of the diocese, with whom a constant state of warfare was maintained. The revenues of the see were frequently intercepted by armed bands who waylaid the bishops' officers, and carried them off by violence; and such of the lands belonging to the bishops as were contiguous to the estates of the Highland chiefs were either seized and appropriated to their own use, or plundered and laid waste. The bishops were assaulted even while officiating in the cathedral; and those who ventured to resist, or bring to punishment, the leaders by whom these outrages were perpetrated, were beset by parties against whose hostile attacks they were compelled to defend themselves by a numerous retinue of armed attendants.

In the reign of James II., the Earl of Atholl, nephew of that monarch, assembled the canons of the abbey, and requested them to appoint his brother, Andrew Stuart, though not in full orders, successor to the see, which had become vacant by the death of Bishop Brown. With this request they thought proper, through intimidation, to comply; but the election was afterwards abrogated by Pope Leo X., and Gavin Douglas, uncle of the Earl of Angus, was appointed, whose arrival to take possession of the see caused the servants of Stuart to fly to arms, and seize upon the palace and the tower of the cathedral, whence they discharged a volley of shot against the house of the dean, to which Douglas had retired to receive the homage of the clergy. On the following day, the city was filled with the armed adherents of both parties, and a dreadful scene of violence ensued; but at length, Stuart, finding it impossible to relieve his men in the palace, was compelled to abandon it, and, having no hope of retaining the prelacy, he retired on condition of being allowed to hold that portion of the bishop's rents which he had already received, and also the churches of Alyth and Cargill, on payment annually of a trifling acknowledgment. From this time the see remained undisturbed till the Reformation. The church erected by Kenneth Mc Alpine in 845 continued to be the cathedral till 1318, when the choir of a more spacious and elegant structure was completed by Bishop Sinclair, and appropriated to that purpose; in 1406 a nave was added to the building by Bishop Cardney, and the remainder of the church was completed in 1464 by Bishop Lauder, who also erected the lofty tower of the cathedral, and built the chapterhouse, in 1469. The episcopal palace, to the south-west of the cathedral church, was formerly defended by a castle, erected in 1408, but of which at present nothing remains except the site, still called the Castle Close; and in 1508, a wing was added to the palace, and a handsome chapel built immediately adjoining it. The bishops had palaces also at Cluny, Perth, and Edinburgh, with ample revenues; and at the time of the Reformation, the church of Dunkeld was valued at £1600 per annum. In 1560, a commission was issued by the Lords of Congregation for purifying the church, by removing the altars, images, and other idolatrous ornaments, and burning them in the churchyard; and in their zeal to fulfil this commission, the mob destroyed the whole of the interior of that beautiful and venerable structure of which the ruins display the stately magnificence, and left nothing entire but the walls. These, too, were subsequently stripped of their roof, and have since remained in a state of dreary ruin, with the exception only of the choir, which in 1600 was roofed with slate at the expense of the family of Stuart, of Ladywell, and has been appropriated as the parish church. By acts of the General Assembly in 1586 and 1593, the city was made the seat of a presbytery; but there is still a bishop of Dunkeld, though unconnected with the Church of Scotland, who presides over the episcopal churches of Dunkeld, Dunblane, and Fife.

After the battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, the Highland troops of Viscount Dundee, who had been killed in that conflict, advanced to the city, then garrisoned by the newly-raised Cameronian regiment; and after a severe struggle, the Highlanders obtained possession of many of the houses, from which they made frequent discharges of musketry upon the Cameronian soldiers, who, in order to dislodge them, set fire to the buildings where they had sought shelter. The whole of the town, with the exception of the cathedral and three houses, was totally burnt; and the inhabitants were compelled to take refuge in the church. In 1703, the Marquess of Atholl was elevated to the rank of duke by Queen Anne, who is said to have subsequently paid a visit to that nobleman, first at Blair-Atholl, and then at Dunkeld House, to confer with him on matters connected with the union of the two kingdoms; and in corroboration of the event a state room in the castle at the former place is still called Queen Anne's bedchamber. On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1745, the Marquess of Tullibardine, accompanied by the Pretender, whose cause he had embraced, took temporary possession of Blair Castle in the absence of his younger brother, the Duke of Atholl, and sent the lords Nairn and Lochiel to proclaim the prince at the market-cross of Dunkeld. Early in the following year, the Duke of Cumberland stationed part of his forces at Blair-Atholl and in the city, which posts, after his departure, were occupied by bodies of Hessian troops, between whom and the Atholl Highlanders frequent skirmishes took place in the neighbourhood. In September, 1842, Her Majesty the Queen, while visiting her Scottish dominions, made an excursion to Dunkeld House, attended by Prince Albert, and was met on the boundary of the estate by a numerous guard of the Atholl Highlanders, who escorted the royal visiters to the park. Here Lord Glenlyon, the heir of the family, at the head of his Highland regiment, received the Queen, and then conducted her to the tent which had been erected for her reception on the lawn to the north-west of the cathedral, a spot commanding a splendid view of the wildly romantic and beautifully picturesque scenery for which the place is so highly celebrated. Her Majesty reviewed the regiment, and passing along the line formed by the various local societies that had been assembled in the park, retired into the tent, where a sumptuous collation was served, after which the officers of the Atholl clan were severally introduced to the Queen, and had the honour of kissing hands. Having remained for a few hours at Dunkeld, Her Majesty took her departure for Breadalbane, escorted by the Hon. Capt. Murray, who rode by the side of the royal carriage to the boundary of the Atholl estate, a distance of thirteen miles, pointing out by name to the Queen the various objects of interest. In 1844, Her Majesty, on her second visit to Scotland, passed again through Dunkeld.

The town is beautifully situated on the north bank of the river Tay, over which is a noble bridge of five open arches, of which the central arch has a span of ninety feet, and the others of eighty-four and seventyfour each, with two dry arches of twenty-five feet span, the whole erected in 1809, by the late Duke of Atholl, at an expense of £30,000, of which £5000 were granted by government. From the centre of the bridge is a fine view of the city, which consists partly of a spacious street of handsome modern houses, extending from the bridge along the line of the great north road from Perth to Inverness; and a street of more ancient but well-built houses crosses the former at right angles, in the marketplace, from which the old cross was removed about the commencement of the present century. Near the cathedral is the deanery, the only house now remaining of the three saved from the conflagration in 1689. There is a public library, called the Mackintosh library, which originated in a gift to the town by the Rev. Donald Mackintosh, in 1811; it is under the direction of a committee of curators, and the collection at present consists of more than 2000 volumes. The manufacture of linen and the tanning of leather, formerly carried on to a considerable extent, have been discontinued, and the chief trade at present is the making of shoes. Many of the poorer class are employed during the spring and summer months in the peeling of oak, and at other times in agriculture and in the slate-quarries; there are also a distillery, a public brewery, and several malting establishments, and a saw-mill, affording occupation to a moderate number of persons. Since the erection of the bridge a very great increase has taken place in the general traffic of the town and neighbourhood. There are now two spacious hotels with posting establishments, for the reception of visiters whom the beauty of the scenery and the numerous objects of deep interest in the vicinity attract; and several lodging-houses are occupied by families and individuals who during the summer months make this their residence. The post-office has a good delivery; the Inverness mail through Atholl passes daily, a coach to Perth three times in the week, and during the summer there are coaches to Inverness, Dundee, Loch Lomond, and Perth. The market, which is amply supplied with provisions of every kind, is on Saturday; and fairs for cattle and horses, and for hiring farm-servants, are held on February 14th, March 25th, April 5th, June 9th, and the second Tuesday in November. The police is under the management of an officer appointed by the Duke of Atholl as hereditary lord of the barony. A court for the recovery of small debts is held quarterly, under the sheriff; and the county magistrates for the district hold their courts in the Masons' lodge, in which also public meetings are held, and the general business of the town transacted. The old prison was taken down in 1743, and one of the dry arches of the bridge was subsequently inclosed and fitted up for the temporary confinement of offenders.

The parish is situated on the north side of the vale of Atholl, and extends for more than six miles along the bank of the Tay, varying in breadth, and comprising about 12,000 acres, of which 1200 are arable, 300 pasture, 10,000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder covered with water. The surface is strikingly diversified with hills of precipitous elevation and fantastic form, of which the steep acclivities are indented with deep ravines, and which vary in height from 1000 to 2000 feet above the level of the sea, rising abruptly from a narrow tract of shelving low land apparently gained by embankment from the river. These hills were planted with larch-trees by the late Duke of Atholl, and form an extensive forest, nearly fourteen miles in length from Craig-y-barns, opposite the King's Seat, which has an elevation of 1000 feet above the sea, and varying from three to six miles in breadth. On the summit of the hill of Duchray, which rises to a height of 1900 feet, is a lake about half a mile in circumference, abounding with perch; on the hill of Ordie, at an elevation of 700 feet, is another, several miles in circumference, in which are trout of excellent quality; in the barony of Dulcapon is Loch Broom, also containing trout; and at Rotmel are two lakes, in which perch are found. The soil in the lower lands is thin and light, but on the acclivities of the hills richer, and slightly intermixed with clay, producing good crops of oats and barley, with turnips and potatoes. The state of husbandry has been greatly improved, and an agricultural society for the district established; the lands have been drained and inclosed; the farm-buildings and offices are of stone, roofed with slate, and are comfortable and well arranged. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6073. The substratum is principally clay-slate, of which the rocks are composed, and which is remarkable chiefly for the irregularity of its formation. On the eastern base of the hill of Craig-y-barns, a small vein of copper-ore was discovered, but has not been wrought; and in a bank of sand about twenty feet above the level of the river Tay, in the lands of Dowally, some grains of gold were found, of which ornaments were made; but the quantity obtained was so small, in comparison with the expense of extracting it, that all attempts have been abandoned. Pearls of good colour and form, though coarse, are found in the muscles of the Tay, and occasionally some of finer quality and of great value.

Visit Dunkeld.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:39 PM

    I notice you refer to "lakes" at Dunkeld? Surely you mean lochs, the only natural freshwater lake in Scotland is Lake Mentieth.

    Some of the Lochs in the area you are referring to are Loch Ordy, Rotmell Loch and Dowally Loch, which can all be seen on the OS map for the area.