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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Section VIII. The Western Isles and Cantyre
B. Knapdale and Cantyre.


FROM FORT-WILLIAM TO CAMPBELLTOWN AND THE MULL OF CANTYRE
BY LAND ALONG THE COAST.

District of Appin, 1.—Berigonium, or Dun Mac Snichan, 2.—Ardchattan Priory, 3.Connel Ferry to Loch Fyne and Lochgilphead, 4.—Lochgilphead; Knapdale; Loch Swin; Milan More, 5.---Cantyre, west side, 6.—Religions Edifices, styles and ages of, 7.—Campbelltown, 8.—Seat of early Scottish Monarchy, 9.—Mull of Cantyre; Dunaverty Castle; Sandy Island, 10.—East side of Cantyre; Sadell Abbey; Castle of Aird, 11.-Skipness Castle, 12.

N. B.—The roads throughout this excursion are good, though very hilly; and no conveyance but a horse and cart can be had, except from Oban, Lochgilpbead, and Campbelltown.

We would strongly advise the pedestrian tourist to undertake this excursion along the coasts of Argyleshire, as the scenery is everywhere varied and beautiful, the road being midway between high mountains and the islands in the Western Sea, the districts pretty well peopled, the inns clean, if not elegant, and remarkably cheap, and the interest of the way being constantly kept up by the recurrence, at every other fifth or sixth mile at Ieast, of some old castle or chapel, with its sculptured tombs and crosses; while it is within the power of the traveller, at several points, as he may incline, to end his journey by going on board a steamer, or to vary it by breaking off into the higher and wilder districts of the interior. The coast line is, of course, better cultivated, and in some places well wooded; and what they want in height, the hills make up by roughness and variety of form; and between them there are innumerable large tracts of beautiful pasture and copse ground. Owing to the superabundant moisture of the climate, however, the surface is always damp and boggy, and we would therefore warn the tourist to keep to the main road, and not to attempt cross-cuts, however tempting they may be in apparently shortening distances, unless he is accompanied by a guide, an appendage which generally, in the Highlands, costs more than it is worth.

1. By steaming it from Fort-William to Corran Ferry early of a morning, the pedestrian could reach Ballachulish to breakfast; and then, if he does not mean to wait there a day, so as to visit the slate quarries, Glencoe, and the waterfalls at the head of Loch Leven (see Route r.), which, if he has not previously seen them, he undoubtedly should do, he can proceed through the picturesque district of Appin—the soil of the Royal Stewarts, and one of the strongest retreats of Jacobitism, and still retaining much of Episcopacy—and reach either of the inns at Connel Ferry on Loch Etive by night. The inconvenience of crossing the successive ferries of Ballachulish on Loch Leven, Shian (across Loch Creran) and Connel Ferry, at Loch Etive, is compensated by the varied and striking scenery at all these points. Loch Leven is encompassed by towering alps, and the mountain screens on all hands, as seen from Ballachulish, are singularly grand. Loch Creran is encircled by chains of lofty graceful mountains with, a long stretch of low ground at the entrance, and at Shian, the views are soft, cultivated, and wooded. The boundary chains of Loch Etive slope away on the south, but hem in the water more closely on the north. From the broken character of the coast, the landscapes at Connel are extensive and diversified, and some of the objects they present carry back the thoughts to the most remote antiquity. The chief local objects the tourist will have to attend to by the way, are (1.) Appin House (— Downie), situated in a beautiful park, descending in graceful undulations from the hills. (2.) Castle Stalker, the ancient residence of the Stewarts of Appin, having the royal arms finely carved over the entrance gate. (3.) Aird's House; and, after crossing the fine inlet of Loch Creran, which stretches ten miles from the main coast, (4.) Bercaldine Castle, an old castellated mansion, in part still inhabited, and commanding a magnificent view; westwards from which a beautiful plain, nearly six miles square, conducts to a ridge (Ardnamucknish) boldly projecting into the sea; at the foot of which stands (5.) the House of Lochnell (Gen. Campbell), and the ridge is crowned by a high observatory, which is often taken for a lighthouse.

2. As the road turns round towards Loch Etive, and opposite the Castle of Dunstaffnage, it passes under a magnificent set of cliffs, called the " Cragan Righ," or King's Rocks, formed of an extremely hard and singular conglomerate, composed of a great variety of primitive and trap rocks, which, as Dr. Macculloch slyly remarks, is much admired by the English from its resemblance to plum-pudding; and about 400 yards in advance, and to the north-west of these cliffs, is the little double-topped rocky eminence, on which conjecture has for a long time back been pleased to fix as the site of Berigonium, the ancient Pictish capital, already described, page 90. At the base of the cliff is a small burying-ground and ancient cell, or chapel, from which the "street," or paved way communicated most likely with the sea-shore opposite Dunstaffnage, or with the vitrified site, and which, therefore, was, in all likelihood, only a modern procession road to the religious sanctuary.

3. Before quitting the north side of Connel Ferry, the ruins of Ardchattan Priory, four miles up Loch Etive, and described, page 93, well merit attention. Ardchattan is a name familiar and interesting to all acquainted with Highland annals. The Priory church (which only measures twenty-two yards by nine) was built by Duncan M'Coul or Macdougal of Lorn (of the family de Ergadia), in the thirteenth century, and burned during Montrose's wars by Colkitto. Little of it is now left except the entrance gable. Robert Bruce held a parliament here---one of the last at which the business was conducted in the Gaelic language. The Prior's house is still entire, and is the residence of the proprietor, Mr. Popham of Ardchattan. It adjoins the south-west corner of the church, and behind it, to the west and north-west, the other monastic buildings appear to have stood. The church was not cruciform, nor does it appear to have been interspaced by piers and pier arches. There is a square ambry entire at the south-east corner. Among the office houses may be traced indications of the old buildings, with two doorways, one of them with several mouldings and of a very obtuse arch. This Priory was likely dependent on that of Beaulieu, as to which see page 386; and Mr. Howson (Cambridge Camden Society Transactions) describes the shaft of a stone cross within the church, with extremely grotesque figures, enclosing a galIey between them, and composing a heraldic group, with a mutilated inscription of the fifteenth century. There is only one inscription which Mr. H. was unable to decipher, or to recognise the character in which it is written; and if Celtic, it is probably the only one of the kind, though the Highlanders generally imagine that all the inscriptions are in the Gaelic language!

4. Regaining Connel Ferry, either by returning from Ardchattan, or going round by the head of the loch to Taynuilt inn, which will give a view of its inner reaches, and the grand assemblage of mountains around Ben Cruachan, so minutely described by Dr. Macculloch (see also ante, page 93), our route next winds in among the trap hills of Lorn to Lochs Nell and Feochan, from the lower end of the latter of which at Kilininver a branch road leads to the slate quarries of Siel and Easdale, distant three or four miles; and while here, Loch Craignish, with which Dr. Macculloch was so enamoured, should be visited, but it is inferior to Loch Swin, afterwards noticed. A succession of beautiful pastoral valleys, with rocky gorges and overhanging luxuriant copses, leads to Kilmelford, [Most interesting associations of the primary schists and trap-rocks, banded to. gether by intersecting veins of basalt, occur all along this road.] whence a more open and cultivated district extends to Lochgilphead. At Carnassary, nine, and Kilmartin eight, miles from Lochgilphead, are the shells of the main keep and turrets of the castles of these names; and at Kilmichael Glassary, within four miles of the village, there is a sculptured slab cross, and also extant the cell of the old county prison. Instead of pursuing the public road, the tourist would be pleased with a short side excursion from Kilmelford inn to Loch Avich, and the lower parts of Loch Ave, which he will cross at Port-na-Sherry, distant about twelve miles. The former is popularly believed to be the " Loch Launa" of Ossian; and its picturesque islet and castle to be " Innislauna." In Loch Awe, the Priest's Isle, with the ruins of the ivy-clad island castles of Ardconell and Feonahan, and the house and grounds of Eriden (one of the residences of Niel Malcolm, Esq., a most extensive proprietor in Argyleshire), are all well worthy of being seen; and the main southward road can be regained at the lower end of the loch. Or, if it is wished to reach the banks of Loch Fyne, a rough bridle-road will be found from Port-na-Sherry, over the hills to Port Crean, near the deserted Forge (eleven miles), which is intersected near the middle at Braelechan by a district road, leading northwards to Inverary. The ascent is easy (about 500 feet), but the descent is remarkably steep towards Loch Fyne, commanding, however, a most unrivalled view of the great clusters of peaked mountains towards the east and north.

5. Lochgilphead is a very considerable village near the south end of the Crinan Canal. It contains a population of about 2500. The Bishop of Argyle and the Isles has his diocesan chapel here, and his residence in the neighbourhood. [There is a strong attachment to Episcopacy in many parts of Argyleshire. It escaped us to mention, for the information of English tourists, that there is an Episcopal service at Oban, and the erection of a chapel is in contemplation.]

The long peninsula, which stretches far to the south from the Crinan Canal, is distinguished into the districts of north and south Knapdale, lying to the north, and of Cantyre, to the south, of East and West Lochs Tarbert, which are separated by but a very narrow isthmus. On the east side of Knapdale, along the route to Tarbert and Campbelltown, the shores are low, rocky, and uninviting. Still, a good deal of wood in several places clothes the acclivities of the hills, along which the road conducts by the sea-shore for about twelve miles. The hill Sliabghaoil, three miles beyond Inverniel Kirk and House, is regarded as the locality of the death, by a boar, of Ossian's Brown Diarmid. Urins, Mucroy, and Barmore House are afterwards passed on the way. Half a mile beyond the latter, a road branches off to East Tarbert, distant two miles and a half. Approaching West Loch Tarbert, the way leads through a beautiful strath called Glen Ralloch. In crossing the isthmus, the sandy shore should he avoided.

But before passing into Cantyre, the western districts of Knapdale well deserve special notice. Knapdale will, on a reference to the map, be observed to be indented, in resemblance to the rest of the Argyleshire coasts, by two inlets of the sea, Loch Swin and Loch Killisport These exhibit some fine scenery, that of the former especially, which is about nine miles in length, being towards its upper extremity of remarkable character. It forks at the head into three different branches, and is otherwise indented, particularly on the west at Tayvillich, near the branching off of these terminal inlets. It is encompassed towards this upper extremity by hills high and abrupt, the promontories being of the like character, with rocky shores, and here richly enveloped in natural and planted wood to the water's edge. The road from Lochgilphead to Kiels—where there is a well-regulated ferry to Lagg in Jura, eight miles wide, a distance of seventeen miles, divided into three short and nearly equal stages by two inns at Bellanoch and Tayvillich—runs along the tract intervening between Loch Swin and the Sound of Jura. On the adjacent heights are the remains of two or three forts or towers, but the loch is hardly seen from it, except at Tayvillich. To examine Loch Swin, and the objects of interest along its shores, the plan is to deviate from the Kiels road, which itself strikes off from the road from Lochgilphead to Crinan, at Bellanoch, five and a quarter miles from the former, at a point about one and a quarter miles past Bellanoch, and to go on as far as the village of Kilmichael Lussa, at the manse of North Knapdale (ten miles from Lochgilphead), and there take boat. About four miles further down the east side of the loch, the shell remains pretty entire of Castle Swin or Sueno, a royal castle, and a place of great strength and age. It forms a small square, divided into two compartments, and having two round corner towers on one side. On the opposite side, at Tayvillich, in a deep recess or bay, are the ruins of another stronghold, and on the coast the mansion house of Taynish (M'Donald). Colkitto, during Montrose's wars, had his boats carried across from Tayvillich to the Sound. On this occasion an arrow was discharged at his party from the walls of the castle, which so exasperated the fiery Scoto-Hibernian, that he vowed that he would not leave a bull to bellow, a Campbell to hollow, or a M`Niell to leap (a peculiar attribute it would seem of them) in all Knapdale—a threat which he pretty faithfully carried out. This portion of Knapdale was at one time a territory of the M'Niells.

On Eilan More, one of those islets off the opening of Loch Killisport, are the remains, singularly entire, of a small chapel and vaulted cell, with a sarcophagus, having the figure of a priest, in his cope, sculptured on the lid, with elaborate and beautiful tracery about it, supported by four grotesque figures. This sacellum, Mr. Howson remarks, is nearly the most curious place he ever saw. It is divided into two apartments, each about five yards by four, the western one having been the dwelling of the priest or hermit. The windows and doors are Norman shaped, rude, and very small, as they also are at the associated chapels of Kiels and Kilmory. Another plain stone coffin is seen, not far from the chapel, along with the remains of a cross. There are the fragments of another cross on the summit of the isle, with intricate knots and patterns on one side, and a representation of the Crucifixion, with two female figures by the cross, on the other. (See also Macculloch's Letters, II., 89.) At the south end of the old chapel of Kilmorie, in Knap, on the adjoining coast, will be found one of the old rude figured crosses. On the opposite shore of Loch Killisport are the houses of Ormsay and Drundrishaig.

6. Cantyre, a district about forty miles long, with an average breadth of six miles, presents no clusters of high or impassable mountains; for, except around the Mull, the hills are low, undulating, and moorish, and rarely picturesque in their outlines ; while, on the other hand, the quantity of cultivated land is greater than in almost any other part of the Highlands, unless, perhaps, we except the east coast of Caithness.

Separated from the rugged and wild bounds of Knapdale by Eastern and Western Lochs Tarbert, we would recommend the examination of the district in question to be commenced from the former across the little isthmus which divides them, and over which our readers likely know that more than one "royal bark":

"Ancient legends told the Gael
That when a royal bark should sail
O'er Kilmaconnel moss,

has already passed, and thence down by the west coast and across to Campbelltown, whence the Mull of Cantyre and the eastern portions of the district can be most conveniently visited. The roads on the whole are indifferent, and so full of ups and downs that the traveller will find himself best off on foot, or horseback, for the progress of a wheeled carriage is necessarily slow. Numerous little inns or public-houses will be found on the way, which are chiefly kept by matrons. East Loch Tarbert, [See also the introduction to our account of Islay and Jura.] by which we have supposed the tourist to approach, is but a bay of Loch Fyne, and its shores are about the most barren, lifeless, and forbidding (for the bare rocks even want the size and height which would give them grandeur of character) that can be conceived; but after the frowning walls of old Castle Tarbert (built by Robert the Bruce as a watch tower against the Irish), and the straggling houses of the little fishing village below, with its fleet of herring boats, and a set of rough hillocks and knolls, among which little patches of corn land have been gained from a black boggy soil of the Kilmaconnel isthmus, which is not a mile wide, are passed—the stranger finds himself once more descending for half-a-mile towards the west coast, along the margin of a more open sea-loch, the banks of which are clothed with herbage of the richest and greenest hue, and embellished with occasional woods of birch and Scotch firs, and very valuable wide-spreading oak copses. The shores are low, but skirted with numerous promontories and islets fringed with wood; and here and there, rising above the general copse covering, are a few clumps of large and stately ash and beech trees. A sombre gray tone of colouring, however, rests upon the scenery, especially as brown heather and bare rock everywhere overtop the woody region ; and hence a bright calm sunny day is needed to give full life and cheerfulness to the landscape. The narrow isthmus between the lochs might be easily cut for a canal, but the western one is rather too shallow to warrant the expense. A pier has been formed at the west end for the use of the Islay steamers which usually land their cargo here, in communication with other steamers on East Loch Tarbert for Glasgow. Further on, as we attain the more

Old Albyn should in fight prevail,
And every foe should faint and quail,
Before her silver cross."—Lord of the Isles.

open sea-beach, directly exposed to the Atlantic storms, the trees dwindle down almost to the size of bushes, and, except around gentlemen's seats, skirt only the most protected slopes and burn sides ; but the agricultural zone here increases in breadth, beauty, and fertility ; and the views—which are bounded on the one hand by hills of moderate height, and on the other by the magnificent blue mountains of the Islands of Islay and Jura, the table-land of Gigha, and the dim outline of Rathlin Isle on the Irish shore—are filled up in the foreground by large corn-fields and wide natural meadows, on which numerous herds of cattle are constantly grazing. A smooth green plain, either of natural tufted sward or cultivated ground, but seldom exceeding half-a-mile in breadth, if so much, accompanies us thence all along the coast nearly to Mackerihanish Bay, and this plain, subsiding into a low sandy beach, is skirted next the land by steep banks and rocky cliffs, varying from one to two hundred feet in height. The plain's surface is also in a few places checkered by lines of detached rocky pinnacles and arches, which evidently at one time constituted islets, coves, stacks, and reefs in the sea, that must formerly have flowed up to them. At the bay just mentioned, a great change suddenly takes place in the character of the coast. A long sandy beach runs out into a shallow and a very dangerous sea, on which lines of white breakers are almost constantly dashing : the shore within is also quite flat and low, and from it a smooth valley, nearly two miles broad, but only forty feet above the sea-beach, extends across the country to Campbelltown, through which the ocean evidently in former times also passed, then detaching the southern portion of Cantyre into a separate island. The valley is now covered over with fine alluvial soil, every particle of which is highly cultivated, the crops of oats and barley in particular which it yields, being in no part of the country surpassed in quality and in length of straw. Barley, indeed, is the main article of produce, as the demand for it in Islay and Campbelltown (in the latter of which alone there are twenty-four distilleries for the manufacture of whisky) is very great.

The plain or valley just mentioned is called the Laggan or How of Cantyre, beyond which the southern portion of the peninsula rises in long wild chains of hills, composed of rough primitive rocks.

7. So far for the external aspect of the district referred to. Every one acquainted with the ancient Irish history, and that of the Dalriatic Scots, is aware that this territory was peopled at a very early period ; that the population was for ages more dense here than in most other parts of the kingdom ; and that it was exposed to very frequent descents and invasions, and perhaps to several considerable changes, or at least intermixtures of its inhabitants. In fact, its populousness is attested by the number of parishes into which it was divided, and the many old churches and burying-grounds which abound throughout the district. Every sixth or eighth mile, one meets with a ruined monastery, or an ancient chapel, with their accompanying little burying yards, all of which are completely filled with graves, and abound with carved monuments of high antiquity. The religious fanes themselves are of small dimensions, rarely exceeding twenty-five paces in length, and eight in breadth, and not above thirty feet in height ; they were neatly proportioned, though quite simple and devoid of ornaments, except a low round arched or early Norman altar window, with rounded door-ways, and a very humble belfry. Such are undoubtedly the remains of the most ancient chapels in this country, and they correspond in their style of architecture with that of the cathedral of Iona, which, though greatly superior in size to the ordinary parish churches, seems to be of the same age with them. They are almost in every case niched, both outside and in, with sculptured effigies of bishops, with their mitres, crucifixes, and pastoral rods; or of warriors, with their rude galleys, hounds, broadswords, and battle axes.- High, upright stone crosses, of precisely the same slaty substance as those interspersed among the ruins of Iona, and all believed to have been brought from that holy isle, generally line the approaches to the old Cantyre churches, or occupy a prominent situation in the market-place of its villages. The rude figures represented on these crosses are all evidently carvings of the same era ; the old Saxon character is solely employed in the lettering of them, and although few of the inscriptions are now legible, one seldom fails in making out the initial Latin words, "Hae est' crux," &c., with which they all commence. Time, with the gray lichen and long wiry maiden's-hair moss, have partially obliterated those inscriptions;—while the nodding cotyledon and climbing fumatory depending from the old ruined walls of the chapels, add much to their venerable, but now desolate appearance. Their names are all of well-known Celtic saints, and bring back to memory the days of Columba, whose disciples they are said to have been; [In descending West Loch Tarbert, these interesting lanes are met in the following order:-1st. The Chapel at Tyanloan with the walls quite perfect. 2d. Killean or St. John's Church. 3d. Kilchenzie. 4th. Kilkerran or Campbelltown; and 5th. On the eastern coast, three miles from this town, K.ilcousian.] and another class of still older antiquities, also in every direction, presses upon the traveller's attention, so as to stamp the country with the classic interest of one which had been an early cradle of mankind, and the nursery, perhaps, of many renowned tribes. All along the coast, and especially on the sides next Ireland and the Hebrides, a series of watch or ward hills occur, the different links in the chain of which may often be detected in the tabular or conical rocks which present themselves along the shores, with walled structures round their tops, often vitrified, and with which signals were exchanged from similar stations on the acclivities and summits of the higher hills. Lines of such beacons, some of them with very significant names may be traced around the shores and across the country.

As to the ecclesialogical antiquities, we may submit the following summary of Mr. Howson's laborious and learned researches, as contained in the papers already alluded to, published by the Cambridge Camden Society, Parts ii. and iii.-1st. The buildings of St. Columba's days, and of the Culdees in general on this coast, probably down to the tenth century, seem to have been all of wood, or, as Bede calls it, "more Scotorum, non de Lapide, sed de robore secto et arundine." Hence their ready destruction by the pagan Northmen. 2d. About the year 1000, Scandinavia became Christian, and thence the western isles, subject to the Norwegian crown, likely came under a uniform and regular submission to the Church—their bishops being for a considerable time consecrated at Drontheim, where an archiepiscopal see was fixed about 1150, with supremacy over Man, the Hebrides, Orkney, and the Faroe Islands. 3d. If quoad sacra territorial divisions existed prior to the commencement of the Scoto Saxon period (1097) they were created under the private authority of bishops, hermits, or chiefs, rather than by public law ; and although the parochial subdivision of the country existed under Malcolm Caen More, and was general in the lowlands of Scotland in the reign of Alexander II., yet it is probable that the thorough parochial system was not completed in Argyleshire till a comparatively late date ; for even the Scoto-Saxon policy, of having justices and sheriffs made for the isles, was not carried into effect till the reign of James IV. 4th. The parishes were named after the most distinguished Celtic saints, whose chapels existed in the several districts ; and particular families or clans seem, in some instances, to have had patron saints, as they had tartans and clan badges—another proof of the modern era of the parochial divisions. 5th. Romanesque towers and Norman windows and archways are not to be taken here as of the same antiquity with such styles in England ; and although the Abbey of Sadell was founded about 1150, and there may be a very few other buildings in the shire of as early a date, as, for instance, the four chapels of Kilkerran, Kil Michael, Kil Chouslan, and Kil Coivin, all now within the parish of Campbelltown, and all of which are mentioned in title-deeds engrossed in the Chartulary of Paisley, of dates between 1250 and 1300, yet the remaining parochial chapels of Argyleshire, for the most part, were erected when the family de Insulis was at its height of power, and cannot be held as of higher age than the thirteenth century. In fine, Mr. Howson records "a general, though somewhat vague impression left on my mind by the Scottish buildings is, that they will be found to vary from the English, if compared in the order of chronological sequence, but to vary according to a different law. I think that the early Scotch Gothic is almost as self-consistent a style as the early English Gothic, and extremely similar that the middle Scotch never worked itself so free from early forms as the decorated in England; and that the later Scotch exhibited, in many points, the character of a return upon the earliest Gothic."

8. The royal burgh of Campbelltown is a straggling but densely peopled town, containing about 7000 inhabitants. It stands at the head of a crescent-shaped harbour or bay, bordered on the opposite sides by hills, which, on the north, are bare, and not high, but on the south assume a bold and mountainous character, and are partially wooded. The harbour is commodious, affords excellent anchorage, being from six to ten fathoms deep, and sheltered by a bank or bar of shingle, connecting an islet called Davar, lying near the north, with the southern shore. Whisky is its great staple commodity; there being no less than from 25 to 30 distilleries in the place, paying upwards of 100,000 a-year of duties. Its market-place boasts of the largest and most beautiful stone cross in the country, said to have been brought from Iona. Dr. AI`Culloch's reading of the inscription on it is, " IIac est crux Domini Yvari M. II. Eachyrna quondam Rectoris de Kyrecan et Do-mini Andre nati ejus Rectoris de Kilcoman qui hanc crucem fieri faciebant." The patron saint here was Kilkerran or Cilciaran, by whom Christianity was introduced into Cantyre in the sixth century ; whose cemetery and cave, with a castle of the same name, lies on the south side of the bay. Kilkerran Castle was fortified by James V., during his expedition in 1536, against the Macdonalds and other turbulent island chieftains. It is related that Macdonald, the owner, retook it, and hanged the king's governor over the wall, before the monarch's galleys had got clear of the harbour. The parish church occupies the site of another of Macdonald's strongholds.

9. Campbelltown is not a little interesting, as the original seat of the Scottish monarchy. The old name of the parish was Dalruadhain, from having contained the capital of the ancient or Dalreudinian kingdom, so called from Cairbre Ruadh, red-haired Cairbre, son of Conan II. King of Ireland, reputed to have headed the colony of Scots, who migrated from Ireland in the third century, and, by slaying Oscar, the son of Ossian, to have become undisputed possessor of Cantyre. Being driven back to Ireland, the Scots returned in the fifth century, under the conduct of Lorn, Angus, and Fergus, the sons of Ere. Erca, Lorn's daughter, is described as the grandmother of St. Columba, the apostle of the Highlands. On the death of Lorn, who had taken the northern division of Argyleshire, still called after him—Angus being supposed to have had Islay—Fergus united the former territory to his own, which consisted of the southern parts, and became the founder of the Scottish monarchy. His kingdom was bounded on the north by that of the Picts, of which Inverness is supposed to have been then the capital; and on the east by that of the Strathclyde Britons, whose capital was Balclutha, now Dun-barton, or Dun-briton. The houses of Fergus and Lorn subsequently long contended for the kingly power, but the former was at last triumphant; and in the ninth century Kenneth extended his dominions by the conquest of the Picts, previously much weakened by successive wars with the Saxons, Britons, and Norwegians, when the seat of monarchy was transferred to Forteviot in Perthshire.

10. The ride across to the Mull (ten miles) is cultivated and pleasing. There the country is rude, hilly, and uninteresting, excepting some parts of the coasts. In the cliffs are several caves, the frequent resort of tinkers or gipsies, and smugglers. The Mull is distinguished by a lighthouse. To the eastward is a pyramidal hill, with a precipitous seaward front, on which stood—for hardly a trace of it remains—Dunaverty Castle, one of the very earliest of the residences of the island kings, being that wherein Angus Og entertained the fugitive Bruce. It is nearly surrounded by the sea, and was protected by a fosse, crossed by a drawbridge, and the ascent was fortified by several walls. In 1647, a party of Colkitto's men, Montrose's Irish auxiliary, were besieged here by General Leslie. The garrison at length capitulated at discretion; but the general, drawing a nice distinction between the discretion of the Estates,—the expression used in the treaty,—and his own discretion, inhumanly ordered the whole, to the number of 300, to be massacred in cold blood; and their bones, to this day whitening on the beach, attest their tragic fate. Our road terminates at the ferry of Ballychastle, the communication with Ireland.

Sanda, an island not far from Dunaverty, was a place of rendezvous of the Scandinavian fleets. It stands about three miles off the shore, measures a mile and a half by half a mile, and contains the remains of an old chapel, in the burying-ground attached to which are said to moulder the bones of many Danish and Norwegian chiefs. In the Sound there are abundance of cod, and a variety of other fish along the coast.

11. The ride north from Campbelltown by the east side of Cantyre is pleasingly diversified, leading along the face of declivities by the sea, now open, now partially wooded, and at intervals conducting across fertile intersecting valleys, but in general the district is bleaker than the opposite coast. At the third mile are the ruins of the ancient church of Kilkouslan. About eleven miles on the way, we pass the ruins of the Abbey of Sadell, which was commenced in the twelfth century by the mighty Somerled, and finished by his son Reginald. Its length was 136 feet, that of the transept 78 feet, and the breadth 24 feet; and it had cloisters arranged in a square on one side: but there is little of any part remaining. Though they may have been numerous, the religious buildings do not seem to have been of larger dimensions than the other monasteries and chapels of the county. The apertures of the windows are narrow, and appear to denote an early English character. Among the fallen crosses and carved grave-stones, full length effigies are still pretty entire of two of the old knights (Macdonalds of Sadell) in plate armour, with inscriptions in the Saxon character around them. The present family's tomb is also an elegant structure. Near these most interesting ruins are the new and old castles of Sadell, the latter a square keep, with pointed turrets and machicolated battlements, and consisting of a dungeon and three storeys of miserably small apartments,—the kitchen, also, though provided with a large vaulted chimney, being most wretchedly small. The whole is enclosed within a quadrangular court, and inhabited by several very poor families. Three miles farther on is the modern Torrisdale Castle. Crossing a considerable hill, a mile and a half beyond, are Carradell Kirk, and an insular vitrified fort, and one mile to the west the bridge and inn. On a rock overhanging the sea, and defended by a deep and broad ditch, are the remains of a Danish fort of some size, called the Castle of Aird, the outer wall of which is 240 feet long and 72 broad, and had been 6 feet thick, and 12 feet high. Carradell House is a picturesque residence, with an ample lawn. Six miles in advance, we pass the House of Cour, and five and a half miles past this we reach the Kirk of Clunaig and Corsaig House. Beyond them the cross-road strikes off to West Loch Tarbert, which it reaches at Stonefield House, about six miles from East Loch Tarbert Inn. That along the east coast is continued two and a half miles to Skipness village, bay, and castle.

12. Skipness Castle is an ample and imposing, and, though of great antiquity, a very entire structure, the most perfect and interesting in Argyleshire, with the exception of Kilchurn. Its outer wall, which is 7 feet thick and 33 feet high, measures 450 feet in circuit. At each of two opposite corners is a small projecting square tower. The main tower of four storeys stands within the wall, and at the north-east corner it is protected by a mid wall, forming an inner court, and is still inhabited. It had a regular warder's tower on the top, and platforms extended along the outer battlements for defence by bowmen; while the outer gate was protected by two splendid flanking towers and a portcullis, worked in a small tower above it. The stone stairs in the main keep are inserted in the body of the wall, not in any turnpike, and there are no corner turrets, both proofs of great antiquity. Hard by, are the ruins of the chapel, till lately used as the parish kirk. It was a small but neat pointed Gothic structure, and besides several half-effaced tomb-stones, one very beautiful sculptured cross, once upright, still remains.


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