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Miggle to determine therein, in such a way as may either make the said W. R. obsequious to discipline, or bring him under ecclesiastical censure," &c. It is not recorded, quietly adds the doctor, whether the presbytery rendered the said W. R. "obsequious."
The Isla takes its rise in the Grampians and runs southeast with a rapid current, until it is joined by the sluggish Dean, and the "ireful Ericht," this latter river being com posed of the united streams of the Blackwater and Ardle. Thus increased in its volume of water, the Isla meanders past the church and manse of Bendochy, after which its direction is south-west to the Tay, into which it falls at Kinclaven.
Nearly the whole of the parish having been at one time Abbey lands belonging to the abbacy at Coupar-Angus, there are, as may be supposed, several interesting antiquarian objects in the district. The names of Monk Mire, Monk Callie, the Abbey Mill of Blacklaw, indicate to the present day, the connection which subsisted betwixt this parish and the religious houses at Coupar-Angus. In ancient times there was a chapel at St. Phink, of which a small part of the foundation still remains. Near this place, as also at Pictfield, there were several cairns, below and around which human bones partially burned, bronzed battle-axes, and spear-heads have been found. At Monk Callie, there was also a chapel, and the burying-ground attached is still used as such.
The walls of the "parish church," Dr. Barty relates, "are very old. The pulpit is curious, being carved of oak, resembling John Knox's pulpit at St. Andrews, and evidently of the same era. There is a monumental stone in the back wall of the church to the memory of Nicol Campbell of Keithock, (son of Donald, Abbot of Coupar, and grandson of the Earl of Argyle,) who died 1587, aged seventy. Another in the west passage, (the inscription on which will soon be obliterated) to David Campbell of Denhead, the brother of Nicol Campbell. There are two other stones on the wall of the church, one to the memory of Leonard Leslie, entitled
Dominus de Cupro, Commendator of Coupar, who died 1605, aged eighty-one; and another representing a John Cummin of Couttie in this parish, dressed in a coat of mail, and standing on a dog; the date 1606."
We might now saunter "at our own sweet will," over level haughs and up gently sloping ridges in the lowland part of the parish, towards the confluence of the Ericht and Isla, until we reach the frontier of the Grampians; and then sniffing the mountain air of the Highlands, continue our delightful rambles to the hill of Persie where the wild roe breeds and abounds, and to which occasionally the red deer wanders from the herds of Caenlochan. We might also ply the "gentle art" in the angle of the confluence between the Ardle and Blackwater; or have a shot at the grouse or blackcock as they rise among the heather hills. But we shall, for the present, bid adieu to the pleasant scene; and while our eye again lovingly rests on the quiet, sequestered manse, snugly embosomed in its own little grove of wood," let us listen to the warning voice of its incumbent which issues from its hallowed precincts-"Oh! ye, my successors, lift not up the axe against the trees. Touch not the old ash, that has stood for a century the sentinel of the manse, guarding it from the eastern blasts, and protecting from the storm the graceful birches that weep and wave their graceful branches below."
Since these pages were written, alas! this amiable and learned divine has passed away to his heavenly rest, leaving an odour behind him of rich and pleasant memories, none the least of which is the deeply cherished recollection of the writer's visit to the manse and braes of Bendochy only a few short months before his departure hence. Although feebler in body, he seemed stronger in spirit, his conversation being characterised by all the ardour and exuberance of youth. But his work was done, and premonitions were not awanting that the summons was already on the wing, and the chariot ready!
THE parish of Blairgowrie, which we have now reached, adjoins that of Bendochy, and lies on the north side of the valley of Strathmore, stretching along the gently rising heights till it terminates on the lofty summits of the Grampian mountains. The barony once formed a part of the extensive possessions of the family of Gowrie, and the name is, doubtless derived from the Gaelic word Blaar,- —a place where moor and moss abound, with the addition of Gowrie, as the ancient name of the district.
The parish is unusually rich in lochs, rivers, bridges, and old castles. Of the first there are no less than six, viz. the Stormont Loch, Black Loch, White Loch, Fingask Loch, the Monkmyre Loch, and Ardblair or the Rae Loch. The rivers connected with the parish are the Ardle, and Blackwater, the Lunan, and the Lornty, all these united forming the Ericht, which flows along the north-east boundary of the parish, and
falls into the Isla, as already noticed, at Cupar Grange. There are five bridges in the parish, viz. the Bridge of Blairgowrie, across the Ericht; the Bridge of Craighall, where it recrosses the river; the Bridge of Cally, where it crosses the Ardle; the Bridge of Carsie, by which it crosses the water of Lunan, and the Bridge of Lornty, where the old military road crossed the the Lornty. Of castles, we have Craighall, Lady Lindsay's Castle, of which more anon; Newton Castle, situated close to the town, commanding one of the finest prospects of the great valley of Strathmore; Drumlochy Castle, on the north side of the Lornty Burn, the ruins of a once noble fortress; and at a short distance to the west of Drumlochy Castle on the opposite side of a deep ravine, the imposing ruins of the ancient Castle of Glasclune, which played no inconsiderable part in the bloody feuds between the Herons of Drumlochy and the Blairs of Glasclune.
The scenery around Craighall is of the most romantic and magnificent description, and although confined to a comparatively small compass can nevertheless scarcely be excelled not only as an enchanting but perfect embodiment of all that constitutes the essential elements of grandeur and beauty. Wood, water, chasm, rock are finely intermingled in all the light and shade so dear to the lover of Nature in her grandest displays of panoramic sublimity. There, through a deep ravine of savage rocks, their steep acclivities interspersed with the beautiful foliage of the hazel and oak, dark and sullen flows the gloomy river; up yonder on the higher verge of the cliff like the eyrie of the eagle, stands, or rather hangs, in its lone majesty the picturesque, and now classic Craighall, the prototype of the Tully-Veolan of Waverley. All around the scene is most enchantingly beautiful, and while encompassed with the mystical halo of the past, is pregnant with the tragic events of the present; for while our thoughts revert at first to the Baron of Bradwardine, they converge in the end on that fatal catastrophe by which, a few years ago, a young and blooming maiden met a horrible and untimely death by falling from that
precipitous cliff to the rocky bed of the yawning chasm, full three hundred feet below!
"Another resting-place," says Lockhart, in his Life of Sir Walter Scott, in allusion to the great enchanter's visit to this part of the country-" was Craighall, in Perthshire, the seat of the Rattrays, a family related to Mr. Clerk, who accompanied him. From the position of this striking place, as Mr. Clerk at once perceived, and as the author afterwards confessed to him, that of Tully-Veolan was very faithfully copied, though, in the description of the house itself and its gardens, many features were adopted from Bruntsfield and Ravelstone."
It is rather singular, however, and scarcely in accordance with this confession, that Sir Walter makes no allusion whatever to Craighall in his notes on Waverley. "There is no particular mansion described," he says, "under the name of Tully-Veolan; but the peculiarities of the description occur in various old Scottish seats. The house of Warrender, upon Bruntsfield Links, and that of old Ravelstone, belonging, the former to Sir George Warrender, the latter to Sir Alexander Keith, have both contributed several hints to the description in the text. The House of Dean, near Edinburgh, has also some points of resemblance with Tully-Veolan. The author, has, however, been informed, that the House of Grandtully resembles that of the Baron of Bradwardine, still more than any of the above." As to the garden,—which presented “a pleasant scene"-Sir Walter adds-"At Ravelstone may be seen such a garden, which the taste of the proprietor, the author's friend and kinsman, Sir Alexander Keith, Knight Mareschal, has judiciously preserved. That, as well as the house, is, however, of smaller dimensions than the Baron of Bradwardine's mansion and garden are presumed to have been." The explanation seems simply to be, that, with a few notable exceptions, the great Necromancer, either in his descriptions of men or places, did not slavishly copy any particular person or place, but filled in the details of his pictures from every fitting available source that came under his practised, ever watch