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and must formerly, when surrounded by water, have been a place of considerable strength. The fact has already been alluded to, that, in 1299, when Sir William Wallace had resigned the guardianship of Scotland and retired to France, the Northern lairds of Scotland sent Squire Guthrie to request his return, in order to assist in opposing the English.
The Castle of Guthrie to which the present laird has added a spire and other castellated embellishments viewed from the south, with the gently undulating hill of Guthrie as a fitting back-ground to the pleasant picture, has a very grand and imposing appearance. Although the antique towers are only seen at a distance, uprearing their lofty pinnacles above the umbrageous woods, the effect produced on the mind is pleasing and classical in the extreme. The castellated gateway is one of the most magnificent in the country. It is a fine gothic structure composed of a graceful arch, flanked with towers and bearing a fine sculpture of the family arms. Guthrie Junction is now one of the most important stations on the great line of railway from London to Aberdeen. In the southern division of the parish, is a Roman Camp, situate about five miles southeast from Forfar. It is one of the most entire of any of the Roman temporary camps that have been discovered. Its length is about 2280 feet by 1080, close to the south-east angle is an enclosure, situated on the highest ground, whence all the rest of the camp is seen. Its gate is covered with a straight traverse, like that of the camp. This camp, on the Polybian system, would hold, it is supposed, 10,000 men.
The church and manse are very pleasantly situated, being on the verge of a declivity, sloping down into the valley through which the Lunan flows peacefully on its course to the sea. The Guthrie arms surmount the gateway of the churchyard, with the initials and date—“G:B. G:1637."
There are some curious mottos on the graveyard stones, not the least curious being the following over the burying ground of a family named Spence :
“Beside this stone lyes many Spences,
Who in their life did no offences ;
In Guthrie's ground four hundred year." Under the head “Brigton," I have given the legend of Sir David Guthrie and Ladye Douglas, and alluded to the fine memorial window erected in the Episcopal church of Forfar by the present esteemed laird of Guthrie, in memory of his father and mother, Joannis Guthrie de Guthrie, and Annæ Douglas de Brigton.
Dr Jamieson gives Guthrie as a Pictish name, and shews its affinity to some Icelandic and Danish names. This derivation of the name is borne out by other authorities, who aver that the Guthries are descended from Guthrum, a royal prince of Denmark, who came to, and settled in Scotland in the earliest era of her history. The oldest spelling of the name is “Guthryn," and the Gaelic Gath-erran, means "a dart-shaped division,” being singularly expressive of the form of the parish.
Francis Guthrie of Gaigie married his cousin, Berthia Guthrie, only child of Bishop Guthrie. This Francis Guthrie being a grandson of Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie, thus, as the direct lineal descendant of the Guthries of Guthrie, reinstated the direct line of the family in their ancient possessions. The provincial couplet still applies to the properties alluded to :
“ Guthrie of Guthrie,
And Guthrie of Gaigie,
And Guthrie of Craigie."
GUTHRIE Arms—Quarterly : 1st and 4th or, a lion, rampant, gu.. armed and langued, az. ; 2d and 3d az., a garb, or.
CREST—A dexter arm, issuing, holding a drawn sword, ppr.
SUPPORTERS—Two knights, armed at all points, with batons in their dexter hands, and the vizors of their helmets up, all ppr.
Morro (Above the Crest)-Sto Pro Veritate.
There's not a cairn or mossy stone,
BIDDING adieu for the present to the classic precincts and beautiful surroundings of Castle Guthrie, we shall now leisurely wend our way over the eastern shoulder of Turin hill, casting an admiring gaze, on our way, at the beautiful Loch of Rescobie, whence the Lunan takes its rise, on our left, with the glorious Howe stretching far away to the west in all its golden loveliness and unparalleled beauty.
We are now approaching the far-famed “Cross Stones of Aberlemno," all the more interesting because of the mythical halo which still encompasses with uncertainty their original (lesign and meaning.
The parish derives its name from the small river Lemno, which has its origin in a spring near the house of Carsegownie. This stream falls into the South Esk near the ruins of the ancient castle of Finhaven. Aberlemno signifies at the mouth of the Lemno. Close to the source of the Lemno the outlines of an ancient church are still visible, but whether this was the original church of Aberlemno or only a chapel attached to the neighbouring Castle of Finhaven, is very doubtful.
. A charter of infeftment of the Thanedom of Aberlenoche, or Aberlemno, was granted by Robert the Bruce to William Blunt, a cadet of an old Dumfriesshire family. (Robertson's Index, 18). Adam, of Anand, a canon of Dunkeld, rector of the church of Monimail, in Fife, 1254-71, appears to have been the proprietor, at that time, of the lands of Melgund in
the parish of Aberlemno. The family held these lands until the year 1542, when the heiress, Janet of Anand, with consent of her second husband, Balfour of Baledmouth, sold them to Cardinal Beaton, who built the Castle of which the ruins still remain. The estate of Aberlemno was acquired in 1845, by Patrick Hunter Thoms, Esq., of the Crescent, Dundee. Melgund Castle was a favourite country residence of Cardinal Beaton, to which, tradition saith, he frequently resorted for other purposes less creditable to the prelate's character, and less consistent with his vow of celibacy than a mere love of retirement or of relaxation from the fatigues of public business. The remains of this castle are still extensive, such as the spacious banquetting hall and other portions of the building which indicate it to have originally been a place of great strength and magnificence.
Tradition avers that Melgund Castle was, for some considerable time, the prison-residence of one of Cardinal Beaton's Mistresses. On one of the landing-places of the stair, which leads to the tower in which she was confined, are still to be seen, in antique characters, the initials M. O. which refer, it is said, to Mary Ogilvy, daughter of one of the most ancient houses in Angus. Her violent death is shrouded in mystery.
Another legend commonly associated with the supposed attempt to build Melgund Castle on a neighbouring hill, and its ultimate erection in its present low, damp situation, in which invisible agencies had the principal share in the demolition of the mythical building, is, in reality, a mere counterpart of the tradition, already related as “Legend of the First Castle of Glamis.'
A subterraneous passage at the bottom of one of the towers of Melgund, although now closed up in consequence, it is said, of a cow having fallen into it some years ago, forms still a subject of mysterious conjecture, in as much as it is believed to be the depository of prodigious treasures of untold value. The fabulous wealth it was believed to contain, induced an adventurous youth to explore some time ago its mysterious recesses. The expectations formed with regard to the great discoveries resulting from his explorations, were, however, not doomed to be realised. On reappearing again amongst his fellows, the only information that could be extracted from him was that" he had gone a great way under ground, and had seen such sights, as, he blessed God, he could never expect to see on earth again !”
Another legend in regard to this mysterious passage, is of a more tragic character. The last laird of Melgund having spent all his fortune in one night at cards, left the room in which he had been playing, and deliberately went with his whole family into this awful pit, and was never more heard of !
Turin hill, the highest eminence in the parish, is 800 feet above the level of the sea. On the summit of this hill, are the remains of an ancient fort, still called Camp Castle. The space occupied by it is considerable, and has been fortified with a double rampart.
The view from this fort is very extensive, and must have been admirably fitted for a watchtower, overlooking the vale of Guthrie to Redhead on the one hand, and the pass from Forfar to Brechin on the other. This camp having been constructed with dry stones, and these not having been fused and cemented by the action of fire, would point to the conclusion that it was only a summer, and not a permanent camp of the Romans.
In the parish churchyard is an antique obelisk covered with hieroglyphics. On one side of this stone is a curious cross in bold relievo, and entirely covered with flowered ornaments. On the reverse, towards the upper part of the stone, is another very much defaced, and having no obvious meaning. Beneath it there are some rudely sculptured figures on horseback, armed cap-a-pee with helmets. Below these there are other three equestrian figures, one of which holds a baton in his right hand, while the others appear in the attitude of encountering him. Also, a little to the north of the parish church, are three ancient obelisks. One of these monumental stones is about eight feet in height, ornamented on one side with a