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Annals of Garelochside
Chapter IV - Row Estates; Battle of Glenfruin; Ornithology of Row; Topography of Garelochside


THE lands in the Parish of Row have passed through a number of hands, but are now concentrated in the family of Colquhoun of Luss. Those in proximity to Cardross, namely, the Barony of Malligs, on which the town of Helensburgh stands, were acquired from the Galbraiths by the Macaulays of Ardencaple in the seventeenth century, and in 1705, along with Drumfad and Kirkmichael, were sold by Archibald Macaulay to Sir John Shaw of Greenock. After his death, his daughter sold these, and another portion of the Colgrain estate, to Sir James Colquhoun for 6000 guineas. The old estate of Ardencaple for nearly five centuries was the property of a family who, for several generations, took from the lands the surname of Ardencaple, but afterwards were known in history as the Clan Macaulay. The name of Ardencaple was retained till the time of James V., when Alexander of Ardencaple called himself Macaulay, from an ancestor of the name of Aulay. These lands were the property of barons of that name during the wars caused by the disputed succession to the Crown, and for the independence of the kingdom of Scotland. Enlarging their possessions, the Macaulays of Ardencaple gained the position of a clan, a symbol of power in those days, which depended upon the number of men that could be brought into the field. In Dunbartonshire there were three clans, the Colquhouns, M'Farlanes, and Macaulays. The two latter inhabited the mountainous districts, and often descended on the lands of the Colquhouns in years, gave access to the lonely Glenfruin, the "glen of sorrow," there lies before the traveller some more of the great territorial possessions of the Lennox family now belonging to the Coiquhouns. The earliest charter of the lands of Luss mentions the "Freonc," which stream took its rise from the narrow green valley at the foot of the lofty hill Maol-na-Fheidb, which is a conspicuous object as you sail up the Gareloch. The lands of Strone, close to the Fruin, were acquired in 1517 by Sir John Colquboun from the Earl of Lennox, and now present the appearance of fine green pasture, under the improved hill and sheep farming, where once only the purple heather and green bracken flourished. The adjoining lands of Drumlee belonged, in 1545, to David Colquhoun of Drumfad, a younger son of the laird of Luss, and the contiguous farms of Meikle Auchenvennel, Auchengaich, and Stuckindow, were formed at the same time by John Colquhoun, the last of them being an early possession of the Nobles of Ardardan. The first was, over a century ago, held by a family of the M`Farlanes, but all are now part of the great Luss estate.

Auchenvennell-Mouling, comprehending Ballyvouline and Bally-knock, was the patrimony of a race of MacWValter, who claimed to be of the Lennox family. They continued here until the latter part of last century, when the property fell to co-heirs, from whom the greater part was acquired by James Dennistoun of Colgrain, whose grandson conveyed it in 1825 to Sir James Colquhoun, in excambion for Drumfork. The adjoining lands of Blairnairn seem of old to have passed, along with Kirkmichael Striveling, an early possession of the Stirlings of Cadder, through the usurping family of Keir, to Wood of Geilston, to whom they belonged in the seventeenth century. Their history is uncertain from that period till they fell to the Macaulays, from the last of whom they passed to George M'Farlane, a drover, who sold them for 600 to another M'Farlane, who again convoyed them, in 1833, to Sir James Coiquhoun, for 8000. This was the last of nine properties once held by the M`Farlanes, and now embraced in the Luss estates. Next to Blairnairn Iies Kilbride; this land seems formerly to have been annexed to Bannachra and Malligs estate. Here there once stood a chapel, because the parish church of Cardross was at so great a distance, and it was dedicated to St. Bride, or Bridget, a virgin saint, whose apron was said to spread a holy influence round many a cottage home in that part of Scotland. The lands of Meikle, West, and Little Kilbride, came into possession of the Colquhouns towards the close of the seventeenth century. In the purchase there was excepted the piece of land called "chapel of Glenfruin," and that acre known as Mackenzies' acre, with the houses and yards belonging thereto. In 1802, Sir James Colquhoun acquired Laigh Kilbride. Wester Kilbride was part of the Ardenconnell estate at one time, and these became detached and consolidated in the Luss property. Across the Fruin is the farm of Durling, which, at the time of the Reformation, belonged to the Galbraiths of Culcreuch, and soon after was held by the house of Ardencaple. At the end of the seventeenth century we find there a family of Macaulay, probably a branch of the main house. In the churchyard of Old Kilpatrick, a gravestone is inscribed to Matthew Colquhoun of Durlin, who died in 1690, aged sixty-nine. Durlin, and the adjoining farm of Blairvattan, were added to the Ardenconnell estate, and have since belonged to it. The barn on this land was burned by the M'Gregors during the raid of 1603, and, indeed, scarcely a spot in this secluded glen but has been the scene of some of the strife and turmoil which had so often devastated the district.

This glen, in the year 1603, was the scene of the memorable conflict between the rival clans of Colquhoun and Macgregor, which had such far-reaching consequences. The entrance to the lower part of the glen is gained about two miles out of Helensburgh from the Luss road, and the clear running, sparkling, stream the Fruin is seen emerging from the glen on its course to Loch Lomond. In former years there were numerous inhabitants in the glen, which contained a number of crofters and small farmers, who were gradually absorbed in the larger holdings, when the land became consolidated into the Colquhoun estates. Vestiges of these crofter residences can be traced, and the lands, which the crofters ploughed to furnish grain for their use, can even now be identified by the ridges visible far up the hillside. The few farms scattered throughout the glen are well cultivated, arid their produce indicates that the soil is of varied but excellent quality for ordinary crops. Glenfruin is a scene over which an air of peace and calmness seems to brood, and offers many attractions to the wandering pedestrian, who may roam about this secluded glen gathering inspiration from a spot associated with so many sad and stirring memories.

A certain amount of mystery surrounds the origin of the bitter feud between the clans Colquhoun and Macgregor, and historians differ as to the degree of blame to be awarded to the rival tribesmen, and their respective chiefs. In the year 1602 the forays of the Macgregors upon the possessions of the. Colquhouns were so fierce arid persistent, that King James VI. issued a royal warrant, in which he dispensed, in favour of Sir Alexander Colquhoun, with the Act probibiting the wearing of guns, pistols, and other lethal weapons. The contiguity of their territories also rendered such feuds more incessant, and, at length, their mutual dissensions called for the mediation of their friends. According to the dying declaration of Alexander Macgregor of Glenstrae, the chief of his clan, a great deal of blame rests upon Archibald, Earl of Argyll, who, in January 1593, obtained a commission for repressing the violence of "the wicked Clangregour," but used his power to stir up the clan against his personal enemies the Colquhouns of Luss. Sir Walter Scott, in the introduction to Rob Roy, narrates the story of the origin of the feud between the Macgregors and Colquhouns, as follows:—"Two of the Macgregors being benighted asked shelter in a house belonging to a dependent of the Colquhouns, arid were refused. They then retreated to an outhouse, took a wedder from the fold, killed it, and supped off the carcase, for which (it is said) they offered payment to the proprietor. The Laird of Luss seized on the offenders and, by the summary process which feudal barons had at their command, had them both condemned and executed. The Macgregors verify this account of the feud by appealing to a proverb current amongst them, execrating the hour (Mult dhu an Carbail ghil) that the black wedder with the white tail was ever lambed. To avenge this quarrel, the laird of Macgregor assembled his clan, to the number of three or four hundred men, and marched towards Luss from the banks of Loch Long, by a pass called Paid na Gael, or the Highlandman's pass."

In his interesting historical memoirs of the unfortunate Clan Macgregor, whose proud motto, in Gaelic, is S'rioghail mo dream, or "Royal is my race," Dr. Macleay describes how the chief of the clan, Alexander Macgregor of Glenstrae, went from his country of Rannoch to Lennox, accompanied by two hundred of his friends and kinsmen, for the purpose of endeavouring to extinguish the feud which had lasted so long between his brother and chief of the Colqubouns. The head of the last named clan would seem to have had his own reason for looking forward to an unfavourable result of the interview, and collected a large array of retainers and dependents, along with his neighbours the Buchanans and Grahams, to the number, according to some authorities, of eight hundred men, horse and foot. Macgregor had been made aware of his rival chieftain's insidious purpose, in event of the conference proving abortive, and though he concealed his feelings, yet remained on his guard. In describing the battle, it must be remembered that, in those days, there was no road along the right bank of Loch Lomond, for its banks were so steep and woody that it was not easy to pass along. The road therefore from Dunbarton to Argyllshire passed near the bridge over the Fruin, at the entrance of the glen, and followed the valley to its upper end, along Loch Long to Arrochar, and then turned east to the head of Loch Lomond and Glenfalloch.

The conflict took place not far from the farm of Strone, at the upper end of the glen, where the river Fruin makes a sweeping curve, between the level plain of the valley and the braes beyond. Alexander Macgregor, the chief, had divided his forces into two companies, one of which he commanded himself, and his brother, John Glass Macgregor, the other, which was placed in the ambush, so as to take the Colquhouns in the rear as they proceeded up the glen. For a while the battle was fiercely contested, but the superior valour and tactics of the Macgregors prevailed, and the Colquhouns were forced to beat a disastrous retreat. Emerging from their concealment, the clansmen, under John Macgregor, fell upon their foes, and Alexander, the chief, bore down upon the disorganised fugitives, re-uniting the forces under his own command, when his brother John was slain. The unfortunate Colquhouris were completely vanquished and dispersed, the fugitives being pursued and mercilessly slaughtered, until their scattered remnants gained the shelter of Rossdhu. After the struggle was over, a sanguinary scene of bloodshed and murder ensued, the farm houses were entered and destroyed, their inmates slaughtered, the cattle carried away, and many other atrocities enacted. The language of the subsequent indictment against Alacgregor bore that the victors had seized six hundred kye and oxen, eight hundred sheep and goats, fourteen score of horse, that the houses and barn-yards of the tenantry had been destroyed, and enormous damage done to the "haill plenishing, guids, and gear of the fourscore pund land of Luss." The battle cost the Colquhouns a large number of their followers, estimated between one hundred and forty and two hundred, while the victors, it is alleged, lost only two or three men, one of them John Glass, the brother of the chief. Amongst the slain on the Colquhouns' side were Patrick Napier of Kilmahew, Tobias Smollett, bailie of Dunbarton, David Fallisdaill, burgess there, and his two sons Thomas and James, Walter and John Colquhoun, of Barnhill, and Adam and John, sons of Colquhoun of Camstradden.

Another calamitous event resulted from the battle of Glenfruin, namely, the cruel slaughter of a number of boys from the Collegiate School of Dunbarton, whose curiosity had allured them to the scene of the conflict. When these students, a number of whom were Colquhouns, heard of the expected gathering of the two rival clans, where several of their friends were to be present, they started for Glenfruin. Becoming alarmed for their safety, the Colquhouns, as a measure of precaution, locked them up in a barn, but the victorious Macgregors killed the guard in charge of the barn, and set fire to it, whereby the unhappy boys were cruelly burnt to death. Another account states that, after the guards were killed, the boys were placed by Macgregor in charge of one of the clan, Dugald Ciar Mohr, or the "Dun coloured," who is said to have been an ancestor of Rob Roy. As they were the sons of gentlemen, the chief was anxious, after the battle, to restore them to their parents, and returned to the barn for that purpose. Meanwhile the boys having become noisy and impatient at their confinement, the villain in charge, ready to extirpate the whole race, one after another stabbed them with his dirk. Upon the chief enquiring as to the safety of the youths, the savage guardian drew out his blood-stained dirk, at the same time exclaiming in Gaelic, "Ask that, and God save me." Macgregor, who was struck with horror at the inhuman deed, would have cut down the murderer, but he instantly fled, while the unhappy chief exclaimed that his clan would be ruined. [In Dr. Macleay's Rob Roy the following note is annexed : "This barn stood near the place where the Colquhouns made their first assault, and the site of it is still pointed out. Close by runs a rivulet, the Gaelic name of which signifies `the burn of the young ghosts;' and in the former superstition of the country it was believed that if a Macgregor crossed the stream alone after sunset, he would be scared by some unhallowed spectre."]

Some doubt is thrown upon the whole tragic story from the remarkable fact that the massacre is not mentioned in the various indictments against the Clan Gregor. It appears, however, to be referred to in the record of the Privy Council proceedings against Allan Oig M'Intnach, of Glencoe, who, in 1609, was charged with assisting the Clan Gregor, of Glenfruin, and of having with his own hand there, "murdered without pity the number of forty poor persons, who were naked and without armour."

Such was the disastrous issue of the attempt made by the chieftain of the CIan Gregor to effect a reconciliation with his enemies, and he and his followers returned to their own territories lamenting the evil events which had occurred. Great suspicion seems to have arisen against the chief of the Colquhouns that he had formed the plan of exterminating the Macgregors, while they were in his own country and power. A partial statement, also, representing the Macgregors as a set of murderers, who had sought to destroy the Colquhouns, was shortly after the battle transmitted to Stirling, where King James VI. then resided. Soon after the bodies of the slain were stripped, Sir Alexander Colquhoun presented himself before the King, accompanied by the female relatives of those who fell, each clad in deep mourning, and exhibiting the blood-stained raiment of their kinsmen. King James was greatly moved at the sad spectacle, arid resolved to decree vengeance against the unfortunate clan. By an act of the Privy Council, dated 3rd April, 1603, it was ordained that the name of Macgregor should for ever be abolished; that all who bore it should forthwith renounce the name ; and that none of their posterity should ever afterwards assume the name under penalty of death.

These stirring events have thrown a halo of romance around the peaceful glen, and, of recent years, it has been more visited by wandering tourists in search of the picturesque. The derivation of the name is Gleann fraoin, or the "valley of the sheltered places," and the battle which took place is known in the Gaelic as Ruaig Gleannfraoin, or the "rout of Glenf ruin," according to Colonel Robertson's Gaelic Topography. Flowing from the lower slopes of Maol-na-Fheidh, the Fruin winds its way for 12 miles, until it enters the dark waters of Loch Lomond, passing the lofty Ben Chaorach. On the opposite side the IRow hills gently rise from the valley, until they attain the height of nearly 1200 feet. From the summit of the road which winds up the side of the hill above Faslane bay, the traveller can look down upon the upper part of the glen, with the trees round Strone farm, near where the battle was fought. A little way from the road side, near the house, is a large grey stone, beside which John Macgregor, the chief's brother, who was one of the few slain on that side, was buried. The river Fruin has gathered strength and volume since leaving the high glen from whence it rises, and curves round the head of the glen, beside the wood—a pure stream of limpid sparkling water. Bounded by the river on one side, and the road along the glen on the other, there is a large level field of fifty acres in extent, now given over to natural pasture, though, thirty years ago, it was waving with the golden grain of autumn. A square mound, measuring about sixty feet on each side, crowned with fine, rugged, red, old Scotch firs, marks the spot where were buried the bodies of the gallant clansmen who fell on that bleak morning of early spring. An old wall used to environ the mound a number of years ago, but it has long since mouldered away. There were a good many more Scotch firs, also, that have since succumbed to the wintry blasts rushing along the glen with devastating effect. It is a lonely and impressive ravine, and the imagination kindles over the terrible picture which the now silent glen must have presented that morning as the snow-clad braes around resounded to the wild slogans of the contending clans, cheered on by the piercing strains of each martial pibroch.

"Ever, as on they bore, more loud
And louder rung the pibroch proud,
Then bursting bolder on the ear
The clans shrill gathering they could hear."

The contending warriors would be dressed in the picturesque costumes appropriate to their active vocations and martial exercises, while their arms probably displayed considerable diversity. While the chiefs and their more immediate circle of the Dainhe-wassel, might be "plaidod and plumed" in the gay colours of their respective tartans; the ordinary clansmen would be robed in the belted plaids and kilts of more sober hue, with a sprig of Scotch fir, the badge of the tribe, adorning the Macgregors' bonnets. The former would be flung aside in the heat of desperate strife, so that the dirk and massive claymore, might be used with greater freedom- Arrayed in short Highland coats, doublets and truis, or kilts, their plumed bonnets on their heads, and armed with silver-mounted dirks, pistols, and broadswords, the leaders would be conspicuous amid the closing ranks of the combatants. Possibly some of the leading men might have steel head pieces, with hauberks and shirts of mail, because the use of defensive armour was common in the Highlands; and amongst the weapons of the men-at-arms would be battle axes, spears, bows and arrows, dirks, with an occasional "hagbut," or hand gun of ancient form. Firearms were common enough, even in the sixteenth century, and were freely used at the battle of Langside in 1568, and when Scotch merchants went abroad, they were in the habit of bringing home " hagbuts." This species of weapon was fired with a match, the balls being carried in a bag, while the powder was in a flask, and the priming in a touch-box. But, in all probability, the grey crags and snow-fringed precipices of Glenfruin that morning would re-echo less with the rattle of firearms than with the clangour of steel broadswords, and the fierce cries and ringing slogans of the combatants as they mingled in deadly strife. [Martin, in his Western Isles of Scotland says:—"The ancient way of fighting was by set battles; and, for arms, some had broad two-handed swords and head-pieces, and others bows and arrows. When all their arrows were spent, they attacked one another with sword in hand. Since the invention of guns, they are very early accustomed to use them, and carry their pieces with them wherever they go; they likewise learn to handle the broadsword and target. The chief of each tribe advances with his followers within shot of the enemy, having first laid aside their upper garments ; and after one general discharge, they attack them with sword in hand, having their target on their left hand (as they did at Killicrankie), which soon brings the matter to an issue, and verifies the observation made of them by your historians,- Aut .Mors cito, aut Victoria beta.'"]

A solemn look that night would the glen present to the solitary sentinel watching over the spot where fell so many of the children of that romantic country. On the heights above, just faintly illumined by the wan rays of the moon, the untrodden snow now lay like a shroud, while around the field of battle the lustrous mantle was deeply stained with the gore which, from thence, mingled with the mountain stream. Hushed was the night wind amid the dark plantations of fir, whose feathery boughs were lightly frosted with snow, and the querulous cry of the owl, moping to the moon, or the faint scream of the night hawk, fell upon the ear, as though mocking the moans of the wounded. Many a gallant Colquhoun who, that morning, had freely bounded with springing step over his native heath, lay stretched on his lowly bier. The eyes that flashed so fiercely at the sight of their hereditary foes were now glazed with the cold film of death. Arms and feet were locked together with those of opposing hosts, who imbrued their hands with each other's blood, and the savage yells of the victors drowned the despairing shouts of the vanquished, who were sullenly forced to yield to the superior prowess and skill of their enemy. Slowly the night watch rolled away, and the waning moonbeams faded from each splintered crag, or faintly sparkled amid the Fruin as it gently rippled over its slaty bed, and the cold glitter of the stars shed its glimmering rays over that weird scene of death.

Coming down the glen, the pedestrian, as he looks on either side, will see traces of former houses and farm buildings. At the right side, beyond the stream, there was once the holding and steading of Blairvrean, which ran up to the ridge of the hill. The road skirts the foot of the higher range opposite, and you pass the site of the farm house, surrounded with trees, on Auchengeocb. Next comes Auchenvennel, and its old trees, but the house has disappeared, as well as a small hamlet long passed away. Balknock is the next farm, and here, in the middle of a field, is an old burying place, though beyond one or two flat stone slabs, scarcely seen above the turf, there is little to indicate that this was once used as a spot for the purpose of sepulture. Ballyvoulin farm, with some fine spreading trees round it, is now reached, where many years ago there stood an old mansion, with the avenue of trees leading up to it which still exists. Here a glen opens on to Glenfruin, from whence is derived the main supply of water for Helensburgh, a purling clear stream of water, which is stored in the large reservoir on the moor above the town. On the other side of the Fruin are the lands of Stuckidhu and Durling, on the banks of what is now a beautiful stream, with deep pools of water, where many a fine trout will reward the angler. Once more following the left hand of the Fruin, on the way down the valley, Blairnairn and Kilbride farms are passed, both forming part of the Colquboun estates, with modern farm houses taking the place of the old thatched buildings which stood near the burn. The school in the glen on the small farm of Chapel is now seen; the school house was built in 1840, on the site of a much older building, where the children of the glen received their education. There is no doubt that the old chapel of Kilbride stood close to this, and some of the stones were built into the cottage beside the school, and also into the farm house of Balimenoch just beyond. The school is a great boon to the district, and there are about 15 children in attendance, on an average. Balimenoch farm house was rebuilt in 1872, by Sir James Colquhoun, for Mr. Jardine, whose family for about a century have occupied land in the glen, and who knows its history well. In his young days the road down the glen was devoid of bridges, you had just to ford the stream, and there was a public house beside the school. There was excellent fishing then in the Fruin; he has caught salmon up to 12 pounds weight in the pool near his farm house, and quantities of fine trout. He remembers various dwellings and cottages on the farms, where none are now visible, and has seen far more of the glen under cultivation, and great changes among the tenants of the farms. The old Walk Mill, as it was called, was on the Fruin opposite his dwelling, and did a good business in woollen cloth ; its foundations can still be traced, and the narrow stream for turning the wheel still rushes over the stones where it rejoins the river, above a deep pool sleeping between natural walls of grey rocks. It is a lonely spot, and the banks of the stream are piled with a mass of steep rocks forming a barrier to the naturally calm current. Overhung in many places with birches, hazel, and rowan trees, the blue grey rocks offer an obstacle over which the Fruin pursues its rapid course in a series of small cascades, which fill the warm summer air with their music. All lovers of the picturesque in nature must appreciate the beauty of the course of the Fruin as it passes by reaches of mossy and fern clad sward, grey glistening rocks, and groves of birch and hazel, resonant with the liquid notes of the mavis and blackbird. In the springtime primroses, hyacinths, wild violets, celandine, bluebells, and other varieties of wild flowers give abundance of rich bloom, with a fragrance that fills the air, and the glancing stream makes grateful melody to the ear. Presently the venerable ruin of Bannachra Castle is seen on the right hand, a little below the old bridge over the Fruin, and from this point there is a beautiful view of Loch Lomond and its many islands. [Dr. Messer, of HeIensburgh, in an interesting paper read to the Antiquarian Society, speaks of a hill or mound stretching across the valley, and he believes that at the time of the formation of this rampart of water worn stones, gravel and sand, the Fruin took a different course, and that the water had raised the debris into the shape of a triangular mound. He says, " we find a whole series of such mounds on both sides of the road leading from the Luss road to Dunfin Saw Mill, where the road again crosses the Fruin; while the road from Luss to Balloch cuts through a rampart-like structure, which trends away to Duehlage." He considers the peculiar mounds of ground called "Karnes" have been formed when the great glaciers covered this part of Scotland.]

A considerable number of birds will be observed in the wooded glens bordering Glenfruin and the Gareloch, and an ample stock of game is found on the moors. Even in the gardens of the Helens-burgh villas in spring, the mavis, blackbird, chaffinch, robin, linnet, and others, will be heard pouring out their carols, and in the fields beyond, the skylark's high and prolonged strain of melody delights the ear. The waters and shores of the Gareloch are frequented by numerous sea birds, the heron being a regular visitor in the shallow bays, perched upon a stone all surrounded by water. This shy bird is rather fond of nocturnal fishing, and can be heard uttering his shrill note as he wings his way across to the heronry on Rosneath point. In a calm night he may be observed standing on a rock in a rigid attitude, when, suddenly, his Iong bill is darted into the tide, and emerges with a fish which soon disappears down the long sinuous throat. Gulls of different sorts are very familiar objects, both on shore and inland, following the plough and picking up worms from the fresh furrows. Numbers of them congregate at low tide on the muddy shallows in front of Helensburgh, along with curlews, plovers, redshanks, and sandpipers. Cormorants and oyster catchers are often seen, and the beautiful kittiwake gull, as it lightly skims above the crested waves, uttering its cheery cry. Wild ducks, teal, and widgeon are common enough, at certain seasons, more particularly in the shallow bays near Ardmore Point. Of birds of prey there are but few, the merlin, kestrel, sparrow hawk and barn owl, being about the only feathered visitors of that description. The merlin is a most courageous little bird, with a wonderfully rapid flight, and will fly upwards almost out of sight,, in striving to surmount some snipe or lark. Hooded crows, and an occasional raven, will be met with in the higher ranges of Glenfruin; the former is a specially destructive bird in the way of plundering the nests of grouse and other game which build on the ground. Young partridges, chickens, and even lambs, are not safe from the ravages of this crow, which is particularly obnoxious to gamekeepers. The raven is only to be met with among the precipices of the higher ranges of hills above the Gareloch, and sometimes, of an evening, the harsh croak of a pair of these destructive birds may be heard far up in the gloom, as they wing their way to some inaccessible roosting place in the rocks.

Of song birds there are a good many kinds, and any lover of ornithology will find abundant material for investigation and study. In all the gardens and plantations beside the Garelocb, thrushes, chaffinches, and blackbirds are found, and their beautiful notes resound in the warm evenings of spring. Their nests are known in almost every garden in Helensburgh, and the wonder is that they escape the prying eyes of numerous juvenile bird-nesters, on the lookout for specimens. Away in Glenfruin they are to be met with, the mellow mavis pouring forth his music from the fir tree in that retired scene. The missel thrush is also common enough in the woods and parks, and its nest is only too conspicuous an object in the bare branches of a tree, before the covering of foliage affords a screen from observation. Of the lesser songsters of the grove there are bullfinches and chaffinches in their gay plumage, and uttering their sweet notes incessantly, in their quick flight from branch to branch. The former bird is only to be seen in some of the more retired woods on the lower banks of the Fruin, and on the Garelochside. Linnets and hedge-sparrows abound, the lovely blue eggs of the familiar inhabitant of our hedges being a great temptation to juvenile collectors, and, as it builds early in spring, its nest is an easy mark. The little wren is at home everywhere, briskly singing its clear, lively note, and its nest is found in hedges, at roots of trees, in old walls, or sometimes on the face of a rocky bank among the moss. Golden crested wrens are uncommon, but are to be seen in the fir plantations, and it is remarkable how so tiny a bird can make its long annual migration to our shores from far off climes. Whitethroats and blackcap warblers will be observed where there are sheltering thickets, and they remain later in the season than other warblers, when the rowan berries, which seem to be their favourite food, are plentiful. The siskin and the redpole may be noticed in places where birch trees are numerous, but they are not familiar visitants. Everywhere is to be encountered the robin, so dear to children, and to those who illustrate Christmas cards; be is the first to make his appearance when crumbs of bread are scattered on the window-sills in winter. When all the other songsters have ceased their lays, the simple strain of the redbreast is heard from his perch on some tree, and in late autumn the plaintive melody of the yellow-hammer sounds sweetly among the hedgerows. In early spring, again, the willow-warbler's slender form is seen, darting from tree to tree, uttering its little series of pleasing notes, and telling of approaching summer. And on all the braes near the Gareloch, and in the meadows of Glenfruin, the well known cry of the cuckoo is annually heard.

With the end of April, again, we hail the swallow, paying his welcome visit to our shores, and far away in the lonely glens, wherever the farmhouse or shepherd's hut is situated, there the twittering lively visitor pursues his circling flight. The swift pursues his rapid flight round the church steeples, or in the vicinity of any ruined building, and marvellous is his endurance, incessantly on the wing from "morn till dewy eve," for he never by any chance alights on the ground. No bird has a more rapid flight than the swift, and all the day long their joyous cry is heard high up in the air, for they rarely skim over the ground. On the moors above Helensburgh, and on the upland farms, the friendly peewit, or "peesweep" as it is termed, is heard, uttering his cheery note, generally in small companies, whose motions, as they rapidly circle and wheel round an intruder, have a most pleasing effect. In the fields of long grass, the corncrake may occasionally be seen standing erect, and directing his singular harsh note in all directions, while, in warm summer nights, his peculiar serenade to his mate never ceases till dawn comes. In the upper reaches of the Fruin, and the streamlets which run into it, the beautiful water ouzel, with white spot amidst his black plumage, will often be seen, perched on a mossy stone near some brawling cascade, and his clear piping song is heard above the rushing water. Its nest, under the moist mossy bank, washed by the spray of the fall, is a simple structure, and the eggs are of the purest whiteness. A most interesting bird the dipper is, as he flits to and fro over the stream, sometimes plunging beneath the water, and then lighting on a stone, and shaking the drops off his feathers. In former years, the splendidly plumed kingfisher was was common enough in Glenfruin, and it is now seldom that the goldfinch is encountered, hanging upon some tall thistle, the seed of which in autumn he seems to enjoy. Fieldfares are common, as well as wheatears and sandmartins, whose nests are tunnelled in the sandy faces of old disused quarries. Grey and pied wagtails are to be seen on the burns and marshy fields, flitting gayly from stone to stone in the water, and at other times darting about in the air catching flies ; graceful little birds with bright plumage, and long quivering tail. Different kinds of tits are common, the blue headed one, a quick, lively, little bird which, in winter, will be seen creeping all over the leafless trees in search of insects, sometimes hanging on to the outer twigs in curious attitudes. The great tit, with his singular rasping cry, like a file upon a saw, restlessly moves about the fruit trees in gardens, and also in the woods all along the Gareloch. Starlings abound everywhere, their curious chattering notes, sometimes varied by a low whistle, being heard in every street in Helensburgh, and in the fields and farmhouses they are common visitors. [Birds of Row. In 1S38, Mr. George Campbell, Ardencaple, drew up the following list of birds frequenting the parish, Sparrow-hawk, peregrine falcon, kestrel, merlin, common buzzard, hen harrier, kite, short-eared owl, barn owl, tawny owl, goat sucker, chimney swallow, martin, sand martin, swift, spotted fly-catcher, missel-thrush, field-fare, song-thrush, red wing, blackbird, moor blackbird, European dipper, redbreast, redstart, blackcap warbler, whitethroat, wood-wren, gold crested wren, great titmouse, blue tit, cole tit, long-tailed tit, hedge sparrow, pied wagtail, grey wagtail, yellow wagtail, shore pyet, skylark, yellow bunting, corn-bunting, house sparrow, chaffinch, mountain finch, siskin, goldfinch, common brown linnet, green grossbeak, bullfinch, crossbill, starling, raven, carrion crow, hooded crow, rook, jackdaw, magpie, jay, common creeper, wren, cuckoo, ringdove, common pheasant, black grouse, red grouse, partridge, heron, curlew, redlshank, sandpiper, woodcock, snipe, jack-snipe, dunlin, corn-crake, gallinule, coot, oyster catcher, turnstone, water ouzel, green lapwing, golden plover, ringed plover, bernacle goose, sheldrake, wild duck, teal, widgeon, scaup pochard, goosander, horned grebe, red-throated diver, bill auk, common gull, herring gull. The erossbiIl had only been recently observed in the parish, and it was co-incident with an unusual abundance of fir cones, the peculiar food of this bird.]

Great have been the changes in the appearance of the parish of Row since the year 1830, when the lands began to be feued, and steamers regularly made the voyage from Glasgow to Garelochhead. Starting from the Loch Long end of the parish there was an old farm house, with thatched roof, at Finnart, and a similar one at Arddarroch, both of which have long since been demolished, and the two modern residences, which are seen amidst their surrounding plantations, were built, about the year 1830, by Mr. Burn the architect. Whistlefield, which stands at the brow of the ridge between Loch Long and the Gareloch, was then a small public house, frequented by drovers, who were conducting cattle to Portincaple, whence they were ferried across Loch Long. They had come by the old drove road which led above Finnart, along the high ground at Garelochhead, always keeping well up the sides of the hill, and avoiding the modern impositions of tolls. Here and there, traces of the old road may yet be seen, but it has long been disused. Portincaple is a small cluster of cottages, where a few fishermen prosecute their calling in the dark waters of Loch Long. Returning to the road which runs down from the brow of the hill to Garelochhead, on the left hand, near the burn, are traces of the old meal mill which, long ago, used to stand there, with a few thatched cottages in the vicinity. At the foot of the road, near the shore, is the boundary between Rosneath and Row parish.

The villas which constitute Garelochhead now come into view, for the little cottages tiled or thatched, which in former years sheltered the inhabitants, have nearly all disappeared. Several of the older natives can remember when there were no slated houses at the head of the loch, except Bendarroch, which was built about 1833, and Fernicarry. Some old cottages used to stand at the entrance to Bendarroch, and a few others near the Inn, which, fifty years ago, used to be a three storey house, and, after being burnt down, was built in its present form. Just beyond the Inn there was formerly the tollhouse, a small public house, one of the numerous humble hostelries, where whisky used to be dispensed to all and sundry. On holidays the IWaverley,

[The children's rhyme in those days ran as follows:—

"The Waverleij, so cleverly,
Plies on her course with speed;
Six times a week to Helensburgh,
And three to Garelocbh.eed."]

the James Oswald or Clarence would bring numbers of excursionists, who were landed sometimes in the steamer's own boat, as also by the ferryboat, for there were no piers in those days, and the steamer was made fast to a buoy.

Walking along the shore you pass the pier, built 1845 on nineteen years' lease, by Mr. M'Farlane, so long the tenant of Faslane. In former years there were good large sailing boats, owned by Archibald Niven, that took passengers arid goods both from Garelochhead, Rosneath, and Row over to Greenock. Faslane bay is soon reached, and here the sides of the loch are well wooded, with grassy slopes leading up to the heather hills above, and handsome villas are seen gleaming amidst their surrounding plantations. Faslane house is a little way back from the middle of the bay, the former residence of the Macaulays, and latterly of the Colquhouns of Luss. A good way down from the house, near the shore, there stands the old oak tree, under whose boughs, according to tradition, the crowing of a cock presaged the death of a Macaulay. The name of the spot Cnoch-naCullah, or "Knoll of the Cock" seems appropriate to the legend. An irregular pile Faslane is, the front having been built 1863, the portion behind about 1745, and a still older small structure in the rear. There is a rolling stream, with many a dark eddying pool, and foaming cascade, which runs past the house into the peaceful bay. In former years the Colquhouns of Luss lived at Faslane, for a short time in summer, as a sort of marine residence, occupying the older part of the mansion.

The present tenant of Faslane is Mr. John M'Farlane, who is now at an advanced age, and during his long residence on the Garelocb he has gained the regard of all who know his eminence as an agriculturist, and his worth as a man. His grandfather came to Faslane, in 1785, from Glenfruin, and three generations of the family have tenanted the farm, with other holdings in Glenfruin and Arrochar. Many interesting reminiscences Mr. M'Farlane can give of his lifelong connection with the district, and the changes which he has seen on the shores of the Gareloch. When he was a boy, all along the loch, until you came to Ardencaple Castle, there were only, here and there, thatched cottages, with the exception of Ardenconnell, and three or four farm houses. In his early days nearly every farmer grew flax, which went through several processes on the farm, all except heckling, which was done in Greenock. It came back to be spun in the house, and then was sent to the weaver to be made into linen. The "lint dub," as it was called, was a circular pool of water near Faslane house, in which the lint was steeped and afterwards dried on the grass. In those days the wages of the farm servants were less than a half of what they now receive, sticks were gathered in the woods for fuel, and the old fashioned "cruisie" gave a feeble light. Rude candles, with rashes for wicks, were manufactured out of the sheeps' fat; there were no butchers, not even in Helensburgh, and the farmers killed their own beef and mutton. In summer the lambs were killed, and in autumn several families would join together in laying in the supply of salted meat usually provided by the farmers from their cattle. Salt was heavily taxed for common use, but no duty was levied on the salt used for curing herring, and the salt cart regularly appeared in the herring season.

Letters delivered by post were few and far between, and the postman carried his bag between Helensburgh and Garelochhead—a duty latterly performed by the well-known "Jenny the Post." Shops on the loch side were almost unknown, but there was one at Shandon, kept by Mrs. Comrie, for sale of teas, tobacco, and groceries, brought by the carrier's carts. Bread came from Helensburgh, occasionally, in vans, and the steamers landed small wares and stores in the ferryboats. There was a smith's shop at Helensburgh, and one at Garelochhead for the requirements of the wide district. The schoolmaster —Bain by name—at Garelochhead, resided in Helensburgh, and made his perambulations to and fro, and being addicted to botany, used frequently to diverge from the road, to the detriment of the expectant children. At Rowmore there was a character known as "the sodger," who lived in one of the thatched cottages, and the old toll-house, at the head of what is now Balernock pier, used to sell spirits, being a favourite "howff" for the aforesaid man of war, and others in quest of alcoholic conviviality, and libations of "mountain dew" leading to hilarious uproar.

There is still living in Dunbarton, in his ninety-second year, Mr. John Bell, who, along with his father, has for many years been a cattle-salesman in the county, and frequently visited the Gareloch. The old drove roads in Dunbartonshire and neighbouring counties were well known to him, though now most of them have been long since disused, and their grass-grown track can scarcely be distinguished amidst the heather and bracken. Many a time has he been round the Gareloch, and driven cattle across the Rosneath peninsula, transacting business with those famed agriculturists, Lorne Campbell of Portkill, long Chamberlain of Argyll, and Buchanan of Ardenconnell. Eighty years ago it was a work of some difficulty to transport a large drove of sheep from Argyllshire to Carman market, near Dunbarton, but the drovers had ample time at their disposal, and had plenty of friends to see. In those days the old Lennox territory on the Gareloch, most of which is now adorned with handsome villas and smiling gardens, garlanded with flowers, was a bare stretch of heath-clad pastures, with an occasional thatched cottage indicating the presence of inhabitants. About the year 1818 Mr. Bell took part in one of the old-fashioned conventicles, on a Sabbath day, near Garelochhead, where there were then a few scattered buildings. The Cameronian minister of Kilmalcolm, whose name was McLauchlan, had procured the old Dunbarton steamer, and a contingent of persons joined at Helensburgh, Dunbarton, and other places, the preaching "tent" being set up on a hill-side commanding a fine view of the loch. The day turned out very wet, but having been announced several days before, there was a numerous company, though the impression left upon Mr. Bell's mind was that the proceedings partook rather too much of a scene of conviviality and excitement, by no means of a spiritual character.

Smuggling was extensively carried on, many a still was in full swing, and Mr. Bell can recall some of the incidents when the officers of Excise, accompanied by dragoons, proceeded on their mission of investigation. Even some of the farmers in the county practised this demoralising trade, and, on one occasion, a well-known innkeeper on the loch side liquidated a debt owing by him, by proceeding to his garden and digging in the ground, when a cask of fine old smuggled whisky was disinterred. In Dunbarton, the smugglers who had been caught in their operations used to be confined, often for weeks at a time, in the old Tolbooth in the High Street, nearly opposite the Elephant Hotel. Here those awaiting their trial contrived to pass a pleasant enough time, and were divided into messes of five each, one acting in his turn as cook, and excellent broth, beef, and potatoes were prepared in the comfortable room, in which were two large fire-places, one at each end. Whisky was also procured from the outer world by means of a string, to which a stocking was attached containing an empty bottle, being lowered from the window, and hauled up again with the requisite supply of the national beverage. With a complaisance only too common, the jailer winked at those proceedings, and was even known, at a time, to leave the door of the prison unlocked, so that the beleaguered inmates could enjoy a short outing by way of relief to the monotony of their enforced sojourn. All along the shores of the Garcloch there were glens in which smuggling went on, and, under cover of night, the casks of whisky would be stowed safely in small boats, which were able to get up the mouth of the burns, and from thence the contraband article was rowed away and landed under the Castle rock at Dunbarton, or possibly taken to Greenock and distributed amongst the various inns and public-houses. There are still one or two old men living on the Gareloch side who have similar tales to tell, but few have their memories so alert and vivid as the aged tenant of Faslane, who, from his windows, can command a fine view over the loch and the hillside on which his long life has been so happily spent.

Crossing the burn at the back of Faslane House, the old burying place, round the picturesque ruins of the ancient chapel, is seen on the slope of the field, a sequestered and beautiful spot,with oak and ash trees throwing their shade over the mouldering walls, all mantled with wallflower and creepers, and the upper end of the enclosure is rank with long grass. An ash tree of some size has long grown within the crumbling walls, and spread its great boughs over the ruins, while the roofless structure offers free entrance to wintry gales and summer zephyrs alike, with rushing wailing sound. Thorns and briars protrude their encroaching roots from the lower parts of the wall, and a mournful air of forlorn solitude pervades the scene. Here and there, concealed by the long tufted grass, a moss covered stone indicates where repose the remains of those laid at rest, centuries ago, in this lonesome field. Tender memories, doubtless appealing to many, hover round this silent house of the dead, and in the calm summer evening, towards the witching hour of night, the sweet lay of the mavis resounds amid the ruins. The erection of Faslane chapel, apparently of most uncertain antiquity, may probably date from the rise of the family of Lennox, whose piety was undoubted, as was their munificence as donors of property to the early church. Under their auspices, the chapel of St. Michael may have aided in diffusing the light of the Gospel throughout the surrounding country.

A little way beyond, passing by some grey and gnarled beeches, and an old drying kiln, near the murmuring stream, while the field slopes steeply up to the moor, the site of the ancient stronghold or castle of Faslane is reached. It lies in a wooded glen, at the junction of two fern-fringed, mossy banked burns, amidst the oak coppice which clothes the glen, and conceals its windings, until it is lost in the abrupt declivity of the hills. \Vhen you come to the spot, small dark pools of water are seen gathering at the foot of the miniature cascades, which conduct the stream over gleaming facets of slaty rock. Where the two burns meet there is a mound, now thickly clad with trees, which is supposed to be the site of the former abode of the old Lords of Lennox. From this there is a fine view of the Gareloch and its verdant shores, with the leafy promontories at its lower end, and the quiet bay of Faslane in the foreground. Nothing now remains in the vicinity of the once formidable keep to shew that here stood a tower of strength, and place of warlike defence, against the beleaguering foes who might cluster upon the eminences around. It is not easy to conjecture where the large number of retainers, who congregated round the old feudal castles, could well have found their dwellings in the immediate vicinity of Faslane. The bowmen and men at arms would be in the lower part of the building, the rest of the men who turned out, on warlike occasions, would, no doubt, be armed with target and broadsword, for it must be remembered that in those early days there was Iittle wealth in Scotland, and few could indulge in the splendour of a complete suit of armour. The steel bonnet and leathern jacket were common, and the breast-plate would be of armour, while, after the sixteenth century, firearms came into play, and hagbuts, harquebusses, culverins and pistolets, formed part of the defensive covering worn by warriors. This secluded glen must have resounded with the warlike clangour of the mustering followers of the proud Earls of Lennox, and, where now the peaceful swain tends his flocks and herds, there would be seen the armed bands of the chief, gathering round the long silken pennant of war as it fluttered in the breeze.

From the moor above the glen of Faslane there is an easy ascent to the summit of Alhaol-na-Fheidh, which rises to the height of 1934 feet above the loch, and the equivalent of which in English is "round hill of the deer." No doubt the easier and more direct road up to the summit is from the village of Garelochhead, commencing the ascent from beyond the railway station. Very soon you find yourself on the springy heather, after passing some rough grassy stretches, thickly covered in parts with rushes and bog myrtle. Here and there will be noticed some of the ice boulders which are encountered in this locality, one in particular, is deeply grooved with glacial marks on its surface. Birch trees cover the lower glades of the hill, and traces of an old drove road may be seen, while an occasional whirr of the grouse, or cry of the moorcock, falls upon the ear as the birds are startled from their repose. After a time the climb becomes more arduous, and one rounded height succeeds another until, not far from the top, there is a stretch of peat hagg, strewn with shells and white quartzose stones. Then a steep grassy face leads up to the summit, and from its broad eminence there is a grand view over the adjacent valley and surrounding mountains. [Birds.—Ptarmigan are sometimes seen in this district, but especially in Glenfalloch direction, on Ben Duchray and Ben Oss, and also in Glen Douglas, near Arrochar, peregrine falcons used regularly to build on the summit of a lofty inaccessible crag. The stately and splendid osprey, with his graceful aerial flight, used to frequent the rained towers on one of the Loch Lomond islands.]

A far reaching and varied prospect is gained both over the Gareloch district and away to the distant confines of Perthshire, in one direction, with the remoter islands beyond Argyllshire in the other, and Loch Long and Glenfruin at your feet. A grand expanse of mountain, moor, loch, and heathery glade, steep corries and boulder strewn glens. Specially striking are the lofty, jagged peaks of Arran and Mull, the former looming dark and shadowy against the sky line, while the rugged outline of Mull seems like a solid mass of dense purple clouds. On some of the distant peaks the sun rays are sleeping, giving a pyramid of light against the encircling shade, while others are scarce seen in their gloomy sublimity amid the haze of the horizon. Gleams of bright lustre indicate the smooth lake with its silvery strand, and waving woods of dark firs clothe the rounded outlines of the lesser heights. Right down below there are the steep pastoral slopes, dotted with sheep, that rise from the winding Glen Macarn, lonely and green, the road leading towards Luss showing like a narrow thread in the quiet valley. It meets the upper reaches of Glenfruin, whose lower part blends with the meadow lands on the banks of the river. Loch Lomond is partly descried, from Luss towards its southern end, and the islands which chequer the calm waters of this beautiful loch. Balmaha, with its craggy sides and rocky heights, shows across the loch, the woods around Buchanan, the great expanse of open country towards Stirling and the Ochills. Casting the eye round by Fintry and the high hills in that direction, the glance rests upon the shores of the Clyde in all their beauty. Ardmore, that dusky headland, stands out, with the fainter outline of Dunbarton rock beyond, and on the opposite point is Rosneath Castle and grounds, with a gleaming stretch of water between. Only the lower part of the Gareloch is visible from the summit, but the long unbroken ridge of the Rosneath peninsula, intervenes between the former loch and Loch Long, with two shining patches of water on the higher ground.

Away towards the Cowal mountains, round the Holy Loch and Dunoon, there is more of shadow, and Bute and the Cumbraes seem blended together in a mass of darkening haze. Through a gap in the ranges of Loch Goil, there emerges the crest of Ben Cruachan, and the grey granite crags of that stern landscape tell of its desolate wildness. Sweeping round by the high peaks, near the head of Glenfallocb, Ben Vlore, Ben Lui, Ben Ledi, and mighty Ben Lawers, are standing in isolated grandeur. There is that sense of freedom and vastness which an extended view, such as this, yields to the lonely spectator, who surveys from his coign of vantage a sight so noble and diversified. The name of this hill shows that, apparently, at one time the deer had ranged up and down these deep glens and wooded straths, but they have long ceased to frequent these heights, and the valleys are given up to sheep and cattle.

Beneath the dark shadows of some of these stately peaks, towering over the undulating country below, strange scenes have been enacted, and the memory kindles at the thought of many moving deeds. What from afar seems a hollow, wreathed in blue mist, placid and undisturbed, long centuries ago witnessed an awful struggle amidst the din of clan warfare and the riot of predatory foray. Beneath these distant precipices there sleeps the dark tarn, over whose coldly gleaming surface the lambent sunlight rarely plays. Perchance the suicide's despairing frame may have sunk to dreary repose beneath the icy wave, as with desperate resolve he plunged into those depths that gave not up their dead. While but a little way down the unfrequented valley, past winding meads bordered by mossy sward, gay with flowers and spangled with irridescent dewdrops, beneath ivied towers and vernal groves of clustering trees, there leaps joyously to the ocean a sparkling, foaming river. Lightly floating amid the evening breeze, the airy gossamer flings its filmy tissue over the quivering tendrils of the tiny harebell and wild sweet briar. Fine pictorial effects of alternate light and shade are seen on some of the bracken-circled lochs, as the sunlight falls upon grey streaks of rocky veins, blended with softer knolls of grass and fern, while the white sail of a solitary yacht for a moment arrests the eye.

Returning to Faslane bay, the house known as Belmore appears in the midst of a flourishing plantation, near the road. There stood in the early part of the century two thatched houses at the turn of the bay in front of Rowmore, and others at Chapelton, near the old church, some of which were inhabited by weavers, and others by farm-labourers. One of those at Belmore was the abode of a noted smuggler, Campbell by name; indeed, too many of the cottagers were addicted to this illicit, but fascinating, employment. There was a public-house beside an old ash-tree on the shore side of the road, which was said, at one time, to have been kept by a descendant of the Macaulays of Ardencaple. Belmore was originally built, soon after 1830, by a fisherman of the name of M'Farlane, and was a small two-storeyed house, and some years afterwards was sold to Mr. Honeyman, who added considerably to the plain structure. Subsequently it was acquired in 1856 by Mr. M'Donald, who remodelled the mansion, giving it the handsome appearance which it now has. In those days the loch side presented a wild scene of nature—whins, sloes, wild roses, and the indigenous copse woods and shrubs of the district, abounded on the hillside, with a few older trees and belts of plantations on the farms. Meikle and Laigh Balernock, Letrualt, Blairvaddick, and Tor, the farms which succeed one another on the way to Helensburgh, then showed none of the modern villa-residences which now are planted on their lands. West Shandon, where now the palatial Hydropathic establishment stands, was then a small cottage, added to by the eminent Robert Napier, [West Shandon. Mr. Napier got permission to alter the road at this point, and at great expense built the high retaining wall, with its ornamental balustrade, concealing the road altogether from the house, and forming a conspicuous feature as seen from the passing steamers on the loch.] who purchased it and reared the fine Gothic mansion, so well known as the residence for many years of that pioneer of the famous Clyde shipbuilders. Shandon House, which lies beyond, fifty years ago was a plain, substantial structure, which had been built as a summer residence, on a three nineteen years lease, by Mr. Ogilvie of Carron, with over forty acres of land attached. Afterwards the late Walter Buchanan, so genial and popular, and who for a number of years so worthily represented Glasgow in Parliament, lived at Shandon, which had been burnt down, and rebuilt in its present tasteful architectural form.

The earliest of the villas at Shandon was Linburn, built sixty years ago by Samuel M,Call, well known as an honourable Glasgow merchant, and also esteemed a good deal of a "character" by the dwellers on that side of the Gareloch. His white silk stockings, old-fashioned stock, long-tailed coat, and carefully starched ruffles, bespoke the old beau of bygone years, so dear to the caricaturists of the early Victorian days, and his cuisine had gained a reputation which was confirmed by the aristocratic proprietor and guests at Ardencaple Castle. The old gentleman was very particular in the straight line of his avenue, the formation of his walls, and the symmetry of his garden. A little previous to this the villa, known as Berriedale, now occupied as a "Home" for poor children, had been built by a Macaulay, and subsequently bought by Mr. Sinclair of the Caithness family, who named it after the title of the eldest son of that ancient house. It is on the shore, between the road and the beach, on a narrow strip of ground, and Mr. Sinclair began, though he did not finish, both Croy and Broomfield, now conspicuous amongst the villas on that side of the loch. Above this, on the hillside, is seen the large mansion of Blairvaddick, which at first was an old-fashioned, square, two-storeyed house, with attics, and was enlarged by James Buchanan of Ardenconnell, who resided there; over thirty years ago it was pulled down by the late Sir James Anderson, who reared the existing structure. Fiunnery, where lived the well known family of Macleods, who have given so many eminent scions to the Church of Scotland, is one of the prettily embowered villas on the Shandon shore, and was the loved abode of Dr. Norman Macleod. Broomieknowe, and Altdonaig, near the entrance to the "Whistlers Glen," the former where Sir James Watson resided, an esteemed citizen of Glasgow, and latterly its civic head,—are passed as you approach Row. The two latter houses, at one time, formed the dwelling and part of the extensive buildings of a large company of distillers, and many a cargo of malt liquors has been taken from the little cove which used to be at the mouth of the burn. The existing house of Altdonaig was for a time, when it had ceased to be occupied as a malt house, the place in which the early Free Church congregation assembled for worship, in the stirring "Disruption" days. James Glen, the joiner of that, period, who also was a crofter, built the middle portion of Broomieknowe, and the distillery was known as Altdunnalt, and the coals, barrels, stores of malt, and other requisites all used to be landed at the mouth of the burn, which was sufficiently enlarged to admit of boats lying there at high water. At the back of Altdunnalt was a row of workmen's houses, and two other cottages stood near the road a little to the west of Broomieknowe, also the house, shop, and stable of one of the proprietors of the distillery. At the back of the cottages was an old, never-failing, spring of water, arid farther on was another well, known familiarly as the "Clash Well," from the fact of its being a place of resort for the gossips of this now bygone hamlet. A little nearer Row was an eminence, a green bank, well clad with grass, above the strand, known as the "shelling hill," from the fact of the farmers and crofters sometimes, in fine weather, winnowing their grain at this point.

From this height easy access is gained to the romantic glen, formerly called Aldonalt, from the Dualt burn, which runs through the glen, a rugged gorge, full of birch, fir, ash, oak and hazel trees. It is easy to gain the summit of the glen by keeping above its shelving banks, and peering down through the overhanging trees, the silvery stream is seen glancing over its slaty bed frequently gathered in deep pools, overhung with mossy stones, and steep breasts of rock. Every now and then, a fine peep is gained of the Gareloch, hemmed in with its tree covered slopes, and its background of rounded hills, the long tongue of gravel at Row forming a barrier to the plashing waves. When you descend into the leafy recesses of the glen, and look upwards and downwards at its sinuous course, its romantic beauties must strike the wanderer in this cool retreat from the hot sunshine of a long summer day. On all sides its steep, mossy, and grassy banks are gay with the flowers which, in their seasons, adorn the spot ; primroses, violets, bluebells, hyacinths, honeysuckle, and many varieties of ferns, mosses, and ivy. A delightful spot for the artist or lover of nature, for the combination of rippling waterfall, glistening rocks, and long leafy vistas of tender, green undergrowth, offer innumerable subjects for the artist. In addition to the beauties with which the bountiful hand of nature has embellished the glen, it has, for the lovers of the legends of fancy lore, a story of a woman in gray, visible when the moon is at its full, hanging over a dark linn, at the head of the valley, where it emerges from the moor, and sometimes moaning, to the sad accompaniment of the fitful night breeze, over her long lost lover, whose body was found close to the haunted pool.

This glen was, in former days, the scene of a considerable industry of slate quarrying, and the old roads, for carrying away the slates, can be distinctly traced on both sides of the stream. The refuse from the workings fills many parts of the hollow, and old faces, where the slate was cut, are seen on the slopes of the glen. One of the last of the workers lived in a sort of natural cavern, which he managed to form into a rude house, or "bourach," the site of which is to be seen. He was known as Duncan "of the bourach," from his place of abode, and here he lived and brought up his family. At the spot known as the "tongue of the glen," where the Ardenconnell and Succoth glens meet, there is a great heap of debris from the slate works. Parts of the latter glen are very steep and rocky, and the unseen stream is heard rippling over its pebbly bed far below. The visitor is rewarded for his exploring of the Succoth glen by beautiful bits of scenery, and, if he knows where to look for them, harts tongue, lady fern, and other less common species, will reward his search. This place was a favourite site for smuggling operations, and before the railway cutting had interfered with the seclusion of the glen, there was to be seen one of the complete, built-in stills, and, fire places, where the illicit work was carried on. The curious thing was that it was not thought criminal or disreputable to engage in this contraband trade sixty years ago. It was quite customary for young men to hire themselves out to smugglers for six months, just like farm servants at a feeing market. On one occasion when the dragoons captured a large barrel of whisky, and lodged it in an outhouse at the Row Inn, while they went inside to enjoy a refresher for the journey to Dunbarton, the smugglers ran off all the whisky by starting a hoop, and substituted water in the barrel, after which they got clear away, and the theft was only discovered when the contraband goods came to be examined.

On the farm of Torr, in a plantation near the Succoth glen, there is to be seen probably the last remaining smugglers still, in situ, all just as it was left, when used sixty years ago. The place for the water barrel is surrounded by large stones, where the malt was steeped beside the still, and the tunnel for the smoke, leading from the fire-place, is over twelve feet long, the very stones showing traces of fire,—all are in a wonderful state of preservation considering the rude and hasty way in which the smugglers erected their plant. Up above this wood, where the field joins on to the moor, there are some sweet, secluded spots, hollows carpeted with the finest turf, and their mossy banks scenting the air with wild thyme and violets, white saxifrage overspreading the velvety turf, with primroses, bluebells, meadow sweet, and a bright parterre of wild flowers.

On the side of the "Whistler's Glen" nearest Row is the fine old wood surrounding Ardenconnell house, a solid plain mansion of grey coloured stone, built more than a century ago by Mr. Andrew Buchanan. It has a fine commanding position, and, from its front there is a wide prospect of mountain, moor, and loch. The beech and oak trees are of great size, and give an air of antiquity and dignity to the old mansion, which is a conspicuous object in the landscape, as seen from this point. In former days the Ardenconnell garden used to run down as far as the field at the back of the church, and the tracks of the walks of the garden are distinctly marked on the field. No houses were then built on Row point, which was covered with turf, and afforded good pasture for cows. Passing by the old church of Row, and the few red-tiled cottages facing the green, the Inn appears, with the building known as "Row House" adjoining, which had been erected by James Buchanan of Ardenconnell, who subsequently lived in it. The whole row of buildings, as they now face Row bay, with the exception of the substitution of slates for red tiles, look much as they did in the early part of the century, but two or three thatched cottages, which stood where is now Inchalloch gate, have disappeared. The road was a rough track, thickly bordered with wbins, brambles, and wild roses, and, passing what used to be known as "Spy's lane," after one of that name whose family has long occupied a respectable position in the Row district, the view is opened up of Cairndhu point, with Rosneath bay opposite, and the promontory of Ardmore in the distance. None of the handsome villas, now nestling amidst the leafy slopes of Row, were in existence in 1830, for there was no pier, and the long avenue, with fine beech trees on either side ending where the pier now stands, led up to Ardenconnell, the only mansion, until you came to Ardencaple. In 1833 Toodstone was built, and Rowmore, Ardenmore, Dalarne, Rosslea on the point, and others, followed in rapid succession, until we have now the modern summer resort of Row.

The geologist will find much to reward his glance over the shore and rocks at the point of Row, or Rhue as it was formerly spelt. Even when the tide is nearly at its full, there is generally a strong ripple, sometimes in windy weather a crest of small breakers, showing where the long tongue of land projects from the bay over the narrow channel, and giving the Gareloch its placid, inland lake appearance. In all probability, ages ago, the whole Gareloch was filled with a glacier, and its "terminal" moraine would be where the point now is, and the clay and gravel, which the glacier discharged from its end, gradually formed the natural rampart that almost bars the entrance of the sea. [The tide at Row point is often dangerous, the water is deep, the crossing risky. A few years ago, one pitch dark night, a gentleman's carriage, horse, and the unfortunate coachman, in a mysterious way which has never been cleared up, got into the deep water and were never seen again. A solid, fixed beacon at the end of the point now shows, at night, a bright revolving light.]

While summer throws its mantle of lovely green over the landscape, still the view from the shingly strand of the Row promontories, in early winter, has also a peculiar charm and beauty. The loch is pervaded by a dull, leaden hue, contrasting with more intensity against the snowy slopes above, and the fitful gleams of sunshine lying in patches on the hills beyond Glenfruin. Delicate effects of light and shade are displayed from the sun rays striking upon the rugged ridges of rock and scaur outlined against the snowy surface beyond. On a sudden, the sun suffuses the misty cloud on the summit of one of the far off peaks, then glints down into the intervening valley, and just touches the summits of the mountains above Arrochar, all arrayed in their snowy garb. Near Loch Goil the hills are partly illumined, and partly obscured with gathering shade, while all the lesser heights on the Rosneath shore are lit up by the slanting sun rays, where the bare and skeleton woods streak the undulating slopes. Then are noticed the old furrows far up the hillsides, as the fleecy snow indicates their form, the hedgerows have caught and retained the flakes of snow, and the dark masses of fir are also powdered with the glittering rime. The yellow bracken rises in patches out of the snow, gleaming in russet beauty in the sun, and the fringe of larches and firs on the ridge of the moor, through which the glinting rays of light penetrate, look soft against the background of misty uplands. Some of the fields are bare and destitute of colour, as if the wind had swept them of their wintry covering, while long stretches of sunshine streak the lower part of the hills near Garelochhead, the upper peaks hardly seen in the waning light. In many parts the trunks of trees look gaunt amid the lustrous sheen of the surrounding wintry landscape. Each rough dyke or turf-covered wall seems to stand out in relief against the white surface of the ground around, dark masses of purple heather crown many a swelling height, and a calm pervades the scene. An occasional glint of sunshine rests for a moment on the pale grey boughs of the silver fir and birch, and tips the crests of the topmost trees, and the red withered leaves of the beech rustle at times in the wintry blast. The glistening, green ivy imparts colour to some of the bare stems of older trees, and the mossy mantle, clinging like an emerald velvet robe to the grey wood, gives additional warm tints.

Sometimes, on a winter morning in December, beautiful effects of light and shade will be observed in the sky, and also in the reaches of water about Row bay, and in the opposite bay of Campsail. Towards the high hills beyond Loch Long the background is misty, but a large opening in the cloudy canopy seems to illumine the sky over Glenfruin. This has a delicate pale grey hue, and is bordered with faintly moving fringes of vaporous clouds, and it grows brighter and brighter, with delicate streaks of red gleaming athwart the sky, which now begins to show a lovely silvery grey. The water near the shore is of a leaden colour, the dense dark reflections of the trees sleep in the loch, all along the shore of the Mill bay, and the hulls and masts of the boats are black and motionless. The crossing ferry boat casts a sombre shade against the glassy lambent tide, and there is a wondrous play of glistening sheen on the surface of the water. The white seagull, for an instant, poises with tremulous pinion, and then wheels gracefully away, and in the middle channel the circling eddies of purple water catch the ripple of light. Subtle gradations of silvery lustre, faint violet tints, and subdued greys, all combine to make a picture of marvellous beauty. Nature seems to be gradually awakening, and the deepening crimson in the eastern horizon bespeaks the coming of the rolling orb of day, and the rainbow-tinted spangles of dew on each spray of fern and ivy glitter as they are suffused with the morning light.

At the corner of what used to be known as "Spy's Lane," there stood formerly a row of four thatched houses, which were known as the "shore houses of Laggarie," but were pulled down, and the existing cottage, belonging to Mr. Watson, Inchalloch, [Inchalioch. This name seems to have been mentioned in the Report of the Commissioners for the Valuation of Teinds, in 1630, as a parish, though it long ago merged into Cardross. It is believed that the confusion was caused by a portion of the actual parish of Inch-Cailliach, on Loch Lomond, having been at some remote period attached to the parish of I:osneath, when Inch-Cailliach was broken up.] was built, and sixty years ago was a public-house. Proceeding up the lane, the old Ardenconnell Avenue is reached, at the end, forming now the public road. The road going up the hill leads into what is known as the "Highlandman's Road," and which passes from the Row Church over into Glenfruin. In the beginning of the century this road led directly from the church, past the front of the manse, in a line which can be still faintly traced, with old trees on either side, and took a somewhat steeper line than at present through the Laggarie grounds. There were old houses, both at the side of this road, know as Laigh Laggarie, and further up, not far from where the railway station now stands, called High Laggarie, one of which, a humble structure, thickly overgrown with ivy, is still to be seen. It was here that the last of the famous Macaulays of Ardencaple died in the year 1767, Pursuing his way upwards, the pedestrian has on his left the upper ranges of the hills on the Row side of Glenfruin, and on his right the Ardencaple policies and the Torr farm. In the early spring this is a pleasant stroll, and many varieties of mosses and ferns, cuckoo flowers, celandine, lilac gentian, woodruff, heartsease, primroses, and hyacinths, well reward the botanist. Coming down by the hazel and birch clad dell near the Glenan burn, many

sweet and verdant patches of greensward are passed, as, following the sparkling streamlet, the visitor skirts the end of Ardencaple, and arrives at the Woodend farm in the west of Helensburgh.

Returning to the cluster of houses which constitutes the village of Row, and standing at the end of the narrow strip of land, once known as the "Ferry Acres," now clothed with a plantation of fir trees, in which, a dozen years ago, a colony of rooks established themselves,—the view has many features of interest. Rhu Lodge, built early in the century by Lord John Campbell, has lost the picturesque aspect which it used to present, when covered over with a thatch of heather. The ferry was a busy scene for days when Carman fair was in the era of its glory. Droves of cattle would come across from Argyllshire, by way of Ardentinny and Rosneath, and horses would cross at Row ferry, by the simple process of making them swim over after the ferry boat. On the left hand was the old church and schoolhouse, where amongst other teachers was the unfortunate John Arrol who, in the year 1160, was murdered by a man named Cunningham, who resided in Dunbarton. The murderer afterwards confessed that he had paid Arrol the sum of thirty pounds, a debt which he owed, and, having got a receipt for the money, stabbed his victim to the heart with a knife, and, after hiding the body for some time in a disused chimney, he took it one dark night to the Leven and sunk it in the stream. Cunningham was suspected from the first to have murdered the poor schoolmaster, and, after the body was recovered from the Leven, he was asked to undergo the trial by touch, from the universal belief that if the murderer touched the body of his victim, the wound would bleed afresh. Cunningham, however, declined the ordeal, but his conscience gave him no rest, until he had confessed his guilt. Arrol's grave is in the south-east corner of the parish church yard at Dunbarton, with the inscription, "Here Lyes the body of John Aroll, schoolmaster, at Ye Row, who Died Februar the 2nd, 1760, aged .52 years," followed by a Latin inscription.

On the grassy bank below Woodstone, near the shore, the curious in such matters will find a square stone, with a hole cut in the centre, and the four sides cut away, to all appearance having once been the socket of an upright beam of wood. Antiquaries have inspected it, gravely advancing theories to account for its peculiar shape, but the most probable and prosaic one is that it was used to support a flag staff set up when the Queen and Prince Albert anchored off Helensburgh in 1847. However the local gipsies and tinkers used the stone as a sort of washing basin, when the exigencies of their wandering life required such a ceremony. At the head of Row pier, is the entrance to what, for nearly a century, was the avenue gate of Ardenconnell. Formerly it was known as the " white yett," from the fine hewn pillars supporting the gate, and old beech and ash trees on either side can be followed all the way up to the mansion. It is now a public road, with villas here and there in the woods adjoining, and forms a delightful, shady promenade in the heat of summer. Opposite is Row pier, a massive structure, built of huge blocks of stone, superior in strength and solidity to any similar pier on the Clyde, and the venerable form of Angus Colquhoun, a splendid specimen of a highlander, is rarely absent from his post on the arrival of the steamers. Angus is known far and near, and invests the familiar operation of catching the ropes with a dignity unattainable by the minor pier guardians at other Clyde resorts. The "Lagarie Croft" was the field now occupied by Armadale Villa, and, a little way beyond, on the road side, was the row of thatched houses, known as the "Shore houses of Torr," in which lived the labourers on that farm. There used to be a yair opposite Lagarie, and fish have been taken from it less than sixty years ago, but most of the stones were used in building the sea wall below the road, and only a few are left. A little way beyond Lagarie there stands, on the road side, the old Ardencaple Inn, now a private dwelling house, but, at the beginning of the century, a place of resort for travellers posting to and from the Argyllshire Highlands. The Duke of Argyll built it when the old and humble edifice, which did duty as an inn at Cairndhu point, was pulled down, and which, for a time, served as the stables for the new inn.

Ardencaple Castle is certainly the most interesting of the old residences on the Gareloch, and stands on a fine site overlooking the entrance to that beautiful sheet of water. The old castle is an irregular pile of buildings placed on a massive foundation, all covered over with thick ivy. Part of the structure dates back to the fourteenth century, but there is not much in the architecture to attract the notice of the antiquary. There are several vaulted chambers, dark and dismal, in the lowest part of the old castle, which probably go back to a very remote date. The fine old trees around the castle give it an ancient look, in harmony with the wooded landscape and moorland background. In front of the castle is the projecting headland known as Cairndhu, [There were two or three cottages near the shore known as the "shore houses of.Ardencaple," in one of which dwelt the Duke's fisherman, from whose name the point was long known as "Neddy's point."] where the old inn and outhouses used to stand, but which is now known as Kidston Park, from the fact that it was purchased and presented to the town of Helensburgh by members of the family of that name. Helensburgh owes a deep debt of gratitude to the Kidstons, who have resided there for several generations; the first of the family, Richard Kidston, having filled the office of provost of the Burgh in the year 1836. Of his three sons, William, Richard, and Charles, the first mentioned was, for many years, a well known and prominent figure in ecclesiastical, social, and political circles—a most generous friend to education, a philanthropist of wide sympathies, and one who wrought incessantly for the good of his fellowmen. Only one member of the family still survives, the friend of the friendless, the gentle and devoted promoter of many Christian works.


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