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deep valley, watered by a small
stream. The rly. now turns N. E. to

45 m. Farnell Road Stat.^ a little
to the N. of which, on the banks of
the South Esk, see Kinnaird Castle,
the stately seat of the Earl of South-
esk, which title, after being long at-
tainted, was restored in 1855. It
contains a fine library and an inter-
esting collection of paintings. The
estuary of the river is crossed at

48 m. Bridge of Dun Junct.,
on the S. Esk. rt., see chimneys of
Montrose.

[Hence a short branch of 4 m. 1.
leads to

Brcchm Stat. (Etes. 51a, b, and c)
{Inn : Commercial, clean and good),
a flourishing and increasing town,
with large linen manufactures (Pop.
7933), lying upon the side of a hill
overhanging the South Esk. This
modern quarter occupies the high
ground.

The Cathedral, from the first a
building of small extent, has had
its nave supplanted by a modern
sash- windowed Kirk, but retains at
W. end a fine Dec. Tower, portal,
and window ; while the choii', a
ruined fragment, with 4 lancet win-
dows, remains roofless at the E. end.

Far more interesting is the Round
Toxcer adjacent to it, of exact and
solid masonry, 10 ft, diameter, 85 ft.
high to the parapet, which is sur-



mounted by a conic roof, a later
addition. It strongly resembles the
round towers of Ireland, and is pro-
bably as old as the ] 1th century. Its
chief architectural feature is a nar-
row doorway, 6 ft. above the ground,
with jambs inclining upwards, sur-
rounded by a beaded moulding, and
surmounted by a crucifix carved in
low relief. The two figures at the
sides were evidently intended to
represent saints. It is certain,
therefore, that it was built after
the conversion of the country to
Christianity. These towers may have
parti}' served as belfries, and partly to
protect sacred property and vessels.

Compared with the Irish towers,
Brechin reminds one of Kilkenny,
inasmuch as regards its proximity
to the cathedral ; Cloyne, in its
type and manner of building ; and
Donaghmore, in its ornamentation
over the door. Not the least in-
teresting part of the Cathedral of
Brechin is its beautiful situation on
the borders of the deep ravine of
the S. Esk.|

Brechin Castle, a comfortable mo-
dern mansion, is charmingly placed
higher up on the edge of this glen
of the S. Esk, turning its back on
chimneys and hills. The pretty cor-
ridor and other rooms are hung with
some interesting portraits, Charles
Fox, Neil Gow the famous fiddler,
and several others. During the inva-
sion by Edward I. Brechin Castle
held out against him for 3 weeks,
under Sir Thomas ]\Iaule, nor was it
surrendered till the governor had
been killed. It has been much
modernised ; it is still the resid-
ence of the head of the Maule family,
the Earl of Dalhousie.

About 5 m. N. of Brechin is the
remarkable hill-fort called the White
Caterthun [see Rte. 51a).

Distances.— 'To Perth, 52 m. ; to
Montrose, 7J m.]



320



Route 50. — Montrose ; Den Finella.



Sect. V



From the Bridge of Dun Stat, the
rly. skirts the estuary of the Esk,
known as Montrose Basin, to

501 m. DuBTON JuNCT. Stat. ; a
sliort branch of 3 m. (on rt.) leads
to

Montrose Stat. {Inns: Star; "White
Horse). A Pari. Burgh town of some
trade, butnot increasing. Pop. 14,548.
It stands on a tongue of fiat land
stretching S. , flanked on the W. by
a large tidal Basin formed by the
estuary of the S. Esk river, and on
the AV. by the N. Sea. There is a
good deal of shipbuilding carried on,
with its accessories of rope and sail
making. The town, which is well
built, and is furnished with excel-
lent shops, contains an interesting
Town Hall ; the ch. is modern, and
has a lofty spire. In the High-street
are statues of Jos. Hume (who was
born here 1777, and was long ]\I. P.
for Montrose) and of Sir Robt. Peel.
It is also the birthplace (1S05) of Sir
Alexander Burnes, the traveller and
Eastern diplomatist, murdered at
Cabool, and of Robert Browne, the
botanist. At the end of the High-
street is a portion of the town -house
in which the ]\larquis of Montrose
was liorn, 1612.

The mouth of the S. Esk, which
is .the entrance to the Basin, a
splendid land-locked sheet of water,
about 3 m. across, is bridged over by
a suspension bridge, built by Sir
Samuel Brown, who saw in the little
island of Bravoch a useful ally. On
the S. bank of the Basin is the hand-
some seat of Rossie (W. M. Mac-
donald, Esq.) The visitor should
cross the ferry, ascend the hill above
Ferryden for the sake of the view,
and return by the suspension bridge
(Rte. 49). A large Lunatic Asylum
has been built near Hillside, Dub-
ton. The Links of Montrose are
celebrated as one of the finest golf-
grounds in Scotland. Here ended
the Rebellion of 1715-16 by the
secret embarkation of Prince James



Stuart, accompanied by IMar, on
board a French vessel, leaving his
army in the lurch.

There is not much to be seen at
Montrose, but an Excursion to Den
Finella, by the

[Montrose and Bcrvie Bailway,
which strikes due N. along the coast,
skirting the cliffs, crossing the N.
Esk below the Pounage Pool, where
John o'Arnha encountered the Water
Kelpie, according to the old ballad
composed by George Beattie, who
sleeps in the ch. -yard of St. Cyrus,
at the foot of the rocks.

Rt. by the sea is the Kaim of
Mathers, built by Barclay to escape
the vengeance of the King for having
slain and afterwards " suppit in
bree," the body of the Sheriti" of the
Mearns. At

Lauriston Stat, the traveller should
stop to visit Den Finella, one of the
most romantic Dens in the county,
in the grounds of A. Porteous, Esq.,
crossed b}' the rly. on a bridge of
4 arches.

Bcrvie Terminus, made a royal
burgh by David II., 1342 ; was the
birthplace of Coutts, the banker.
Hallgreen Castle (I. Farquhar, Esq.)
was the residence of the father of Dr.
Arbuthnott, the friend of Pope ; he
was probably born here.

Stonehaven, 10 m., may be reached
b}' 'bus 4 times a week.

A beautiful walk is to Arbroath,
16 m. along the coast, by L^son, Bod-
dom, Lunan Bay, Red Head, and
Auchmithie (Rte. 49).

Rail to Aberdeen.

The main line now keeps north-
ward, passing 1. Hillside and Craigo
(M. Grant, Esq.), and at

54 m. Craigo Stat., enters Kincar-
dineshire, crossing the North Esk
river through the fertile " How-o'-
the- Mearns. "

56 m. Marykirk, to the rt. is Kirk-
ton Hill (G. Taylor, Esq.), well



Kincardine. Icoute 50. — Stonehaven; Duniiottar.



321



situated at the foot of tlie Garvock
Hills.

59 m. Laurencekirk {Hotel : Gar-
denstone Arms) was founded by
Francis Garden, Lord Gardenstone,
in 1765, on the estate of Johnston,
which he had then recently purchased.
Dr. Beattie, author of "The Min-
strel," was born on a farm close to
the town, of which his father was
tenant, 1735. It was once famous
for its manufacture of snuff-boxes.
Et. Garvock Hill, marked by its
Tower, which commands a fine view.
At the hill foot, Johnston Lodge
(Alex. Gibbon, Esq.), 3 ni. 1. is the
village oi Auchinblae (Rte. 51c).

62^ m. Fordoun, is supposed to
have been the birthplace of John
of Fordoun, author of the " Scoto-
Chronicon," and the oldest author-
ity on the subject of Scottish his-
tory ; Pitarrow is a little to the 1. of
the line. On 1. is Monboddo (J. C.
Burnett, Esq.), seat of Lord Mon-
boddo, who was celebrated for hold-
ing remarkable opinions about men
having tails. Dr. Johnson and Bos-
well dined here, and the latter says
that it was then " a wretched place,
wild and naked, with a few old
houses ; though, if I recollect aright,
there are 2 turrets, which mark an
old baron's residence." The house
has been much improved and en-
larged. The rly. soon crosses the
Bervie Water, and reaches Drum-
lUliie, a little manufacturing village ;
it then descends the valley of the
Carron Water, having Fetteresso
Castle (R. Duff, Esq., M.P.) on the
1., and on rt. Fowlsheugh, a great re-
sort of sea-birds, and Dunnottar
House.

73J m. Stonehaven {Inns: Com-
mercial ; Station ; Urie Amis), a
flourishing little port, and the county-
town of Kincardine. It is situated
very near the mouth of 2 rivers, the
Carron and the Cowie, and is con-



siderably in repute as a bathing
place.

See a little to the S. of the town
the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, seat of
the Keiths, Earls IMarischal of Scot-
land. It stands on a projecting rock,
separated from the mainland by a
deep chasm, which in former days
must have made it impregnable.
The great square tower, which is
still the most complete part, and
chapel, are said to have been built
by the Crawfords, Earls of Lindsay.
The modern part consists of 3 sides
of a quadrangle, and is more like a
barrack than a castle. During the
wars of the Commonwealth the Scot-
tish regalia were kept here, and when
the castle was besieged, the governor,
George Ogilvie of Barras, held out
strenuously, and did not surrender
until they had been conveyed away,
through the midst of the besieging
force, by Mrs. Grainger, the minister's
wife — the crown in her lap, the
sceptre disguised as a distaff. She
buried them under the pulpit of
Kiuneff Church until the Restora-
tion. Dunnottar was used in 16S5
as a place of imprisonment for the
Covenanters, and the " Whigs' Vault,"
in which they were confined, still re-
mains. The cliffs are bold and rocky
here, and rise to 200 ft., a little lower
down at Fowlsheugh, between Stone-
haven and Bervie. In the ch. -yard
of Dunnottar, Walter Scott met for
the first and last time Peter Paterson,
the original of " Old Mortality,"
cleaning the headstones at the graves
of the Covenanters who died in Dun-
nottar Castle.

Pass rt. the ruins of Cowie old
Kirk, and 1. Urie, the fine seat of
Alex. Baird, Esq., a handsome
modern Gothic house, replacing the
old mansion of the Barclays, the
most illustrious of whom, Robert,
wrote the "Apology for the Quakers."
Some relics of him are preserved in
the present house. The last of the
family was Captain B., the famous
pedestrian, and a great agriculturist.



322



Route 50. — Urie ; Aberdeen.



Sect. V.



R. Barclay and Captain B. both rest
in the family burying-ground upon
the mound or Hauf of Urie.

The line approaches the coast to
78 m. Muchalls Stat., near which
is the small but quaint-looking
house of Muchalls, begun, as the
inscription tells us, in 1619, and
finished in 1627, by Sir Thomas
Burnett of Leys. A low courtyard
wall in front supports a row of for-
midable-looking bastions, a fashion
which had outlived the necessities
of the times. The large hall and
another smaller room haA^e ceilings
of pargetted pi aster- work in excellent
preservation, and on either side of
the fireplace is a gloomy figure
standing with crossed arms.

The rly. now keeps close to the
coast, which is bold and rocky, aff'ord-
ing many a beautiful peep down
the gullies.

794 m. NeivtonMll Stat.

81^ m. Portlethen Stat., nearwhich
is the village of Findon, or Finnan,
well known for the production of
smoked haddocks.

85 m. Cove Stat. See on rt. the
Nigg Lighthouse, and Wellington
Suspension Bridge. From hence the
rly., making a curve, crosses the
Dee, and enters

Aberdeen Termimis, in College-st.,
near the docks, at the mouth of the
gully called Denburn. This is the
Stat, of the Great North of Scotland,
Caledonian, and Deeside Railways.
(Imperial Hotel, close to the stat. ;
Douglas's H. ; the Northern H. :
Royal H.) The Post-oflSce is in
Market St.

Several Episco'pal Chapels here.

The Photographic Vic^vs of Scottish
sceneiy, by Wilson of Aberdeen are
deservedly celebrated.

Aberdeen, 88,125 Inhab., is the
fourth city in Scotland, in point of
population and trade. It has also



important manufactures in linen,
woollen, and iron. It is great in
shipbuilding (clippers of renown).
It is the chief seaport of the N. of
Scotland, and in 1873 had 235 ves-
sels of 103,149 tons. It is really a
handsome town, built chiefly of
granite, the local stone, at the mouth
of the Dee, between it and the Don ;
but its harbour has neither the
capacity nor convenience propor-
tioned to its trade, although
Smeaton and Telford employed their
best engineering abilities, and ex-
pended more than £300,000 upon it.
New and expensive works were be-
gun 1871 — including a S. Breakwater
of concreted blocks, 1300 ft. long,
which will not be finished for some
time. The " diversion " of the Dee by
the straightening of its course, cut-
ting off a great bend just below the
Wellington and Railway bridges,
was achieved in 1872.

A fine Pier was completed in 1848,
having on the N. pier-head a tidal
fixed red light.

The Bridge over the Dee is a struc-
ture of 7 arches, built in the early
part of the 16th centy. by Bishop
Dunbar. It is one of the oldest
bridges in this part of the world,
having survived the floods of 1829.
It was the scene of the first of Mon-
trose's victories ; the passage of the
bridge was won \>y him after a battle
of two days on June 19, 1639, one
of the manj'' fluctuating struggles
of the Scottish Civil War, in which
Aberdeen constantly changed hands,
passing from the Cavalier to the
Covenanter, and back again. At
this date Montrose belonged to the
latter party.

Leaving the railway stat., as-
cend to Castle St., a sort of central
market-place, one side of which is
occupied by the Toivn and County
Buidinc/s, modern Gothic, of pic-
turesque design (Peddie and Kinnear,
architects), with a very eff"ective bel-
fry tower 200 ft. high, and another
ancient tower at the E. end. It cost



SCOTLA.ND.



Pioute 50. — Aberdeen.



323



£60,000, and contains some good
portraits — the Queen and Prince
Consort, by John Philli}), a native
— Queen Anne, by Kneller, etc. ■

Before it stands The Cross, a struc-
ture in the Renaissance style, with
hexagon base, the panels ornamented
with medallion heads of Scottish
Kings, from James I. to James VIL,
surmounted by a pillar, bearing the
Eoyal Unicorn rampant. It was the
work of a mason, John Montgomery,
of Auldrain, 1686.

In this place also is the Statue of
the last Duke of Gordon, Marquis of
Huntly, and Colonel of the 42d High-
landers, whom Scott addressed :

"Cock of the North, my Huntly braw,
Whaur are you wi' the Forty-twa ! "

The chief street is Union-st7^cet, a
fine avenue of granite houses, with
many good shops, banks, hotels, etc.,
stretching W. from Castle-street,
nearly a mile. A Statue of Queen
Victoria, by Brodie, deserves high
commendation. On the rt. hand an
open Grecian colonnade discloses to
view the E. and W. Churches, stand-
ing in a large ch.-yard, but forming a
continuous building. The E. church
is of carpenter Gothic, 1870-75, the
other, having sash windows, was
designed by Gihhs, architect of St.
Martin's-in-the#Fields and the Ead-
clitf Library, a native of Aberdeen.

The W. church, burned in 1874,
has been rebuilt, but the fine tower
and transept, with the monuments of
the Irvines, have been destroyed.



Surrounding the ch. is a Cemetery,
which contains the remains of Dr.
Beattie, author of "The Minstrel,"
and some time Professor of Moral
Philosophy in Marischal College.

Union-st. is carried across the hol-
low of the Denburn on a very fine
granite Bridge, of a single arch, 131 ft.
span, and at the N. W. end is a seated



Statue by ]\larochetti of the Prince
Consort, at the uncovering of which
the Queen attended. He is in a
field-marshal's uniform, with the
robe of the Thistle over it, and in
the hand a scroll. It is not a
successful work.

Close to the Union Bridge is the
Trades Hall, a granite building, con-
taining some portraits by Jameson,
and some curiously carved chairs.

Pieturning to Castle-street, to the
W. of the Cross is the Tolbooth, with
a lofty spire, now incorporated in
the Toivn HaU. From its N. side
branches out Broad-street. Here,
at No. 68, lived Byron when a boy,
with his mother.

A narrow entrance in Broad-street
leads to Marischal College (now an
integral portion of the University),
named from its founder, George Keith,
Earl Marischal, in 1593. The present
building, forming 3 sides of a quad-
rangle, with a tower 100 ft. high,
of poor modern Gothic, was com-
pleted in 1841, at a cost of £38,000.
In the centre of the court is an
obelisk to Sir James M'Grigor, head
of the medical staff" in the Egyptian,
Walcheren, and Peninsular cam-
paigns. A flight of stairs leads to

The Hall, containing some good
portraits by Jameson, a pupil of
Vandyke and a native of Aberdeen
— George Buchanan, and others.

Eminent students : Gilbert Bur-
net, Bishop of Salisbury (1657) ; Dr.
Arbuthnott, the friend of Pope ; Colin
Maclaurin, the mathematician ; Dr.
Reid, the metaphysician ; Robert
Hall, the divine, and Sir James
Mackintosh.

The former Grammar School, in the
School Hill, was Byron's first place
of education. Read his admirable
reminiscences of Aberdeen in Moore's
"Life of Byron."

To the E. of Castle-square are
Castle-hrae and the Barracks. On
this hill once stood the old Castle



324



Route 50. — Old Aberdeen ; Cathedral. Sect. V.



of Aberdeen, which in the time of
Edward was garrisoned by the Eng-
lish, and captured from them by a
night attack of the citizens, whose
watchword was " Bon Accord," which
has ever since been tlie motto of
the city. From the N.E. corner of
the square a street leads down to
the Lioiks, upon which Montrose en-
camped on three difterent occasions.
Here are the premises of Leslie and
Macdonald for polishing granite.

The Granite of Aberdeen is valued
over all the world, and the city is
chieily built of it, so that it some-
times goes by the name of "the
granite city." The N. of Scotland
Bank, with its Corinthian portico of
four columns, the new Grammar
School, and the new County Buildings,
are good examples of finely- wrought
granite buildings. The docks of
Sebastopol were also built of this
material. In connection with the
artistic value of granite, the visitor
should inspect Messrs. INIacdonald
and Co.'s granite-works. The art of
working granite with the axe, in-
stead of the pick, and the inventions
of patent axing or chiselling with a
number of cutting surfaces combined
in one tool, as well as that of polish-
ing by machinery, are due to the late
Alexander Macdonald.

Aberdeen is one of the oldest and
most important towns in Scotland,
possessing charters of privilege older
than any other Scotch city, from
"William the Lion, Alex. L and IL,
and Robert Bruce. The Town-Council
Registers begin 1398. At the inva-
sion by Edward IJL, Sir Thomas
Roscelyn, one of his lieutenants,
landed a body of troops at Dunethan,
and marched upon Aberdeen ; where-
upon the citizens mustered their forces
and gave Sir Thomas battle on the
green. The English were defeated
with great slaughter, and Sir Thomas
being killed, the English in revenge
burnt Aberdeen to the ground. The
city was then rebuilt at the mouth



of the Dee, and called New Aberdeen.
Robert II. assembled a parliament
here to couce]'t measures for an inva-
sion of England.

In the minority of James I. the
citizens marched out under their
provost. Sir Robert Davidson, and
fought with the Earl of Mar against
Donald of the Isles at Harlaw. Sir
Robert was killed, and a rule was
then made that the provost should
not leave the city during his term of
office. In 1569 Aberdeen was entered
by a body of Reformers, who, after
some opposition from the inhabitants,
succeeded in destroying the ecclesi-
astical buildings ; but the town itself
soon gave in its adhesion to the new
creed. One hand of the Marq. of
Montrose was sticking on the top of
the Tolbooth until the visit of Charles
II. in 1650, Avhen it was taken down
at the request of his son, and sent to
Edinburgh to be buried.

A little more than a mile from the
crowded streets and bustle of Aber-
deen a singular contrast is presented
in the silent ways of Old Aberdeen^
or "the Auld Town," near the river
Don, a collection of detached houses,
some large and handsome modern
mansions amidst trees and gardens,
much more like a village than a city.
It is said to have been deserted for
the new site after t^^e inroad of the
English, temp. Edward III.

The Cathedral, dedicated to St.
Machar, a companion of St. Columba,
consists of a stately nave only. Hank-
ed by two massive battlemented
towers with short spires (1424). The
choir was destroyed by the Reformers,
and the transepts by the fall of the
central tower, undermined by Crom-
well's troopers. The W. entrance,
the round arch between the two cas-
tellated towers, is surmounted by a
window of seven tall slits. All this
is of granite, and dates from 1357-
1518.

The nave extends to 7 bays of
pointed arches resting on columnar
piers. The visitor should notice the



Scotland. Route 50. — Old Aberdeen ; College.



325



flat ceiling of panelled oak, with its
forty-eight shields, glittering with
the blazonries of the Pope, the em-
peror, St. Margaret, the kings and
princes of Christendom, the bishops,
and the earls of Scotland, added by
Bishop Dunbar, 1519-31. Here is
the grave of Barbour, author of ' ' The
Bruce," and Archdeacon of Aberdeen,
who died in 1395. In the ruined S.
transept, now open to the sky, are
two canopied tombs, with effigies,
much mutilated, of Bishops Leighton
(1424) and Dunbar (1518). The ca-
thedral was well restored, 1871, and
much whitewash and a heavy gallery
removed.

A little S. of the Cathedral, stand-
ing in a field, is King's College,
founded in 1494, in accordance with
a bull of Pope Alexander VI., by
Bishop Elphinstone, to whose zeal
and liberality it owes its existence,
and the patronage it received from
James IV. At the Picformation it
was possessed of very considerable
revenues, but was deprived of a great
part of its wealth in the general
scramble. In 1641, Charles I. grant-
ed it a charter, incorporating it with
the Marischal College as a part of
the "Caroline" University. But
after the Kestoration the two col-
leges were again disunited, and it is
only since 1860 that they have been
finally merged, — the King's College
being devoted to Arts and Divinity,
and the other to the classes of law
and medicine.

The building was completed 1870-
74, and now forms a square, one side
of which, the only part remaining of
the original, is the Chapel, begun
1500, and the massive tower attach-
ed to it, surmounted by a crown on
flying arches, similar to St. Giles's,
Edinburgh, and St. Nicholas, New-
castle. The chapel has a good Flam-
boyant "W. window, and contains
some very elaborate carved woodwork
in the same style, consisting of a
double row of canopied stalls, with



miserere seats and a lofty open screen.
The carving throughout is gorgeous
and delicate. The patterns of the
tracery is very elaborate, and differs
in every panel. Bishop Stuart's
pulpit was brought hither from the
cathedral ; upon it are heads in relief
of the Scottish monarchs (as on the
city cross) from James I. to James
VII. In the pavement are monu-
mental slabs to Elphinstone, the
founder, and of Hector Boece, d.
1536, the first principal. The N'eto
Library, opposite the chapel, con-
tains about 80,000 volumes, and
several fine old MSS. and missals.
In one of the class-rooms are pictures
of the Ten Sibyls, and of Principal
Middleton by Jameson, and an ori-
ginal likeness of the founder.

Nearly 2 m. from Aberdeen, and
I m. from Old Aberdeen, is The Old
Bridge of Don or Brig o' Balgownie,
a very picturesque single pointed
arch, 62 ft. span, erected 1320, by
Bp. Cheyne, spanning a deep black
pool of the river, backed by fine
woods, and quite worthy of the
artist's penciL It has been made
famous, however, by Lord Byron,
who remembered it, and the super-
stition connected with it, many years
after he had left Aberdeen. The
poetic legend runs thus : —

" Brig o' Balgownie, black's your wa' ;
Wi' a wife's ae son, an' a mare's ae foal,
Down ye shall fa'."

Byron, who had crossed it as a boy
9 years old, alludes to it in " Don
Juan," and recalls to mind its " one
arch, and its black deep salmon
stream is in my memory as yester-
day, I still remember, though I
may misquote, the awful proverb
which made me pause to cross it,
yet lean over with a childish delight,
being an only son." Old as it is it
withstood the floods of 1829, which
swept away almost all the modern
bridges in this part of Scotland.

Lower down is a modern bridge of
5 arches.



126



Route 51. — Kirriemuir; Cortachy.



Sect. V.



Steamers from Aberdeen to Edin-



Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)Handbook for travellers in Scotland → online text (page 51 of 73)