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Rambles Round Glasgow
Cambuslang and Dychmont


THE boy-life of town and country are often compared, when conclusions are generally drawn very much to the disadvantage of the former. On the one hand, we are shown narrow lanes and filthy closes, noisome streets and evil influences without number; on the other, are enchantingly depicted green fields and sunny braes, clear gushing streams, and the sweet fellowship of birds and flowers. In the one picture there is a sad predominance of shadow; in the other there is a decided "excess of bright." "What a dreary waste," we have heard remarked, "must be the memory of a town-bred man !" He has no langsyne recollections of paidlins in the burn, or gowan-gatherings on the bloomy braes; he cannot boast an old acquaintance in the belted bee, nor tell of joyous associations linked with the wild bird’s song. Now, while admitting that there is too much truth in the contrast thus presented to us, we feel convinced, after looking "on this picture and on that," that the condemnation of town "raising," as Jonathan might call it, has been by far too sweeping. Nor are we prejudiced in the matter either way, having been ourselves, as we may say, neither a town nor a country boy, but a partaker to a considerable extent in the character of both—our early home having been in a suburban situation.

"Stone walls do not a prison make,"

nor does a residence in the city necessarily imply confinement within its boundaries. Town boys are continually making raids into the surrounding country. They know well when the first flowers begin to blow, and when the birds commence to build their nests. There are but few schoolboys, for instance, even in the very heart of our own wide-spreading town, who do not know the season when the blaeberry assumes the purple die of ripeness, or who could not guide you where the blackboyd hangs in autumn its jetty fruit. Every individual accustomed to walk in the outskirts of our city must have observed numerous bands of these tiny adventurers going or returning from their devious expeditions, loaded with

"Scarlet hips and stony hairs,
Or blushing crabs, or berries that emboss
The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere;
Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite
Disdains not"

So strong indeed, and so general, is this rambling propensity in the boyhood of our city, that we know of spots even at five or six miles’ distance from the Cross, which, in the time of nests, and at the period when the wild fruit is ripe, are perfectly thronged with the little pale-faced vagabonds. To gamekeepers and farmers far and wide these outpourings of urban juvenility are peculiarly ventious, from their destructive effects on woods and fences; yet the lover of his kind will look with a charitable eye on their occasional depredations, and the philosopher will even see a wise provision of Nature in the yearning which prompts the young heart to leave its city home and wander forth to taste the freshness and beauty of the green fields. Grudge not, therefore, we say to our country friends, the little townling his harvest of hips and haws. The evil he causes in the collection of it cannot be of material consequence to you, while the sweet memories which he insensibly gleans along with the ruddy fruit, and the healing influences which the merest contact with nature produces on the spirit, are of immense importance to him, and may render him, in his after-life, amidst the irksomeness and the temptations of the crowded haunt of men, both a happier and a purer being. Dreary indeed must be the memory of the man whose boyhood has been entirely spent in the verdureless mazes of the city; but we would fain hope, and indeed feel persuaded, that there are comparatively few who have been so utterly unfortunate.

It was in our own haw-gathering and bird-nesting days that we first visited Cambuslang and its romantic environs, in a ramble to which we now solicit the company of our readers. We have a decided antipathy to direct roads, and generally when business is out of the question, instead of proceeding in a straight line to our destination, endeavour if possible to reach it by some species of zig-zag or circumbendibus. In accordance with this penchant for the eccentric, we determine to make our way to Cambuslang along the south bank of the Clyde, which is perhaps a mile or two longer than the ordinary way, but which compensates for extra length by a considerably greater degree of beauty. Leaving the city by the suburb of Bridgeton, we cross the river by the elegant timber bridge at Dalmarnock, which leads to the coalpit of Farme. From the vicinity of the bridge a fine view is obtained of the ancient and castellated mansion of Farme, the seat of James Farie, Esq., which, half seen within its girdle of trees, is situated a few hundred yards to the south of the road. The period in which this edifice was erected is unknown, but from its architectural features it is evidently of great antiquity. In recent times considerable additions have been made to it, but as these have been studiously kept subordinate to the old fabric, and are in strict harmony with its characteristics, it still preserves its original air of hoary cud, and is altogether one of the most complete models of the baronial dwelling-place of other days in the West of Scotland. In 1792 the proprietor of that day had occasion to make some alterations in the interior of the house. In one room a ceiling of stucco was removed, when another of wood was discovered, with a number of curious inscriptions upon it, generally inculcating the practice of temperance and morality. These were written in the old English character, and were evidently of very ancient date. One of them contains a lesson which may be studied with advantage even in our own more civilized though perhaps not more sincere age. It is as follows:—

"Fair speech in presence,
with good report In absence,
And manners even to fellowship
Obtains great reverence."

"Written in the year 1325."

The estate of Farme is principally composed of an extensive and fertile haugh, which stretches out into a kind of peninsula formed by a bold sweep of the Clyde. It is said to have been for a considerable period a private property of the royal Stuarts. It afterwards passed through various hands; a family named Crawford held possession of it for many years; and about 1645 it belonged to Sir Walter Stewart of Minto. Ultimately, however, it fell into the possession of the Hamilton family, from whom it was purchased by the grandfather of the present proprietor. About a hundred yards above Dalmarnock Bridge we leave the course of the Clyde, and by a road which cuts right across a sort of isthmus, after a walk of a quarter of a mile or so, arrive again on the bank, at a point some two miles farther up the stream. At this place there is a fine row of trees on either side of the way, the leafy boughs of which meeting and intertwining overhead, form a shady arch, through which in a picturesque vista is seen the village of Cambuslang, with its elegant church spire relieved against the green brow of Dychmont. Proceeding along the verdant margin of the Clyde, we soon arrive at the estate of Hamilton Farme, which consists of rich alluvial meadows, at present bearing splendid cereal coverings, and protected from the ravages of the river in its occasional "spates" by lengthened lines of embankment, which for solidity and strength would do credit even to a Dutch landscape. Opposite the promontory of Westthorn, a small streamlet called "Hamilton Farme Burn" runs into the Clyde. We would recommend our botanical friends to frace its meanderings for a short distance. Running through an almost level tract of land, there is little to engage the attention of the rambler in its appearance; yet to the student of vegetation its fertile banks will abundantly repay a careful investigation. We find the white convolvulus (convolvulra sepium), the woody nightshade (solanum dulcamara), common valerian (valeriana officinalis) two species of willow-herb, and a numerous variety of others. The channel seems to be a favourite haunt of the graceful wagtail tribe, and we well remember some half-dozen years ago having discovered the nest of a pair of kingfishers in a hole in one of the banks. This beautiful bird is well known to be exceedingly rare in the country round Glasgow, and even in Scotland. We therefore prided ourselves very much on our discovery, and anticipated great pleasure in watching its motions and habits. But, alas!

"The best laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft agley."

Some colliers in the neighbourhood had also observed the glittering plumage of the poor birds, and "on deadly thoughts intent" were speedily out in pursuit of them. For several weeks there was a constant series of lurking sportsmen hovering about. We never learned whether they had actually managed to kill the poor things or not, but we know that the nest was shortly afterwards deserted, and that the kingfisher has not again appeared at the spot. We are sorry to say that a similar course of extermination seems to be pursued wherever a rare bird makes its appearance amongst us. Every now and again we see triumphant paragraphs in provincial newspapers narrating the destruction of ornithological curiosities as if it were a matter on which we should congratulate ourselves that these innocent and beautiful creatures are thus prevented from brightening with their presence our woods and fields. We have no sympathy with these ruthless collectors of specimens, and would much rather hear of one living addition to our country’s fauna than of twenty names added to the catalogue of a museum. Many well-meaning people complain of our game-laws, and it must be admitted that in various respects they are productive of evil; but we feel persuaded that, were they once abolished, a very brief period indeed would see the utter extinction of many species of wild animals which at present enliven and adorn our rural landscapes. The hare would not much longer be seen " hirplin’ doon the furr," the glittering pheasant would speedily be banished from the greenwood, and the evening call of the partridge among the dewy corn would, ere a few years were gone, glad no more the ear of the gloainin’ wanderer. In France, where there are no restrictions on the destruction of "vermin," as friend Bright calls the protected animals, there is now no vermin to kill; they have all disappeared, and you may travel for days in that country and scarcely see or hear a solitary bird. The same thing has occurred in the more densely populated States of America. There every man has a gun, and unbounded liberty to use it. The result of this system, however, has been that the feræ naturaæ have been almost totally extirpated. A friend of ours, who travelled lately through a considerable portion of the New England States, assures us that he has wandered about for weeks without seeing a single bird, unless perhaps an occasional crow, the shyness of which abundantly manifested its acute perception of the danger which continually impended over it in the deadly Yankee rifle. Surely this is a consummation which no individual of taste would wish to see effected in our own land. Even the most zealous foe of class legislation, we should imagine, rather than see our woods and meadows altogether deprived of their beautiful feathered inhabitants, would willingly give up his use of gunship, and admit that in such a case the end was an ample justification of the means.

Passing along the green banks of Hamilton Farme, a pleasant walk of about a mile and a-half brings us to Rose-bank, the seat of the late David Dale, Esq. The house is plain and somewhat old-fashioned, telling of times when architectural taste had not attained such a respectable level among Glasgow merchants as it has in our own day. The situation, however—a sloping bank which rises gradually from the winding Clyde—is truly delicious, while the house is perfectly embowered among its fine old trees and spacious gardens. The property of Rosebank is now, as we understand, in the possession of the Caledonian Railway Company; and the place has altogether a somewhat dreary and neglected aspect. [More recently some kind of public work has been erected immediately adjacent. This adjunct, we need scarcely remark, does not by any means tend to increase the amenity of the locality.] David Dale, as is well known, was one of the most eminent and most venerated merchants of our city during the last century. He was born of humble parentage at Stewarton, in Ayrshire, about the year 1739, and was for some time engaged as herd-boy to a farmer in that neighbourhood. He afterwards served an apprenticeship to the weaving trade in Paisley, from whence he removed to Hamilton, where he wrought for some time at the loom in the capacity of journeyman. From this humble beginning, Mr. Dale gradually raised himself by his industry and perseverance, to the condition of a merchant prince in the manufacturing capital of the west. He was the founder of the extensive cotton-works at Lanark and Blantyre, in both of which places, but more especially the former, he made abundant provision for the physical, moral, and religious improvement of his operatives. Thither he transplanted also, from time to time, numerous orphans and other poor children from the city, instilling into them habits of industry, and attending faithfully to their educational necessities. He was thus instrumental in preserving many from the contamination of those vices which ever lurk in the recesses of our large towns, and which find such a plenteous and dark harvest among the unfortunate children of neglect. In his latter days he became a magistrate in our city, in which character, as well as in that of employer, he gained golden opinions from all classes of men. Among the working people he was generally known as "the benevolent bailie." Mr. Dale died in 1806, leaving behind him a princely fortune to be divided among his five daughters, and a name which is still, after the lapse of half-a-century, venerated among his townsmen.

Immediately adjacent to Rosebank are the house and fine grounds of Morriston, the property of John Bain, Esq. The house is a plain quadrangular edifice of considerable extent. It is situated on a gentle eminence, about three hundred yards from the river; the space in front, with the exception of a small patch of green sward, being at present under cultivation. Everything about the place has an exceedingly tasteful and tidy appearance. The hedgerows are neatly trimmed, while the various kinds of crop are unusually luxuriant, and bear evident symptoms of attention and care. Altogether, we should imagine, from appearances around his domicile, that Mr. Bain must have the phrenological bump of "order" pretty largely developed. On the bank of the Clyde below the house we find the snakeweed (polygonum bistorta), the yellow goat’s-beard, and a profusion of the white convolvulus.

At the eastern extremity of the Morriston estate the Kirk-burn of Cambuslang falls into the Clyde, at a spot called "the fliers Ford," and at which, according to tradition, Mary Queen of Scots crossed the river in her flight from Langside. This little streamlet has its origin at Easterhill, on the borders of Carmunnock, about two miles and a-half to the south. From its devious tendencies, however, it has in reality a much longer course to travel than this distance would seem to indicate. It is indeed the very model of a Scottish burn, and does not seem to know its own mind two consecutive minutes. To it might well be applied the verses in which our poor friend, Peter Still, the late Buchan poet, has so exquisitely described the wayward character of a nameless north country rivulet,—

"Mark the wee bit nameless burnie
Jumpin’—joukin’—slidin’ slee,
Deek’d wi’ flowers at ilka turnie,
Shaded wi’ the willow tree.

"Whiles it seems to sink in terra,
Whiles it seems to lose its way,
Whiles it seems o’ercome wi’ sorrow
Shrinkin’ frae the licht of day.

"Whiles it seems fu’ blythe and rantin’,
Whiles it seems to turn again
Backward to its flowery fountain,
Laith to lea’ the lovely glen."

Partly by the meanderings of the burn, and partly by a flower-fringed road, we now proceed towards the village of Cambuslang, which lies about half-a-mile to the south of the Clyde at this point. On the one side of this way are the fertile lands of Morriston, on the other the finely-wooded grounds of Westburn. On the one hand neatness and order, on the other neglect and comparative desolation. The estate of Westburn is the property of John Graham, Esq., of Craigallion, who, not being a resident on the spot, has apparently left it very much for several years to the freedom of its own will, or in other words, to "hang as it grows." The pleasure grounds, which have at one period been of the most elegant description, and which are still very beautiful, are overrun with weeds, while the fine old trees are sadly in lack of a tasteful pruning. The burn also, which winds in picturesque curves through the park, is, in some places nearly choked with sedges and rushes, among which one could almost fancy it was murmuring over better days.

Cambuslang is rather a cluster of villages than one united township. It is divided into two portions by a deep ravine, down which the waters of the burn pursue their course towards the Clyde. On the south-eastern side are Kirkhill, Vicarton, and Sauchiebog; on the other, Bushiehill, Silver-bank, and Westcoats. From the elevated and uneven nature of the ground on which it is built, Cambuslang presents from many points of view a highly romantic appearance. It has no pretension to architectural elegance, the houses being, with very few exceptions, of the plainest description. Most of them, however, have kail-yards attached to them; and we are pleased to see, that besides the necessary kitchen vegetables, a considerable proportion have small plots devoted to the culture of flowers. The population is principally composed of weavers and colliers, with a sprinkling of masons and agricultural labourers.

Near Sauchiebog, where we enter the village, and immediately on the edge of the ravine or glen, we are shown the place where a chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, once stood. This edifice, which was founded and endowed in 1379, by William Monypenny, rector of Cambuslang, has long been removed, not the slightest vestige of it being now in existence. Four acres of land, which were attached to the establishment, are still, however, called "the Chapel Croft." The railway from Glasgow to Hamilton passes almost over the site of the chapel. We would recommend ramblers, at least such of them as are not overly dainty about the brilliancy of their boots, to take the bed of the burn at this place, and follow its course to the vicinity of the church, which lies about the third of a mile farther up. This is our route, and although we have considerable difficulty in making our way, by leaping from stone to stone, we are amply repaid for our labour by the wild beauty of the scenery. The sides of the ravine are of the most rugged and tangled description. In some places they are quite precipitous, and from fifty to sixty feet in height, being composed of stratified rocks of sandstone and shale, which will be found well worthy the attention of the geological student. The vegetation also is unusually profuse. Among the more remarkable specimens are the enchanter’s nightshade (circœa lutetiana), fool’s parsley (æthusa cynapium), hemlock, woodsage, and a variety of our most handsome indigenous grasses, among which are the elegant single-flowered melic grass, and the graceful aira cæspitosa. There are several fine springs in the glen, at which groups of girls from the village, with their water pitchers, are generally congregated, lending an additional charm to the landscape, which is altogether of the most picturesque nature. One of these springs, called "the Borgie well," is famous for the quality of its water, which, it is jocularly said, has a deteriorating influence on the wits of those who habitually use it. Those who drink of the "Borgie," we were informed by a gash old fellow who once helped us to a draught of it, are sure to turn "half.daft," and will never leave Cambuslang if they can help it. However this may be, we can assure such of our readers as may venture to taste it that they will find a bicker of it a treat of no ordinary kind, more especially if they have threaded the mazes of the glen, as we have been doing, under the vertical radiance of a July sun.

The parish church of Cambuslang is finely situated on a natural terrace which rises to a considerable height above the burn, which meanders in graceful curves around its base. A more beautiful site for the "house of God" cannot well be imagined, and we really think that the burying-ground, with its fine old elms and quiet secluded aspect, is one of the most pleasing specimens of the "country church-yard" which we have ever witnessed. It recalls to our minds the picture which Gray has so exquisitely drawn, and we cannot refrain, while resting on one of the unassuming headstones, from repeating to ourselves his inimitable lines,—

"Beneath these rugged elms, the yew tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."

We find nothing remarkable among the gravestones. They are generally of the plainest and most unpretending description, being perhaps in this respect more truly appropriate to the quiet "city of the dead" than the monumental pomp now so common in our fashionable cemeteries. Pride is surely sadly out of place in the church-yard.

The church of Cambuslang is an exceedingly elegant structure of modern erection, forming with its beautiful spire a fine feature in the landscape for miles around. In the vicinity of the church is a manse, a handsome building surrounded by an extensive and tastefully-arranged garden, and the parish school, a commodious and tidy-looking establishment. Besides this, we understand there is another large school-house in the village, so that there seems to be no lack of provision for the educational wants of the juvenile population.

A little to the east of the church there is a spacious natural amphitheatre, formed on the green side of the ravine which we have previously described. This was the scene of an extraordinary religious excitement in 1742. Mr. M’Culloch, then minister of the parish, was in the habit, for a considerable time previously, of conducting public worship in this beautiful spot, and so effectual were his ministrations that crowds began to flock from all parts of the surrounding country to hear him, under the impression that a special outpouring of the Divine Spirit had there been vouchsafed. Many who had hitherto been indifferent to religious matters became inspired with the greatest devotional zeal and enthusiasm. Meetings for prayer and praise were for a considerable time held daily, and symptoms of an extraordinary kind began to be manifested. In the New Statistical Account we find the following description of this curious affair, which is known as "the Cambuslang wark."

"The first prominent effects of these multiplied services occurred on the 8th of February. Soon after, the sacrament was given twice in the space of five weeks, on the 11th of July and on the 15th of August. Mr. Whitfield had arrived from England in June, and many of the most popular preachers of the day hastened to join him at Cambuslang—such as Messrs. Wilson of Dundee, Webster of Edinburgh, M’Knight of Irvine, M’Laurin of Glasgow, Currie of Kinglaasie, &c. The sacrament on the 15th August was very numerously attended. One tent was placed at the lower extremity of the amphitheatre above alluded to, near the joining of the two rivulets, and here the sacrament was administered. A second tent was erected in the church-yard, and a third in a green field a little to the west of the first tent. Each of these was attended with great congregations, and it has been estimated that not less than 80,000 people attended on that occasion. Four ministers preached on the Fast-day, four on Saturday, fourteen or fifteen on Sunday, and five on Monday. There were 25 tables, about 120 at each, in all 8,000 communicants. Many of these came from Glasgow, about 200 from Edinburgh, as many from Kilmarnock and from Irvine and Stewarton, and also some from England and Ireland. The ‘Cambuslang wark’ continued for six months, from 8th February to 15th August, 1742. The number of persons converted at this period cannot be ascertained. Mr. M’Culloch, in a letter to Mr. Robb, dated 80th April, 1751, rates them at 400, of which number 70 were inhabitants of Cambuslang."—A couple of old hawthorn trees near the margin of the burn are pointed out as marking the position where Whitfield, the famous preacher, stood on this occasion, and marvellous stories are told of his powerful voice, which according to tradition was heard for miles around. In 1642, the centenary of the strange occurrence we have described, sermons were preached on this spot; and more recently the echoes of the glen have been awakened by the potent eloquence of Chalmers, who preached here (on what special occasion we do not recollect) to an immense auditory. By all accounts the Cambuslang people would be nothing the worse of another revival. We are assured they are anything but a kirk going people now-a-days. The parish minister has too often to complain of indifferently filled pews while a large Dissenting meeting-house, at the west end of the village, has actually been closed for lack of support.

While we linger at this place, groups of happy boys are paidlin’ in the burn which flows sweetly past. Two ambitious urchins are seated among the branches of the old thorn trees, plucking the green haws and shouting in very lightsomeness of heart—a fair-haired lassie is herding cattle on the preaching brae—and the place altogether has an air of peaceful and tranquil beauty, in the highest degree pleasing, and forcibly suggesting a contrast with the wild scenes of enthusiasm which it witnessed in the past, and which busy fancy endeavours to recall.

South of the village of Cambuslang, the ground gradually rises through a succession of gentle undulations to the hills of Turnlaw and Dychmont, the latter of which was long used by our Druidical forefathers as a station for their blazing beltane fires. Towards this fine hill, which is about a mile and a-half or so from Kirkhill, we now proceed by a very pleasant path, passing Cairns and Gilbertfield. The old castellated house of Gilbertfield stands in a commanding situation near the foot of Dychmont. It is a picturesque old edifice, with peaked gables and a couple of small turrets. There are several armorial carvings over the windows, and it appears to have been erected in 1607, as that date is still distinctly legible on the eastern wall. Gilbertfield, to the sentimental rambler, is rendered a place of more than ordinary interest from its associations with the memory of Lieut. William Hamilton, a Scottish poet of some distinction, who resided within its walls for many years. He was a contemporary and correspondent of the celebrated Allan Ramsay, who says, in a rhyming epistle which he addressed to Hamilton—

"When I begoud first to converse
And could your ‘Airdrle whins' rehearse,
Where bonny Heck ran fast and fierce,
It warmed my breast;
Then emulation did me pierce,
Whilk since ne'er ceast"

In another stanza of the same production, Ramsay expresses his admiration of Hamilton’s poetical effusions, in a style of verse which is certainly more remarkable for strength than elegance. We give it as a curiosity,—

"May I be licket wt’ a bittle
Gin of your numbers I think little;
Ye’re never raggit, than, nor little,
But blythe and gabby,
And hit the spirit to a little
Of standart Habby."

Some of our readers, we dare say, will be of opinion that the inspired wigmaker richly deserved a severe thumping with the "bittle" aforesaid, for perpetrating such a "raggit, shan, and kittle" piece of flattery. In the common editions of Ramsay’s works three epistles by Hamilton are generally to be found, wherein honest Allan is freely repaid in kind, and those who choose to study the "claw me, claw you" style of criticism, will find capital specimens in their jingling correspondence. Several compositions by Hamilton, of considerable merit, are to be found in all collections of old Scottish poetry. Of these, an Elegy on Habby Simson, the famous piper of Kilbarchan, is generally considered the best. From a line in this curious production, it would appear that it was formerly customary in Scotland to have a bagpiper playing to the reapers while they were engaged on the harvest field. In lamenting the loss of Habby, with his skirling pipes, the author says,—

"Wha will gar our shearers shear?
Wha will bend up the brags of weir?"

What will our agricultural friends say to this practice of the olden time? or what would they think were their reapers to refuse to work unless to a musical accompaniment? In 1722 Hamilton published a translation from the ancient into the modern Scottish dialect, of Henry the Minstrel’s Metrical Life of Wallace. This production has not added to his fame. It is generally admitted to be much inferior in vigour and gracefulness of expression to the original. It has, however, rendered this interesting work familiar to many who might otherwise have been scared from its perusal by the difficulties of an almost obsolete tongue.

Towards the termination of his life, Hamilton resided at Letterick, on the south of Dychmont, where he died in 1751, at an advanced age. The readers of Burns will remember that in one of his finest epistles he alludes to Hamilton, in company with Allan Ramsay and Ferguson, as occupying a position on the Parnassian’ heights to which he could never hope to climb. We give the verse in which the allusion occurs, -

"My senses wad be in a creel
Should I but dare a hope to speel
Wi’ Allan or wi' Gllbertfield
The braes o' fame,
Or Ferguson, the writer chiel,
A deathless name."

Now the name of Gilbertfield is seldom heard, while that of the unknown ploughman has become a household word wherever the English language is spoken.

The house of Gilbertfield is fast falling into a ruinous state. It was last inhabited by a gamekeeper in the employment of the Duke of Hamilton. This individual, a stalwart Englishman, as some of our readers may remember, was accidentally shot by a young man belonging to this city a few years since. After this melancholy occurrence it was deserted, and is now only used as a kind of storehouse by Mr. Weir, a neighbouring farmer. With the permission of this gentleman we examined the interior of the edifice with considerable interest, but discovered nothing worthy of special remark. A number of the apartments are entire, and might yet be rendered habitable; the winds, however, have free entrance by the shattered windows, and the walls have already begun to manifest symptoms of dilapidation, while the swallow and the starling have taken possession of its deserted chambers. The prospect from the turret windows is extensive and beautiful.

We may remark, however, en peasant, that besides having been the residence of the above bard, Cambuslang parish has given birth to several individuals who have attained distinction in the world of letters. It was the birth-place of Mr. Loudon, the celebrated horticultural writer, although, so far as we have learned, there is nothing remembered of him on the spot; and of Dr. Claudius Buchanan, the author of Asiatic Researches and other works. Relations of the latter, we believe, are still residing in the village. It is also whispered, sub rosa, that the clever authoress of Rose Douglas, a recent meritorious work of fiction, was born not quite a hundred miles from the manse of Cambuslang, and gleaned a number of the characters introduced into that production from real personages who lived, or are still living within no very great distance of that locality.

Setting "a stout heart to a stey brae," we now leave the dreary abode of the old poet, which we commend to the attention of our local artists, and commence the ascent of Dychmont. A short though somewhat wearisome walk brings us to its brow, which is 600 feet above the ocean level. There were formerly traces of ancient buildings at this place, but they are now almost totally obliterated. The common nettle, however, grows abundantly in some spots, and it is well known that this plant seldom grows unless in the vicinity of human habitations, or near places where they have once been. In the depopulated Highland glens, the sites of the ancient clachans are generally marked by a profuse growth of the nettle. It is said that about fifty years ago ruinous remains were very extensive on Dychmont, but that they have been gradually removed for the purpose of building walls and constructing roads. Spirit of Oldbuck, what a desecration! But reverence for the antique does not seem to be a Cambuslang virtue. The Lady Chapel, as we have already remarked, exists but in name; and the ancient castle of Drumsargard, which stood about a mile to the east of the church, has totally vanished, the plough having long ago passed over its site. About sixty years since it remained a stately ruin, but it too was pulled down by ruthless hands for the mere sake of its building materials, and that in a district where excellent sandstone is to be had almost for the lifting!

The prospect from the summit of Dychmont is of the most extensive and varied description, embracing the vale of Clyde from Tintoc to Dumbuck. To the east are seen towering in pride Bothwell Castle’s ruined walls, the church of Bothwell, with the extensive woods of Hamilton, and far away on the horizon the Tweeddale and Pentland hills. To the north and north-west the spectator sees Cambuslang, Rutherglen, and Glasgow, with towns, villages, gentlemen’s seats, and comfortable farm-steadings innumerable, while the serrated ramparts of the Highland mountains bound with their wild beauty the far-stretching line of vision. To the south are the woods of Crossbasket and the romantic glen of the Calder, with the dreary moorlands beyond Kilbride. Altogether the circle of scenery visible from this "coigne of vantage" is of the most rich and varied description, and would of itself amply reward a summer day’s journey. Dychmont, we may mention, is the subject of a descriptive poem of considerable merit by the late John Struthers, author of the "Poor Man’s Sabbath," who resided for some time in this vicinity.

Having now reached the boundary which prudence allows to our ramble (after resting our somewhat wearied shanks for a brief space), we commence our homeward walk. Instead of returning by Cambuslang, however, we cross the hill in a south-west direction, and by a country path make our way to the Greenlees Toll on the Glasgow and Muirkirk road. From this a smart walk of an hour and a-half's duration brings us by Rutherglen to our own good town.


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