Adam and Charles Black (Firm).

Black's picturesque tourist of Scotland (Volume 2) online

. (page 13 of 33)
Online LibraryAdam and Charles Black (Firm)Black's picturesque tourist of Scotland (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


is also well worthy the attention of the tourist. At Scriden,
a mile beyond Sannox, a large portion of the mountain has

who accompanied Bruce to his retreat in Rachrin, seems in the spring of 1306 to
have tired of his abode there, and set out accordingly, in the plirase of the times, to
see what adventure God would send liim. Sir Kohert Boyd accompanied him ; and
liis knowledge of the localities of Arran appears to have directed his course thither.
They landed in the island privately, and appear to liave laid an ambush for Sir John
Hastings, the EngUsh tiovernor of Brodick, and surprised a considerable supply of
arms and provisions, and nearly took the castle itself. .... When they were
joined by Bruce, it seems probable that they had gained Brodick Castle. At least
tratlition says that from the battlements of the tower he saw the supposed signal fire
on the Turnberry ncok."— Note to Lord of the Isles.

The earldom of Arran was the marriage dowry of James I.'s eldest sister on her
marriage to Sir Thomas Boyd, a court favourite. On the disgrace of the Boyds, Sir
Tliomas was divorced from his roval spouse, and the princess' hand, with her earl-
dom of Arran, was bestowed ujjon Lord Hamilton, in whose family it has remained
until this day.



ARUAN — LOCn RASZA.



431



fallen from above, strewing the long declivity with immense
masses of ■ fragments ; and the spectator can scarcely avoid
making a hasty retreat from a torrent of rock which seems
about to overwhelm him with its ruins.

Loch Ranza, 12 miles from Brodick, is about a mile in
length, and one of the great stations for the herring fishing.
A few huts noar the castle form

" the lone Lamlet, which tlie inland bay
And circling mountains sever from the world." +

The ruins of the castle stand upon a small peninsula near the
entrance of the loch. In the year 1380 it was enumerated
among the royal castles, as a hunting seat of the Scottish
sovereigns. Near it is the burying-ground of Clachan, where
the remains of St. Molios are interred. The figure of the saint
is sculptured on the tombstone, which is said to have been
brought from lona. The Convent of St. Bride, the lonely
abode of the maid of Lorn, in the " Lord of the Isles," occupied
a site near the castle ; but all traces of the place are com-
pletely sAvept away. To the back of the loch is " the steep
Ben-Ghoil" and the two beautiful glens, Chalmadael and Eeis
na bearradh.

Returning to Brodick, the only place of much interest on



* ITINERARIES.



Brodick to Glen Rosa, 3 niilcs; Glen

S^annox, oi.
Brodick to Locli Ranza hy Corrie and

Glen Sanuox, 12 miles.
Brodick to top of Goatfell by road hcliind

iuu, G mdes.



Brodick to Goatfell by Glen Rosa, return-
ing by Glen Sannox, li miles.
Miles.

:? Glen Rosa.

2 Goatfell top.

I Glen Sanuox head.

H Glen Sainiox toot.

l' Road.

1 Corrie.

4i Brodick.



Miles.

Brodick to Lanilash, and Kildonan
Castle.
I Road on right up Glensheraig to

west side of the island.
1 Glendoy on right.
Ij Springhank farm-house and Birkgleii

on right.
3 Clacldand Point on right ; Taii-iehOls
on left.

5 Kilbride Manse on left.

6 Lamlash — Lamlash Bay, Holy

Island, and Rosshill, on left.
7J Road on ri'.'lit to luhnoiy.

8 King's-cross Point on left.

9 Whitina; Bav, lelt.

10 Glen Ashdaie, right.

1 1 Lear-a-beg Point, left.
13 Kildonan Castle, left.
loS- Plailda Island on the left.



T Lady of the Lake.



432 ARGTLESHIRE, ETC.

the south-east coast of the island is Lamlash, six miles from
Brodick, [Inns: Kennedy's; Bannatyne's] — which is situated
in the middle of a semicircular bay, sheltered by the Holy Island
— an irregular cone, 900 feet high. This bay forms an ex-
cellent harbour for the accommodation of ships of all sizes.
The Holy Isle was once the site of an ancient cathedral, said
to have been founded by St. Molios, a disciple of St. Columba,
and the cave in which the saint resided is said to be seen on
the sea-shore. In the interior there is a shelf of rock which
formed his bed. and on the roof a Runic inscription made known
his name and office. He spent the latter part of his life at
Loch Ranza, where he died at the advanced age of 120 years,
and his remains still repose in the buryiug-ground of the
Clachan.

At the head of Glens Alaster and Meneadmar, which extend
from behind the village of Lamlash, may be seen the remains
of an ancient Druidical sepulchral cairn, measuring 200 feet in
circumference, and which is believed to cover the ashes of
those who fell in a battle fought upon the spot, as on removing
some of the stones several stone coffins were found buried under-
neath. At the southerly point of Lamlash Bay (three miles from
Lamlash) is King's-cross Point, whence Robert Bruce is said
to have embarked for the coast of Carrick.* On the other side
of the point is AVhiting Bay, and a mile from Learg-a-Beg is
the valley of Glen Ashdale, where there are two cascades, one
above a hundi'ed, the other above fifty feet high.

Arran possesses many specimens of rude sepulchral pillarsj
urns, stone chests, cairns, dunes, circles, and cromlechs, which

* There are a number of places in this island traditionally connected with the
romantic career if King Robert the Bruce. Amon;; others is what still goes by the
name of the King's Cave, and which is said to have been the place of his abode on
liis first arrival in the island. This is situated ;ibout a mile from the road, at Blaek-
Nvaterfoot, a little to the north of the basaltic promontory of Drumidoon, on the
west coast of the island. On the wall at the entrance are inscribed the letters
M. D. R. ; and at tlie southern e.\treniity is still to be seen a rudely cut hunting-
scene, said to have been executed Iw the fugitive monarch, as a representation of
liis own condition when this lonely cavern was the place of his abode. The cave is
11-i feet long, 44 broad, and 47^ high. Someof the adjoining caves are equally hu-ge ;
one is called the King's Kitchen ; another his cellar ; a third his stable; and the
hill above the caves is called the King's Hill. At the northern side of this hill, on
tlie farm of Tor more, are the remains of a very perfect and interesting Druidical
circle, called Sindlie choir Thionn, or Fingal's Cauldron-Seat.



AURAX — GEOLOGY. 433

mark the common origin of the Celtic tribes. An erect monu-
mental stone by the roadside at Brodick, and two in a iield not
far distant, are particularly conspicuous for their magnitude
and position.

The greater part of the shores of this island may be considered as
formed of red sandstone. This sandstone is tolerably continuous from
Brodick to Kiklonan Castle, where it is obscured or displaced by a body
of trap, and it is found to reach to a considerable distance in the interior
of the island.

The rocks which form the next most conspicuous tract on the shore,
are of a schistose nature, and of various composition ; and they are found
along the whole line from the lorsa to I.och Kanza. To the north of this
place they retire within the outer belt of sandstone, occupying a narrow-
space between that rock and the granite in some parts, and, in others,
intruding into several of the valleys wliich descend from the high moun-
tain group of the nortliern division of the island. But they are not found
beyond Brodick on the eastern, nor the lorsa on the western side ; a
tolerably decided mineralogical line being here drawn between the two
divisions of the island ; and the sandstone only, or latest stratified rock,
being common to both.

Tlie lofty summits of the northern division consist entirely of granite ;
which, to whatever known depths it may extend, rarely occupies the
valleys or lower skirts of these mountains, which are formed either of the
schists, or of the sandstone strata already described.

In general character and aspect, it resembles in some places the well-
known granite of Comwall, witii which it also corresponds occasionally
in mineral structure. It is often disposed in prismatic and cuboidal
forms, or rather, may be considei-ed as a solid and extended body split
into masses of such configuration.

The fine-grained granite found on the western side of the granitic
district, forms the entire mass of Ben-huish, Ben-vearan, and some otlier
hills, occupying, in consequence, the Glen of Catcol as well as the otiier
neighbouring valleys. In the upper part of this valley the rock is occa-
sionally prismatic, and on a much more minute scale than as it occurs
under that form in Caime na caillich and other places on the eastern side
of the moimtains; since the prisms, which present a Viir3dng number of
anales, frequently do not exceed a few inches in diameter.

It is difficult to give any accurate idea of the districts occupied by the
several kinds of rock which constitute all that part of the southern divi-
sion of the island which is not sandstone. The gently rounded forms
or flat surfaces of these hills are so favourable to the accumulation of
soil, and that soil is so concealed by deep tracts of peat and the luxuriant
growth of heath and other moor plants, that the rocks are seldom accessible.



4M ARGTLESHHtEj ETC.

Gkeekock to Oban, via DusooXj EothesaTj Akdkishaig,
and the Crixax Caxai..

The jotjniey aE the way £nnB Glasgow oceopies abcrat twetre horns.

Leaving Greenock Quav. we discern in the distance the
amphitheatre of the Argyleshire and Ihimbartonshire moun-
tains, and the various majestic Talievs which admit the waters
of the sea. Of these the most conspicuous are the beautiful
Gareloch, with its ducal palace embowered amid ancestral
trees ; Loch Long, darkening as it ascends beneath the frown-
ing shadows of the Arroquhar hills, and at length almost
mingling its briny flood with the sweet waters of Loch Lomond ;
the Holy Loch, a solemn-looking place, where the noble femilj
of Argyll has its burial vault. This last named loch is directly
opposite Greenock, on the coast of Argyle, and is surroimded
by steep and picturesque hills. On the point cf land between
Loch Long and Holy Loch, is Strone, a modem watering-place.
which might be termed an extension of Kilmun. This latter
place is undoubtedly one of the finest on the Clyde, and is
easily accessible from Greenock or Dunoon. Behind the parish
Church are the ruins of the Collegiate Chapel, founded in
1442 by Sir Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe, ancestor of the
Argyll family, and where they have their burying-place. The
walks and drives to Loch Eck,* Glen Messen, and Glen Lane,
and other places in the neighbourhood, are numerous and
highly picturesque There is excellent trout and salmon fish-
ing in the Echaigh, a stream that issues from Loch Eck, and
£al]s into Holy Loch at its heai

Opposite Kilmun is the village of Sandbank, after calling
at which, the steamer passes the beautiful mansion of Hafton
(Himter, Esq.\ and rotmding the point on the right, it skirts
along the coast studded with the villas of

Dcsoos, 3 hours' sail from Glasgow,
[/««»• Aigyle; Tictoria. Popnlatiaii, 2229.]

One of the largest and most fashionable summer residences on

the west coast,

* There is a verr pleasant road from Kfmitm to InverarT by the banks (rf Locb
Eck, a distance of la miles, and conveyances may be had at the Eilmim hoteL



The Ca. :.. .. ^ . .:,tct-

looking tlie pier. w£.: i sa^iVQg

fortress. 7- : -; - —

by Boberc I

Awe, - -

seaii

becam . ' _ -._-

comEi 1 i,,

iSiii m ' . _ - tT>*



is ab<j ai afsee'5: miles Iqiq^. ib » stniga:



::i 15 tsiree mue



Arr^Ii-



acres, bnfe is aow ctJiLi^



BUTE — ROTHESAY CASTLE. 437

it has been compared to that of Devonshire. In consequence
of this, the island is resorted to by consumptive invalids, as
well as for summer quarters.

The Marquis of Bute is the chief proprietor of the islanil.
His seat is Mountstuart, beautifully situated on the cast side
of the island, about four miles from Rothesay, the capital of the
county of Bute. Rothesay is situated at the head of a deep
bay, on the north-east side of the island, where there is safe
anchorage ground for vessels of any size and any wind, and
room enough to contain a very large fleet.

Rothesay Castle, once the residence of the kings of Scotland,
is situated in the middle of the town. It originally consisted
of a circular court, 138 feet in diameter, surrounded by a wall
eight feet thick and seventeen feet high, with battlements.
It had four towers, and was surrounded by a wet ditch. It is
supposed to have been built about the year 1100, though the
particular date is not known. It is first mentioned in history
in 1-228. and Heulbec, king of the Isles, was killed in besieging
it in 1263. It was taken possession of by the English during
the reign of John Baliol, but surrendered to Robert the Bruce
in 1311. King Robert the Second built a palace adjoining the
castle, and frequently took up his residence in it betwixt 1376
and 1398, when he created his eldest son Prince David Duke
of Rothesay, a title which the Prince of Wales still bears.
This was the first dukedom conferred in Scotland. On the
12th January 1400 Robert granted the charter of erection of
the burgh of Rothesay. He died in the castle of Rothesay on
4th April 1406, and was buried in the Abbey of Paisley. This
castle was burned by a brother of the Earl of Argyle in 168o,
and has since remained in ruins.

There are several remains of druidical monuments on the
island, but the chief or most entire is at Langalchorid, in the
parish of Kingarth.

There are three small villages — Port Bannatyne, situated
at the head of Karnes Bay, about two and a half miles from
Rothe.'^ay ; Kerrycroy, near Mountstuart, the seat of the Mar-
quis of Bute ; and Kilcattan Bay, situated on the south side
of the island. The natives formerly spoke the English and
Gaelic languages indifferently, but now English chiefly
prevails.



438 ARGYLESUIRE, ETC.

The two principal walks or drives in the island are : —

1. Across the island by Port Bannatyne and Karnes Bay
and Castle to Etterick Bay, 5 miles.

2. To Loch Fad, Dunnagoil and Kilcattan Bays, returning
by the shore and Mountstuart, 10 miles.

Leaving Rothesay, and continuing our course towards
Ardrishaig, we enter the Kyles of Bute, a sound or strait lying
between the northern part of the island of Bute and the coast
of Cowal in Argyleshire, and forming a passage from the mouth
of the Clyde to the mouth of Loch Fyne. Loch Straven and
Loch Ridden, two arms of the sea, run up into the mainland
on the north, and are both remarkable for the beauty of their
scenery. On the eastern shore is Gortanloisk, and on the tongue
of land formed by these two lochs is South Hall, the seat of
John Campbell, Esq. The finest scenery lies at the mouth of
Loch Ridden, where the channel is contracted by four small
islands. On one of these, called Eillaugheirrig, or Red Island,
are the ruins of a fort garrisoned by the Earl of Argyll in ie85,
when, in concert with the Duke of Monmouth, he attempted an
invasion of the kingdom. At the head of Loch Ridden is Ormi-
dale, where a new pier and handsome hotel have been erected
by the proprietor for the convenience of feuars. To the north
of this is Glendaruel, a wide valley, the property of Archibald
Campbell, Esq., watered by the River Ruail, a capital fishing-
stream.

The Kyles are terminated towards the west by Ruban Point,
passing which the steamer halts for a few minutes at Tayna-
bruich Pier, and then emerges into the open space between
Lament Point on the mainland, and Etterick Bay in Bute.
On the left, off the west coast of Bute, is the islet of Inchmar-
nock, with the ruins of a chapel. On turning Lamont Point,
Ardlamont, the seat of the ancient family of Lamont of Lamont,
is seen on the right ; opposite, on the left, is the peninsula of
Cantire, and to the south, the hills of Arran. On the coast of
Cantire on the left, at the promontory of Skipness Point, are
the ruins of Skipness Castle, a structure of great antiquity,
supposed to have been built by the Danes.

The peninsula of Cantire, stretching away southwards, on
the left is joined to South Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus,
formed by the western and eastern Lochs of Tarbert. Pictu-



ARDRISIIAIfi CRINAX CANAL. 439

I'csquely situated at the head of the latter is the fishing village
of Tarbort {Inn : I slay Anns), presided over by the ruins of
an old castle. The access to the pier is very contracted, owing
to projecting rocks and islands, among which the steamer has
to thread its way with great caution. During the herring-
fishing season an immense number of boats collect here, forming
a most lively scene. The two Lochs Tarbert encroach so far
into the land, and the extremities come so near each other,
that there is not a mile of land to divide them ; so that at one
time it was not unusual to drag boats across from the one side
to the other.

The steamer now enters the mouth of Loch Fyne, which
here, however, displays none of those picturesque features to
be found near Inverary, and there is little to attract the
tourist's attention until he arrives at

Ardrishaig.* [Iloiels : Ardrishaig ; Commercial] the south-
eastern terminus of the Crinan Canal. There are a good
mauy houses in the village, and several villas of tasteful de-
sign have been erected at the south end. Lochgilphead village
is on the right, at the head of the arm of the sea of the
same name, and on the opposite side of the bay is Kilmory
Castle, the seat of Sir John Ord. The tourist now takes his
seat in the canal boat, which is dragged along the Crinan
Canal at a tolerably rapid rate by two horses. This canal,
formed to avoid the circuitous passage of 70 miles round the
Mull of Cantire, is nine miles in length, with 1.5 locks, and the
passage occupies two hours. Two miles from the sea-lock, on
the left, is Auchindarroch (Campbell, Esq.), and on the right
the Bishop of Argyle's chapel and palace. At Cairnbann
[Inn: Archibald M'Nab] there are nine locks to pass through,
each of which occupies seven minutes, or about an hour alto-
gether. Passengers generally get out and walk to the ninth
lock. Cairnbann Inn, which is very neat and comfortable, is
a good station for anglers. Loch Awe is ten miles distant.
The river Ard and several small lochs are also in the neigh-
bourhood, and afford good trout fishing.

From the ninth lock, all the way to Crinan, there extends

* Five liours' sail from Glasgow, 2 miles from Lochgilphead, llj from Tarbert,
26j ironi Inverary, 49 from Campbeltown. Carts are in waiting to convey luggage
to the canal-boat, to wliich passengers must walk.



440 ARGYLESniRE, ETC.

a vast plain, on the rising ground to the right of which is
Poltaloch House (Neil Malcolm, Esq.), a residence which is
said to have cost ^100,000. Poltaloch estate extends in some
directions as far as forty miles in one continuous line. Before
reaching the terminus of the canal, Bellanach village is passed
on the left. On the right, on a picturesque rock, which be-
comes an island at high water, is the old village of Crinan ;
and beyond it is seen Duntroon Castle. The new village of
Crinan is the north-western terminus of the Crinan Canal ;
and here again carts are in waiting to convey luggage to the
Oban steamer.

Upon the right, on the opposite side of the bay of Crinan,
backed by rugged heights and mountains, is the modernized
castle of Duntroon (Malcolm, Esq.), and northward, on the
same side, Loch Craignish, a fine arm of the sea, intersected
by a chain of beautiful little islands, covered with ancient
oak-trees. The sail from Crinan to Oban occupies 2^ hours.*
The steamboat proceeds through the Dorishtmore or Great
Gate, between the point of Craignish and one of the chain of
islets just mentioned. Islay, Jura, and Scarba, are now in
sight to the left westwards, and between the latter two islands
is the dreaded whirlpool of Corrivreckiu —

" WTiere the wave is tinged with red.
And the nissct sea-leaves grow,
Mariners, with prudent dread,
Shtin the sbelring rocks below.

" As you pass through Jura's sound.
Bend your course by Scarba's shore;
Shun, shun, the gulph profound,
Where Corri^Teckiu's surges roar." t

On the south are the shores of Knapdale, and to the north
the islands of Shuna and Luing, with Loch Melfort opening to
the right.

Passing through the sound of Luing, between the islands
of Luing and Scarba, there is a view of Benmore, 3170 feet
— the highest mountain in Mull. Two miles from the point
of Luing is Blackmill Bay, opposite to which is the island of
Lunga. Three miles further north is the slate islet of Bal-

* Dinner is served on board immediately on leaving Crinan— charge 3s. 6d. each,
t Leyden's Mermaid — Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol. iv.



GLASGOW Oil GREENOCK TO INVEKARY. 441

iiahuay, and further to the west the Garveloch Isles. The
steamer now enters the sound of Cuau, which runs between the
northern extremity of Luing and the island of Seil, a beauti-
fully-diversified passage of about three miles in length. The
circular islet of Easdale, celebrated for its slate quarries, is
separated from the island of Seil by a very narrow strait,
through which the steamer also makes its way.

The precipitous shores of Seil on the right descend in great
columnar masses right into the sea, which is here very deep,
and of a dark colour. The steamer keeps close to the shore,
passing on the left a small island called lunishcapel.

On arriving in front of Kerrera Island, the mountains
of Mull, on the left, appear to great advantage. Loch Feo-
chan also opens on the right, disclosing to view the broad
shouldered and double-peaked Ben Cruachan. On approach-
ing nearer to the island of Kerrera, the ruins of Gillean
Castle, once one of the family seats of the Macleans of Duart,
may be seen a little to the left, while on the right is passed
the house of Macdougall of Galanach. This island forms a
natural breakwater to the bay and village of Oban,* where in
good weather the steamer arrives at about 6 o'clock p.m.
Passengers for Inverness continue in the steamer, and go on
about 40 miles further, by Fort-William to Bannavie Inn.
This it reaches about 8.30 p.m. Passengers start next morning
by Caledonian Canal for Inverness.

GLASGOW or GREENOCK to INVERARY.

There are several ways of reaching the capital of Argyle-
shire. One of the most pleasant is by Loch Lomond, striking
off at Tarbet, and proceeding from thence by Arroquhar and
Glencroe, or the tourist may go on to Loch-Lomond head, and
take the coach from thence by Dalmally and Loch Awe.
But the most common way is by steamer t from Glasgow or
Greenock up Loch Long to Arroquhar or Loch Goil-head.

Supposing the tourist to adopt the steamer route by Loch

* For a description of Oban, sec page 453.

f Leaving Glasgow every morning, and Greenock every forenoon— see Time Tables.
The steamer route, by Kyles of Bute, Ardrishaig, and Loch I'j'ne, described page
418 to 439, is tedious and not equal in attractions to the others.



442 ARGYLESHIEE, ETC.

Long to AiToquhar or Loch Goil-head. on leaving the pier of
Greenock a sail of about half an hour brings him to the mouth
of Loch Long, an arm of the sea, about 24 miles in length, and
about 2 in breadth, which, striking off from the Frith of Clyde,
at first in a northerly, and afterwards in a north-easterly
direction, separates the counties of Argyle and Dumbarton.
At the entrance to the loch are the villas of Kilcreggan and
Cove, two new watering-places built along the shore, the situ-
ation of which is convenient and salubrious.

Beautifully situated in a bay on the western shore of the
loch, is Ardentinny, celebrated by Tannahill's song of " The
Lass o' Arranteenie." The Kilmun Hills * extend south-
eastwards, while Ben Cruchan rises majestically on the north
of the bay, beautifully diversified with rocks, wood, and
heather. Ardentinny House, a seat of the Earl of Dunmore,
stands on an extensive green sward at the foot of Ben Cruchan,
and close by is Glenfinnart, the residence of A. Douglas, Esq.

Leaving Ardentinny, and proceeding seven miles north wards,
we reach Argyle's Bowling Green, + a mountainous peninsula, a
confused and irregular mass of mountain summits of most
picturesque appearance, interspersed with huge rocks, caverns,
and frightful precipices. From this upwards. Loch Long is
not more than a mile in breadth ; and in sailing up we have
an excellent view of the Arroquhar range of hills, which present
so formidable an appearance when descending upon Loch
Lomond from Loch Katrine. Conspicuous among these is



Online LibraryAdam and Charles Black (Firm)Black's picturesque tourist of Scotland (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 33)