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The History of Stirlingshire
Chapter XXXII – Rivers and Lochs


The Avon takes its course from a moss in the parish of New Monkland, and is augmented by a small tributary from Tannyside Loch, and another stream from Moss Cannel. At the outset it is dull and sluggish, but after cutting the flank of the Bathgate hills, between Carrubber castle and Muiravonside house, its now wooded banks rise nearly 200 feet. Running towards the flood mark of the Forth, scenes still more precipitous and inaccessible are to be found on the river as it bursts through the high-ground of Kinneil into the alluvial carse. Good trout were common in its waters before poisonous pollution came from lint-pools. It forms the south-eastern limit of the county, and was anciently noted for its nunnery of Manuel.

The Blane – Beulabhuin, pronounced Beul-uin, and signifying "river issuing from the ravine" – rises from the earl’s seat in the Lennox hills. The nobles of the old race of Levenax had a castle near, and in sight of, this romantic spot. Speeding onwards, the stream proceeds in a south-westerly direction for three miles, when, thereafter, it is precipitated over several lofty falls. The lowest, but the most remarkable of these is the Spout of Ballagan, a cascade 70 feet in height. Here a very singular section of the hill is presented. The side of it is cut perpendicularly by the water, and shows no fewer than 192 alternate strata of earth and limestone. Near the bottom of the section are found several thin strata of alabaster of the purest white. Fragments of antimony have also been got, and, when tried by a chemical process, proved to be exceedingly rich specimens. After an additional course of 8 miles, the Blane loses itself in the Endrick, which, in its turn, flows westward to Loch Lomond.

The burn of Boquhan forms the boundary between the parishes of Kippen and Gargunnock. Descending from the rock of Ballochleam, it meets with the red sandstone through which it has opened a passage, and wrought its soft materials into a number of curious forms, resembling the wells and cauldrons of the Devon. After running through a beautiful and well-wooded glen, along which the proprietor of Boquhan has made extensive and agreeable walks, it discharges itself into the Forth at the Bridge of Frew.

The Carron, famed in ancient Celtic song, and of importance in modern trade and manufactures, issues from the Campsie hills near the middle of the isthmus between the firths of Clyde and Forth. Both the source and the place where it discharges itself into the sea, are within the shire of Stirling, which it divides into about two equal parts. The whole length of its course, from west to east, is some 14 miles, the first half of which is spent among bleak hills and rocks, but, when it has reached the low grounds, its banks are fertile and wooded, and, as it advances, the neighbouring soil increases in richness and value till, after passing through the carse of Falkirk, it falls into the Firth of Forth. The stream is small comparatively, yet there is no river in Scotland whose surroundings have been the scene of so many memorable events. Etymological researches are for the most part void of instruction, as they seldom result in certainty. Names of rivers, mountains, and towns have perhaps more frequently had their origin from casual circumstances than from important transactions, or natural peculiarities. Nennius, an author of the ninth century, derives the name of this river from Carausius, who is commonly called the Usurper. The translator of Ossian’s poems informs us, that it is of Gaelic origin, and that Caraon signifies "Winding River." This fully expresses one characteristic of the stream, which, in former times, before it had forced a new channel for itself in some places, and been straightened by human industry in others, fetched many serpentine sweeps in its passage through the carses. Nevertheless, if we say that the original name was Caeravon, that is, river on the Caers, or castles, alluding to the Roman fortifications upon its banks, we probably give an etymology just as plausible, though equally uncertain. A short distance from its source, the river enters the Carron Bog. This vast plain and meadow lies partly in the parishes of St. Ninians and Kilsyth, but chiefly in Fintry. Its length is about 4 miles, and its medium breadth 1 mile. Considerably elevated above the ocean, it occupies part of the table-land between the eastern and western coasts. It has, probably, been a lake at no very distant period, and gradually filled by the hill brooks washing down debris. Part, indeed, is a swamp scarcely passable at any time, but nearly inundated by every heavy rain. Two miles below Graham’s castle, in the division called Temple Denny, the Carron, having worn a hollow channel in the rock, forms a beautiful cascade, by pouring its contracted stream over a precipice above 20 feet in height. This cataract is little known, being situated in a very remote and unfrequented valley, and, were we writing in verse, we would say of it what Horace says of the little town, in which he lodged a night, on his journey from Rome to Brundusium, "Versu dicere non est." It goes by the name of Auchinlilly-lin-spout – "Field of the overflowing torrent and pool." Spout is an absurd tautology of what has been expressed with emphasis by the reduplication of ly in the middle of the compound Celtic name. When the river is in flood, and a triumphant torrent sweeps down the glen, this cascade is unsurpassed among Scottish streams for the grandeur of its storm of spray. The ruins of the Hermitage, too, are to be seen here on the very margin of a deep fissure of rock. The rustic cottage of whin-stone, now utterly desolate – roof fallen, windows gone, and crumbling gables ivy and lichen draped – was built in 1801 by Mr. Robert Hill, W.S., Edinburgh, who had purchased the lands of Forest Hill. It was a thoroughly romantic building, most suitable, in its wild situation and surroundings, for habits inclined to the delights of shrieking solitude. In 1840, a reservoir, near the Carron Bog, broke through its embankments, when the heavy down-rush of water carried away much of the masonry of the deserted house. Strange stories are told of the reasons why men have been influenced to seek seclusion from the world in an eremitical life, and we can readily imagine a powerful combination of circumstances leading thitherward. Sad experiences may have given them a distaste for society, or, possibly, noble aspirations and generous feelings have been cruelly chilled and disappointed. But, in early times, the recluse’s cave had often in or near it a rudely carved chapel in the rock for piety and prayer, while the foliage of the trees that surrounded the arched cavern gave a deeper shade of sanctity to the lonely cell. Such, for example, as Bridgenorth Hermitage, in Shropshire, wherein dwelt that royal anchorite, Athelward, the Saxon prince, brother of King Athelstan, or the cave presently occupied by a Welsh hermit, on the estate of the Earl of Powis in Montgomeryshire. Leaving the hermitage ruins, the waters of the Carron rumble and foam through a deep ravine for a spray-wreathed cauldron, from which, with deafening din, they speed on buoyantly in their sea-ward course; where, at many points,

"Grey rock is brown beneath the flow of limpid water."

Over the serpentine road down-hill to Denny the spirit of beauty everywhere prevails. The intervening district, indeed, is famous for its pastoral undulations; and from almost every breezy brae-top a charming view is got of the wooded banks of the river – foliage which, even in the present green-tide, displays all the variety of autumnal richness. The "Lady’s Loup," with the romance that hangs over the linn, merits more in passing than a prosaic paragraph. But, here, we must simply refer the reader ignorant of the tragic tradition to the well-known "Douglas" play, in which the heroic incidents of the leap are fully and vigorously told.

"She ran, she flew like lightning up the hill,
Nor halted till the precipice she gained,
Beneath whose low’ring top the river falls
Engulf’d in rifted rocks.
Oh, had you seen her last despairing look!
Upon the brink she stood, and cast her eyes
Down on the deep; then lifting up her head
And her white hands to heaven, seeming to say,
Why am I forced to this? she plunged herself
Into the empty air."

Now we tread ground filled with classic memories. What a thrilling and matchless story we should have could the river, as it rolls along, only tell of all it has seen and known! Here Ossian, the ancient Gaelic bard, tuned his lyre; and here also young Oscar won his brightest laurels in war. In a poem entitled "The War of Caros," and dedicated to Malvina, the daughter of Toscar, the son of Fingal, sang –

"He (Oscar) came not over the streamy Carum
The bard returned with his song.
Grey night grows dim on Crona."

Historians also mention a bloody battle fought upon the banks here between the Romans and the confederate armies of the Scots and Picts, commanded by Fergus II., in the beginning of the fifth century. Probably the two armies disputed the passage of the river at Dunipace. The Romans remained masters of the field; but not without such dreadful slaughter on both sides, that authors, in their description of the combat, have used the extravagant, though trite, hyperbole of the waters running red for miles with blood. From this point to Dorrator and West Carron, the stream runs sinuously in a flattish haugh, which varies in breadth at different places; and is, for the most part, bounded by sloping banks of sand. For lovers of the piscatorial sport merely, the Carron offers little attraction. It was at one time, however, famed alike for the quantity, quality, and size of its trout. The endless variety of alternate pool and stream, and the openness of its banks, rendered it the favourite resort of the angler. But its waters have been polluted; and it is, in fact, nothing now as a fishing river, although a few of the common trout may occasionally be hooked. Many rills, of course, find their way to the Carron. The Bonny, supposed to be the Crona, celebrated by Ossian, falls into it about a mile below the village of Bonnybridge. Near Camelon, it also receives the Light-water-burn, which flows in the center of what, to all appearance, must at some remote period have formed the bed of a considerable river. The Grange Burn, too, from the upper part of the parish of Polmont, unites with it in the vicinity of Grangemouth.

The Devon is a mere rivulet, which washes a detachment of Stirlingshire, and divides it from Clackmannan. It has its source among the hills in the parish of Blackford, Perthshire; and was written Dovan in a charter granted by Robert III. to the burgh of Inverkeithing. Dhu-avon, "black river," seems a not improbable etymon, it being a deep and sable stream, as it lazily creeps along the plain from near the Cauldron Linn, till it falls into the Forth at Cambus, a course, including curves, of a dozen miles. Although the run of the romantic and beautiful little river is peculiarly circuitous and winding in its round of the Ochils, it flows at first almost due east towards Glendevon; but, near the church of Fossaway, it makes a sudden turn westward, and passing through the parishes of Muckhart, Dollar, and Tillicoultry, gently glides along the southern boundary of Alva district. It is somewhat odd, that the stream, after having performed a circular route of about 30 miles, should end its career nearly opposite the point at which it started on the other side of the hills, reaching the Forth exactly where the latter assumes the character of a firth, two miles above Alloa. The first of its principal waterfalls is the Rumbling Bridge, so-called from the hoarse music made by the river in its wonderful passage through arching rocks; but a little further on, amid a series of cascades, we find the water producing the curious excavation of that never empty boiler, the Cauldron Linn.

The number of the lesser streams in the county is legion. The Dualt, which flows through mossy ground in the parish of Killearn, would not be thus particularized, but for a fine cataract it presents in the glen of Dualt, near Killearn house. In a deep, wooded ravine, with many smaller falls, the rivulet rushes over a precipice of 60 feet. In the same neighbourhood, the Carnock has worn a channel 70 feet deep, through red sandstone. The chasm is called Ashdow, a corruption of Uisk-dhu, "black water."

The Duchray, which is the southern and most considerable branch of the Forth, rises near the summit of Benlomond, and forms the northern boundary, for some miles, of the parish of Drymen. Leaving it on the south, it joins a tributary from Loch Ard; and now acquiring the name of Forth, it again approaches and skirts the same parish as far as its eastern extremity.

The Endrick – derived from Auon, "river," and eirich, "to rise" – springs from the Gargunnock hills, north-east of Fintry. It is a bold and rapid stream, subject to sudden "spates," which frequently do serious damage. In September, 1836, twenty score of lambs were swept, by one of its floods, from the lawn of Buchanan into Loch Lomond. After running a short distance east at the start, it takes a southerly course; and, gaining strength by the accession of tributary waters, it separates the parishes of Gargunnock and St. Ninians from that of Fintry, till it reaches the high road leading from the latter village to Denny. It then flows for about 4 miles due west through the northern valley of Fintry, when it becomes the boundary betwixt the parishes of Killearn and Balfron. The Endrick comes down with a deafening noise over its rocky channel; and in the "Loup of Fintry," pours its waters over a rock, nearly perpendicular, of about 60 feet. When the river is much swollen, nothing can exceed the grandeur of this scene. In its usual state there are three breaks in the fall; but, in a flood, the waters dash over the precipitous rock, which is upwards of 90 feet wide, in one unbroken cataract. The stream cannot be supposed to contain a great quantity of water. Yet it is the sole moving power of a considerable weight of machinery in Fintry parish. A reservoir of good depth, covering about 30 acres of land, was constructed on the high ground, and supplied wholly by the Endrick, for driving the Culcreuch cotton factory. At Gartness, there are also cascades of some character. For a quarter of a mile, the channel of the stream is here scooped out of the solid rock, and the vexed waters have to force their way over a series of precipices. In greater part, at least, the Endrick is a clear-running and beautifully-wooded stream, by which anglers can sport, and get rewarded with full baskets of deliciously flavoured trout. After a course of 18 miles, it discharges itself into Loch Lomond, being the largest river which that lake receives.

The Forth, as we have already said, traverses Stirlingshire for 10 miles from its source, under the name of Duchray, or Glenguoi. Augmented as it proceeds, by numberless mountain streams, it then enters Perthshire, where it receives an accession equal to the volume of its own waters, in the river which issues from Loch Ard in Aberfoyle. It is now called Avondow, or "black river," being generally dark and muddy here from the quantity of moss that is floated in it. After a course of about 5 miles, it again joins Stirlingshire below Gartmore house, where it gets the name of Forth, which it retains. By several of the earlier writers, it has been confounded with a much nobler river, the Teath, that flows from the Callander district as a tributary stream, and which is nominally merged about 2 miles above Stirling. Even Mr. Nimmo, living near the eastern extremity of the county he described, fell into this error. Sir William Alexander, first Earl of Stirling, was correct, however, when in his Paraenesis, or Exhortation to Government, addressed to Prince Henry, he says: -

"Forth, when she first doth from Benlowmond rinne,
Is poore of waters, naked of renowne;
But Carron, Allan, Teath, and Devon in,
Doth grow the greater still the further downe;
Till that abounding both in power and fame,
She long doth strive to give the sea her name."

The Romans, adopting the words of the natives, and fitting them to their own pronunciation, called this river "Bodotria." But what was Bodotria? Probably the Celts, in comparing the much finer stream, the Teath, with the sluggish, moss-banked river which the Forth exhibits from Gartmore to Frew, called the latter Boa-shruth, "insignificant stream," or Bath-shruth, "smooth slow stream." Still, how it came to be named Forth? Phorth, pronounced with the aspirates quiescent, becomes Port; and changing the Ph into F, we have Forth – a name applicable to a river affording the means of navigation. In point of magnitude, the Forth, as a Scottish river, is only surpassed by the Spey and Tay. The surface which it drains is estimated at 541 square miles. Steamers ply regularly between Granton and the port of Stirling. At neap tides the flow is about 5 1/2 feet in the harbour, at stream tides it rises to 11 feet. At one time, the navigation between this and Alloa – a distance of 10 1/2 miles, though the direct line is only 5 – was greatly impeded by seven fords, or shallows, composed of boulders. But is was determined to have two of these at least removed – the town and abbey fords, which were found the greatest obstructions to the free passage of vessels. The works were commenced at the lower end of the abbey ford, where the channel excavated was about 500 yards in length and 75 in breadth; while it was also deepened in some places 3 1/2 feet. Here is a specimen of the wisdom of our ancestors under similar circumstances: - During the reign of Charles II. of Spain, a company of Dutch contractors offered to render the Mancanares navigable from Madrid to where it falls into the Tagus, and the latter from that point to Lisbon, provided they were allowed to levy a duty for a certain number of years on the goods conveyed by this channel. The Council of Castile took the proposal into their serious consideration, and after maturely weighing it, pronounced the following singular decision: - "That if it had pleased God that these two rivers should have been navigable, He would not have wanted human assistance to have made them such; but, as He had not done it, it was plain He did not think it proper that it should be done. To attempt it, therefore, would be to violate the decree of His providence, and to mend the imperfections which He designedly left in His works." Though the Forth is far from being the most sediment-carrying river in Scotland – the Tay surpassing it in this respect many times over – it has been calculated to bring down more than 5,000,000 cubic feet of sediment per annum; and it is probable that, at one time, when the ice and snow fields were melting from off the country, and the glacial debris lay more abundantly on the higher grounds, it brought down much more. Thus was the "fine land" accumulated in the gradually-shallowing waters of the ancient firth. Before any written human history, but not before the human occupation of the island, the land received its most recent elevation of from 30 to 50 feet, and the river then began its slow and winding course over the level tract which it had itself laid down to the now more distant sea. Such, briefly, is the history of the "Bonnie Links o’ Forth." In this river there are, besides the regular flows and ebbs, several irregular motions which, betwixt Alloa and Culross, are commonly called the Leakies. When the tide flows some time, it intermits and ebbs for a while, and then fills till full sea; and, on the contrary, when the tide is ebbing, it intermits and flows for a period, and, afterwards, ebbs till low water. This extraordinary phenomenon is called the Lakies of Forth. A large salmon fishery is still carried on at Stirling, chiefly for exportation. The burgh revenue derived from this source, even in 1816, was 1,200 pounds sterling; but a privilege of the inhabitants to have the fish at 3d. a pound has been, for many years, abolished. Salmon seems to have been a staple article of diet in Lent during the reign of James IV. His Majesty used, especially during this season, to become Franciscan monk here, where he had founded a convent in 1494. The poet Dunbar, to whom it had been recommended, probably by high authority, to be a friar of the king’s favourite order; but who, not relishing the proposal, endeavours, in what he calls "Dirigie to the king, bydand our lang in Stirling," to prevail on his Majesty to

"Cum hame and dwell nae mair in Stirling,
Quhair fisch to sell at nane but spirrling.
Credo gustare statim vinum Edinburgi."

The smelt, or sparling, was wont to be caught here in great numbers during the spring months. A specimen of the Beluga, or White Whale, was also killed near the town in 1815.

The Garrel, as its name denotes, is a rough, brawling stream. But why blame the poor brook for outrageous behavior? Similarly situated – a water-child of the mountains with strength to be wild, and a rough road to travel – no stream could conduct itself more circumspectly. To be what it is, and to be capable of what it is capable of becoming, is the true end of even a river’s existence. The Garrel rises on one of the Kilsyth range of hills; and, within a mile and a half, falls 1,000 feet, having numerous cataracts in its course. The narrow chasms worn by its rapid and powerful current in winter, are singularly romantic. When it reaches the Burn Green, near the town of Kilsyth, it is joined and augmented by the little Ebroch, which springs from the foot of the Barwood. After flowing half-a-mile further, in the valley westward, it loses itself in the Kelvin at the end of a course of about three miles.

The Glazert, which runs through a considerable part of the parish of Campsie, empties itself into the Kelvin, opposite the town of Kirkintilloch. It is formed by the junction of three burns, near the lodge at the entrance to Lennox castle – the Pu’, a small, sleepy streamlet which skirts the base of the South Brae; the Finglen burn, which crosses the valley at the west end of Haughead; and the Kirkton burn, which crosses at the eastern extremity of the same village. No less than nineteen burns are said to discharge themselves into the humble Glazert.

The Kelvin has its source, in a sort of marsh, on the lands of Ruchill; and descends, as a petty rill, to the low ground on the south, where it soon receives an accession from a portion of Shawend burn, and further west from the Garrel. It moves slowly forward; but near Inchterff, and near Inchbelly, it becomes a beautiful stream with banks verdant and wooded. Until the year 1792, it was much choked up with flags, rushes, and water-lilies, and frequently overflowed the adjacent valley. But Sir Archibald Edmonstone, Bart., of Duntreath, who purchased the estate of Kilsyth in 1784, projected and carried into effect a great improvement, under the inspection and according to the plan of Mr. Robert Whitworth, engineer, by straightening, deepening, and embanking the river. In its route to the Clyde, the Kelvin passes many sweet bits of scenery; but having left the wooded bend, near the old "Three-tree well," its waters, from industrial pollution, become sickening even to look at, and detract greatly from the healthful amenities of that attractive breathing ground – the West-End Park, so much and so wisely appreciated by the citizens of Glasgow.

The county is not peculiarly rich in its lochs. Several of the islands, however, in Loch Lomond belong to the parish of Buchanan. Inchcaileoch, "old woman’s island," once contained a nunnery, and the parish church; but is now without either house or inhabitant, and stands covered with copsewood. Inchfad, "long island"; and Inchcruin, "round island," are arable and inhabited. Inchmurrin, the island of St. Murrin, who was tutelary saint of Paisley, is the largest of the whole, being two miles long and one broad, and remains preserved for fallow deer. Lomond, a corruption of the Gaelic Lomnochd, is literally "naked," a character which cannot apply to the thickly wooded shoulder of the kingly "Ben" on the west. Metaphorically, it signifies "insulated." A pronunciation of the name nearly approaching the Gaelic occurs in a notice of a charter in David II.’s time by Donald Earl of Levenax to Maurice of Bouchcannane, of various lands, and, amongst others, "illam terram de Sallachy per has similiter divisas, a Sallachy usque Kelg, et sicut descendit in stagno de Lougchlomneid." If there be any force in these remarks, they go to show that the loch is named from its mountain. According to Richard of Cirencester, it was anciently called Lyncalidor, and certainly it did not receive its present appellation till the fourteenth century. Few there must be who have not heard of its three wonders, "waves without wind, fish without fin, and a floating island." The swell in the widest part, more particularly after a storm, has originated the first. Vipers are said to swim from island to island, and may account for the second. As for a "floating island," such a phenomenon has been heard of elsewhere. Pliny tells us that certain green lands, covered with rushes, float up and down in the lake of Vandimon.

There is in MacFarlan of MacFarlan’s papers, now deposited in Advocate’s Library, a curious passage, written in 1724, by Alexander Graham, Esq. of Duchray, in his account of several parishes, and, amongst others, that of Buchanan. "On the north side of Loch Lomond, and about three miles west from the church, upon a point of land which runs into the loch, called Cashel, are the ruins of an old building of a circular shape, and in circumference about 60 paces, built all of prodigious whinstone, without lime or cement. The walls are in some places about 9 or 10 feet high, yet standing; and it is surprising how such big stones could be reared up by the hands of men. This is called the Giant’s castle, and the founder thereof said to be Keith MacInDoill, or Keith the son of Doillus, who is reported to have been contemporary with the famous Finmacoill, and consequently to have lived in the fifth century. This Keith, notwithstanding the great number of natural isles in the loch, was, it seems, so curious as to form an artificial island, which is in the loch at a little distance from the point on which the old castle stands, founded on large square joists of oak, firmly mortised in one another; two of which, of a prodigious size (in each of which there are three large mortices), were disjoined from the float in 1714, and made use of by a gentleman in that country who was then building a house." The point on which the castle stands is called at this day Rownafean, i.e. "giant’s point." No doubt the buoyancy of an island, in some places, may be ascribed to an accumulated mass of decaying vegetable matter, by which it is surrounded; but, in our opinion, the decrease of the waters of Loch Lomond, at certain particular seasons, affords a simple solution of the anomaly of its so-called "floating island." The length of this queen of Scottish lakes is 24 miles; its greatest breadth which is nearly opposite Rossdhu, about 8 miles; and its average height above the sea level 22 feet. From lower Inveruglass up to near its northern point, it is of considerable depth. Opposite Farkin, it is 66 fathoms; a little farther north, 80 fathoms; a mile south of Tarbert, 86 fathoms; and opposite Alt Gary, 100 fathoms, which probably is its greatest depth. South from Luss it seldom reaches 20 fathoms. The chief tributary rivers of the loch are the Endrick on the east, and the Fruin on the west. Its outlet is the river Leven, at Balloch, which, after a course of 5 miles, flows into the Clyde at Dumbarton. In wet seasons, the surface of the lake sometimes rises 6 feet, when much valuable land at the mouth of the Endrick is heavily flooded. In 1782, a late harvest being followed by an early and severe winter, the corn, before it was ripe, was covered with water, and afterwards enveloped in ice. The upper part of the loch, from its great depth, never freezes; but the lower part occasionally bears ice of sufficient strength for the enjoyment of exhilarating exercise and art and skating. In the beginning of 1838, it was traversed to and from Inchmurrin by horses and vehicles. Its scenery is well known, and has frequently been described both by practical and poetic pens. We touch it not; but leave it with silent admiration. Singularly bold and beautiful, it is, in its aggregation of exquisite forms, unsurpassed by any British lake.

The other lochs which have a place in Stirlingshire need only be summarized. Contiguous to Carron iron-works, there are two reservoirs supplied from the Carron at Larbert, by means of a convex dyke. The wester-dam, which covers 30 acres, is somewhat picturesque, with trees skirting its edge, and a fleet of swans sailing with proudly-arched neck over its surface. But at times we have seen some memorable night effects at the forge dam, into which the belching furnace flames are brightly reflected. More vividly seen in the water than in the air, they seem to dart downwards into a dark abyss, illumining the whole surface of the dam and the row of outlying cottages with all but lime-light brilliance.

At the southern part of Killearn parish, lies an artificial lake, covering about 150 acres, which serves as a reservoir for the supply of water during summer to the Partick mills on the Kelvin. The sources of that river, as many are aware, were taken to form the high summit reservoir of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The latter was called the Townhead Loch, and is situated near Kilsyth. It is of an oval form, full three-quarters of a mile long, and from one-quarter to half-a-mile broad. It covers 75 imperial acres.

On the moor of Kippen, there is a small lake of water, called Lochleggan, about a mile in circumference, and for the most part surrounded with wood. A considerable stream issues from it; which, increasing as it flows, forms the burn of Broich, whose waters, after passing through a beautiful glen close by the house of Brioch, are chiefly employed in floating moss from the plain below.

There are two lochs in Slamannan parish – the Little and the Great Black Lochs. The latter is the principal feeder of the reservoir constructed on the lands of Auchingray for supplying the Monkland Canal. Another, called Ellaig Loch, is situated to the north-east of the annexation. Perch and eel are plentiful in all three.

Loch Coulter lies in St. Ninians parish. It is about 2 miles in circumference, shallow to the west, but very deep to the north-east. In 1755, the great earthquake, by which Lisbon was destroyed, greatly agitated this lakelet, and it was then, as is supposed, that a large stone, in weight about a ton, was raised from its bed and carried towards shore. The shock was particularly severe around Drymen. On that day, Whitefield, the great English divine, was preaching in the adjoining parish of Kilmaronock. The weather was fine, and a large concourse of people assembled to hear the noted southern preacher. The speaker and his hearers occupied the face of an eminence. Instantly the earth heaved, and the people were bent forward as if by a wave.

Strathblane parish contains six lakes; Loch Ardinning, of 60 imperial acres; Craigmaddie and Dunbroch, of 10 each; Carbet of 8; and Craigallion, of 40 acres. These lie in romantic situations; and with the exception of the first mentioned, are adorned partly with natural wood, and partly with plantations. Mugdock Loch, containing 25 acres, is also ornamented with trees, and is further enhanced by the ruins of the ancient castle which stand on its south-west point.

Milngavie has an irregular and somewhat straggling appearance. In and around the village, on the banks of the Allander, are a number of public works, the most extensive of which are the calico printing and cotton spinning establishments of Messrs. John Black & Company. About a mile north from the railway station there is also the Mugdock reservoir, which is supplied with water from Loch Katrine for the service of the citizens of Glasgow. It is formed in a natural valley, by an embankment on the south side 400 yards long, and 68 feet high; and by another on the east side 240 yards long, and 50 feet high; each with a puddle wall in the center, and stone pitching 2 feet thick on the front, which is formed to a slope of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical, and covered with soil on the back, which has a slope of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical. The water surface of the reservoir extends to 60 acres, and a small detached portion at the upper end to 2 acres more; the depth is 50 feet, and it contains 548,000,000 gallons, or a supply for the city, at the present rate of consumption, for eighteen days. The water is drawn from the reservoir by pipes laid in a tunnel through the rock which forms the hill-side, there being no pipes through the embankments themselves. These pipes lead into a well, also cut out of the solid rock, 40 feet diameter and 63 feet deep, at the bottom of which are placed the various valves by which the flow of the water is regulated. At the reservoir end of the tunnel, a cast-iron stand-pipe is erected, with sluices to draw off the water; and in the well the water is strained by passing it through copper wire-cloth, fixed in frames of wood, so as to form an inner well of octagonal shape, 25 feet diameter; and from this latter the water finally passes into the mains leading to the city. This work may truly be said to surpass the greatest of the nine famous aqueducts which fed the city of Rome. Of the 26 miles which lie between Loch Katrine and the Mugdock reservoir, 13 miles are tunneling, 3 3/4 miles are iron-piping, and the remainder, where the ground has been cut open, is an arched aqueduct. There are in the whole work, 70 distinct tunnels, upon which 44 vertical shafts were sunk for facilitating and expediting the completing of the scheme. In addition to the tunnel at the commencement of the aqueduct at Loch Katrine, and the one at its termination, there are at intermediate places, others of 700, 800, 1,100, and 1,400 yards in length. Not to speak of smaller constructions, there are 26 important iron and masonry aqueducts over rivers and ravines, some 60 feet and 80 feet in height, with arches 30 feet, 50 feet, and 90 feet in span. The number of people employed in constructing the works, exclusive of iron-founders and mechanics, was generally about 3,000; and for the greater part of these, huts and roads, and all other accommodation had to be provided; the country in many districts being of the wildest and most inaccessible character. The works were designed in 1853-4; completed at a total cost of 1,987,548 pounds, in 1859; and opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 14th October of the latter year.


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