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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Route III - Aberdeen to Inverness by sea, and through the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, and Nairn

Approach by sea along the Moray Firth to Inverness and Northern Counties, 1.-Itinerary; Aberdeen; Bay and New Town, 2.-Old Aberdeen; Bridee of Don; Cathedral; King's College, 3.-Old Buildings; history and Trade of Aberdeen, 4. Route through Buchan to Peterhead and Banff, Abbey of Old Deer, 5-Peterhead; Buller, of Buchan; Slain's Castle, 6.-Cairnbulg and Inverallochy Castles, 7.-Fraserburgh, 8 -Kinnaird's Head and Light-House, 9.-Trouphead, 10. -Banff; Duff House, 11.-Portsoy; Minerals and fossil Fish of Gamrie, 12.-Cullen and Cullen House, 13.-Mid-road from .Aberdeen to Banff by Old Meldrum. Haddo House; Fyvie Castle; Turriff, 14.-Upper road from Aberdeen by Inverrury and Huntly to Inverness.-The Foudland Hills; improvements; Foot Note.-Detour by the Don.-Kemnay; Monymusk; Kildrummie; Castle Fraser, 14b. Huntly; Keith; Strathbogie, 15.-Fochabers; Gordon Castle, 16.-Entrance to Morayshire; the Spey, 17.-Elgin; Esplanade; Church of St. Giles; Streets and Public Buildings, 18.-Elgin Cathedral; Diocese of Moray; Burnings of the Cathedral; present appearance of the Town; its Museum, &c., 19.-Geology of Moray, Foot Note; Castle of Spynie; Phiscardine, 20.-Burgh-head; Cove-sea; Gordonstown, 21.-Plain of Moray; Proprietors; Distant View, 22.-Sweno's Stone, or Carved Pillar, 23.-Abbey of Kinloss; Seaport of Findhorn; Coubin Sandhills, 24.-Forres; Clunie Hills; Drives along the Findhorn, 25.-Tarnaway Castle, 26.-Brodie; Dalvey, 27.-Nairnshire; the Hard Moor; Witches of Macbetb; Shakespere's blasted heath, 28.-Auldearn, Battle of; Burying Ground; Castle of Inchok, 29.-Nairn, 30.-Duke of Cumberland's Encampment at Balblair; Peat Mosses, 31.-Roads; Approach to the Highlands; Ancient Encampnients; Campbelltown and Fort-George, 32, and Foot Note.-Daleross Castle, 33. Castle Stewart; Culloden house; Turnilli; removal of land-mark, 34.-Druidical Circles, Foot Note; Splendid View and Arrival at Inverness, 35.-Lowlands and Highlands; Ancient Inhabitants, 36.


Railway to Aberdeen (inquire for Time Tables at Station house, as the hours are frequently changed).

North Star Steamer from London to Inverness, and the Duke of Richmond, and Bonnie Dundee, and Isabella Napier, Steamers, from Leith, call off Aberdeen (see page 203).

1. Very many of our readers will have reached Inverness, the Highland capital, from the south, either by the Perth and Athole road, or by steam from the south-west through the Caledonian Canal (as to which see Routes I. and II); or, they may arrive by sea from London or Leith, which, in summer especially, and during the busy season of the herring-fishery, when whole fleets of boats bestrew the ocean, is a common and pleasant way of attaining a central point whence to start in perambulating the north Highlands. Reference is previously made (p. 203) to the steam accommodations on the Moray Firth; and if the tourist should avail himself of these, he can at pleasure land at any of the ports on the south side of the Firth, or come on at once to Inverness, or go ashore at Cromarty or Invergordon, if his object he in the first place to explore the northern counties. If the weather be fine, the sail up the Moray Firth is exceedingly interesting and grand, though not so picturesque and varied as the west coast. Some of the headlands on the Aberdeen and I3anff shores, after-mentioned, are quite magnificent ; but after passing them, the Moray coast, though what is called an iron bound one, consists of low rocky ridges, with extensive flat sandy beaches, over which the Highland mountain screens are seen in dine and distant perspective. The Sutherland and Ross shire ranges, as they gradually come into view, present very varied and elegant forms ; the outlines, especially of the chain which stretches inwards from the Ord of Caithness, and divides that county from Sutherland, being beautifully peaked. When once fairly quit of the rather dangerous headlands of the Aberdeen coast (on which the full fury of the ocean is, with a north-east wind, driven unbroken from the the Pentland Firth), and afloat on the more land-locked waters of the Moray Firth, the promontory of Burghhead, and the bluff Sutors of Cromarty, hacked by the giant mountain of Ben Wyvis, soon come into view ; while the round dome-shaped summit of Mealfourvounie attracts the eye in the far-off recesses of the Great Glen. The Stotfield, Tarbat Ness, Cromarty, and Fortrose lighthouses, as they come successively before him, impart a feeling of pleasing security to the voyager, and, at the same time, broad belts of cultivated ground and hanging woods appear to greet his approach to the Highland towns and villages, to which we shall afterwards more particularly introduce him. Let us return then to our itinerary.

2. The approach to Scotia's north-cast capital by sea is not inviting. A bleak sandy coast, with long reefs and promontories of low rocks, having a few fishing villages scattered along it, and a tame uninteresting back-ground, hurry us on to Aberdeen —the city of "Bon Accord," the Oxford of Scotland, the "brave toun of Aberdeen." Immediately after passing the lighthouse on Girdleness we come upon the bar, crossing which, if the winds and waves permit, we enter the hay and find ourselves instantly involved among a vast quantity of boats and shipping, steaming our way to the harbours, over which rise the spacious granite built streets and houses of the New Town. They crown the north bank of the Dee; and after the traveller has refreshed himself at the "Royal," the "Union," the "Aberdeen," the "Lemon Tree," or "Mollisons," or secured apartments in some of the numerous private lodging-houses with which the city abounds, we advise him to sally forth and admire the spacious line of Union Street, about a mile in length ; Union Bridge, a single arch of 132 feet span, over the Den Burn, one of the most perfect in the kingdom the much admired Cross ; Castle Street, at the east end of Union Street, forming the market-place, and encircled by some of the principal edifices, and ornamented by a granite statue of the last Duke of Gordon; Broad Street; King Street; the East, West, North, and South, and Grayfriar's Churches; the new Free Churches; large and elegant Assembly Rooms; Bridewell; Grammar School; the Banks; Jail; Court-House Town-House; Episcopal Chapels; with the Infirmary; the very commodious and handsome New Markets, among the finest in the kingdom, and other public buildings; some of the principal works and manufactories; and especially the steam apparatus of Messrs. M'Donald and Leslie for polishing granite; with the harbours, the Inch, and the mouth of Dee. The streets and buildings of Aberdeen, being chiefly constructed of granite, have an unusually massive and durable appearance. The opening up of some of the new streets cost about £200,000 ; and the improvement of the harbour, which affords 5000 feet of wharfage, the large sum of £270,000. Marischal College, a square pile of buildings, entering from Broad Street, lately splendidly refitted, was founded by the noble family whose name it bears, in 1593, and is attended by nine professors, and about 300 students. It has a fine museum, library, and observatory, and a good collection of paintings, among which are some of the best productions of Jameson the Scottish Vandyke.

3. A walk of about a mile separates this bustling emporium of trade from the more classic retirements of Old Aberdeen. Should the tourist have made a detour along the beach, or entered from the north, he would first pass by the New Bridge of Don, within sight, however, of the old one, called the Brig of Balgownie, a beautiful Gothic arch of fifty-two feet span, and great strength, built by Bishop Cheyne, nephew to Curving, Earl of Buchan, and competitor of the Bruce, and which is well known through Lord Byron's record of the popular prophetic stanza, of which his lordship and the late Lord Aberdeen both stood in awe.

"Brig o' Balgownie, though wight be your wa',
Wi' a wife's ac son, and a mare's ae foal, down ye shall fa'."

The Don is here confined within a narrow rocky bed, and hence the top of the high " Brig," which is itself very narrow, appears to stand at a great altitude above the salmon pool below. Entering the Old Town of Aberdeen, on the south bank of the Don, we pass first the venerable parish church of Old Machar, which is only the nave of the ancient cathedral, the other portions of which yielded to the fury of the mob at the Reformation, and to the more fiery and wicked zeal of Cromwell's soldiers, who, as usual with them, removed the stones to build a garrison for the future subjection of their then Scottish friends. The structure is still a noble one (more massive, however, than elegant), and is kept in high preservation; and its large western window of seven high lancet lights, and oak ceiling, painted with armorial bearings, are much admired. The pillars of the transept have their capitals beautifully carved with oak and vine leaves ; the columns and windows being otherwise plain, and in the severe early English style. There are several sculptured tombs and remains of brasses, with many modern additions in debased Gothic, and all in bad taste. Next, we pass on to King's College, the fine tower of which, highly ornamented and formed into an imperial crown, early attracts attention. It was founded in 1494 by Bishop Elphinstone, and subsequently taken under royal protection. The buildings occupy the sides of a large quadrangle, and, with their chapel, have all been recently renewed, though the new parts harmonize but ill with the old. All the old buildings are of granite, with round-headed or severe sharp early English arches, while the restored parts have polished freestone fronts, with florid perpendicular windows. Within the chapel and examination hall, the ancient carved benches and oak roofs have been sadly interfered with by modernized seats, and pulpits, and stucco! The walls exhibit a fine collection of portraits of the old Scottish kings and early principals of the college, including one of the founder, Bishop Elphinstone. About 250 students attend, habited in red gowns ; and, besides the assistance of ten able professors, they, and the students of Marischal College in the new town, have access to a splendid library, of an old foundation, and which is now furnished with a free copy of every book entered in Stationer's, Hall. Many of Scotland's. best and greatest sons were alumni of King's College ; and every Highland heart especially must warm at the sight of those towers under which his poor but ardent and enterprising countrymen have, in thousands, drunk of the fountains of Divine and human knowledge, whereby, in all quarters of the globe, they have risen to respectability, fame, and opulence. Young men, from the most remote parts of the Highlands and Hebrides, still press on, every autumn, for King's College; and before steamers and coaches were known, they all had to travel on foot, and many of them depended for their subsistence afterwards on obtaining one or other of the numerous Bursaries, or presentations (varying from £3 to £20 and £30), which are competed for at the opening of each winter's session. It was an amusement, and a grateful one too, of the late Duke of Gordon, to send out his carriages, when the poor Highland lads were on their way to or from College, to give them a lift for a stage or two ; and the writers of these pages have known young men who wrought in summer as operatives at the Caledonian Canal, who have thus had a ride in the kind and hearty nobleman's carriage, and perhaps an hour's chat with the "brave and manly spirit" which beat in the breast of "the last of the Dukes of Gordon."

4. Mar's Castle, and several old courts, streets, and closes in the "auld town," are worthy of examination ; and the stranger will not fail to remark the quaint antique character of the whole place as contrasted with the business-like magnitude and pretension of the buildings in the New Town. Ile will also be struck with the number of gardens in and around Aberdeen, and especially with the vast quantities of the new and finest strawberries grown in them. The climate is severe and intensely cold, but in summer the air here is bracing, and the sea-bathing (with the use of hot and cold salt-water baths) remarkably good and convenient.

Aberdeen is of a very high antiquity, being known as the abode of a collection of people since the third century, and supposed to be the Devana of the Itinerarium Antonini; and it was certainly a privileged burgh since the ninth. Its earliest charter extant, however, is one of the twelfth century by William the Lion. "It is the place where commerce first took its rise in Scotland, or rather where commerce may be said to have disembarked from other countries into this. Long before Edinburgh was anything (as remarked by Mr. Chambers) but the insignificant hamlet attached to a fortress, and while the germ of the mercantile character as yet slept at Glasgow in the matrix of an Episcopal city, Aberdeen was a flourishing port, and the seat of a set of active and prosperous merchants ;" and is still the third principal port of North Britain. The bishop-rick of Aberdeen was founded in 1137 by David I., who transferred the see from Mortlach in Banffshire, where a religious house had been erected in 1010 by Malcolm II., soon after his great victory over the Danes, and where a bishop had subsequently resided. Many of the succeeding bishops were distinguished for their learning, piety, and public spirit; and the inhabitants of the city, and their magistrates, have at all times been noted for their sufferings in all the civil and religious contentions of the times, from Edward I. down to Montrose, and the "fifteen" and "forty-five," and for their readiness to protect their liberties and avenge their quarrels. Sir Robert Davidson, provost of Aberdeen, contributed much, along with the Earl of Mar, to the defeat of Donald of the Isles, at the great battle of Harlaw in 1411; and his monument, surmounted by a statue, is still preserved in the church of St. Nicholas. There were four con-vents in the city ; but the inhabitants early embraced the revival of primitive truth at the Reformation; and there have always been two strong and rival parties here--the Presbyterian and Episcopalian; though now, happily, they live on the best terms with one another.

Prior to 1745, the principal manufacture of Aberdeen was the knitting of stockings and coarse woollen stuffs: now it is celebrated not only for these, but also for its linen, hemp, cotton, paper, leather, and carpet manufactories ; for its porter breweries, distilleries, ironworks, shipbuilding ; and its exports of salmon, farm and dairy produce, and granite blocks, of which about 20,000 tons are sent away annually. The population of both towns approaches 70,000; and the shipping exceeds 30,000 tons. Harbour dues are annually paid on about 200,000 tons. There are three local banks—all of them highly prosperous. There are also two Aberdeen Fire and Life Insurance Companies. Although the bay of Aberdeen is rough and exposed, and the bar in front of the harbour dangerous—so that the citizens have frequently been subjected to witness shipwrecks, without the power of affording any relief—yet the trade is most extensive, and the communication with all parts of the world frequent; and here our readers from the south will find steamers prepared to start for Inverness, and the ports of the Moray Firth; in summer, once a-week for Wick, Kirkwall in Orkney, and Lerwick in Shetland; while with Leith there is daily intercourse ; and with London at least twice a-week by steam, making the voyage in sixty hours. Altogether, Aberdeen is a very fine and flourishing city, and the "canny Aberdonians" at once enterprising and careful, and thus eminently money-making. Their south railway, just opened, we trust will add to their wealth, and reward the enterprise which originated it.


The Howes o' Buchan
Being Notes, Local, Historical, and Antiquarian, regarding the various places of interest along the route of the Buchan Railway by the Late William Anderson (1873) (pdf)

5. The tourist bound for the northern counties, unless he take time to explore the courses of the Dee and Don, will not find much in the undulating and highly cultivated plains of Aberdeenshire, though not without many spots of great beauty, to detain him; and he will probably cut short his route by proceeding directly by Huntly and Keith to the Spey at Fochabers. But should business call him to the district of Buchan and Peterhead, he will either proceed by sea or keep along the coast road, or take the middle one by Ellon, Mintlaw, and Strichen. The latter in days of yore had the best made road, and it has been rendered classical by the " Tour" of Dr. Johnson. On the first part of it the Doctor remarked, that "I have now travelled two hundred miles in Scotland, and seen only one tree not younger than myself," so that, at Strichen, he rejoiced to meet "some forest trees of full growth;" but the sage seemed equally surprised at the ancient towns of Scotland, "which have generally an appearance unusual to Englishmen—the houses, whether small or great, being, for the most part, built of stones!" At Ellon, Pitfour, and Strichen, and along Lord Aberdeen's estates, he would now find whole forests of planted wood; and, what would have equally delighted the Doctor, numerous Episcopal chapels—that at Longside, near Mintlaw, in particular, accommodating perhaps the largest country congregation in Scotland, of which nearly 600 are communicants, and which is farther celebrated as having been the cure of the Rev. John Skinner, author of the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, of several poems and songs of considerable merit—such as "Tullochgorum," and the "Ewiw wi' the crooked horn"—and who was the father of the late, and grandfather of the present Bishop Skinner—both Primates of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. At no great distance from this chapel stood the once renowned Abbey of Old Deer, built in the beginning of the thirteenth century by one of the Cumings, Earls of Buchan, for monks of the Cistertian order. It has been razed almost to its foundations, and the grounds have been enclosed within an extensive orchard, by the proprietor, Mr. Ferguson of Pitfour.

6. The coast road has nothing in point of beauty to recommend it--extensive sands and low rocks accompanying us all the way to Peterhead. Here, on the most easterly promontory of Scotland, and opposite that of Buchan Ness, which is distinguished by its elegant lighthouse, stands the bustling and important seaport of Peterhead, the commodious and extensive bay and harbours of which annually save many a seaman from a watery grave. It is remarkable for the great commercial enterprise of the inhabitants in the whale and domestic fisheries, and is the nursery of the boldest and most scientific mariners ; while the most wonderful acuteness and activity have been exhibited by the people in every detail of trade. It is a burgh of barony, holding of the Merchant Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh, who acquired the superiority by purchase from an English company, who bought it from the Crown, on the forfeiture of the Earl Marischal; to whose protection the Chevalier St. George intrusted himself on his landing here in 1715. The neighbouring bay exhibits a perfect chevaux-de frize of needle-shaped granite rocks, jutting up in all directions; and of this stone, which is of a beautiful flesh colour, the houses of the town are erected; and a considerable quantity is exported for building-blocks, and polished slabs for chimney-pieces and monuments. Peterhead was once much resorted to in summer for sea-bathing, and for the waters of its celebrated sparkling mineral well; and it is a common feat for the valetudinarians to visit the Bullers (or Boilers) of Buchan, about six miles distant on the southern coast, but which, if the weather be rough, can also be approached from the shore. They consist of an immense cauldron, or pot, fifty feet wide, hollowed out by the waves, and the rock is arched beneath, so as to admit the entrance of a boat; but which can also be looked down upon from the lip above. The general height of the cliffs is fully 200 feet; and they are perforated on all hands by deep caves and recesses, along which a tremendous surge constantly rolls. Dr. Johnson quaintly describes the Buller as "a rock perpendicularly tubulated;" and alluding to the narrow ledge at the top, which appeared "very narrow," he gravely assures his readers that his party "went round, however, and we were glad when the circuit was completed!" Hard by, Slain's Castle, the seat of the Earl of Errol, a spacious quadrangular edifice, stands on the edge of a crag, as wild as that of the Buller: and the castle wall seems only to be the continuation of a perpendicular rock, the foot of which is beaten by the waves. The Earl's next neighbour, on the north-east, is the King of Denmark, whose subjects, it is said, claim a right of sepulture in the adjoining "kirk-yard," which they periodically visit to renew the grave stones of their departed brethren, who are so often drowned on this fearful coast; and so desolating is the sea-breeze, as to prevent Slain's Castle from being adorned by a single tree, "a characteristic (as remarked by Mr. Chambers) in which, as the residence of a Scottish nobleman, it is happily singular."

Proceeding onwards to Fraserburgh (eighteen miles from Peterhead) the tourist will take a passing glance of Inverugie Castle, which was the ancient seat of the Earls Marischal, and was occupied till the attainder of the family for their joining in the Rebellion of 1715. Here was born Field-marshal Keith, brother of the last earl, who, after the affair of Sheriffmuir, went abroad, and attained the highest fame and honours in the service of Peter the Great and King Frederick of Prussia.

7. The roads now deflect inward from the coast, to avoid the sandy beaches, which here extend a great way along the shore; the country also being bare, tame, and uninteresting, but abounding in herds of the finest cattle, and celebrated for its superior butter and cheese. But Cairnbulg Castle (two miles off), though a mere heap of ruins, is conspicuous at a distance, from the flatness of the country. It lies near Philorth, the residence of Lord Saltoun. Inverallochy Castle, which next comes in view, stands near the very dangerous promontory of Ratteray Head, on which, as yet, there is no lighthouse, and from which a reef of very fearful rocks runs out, which are partially covered at high water, and are, hence, often the more fatal to shipping.

8. Fraserburgh, strange offshoot of a Highland clan, is a burgh of regality, of which Lord Saltoun is superior and perpetual Provost, which was founded in the middle of the sixteenth century, along a fine bay and safe road-stead, by Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth. In 1592 he obtained a royal charter for the institution of a University here ; but the design was never carried farther than the erection of a square tower of three storeys for one of the Colleges; and in which, and at Peterhead, the students of Aberdeen were taught one season (1647), when that city was infested with the plague. The beautiful stone-cross, surmounting an hexagonal structure (adorned by the British and Philorth arms), which was erected by the founder, is still entire; and the adjoining magnificent harbour, constructed partly at the expense of Government and partly by subscription, cost about £50,000. It has rendered Fraserburgh a retreat to vessels of war, as well as merchantmen, in stormy weather; and hence, the town has become wealthy, stirring, and populous. The adjoining district has, ever since the Reformation, been a stronghold of Episcopacy; and the town was long the residence of the late venerable and learned Bishop Jolly, whose piety united the strictness and self-denial of an ancient monk or hermit to the simplicity of primitive times, and the cheerfulness and activity of the best Protestant divines.

9. Kinnaird's head and lighthouse lie a mile north of Fraserburgh, and rough and uninviting though the approach in all directions to this promontory is, the scenery partakes much of the sublime,—for the far off hills and headlands of Sutherland and Caithness stretch away in dark undefinable masses over the blue waves, which roll in wide expanse between; while near at hand huge detached blocks of rock jut out upon the waste of waters, as if to meet the lashings of the Pentland tides which dash full tilt, and are broken upon them. Here and there grim old eyry-like fortresses, the giant guardians of the land, frown out upon the sea; and in some places a recess of yellow beach, where perhaps some fleet of Norsemen had formerly stranded, and found a sandy grave.

10. The tourist is now twenty-one miles distant from Banff, a space which is divided into two stages by the excellent inn at Troup, the patrimonial property of Lord Gardenstone, and where he should visit Troup Head, which presents a breastwork of old red sandstone precipices several hundred feet high, and nearly three miles in extent, to the waves. There are no other eminences to be seen, saving the hill of Mormond, eight miles inland from Fraserburgh; and though only 800 feet high, it is conspicuous for at least forty miles all round. The flatness and want of trees bestow an imposing altitude even on the stone walls or dykes and cottages.

11. The neat and cheerful town of Banff' (which can boast of a large and excellent hotel), on a gently sloping hill side, and the, fisher town of Macduff, connected with it by a handsome bridge over the Deveron, should both be examined before proceeding to Duff House, though in the first there is scarcely a house remaining to indicate its very high antiquity. It is known to have been a residence of Malcolm IV., called the Maiden, most probably while engaged in exterminating the ancient inhabitants of Moray (1160), and whose charters are sometimes dated from Banff; and it is not clear but that his predecessor, Malcolm Caenmore, also resided here. Banff Castle was a constabulary or royal one, held for the crown—was the head of a small thanedom—and, like the similar fortresses of Cullen, Elgin, Forres, Nairn, and Inverness, was the king's residence when visiting his dominions, and the abode of his sheriffs or constables, and the place of administering justice in his absence. Randolph, Earl of 'Moray, appears to have got the thanedom of the Boyne from Robert the Bruce, by whom also the liberties of the burgh were renewed and confirmed. Subsequently it became the county town, and Banff Castle was declared the messuage of the earldom of Buchan, on the marriage of Margaret Ogilvie of Auchter House with James Stuart, Earl of Buchan, and brother of King James II., the Earl being then appointed hereditary thane or constable, an office which afterwards was resigned to the Findlater family, and by them exercised till the abolition of heritable jurisdictions. Pecuniary embarrassments caused the Earl of Buchan to part with the castle to Robert Sharp, sheriff-clerk of Banff, elder brother of the celebrated and unfortunate Archbishop Sharp, who was born there in 1613, and on whose murder, in 1679, his brother, Sir William Sharp of Stonyhill, took up the property. The archbishop's father previously held the castle in feu.

In Banff there was a large monastery of the Carmelites, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and supposed to have been coeval with the royalty. At the Reformation, the friars made over their possessions to Sir Walter Ogilvie ; but these, along with the superiority and feu-duties, which were gifted by James VI. to King's College, Aberdeen, have all been bought up by Lord Fife. The Knights Templars, also, had an hospital here, long distinguished by their usual mark, an iron cross, on the top. Like all the Scottish towns of any consequence, the free traders, and wealthy burghers of Banff, were, in ancient times, continually harassed by the exactions and cupidity of the feudal aristocracy of the neighbourhood ; and even such great nobles as the Duke of Gordon and the Marquis of Montrose, disdained not occasionally to mulct the citizens in loans which were never intended to be repaid, but which could not be refused. According to the last very able Statistical Report of the parish, it would appear that Banff is not now a "thriving place,"—neither increasing in size nor population (which amounts to about 3000 souls), though it has the advantage of excellent schools, abundant markets, numerous places of worship, literary institutions, and good society. The modern suburb of Macduff, which is provided with a better harbour, and lies more conveniently for trade, threatens to attract the young and adventurous part of the community to itself ; while the domains of two great landed proprietors, hemming in the burgh on all sides, necessarily prevent its spreading itself out into new streets or ornamental villas.

But the chief object of interest about Banff is Duff House, which was erected about ninety years ago by William, Lord Draco, after a purely Tuscan design, by Adams, at an expense of £70,000. It was never fully completed, the large quadrangular central part without the wings being alone executed, and though rich and graceful in detail, the structure is not imposing when viewed at a distance. The interior is perfectly "Jouverized" with pictures,—all remarkably interesting, and with many first-rate works of art, "at which criticism may vainly level her eye-glass." The walls are quite crowded with productions of Titian, Corregio, Murillo, Vandyke, Cuyp, Jameson, Sir Peter Lely, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Raeburn, and many others, both of the past and present day; and the collection is particularly rich in portraits of distinguished personages; but not the least interesting of the curiosities is the ponderous sword of the famous outlaw Macpherson, who was seized, after a desperate resistance, by the Laird of Braco (ancestor of the Earl of Fife), and some of his followers, at a fair at Keith ; and was tried and condemned, along with three of his accomplices, by the Sheri' of Banff, in November 1700, as "known holden and repute Egiptians and vagabonds, and oppressors of his Majesty's free lieges, and as thieves and receptors of theives pessima fama." The records of the trial are amusing and instructive: "three young rogues in prison" having, at the same time, had substantial, though perhaps not formal, justice administered to them, in having their "ears cropped, burnt on the cheek, and publickly scourged" through the town of Banff; but though all were found guilty, Macpherson alone was executed, two of the other culprits having been repledged as vassals of the Laird of Grant, and probably saved as subject to his jurisdiction. Macpherson, who was an excellent musician, is said to have corn-posed his own beautiful Lrcment and Pibroch, and to have played them "under the gallow's tree." He then offered his Cremona violin to any one in the crowd who would receive it as a remembrance of him, and the gift being declined, he broke it, and threw the fragments into the grave prepared for his body.

12. At Portsoy (8 miles from Banff), the most conspicuous object in which is a new and neat Episcopal chapel, the tourist will find a perfect mineralogical world, an epitome of the science; and choice polished specimens may be purchased of Mr. Clark, a local lapidary. The district abounds with the greatest variety of granite, quartz rock, and all the usual primary rocks, with large beds of beautiful marble and serpentine, and quantities of crystals of garnets, Labrador felspar, Hyperstene, Tourmaline, Hornblende, and Bronzite, with asbestus, tremolite, actynolite, and many of the allied magnesian minerals. The marble and serpentine beds have only been occasionally employed for chimney-pieces, vases, and small ornaments; but if extensively worked, and opened up, we feel confident that the purity and variety of the colours would command a ready market, especially if the serpentine was exhibited in large and highly-polished slabs. Professor Jameson, in his mineralogical travels, was the first to describe this extremely interesting neighbourhood.

Cultivation and woodland here abound, where not many years ago the whole country was a wide wilderness of bog. The Earl of Fife, the principal proprietor, has long devoted himself to the personal superintendence of those vast improvements; and three hundred persons, it is said, are constantly employed about the grounds of Duff House alone. The rough and wild scenery occasioned by the primitive rocks which compose the great mass of the country, and which in the Buchan district, to the eastward, project into the sea in rude and dangerous reefs and headlands, here give way occasionally to smoother ridges and promontories of red sandstone and its associated conglomerate, which diversify and soften the outlines, and which are the remains of the great sandstone basin now filled only by the heaving waters of the Moray Firth, but which, in an ancient state of things, was so extensive, that we can identify the remote sandstone ridges at Tomintoul abutting against the granite of the Grampians, as parts of them. In Gamrie Bay, on the south side of the great conglomerate mass of Troup Head, nodules of a subcrystalline, fibrous, and radiating structure, occur in a bed of bituminous clay, each enclosing an organic remain (generally a coccosteus); and these organisms, after many guesses and speculations, have been found to belong to the petrifactions of the old red sandstone formation, and to be connected with the similar fish-beds which stretch along the country past Dipple, Rothes, Scatscraig, Clunie, Lethan Bar, Cawdor, Culloden Moor, and Inverness, round to Cromarty, Caithness, and Orkney. To complete our glance at this most interesting geological district, we have to add, that flint nodules, and other traces of the chalk formation, as well as of the inferior lias and oolite, are found on the surface and in the tertiary deposits of Banff and Aberdeen shires; but whence they have come has not yet been properly ascertained.

13. A drive of six miles lands us opposite the three rocky kings in the bay, at the sumptuous hotel and three towns of Cullen, of which the neat houses of the more modern portion, strongly contrast with the habitations of the humble fisher town. In the midst rises an eminence on which a large fortress once stood, where Elizabeth, the wife of Robert Bruce, breathed her last. The dense woods behind environ Cullen House, the low country residence of the Earl of Seafield, chief of the clan Grant, built on the edge of a deep rocky burn course, and which is almost buried in them, and is screened from view by the sides of the narrow dell or valley in which it lies, but which is worthy of a visit, not only as one of the most princely and wealthy mansions in the north, but as containing, as has been remarked, "several battalions of pictures, both foreign and domestic," of great interest and value. The historical and family paintings are chiefly deserving of attention; and of the former, one of the finest is of James VI. by Mytens, which was rescued at the great revolution by the Earl of Findlater, then Chancellor of Scotland, from a mob who had torn it off the walls of Holyroodhouse; a portrait of James, Duke of Hamilton, who was beheaded in 1649, by Vandyke, and another of the admirable Crichton. The woods and policies lead up to the top of the Bein Hill, a prominent hill fort, which, with the Durn-Hill behind Portsoy (which is formed of the most beautiful slaty quartz rock), having three entrenchments round it, constituted the first Iinks of the great chain of signal stations (many of them vitrified) which stretch inland towards the sources of the Don and Dee, and westwards around the coasts of the Moray Firth. Dunidich on the shore side, and numerous cairns and stones of memorial along the district, attest the frequent struggles of the natives with the Danes and other Northmen. The church of Cullen is an interesting old fabric, and contains a fine canopied tomb, but the history of which is unknown. The ruins of Findlater Castle and of Boyne Castle below the road as we approach from the east, are interesting objects. Both belonged to the old family of the Ogilvys, Earls of Findlater. From Cullen a pleasing drive of twelve miles through a fine corn country, and latterly through dense fir woods, leads us past the great estuary of the Spey to Fochabers, which we shall afterwards notice when we have brought on the itinerary by the middle and upper or great north road from Aberdeen.


14. This route for some miles adheres to the Vale of the Don, and then passes into that of the sluggish Ythan. The country naturally is bleak and uninteresting, but its broad undulating surface, which, intermediate between the different river courses, is an aggregation of wide, somewhat saucer-shaped elevations and hollows, locally designated as "heights and hows," is now becoming highly cultivated. The staple cereal, however, in Aberdeen and Banff shires, is oats; and there is comparatively little wheat grown. In the first stage, the most conspicuous eminence is that of Benochie, the high and truncated summit of which is a noted landmark to all vessels making this coast. The burgh of barony of Old lleldrum, a village chiefly of artizans and labourers, has nothing to detain the stranger; but it overlooks a great expanse of fertile land to the West, called Chapel of Garioch. By diverging from the turnpike road, at Old Meldrum, to Methlick, on the Ythan, and thence along its course, rejoining the high road to Turriff, near Fyvie Castle, Haddo House, the seat of the Earl of Aberdeen, can be numbered among the tourist's reminiscences. It is a substantial square structure, with wings advancing in front at either extremity, and set down amid a wide expanse of undulating and well-wooded park-ground, and contains a good collection of paintings, including several of Lawrence's masterpieces. The banks flanking the Ythan rise steeply, and are well Wooded, and the scenery very pleasing within the vale itself, and when regaining the higher ground, the eye courses over more expanded sections of the winding and deeply-imbedded stream. It dwindles to the size of a mere brook as it curls round the pleasure-grounds of Fyvie Castle—laid out like an English park, half-way between Old Meltirum and Turriff—and is there still and sedgy. As remarked by Mr. Billings, Castle Fyvie was originally a very old keep, but added to and ornamented by Chancellor Seton, afterwards Lord Fyvie and Earl of Dunfermline.—."There is no such edifice in England. It is, indeed, one of the noblest and most beautiful specimens of that rich architecture which the Scottish barons of the days of King James VI. obtained from France. Its three princely towers, with their luxuriant coronet of coned turrets, sharp gables, tall roofs and chimneys, canopied dormer windows, and rude statuary, present a sky-outline at once graceful, rich, and massive, and in these qualities exceeding even the far-famed Glammis. The form of the central tower is peculiar and striking; it consists, in appearance, (in front, i. e.) of two semi-round towers, with a deep curtain between them, retired within a round-arched recess of peculiar height and depth. The minor departments of the building are profusely decorated with mouldings, crockets, canopies, and statuary. The interior is in the same fine keeping with the exterior. The great staircase is an architectural triumph, such as few Scottish mansions can exhibit; and it is so broad and so gently graduated, as to justify a traditional boast, that the laird's horse used to ascend it." The three towers are in a. line, with high roofs, and not battlemented, and of uniform height, and square, with the variation alluded to. The ample staircase winds under a succession of massive archways at right angles to each other, and is vaulted overhead; and the outer gateway and lodge—a large square structure, with a high conical turret at each corner, and completely enveloped in ivy—forms a remarkably fine outwork in keeping with the castle itself. Here, also, are several valuable paintings. Aberdeenshire is rich in these fine old castles; and in this neighbourhood, the tourist should see those of Gight and Tolquhon, though they are much inferior to Castle Fyvie and to Castle Fraser, and others mentioned as occurring along the course of the Don. As it nears Turriff, the road passes the house and grounds of flatten (Duff).

Turriff is a thriving manufacturing village, with fine bleach-fields, and overlooking the Vale of the Deveron. It claims a high antiquity, and is known to have had an almshouse or hospital, erected by the Earl of Buchan in 1272, which was afterwards enlarged by Robert Bruce. The Knights Templars also had lands here; and the present buildings of the town most worthy of notice are, a handsome parish church, a venerable old disused one, and an Episcopal chapel. Thence to Banff, the banks of the Deveron exhibit a deal of fine woodland and river scenery, especially opposite Forglen House, near Turriff, and again at the Bridge of Alva, and thence through the policies of Duff House; but, generally, the country away from the river's side, and along the public road, is bleak and cold, though well cultivated. The road passes at a short distance from Dalgetty Castle, (James Duff, Esq., M. P. for Banffshire,) another and a very interesting specimen of the old Tower, embellished with French additions, and where the old family chapel is still preserved.

It will be apparent, that the round by Turriff and Banff to Fochabers, gives opportunity of seeing a succession of mansions, each well worthy of a visit—Haddo House, Fyvie Castle, Duff House, and Cullen House, in addition to Gordon Castle—besides presenting a specimen of the coast scenery, as well as of the central districts of that part of the country.


14 b. The traveller by coach is usually surprised to find himself accompanied side by side for the first stage out to Inverury (16 miles), by the track-boats of an inland canal which was formed chiefly for the transit of merchandise, and the export of the great quantities of corn raised in the interior valleys of Aberdeenshire, and of the slates and limestones of the adjoining hills. Passing hintore, Inverury, and other thriving villages, the road then proceeds through an upland moorish country, winding among a succession of undulating shapeless hills, the passes through which, especially in the Foudland Hills, south of IIuntly, are often in winter for a considerable period blocked up with snow.

The hill sides, however, are now being extensively planted with forest trees, to increase the shelter and ameliorate the climate; and here, as well as along the coast, most noble and extraordinary efforts have been made to reclaim and improve the ground. In no part of Scotland have greater industry and skill been exhibited, or more capital invested in agricultural pursuits, than in this quarter, and that with a soil naturally wet and cold, and a climate by no means propitious.

[The district about Huntly and Keith abounds in primitive limestone and slate, which have largely contributed to local improvements.] Though now possessed by a race of Flemish or Saxon origin, and speaking a dialect of the lowland Scotch, peculiarly broad, where Gaelic is never heard except in the more inland glens, Banff and Aberdeen shires anciently composed a great Celtic territory under the dominion of the Earls (previously the Maormors) of Mar and Buchan, in which the names of places still point out the Celtic character of the first inhabitants. Hence, apart from the outline of the country, we might not inappropriately consider these two counties as Highland, though Scotchmen in general rank them as belonging to the Lowlands. [Instead of proceeding the length of Inverury, and following the course of the Ury and the direct road to bluntly, a very agreeable detour may lie made by striking across from near Kintore, so as to regain the lion near Kemuay (distinguished for an excellent school, and a schoolhouse and grounds, which are a marvel for spruceness) —following its course to Monymusk, thence by Alford to Kildrunimie; and there diverging northwards, by Clova and Strathbogie, to bluntly. Some of the reaches of the I)on, as at Fetternear and Monymusk—the Paradise near it-and Castle Forbes, a showy modern castellated building, which may be reached at some sacrifice, as the turnpike road does not follow the river here, are exquisitely sweet and beautiful. The river is lined he soft and moderate-sized eminences, highly wooded, while the low grounds are well cultivated. Kildrummie Castle, which repeatedly figures in Scottish history, is a bulky and imposing structure, now a mere shell, however, on an elevated recess overlooking Strathdon. The Burn of Clova presents a fine wooded dell, and the Clova hills are a fruitful botanical habitat. In Strathbogie, which descends to Ilunth-, the first throes were experienced of that great convulsion which has rent asunder the Church of Scotland. But one of the chief recommendations of this route is, that between Kemnay and Monymusk, it leads within little more than a mile of Castle Fraser (Colonel Fraser), which, and Fyvie Castle, already described, form the finest architectural ornaments of Aberdeenshire. The following is the description in Messrs. Billings and Burns' Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities:" It may be considered as standing in competition with Fyvie Castle for supremacy among the many French turrctea mansions of the north. While its rival rests supreme in symmetrical compactness, Castle Fraser is conspicuous for the rich variety of its main features, and its long, rambling, irregular masses. Descending to minute details—while Fyvie is remarkable for its grotesque statuary, Castle Fraser has a more abundant richness of moulding and carved decoration. The quantity of tympanumed dormer windows, and the variety of decorations with which they are enriched, give much character and effect to the building. There is one small feature, taken from France, seldom exemplified in the turreted mansions of the north, yet of which there are a few specimens in edifices otherwise meagre—this is the light, lofty turret, with an ogee or pavilion-shaped, instead of a conical roof, and airy-looking tiers of small windows, perched in the recess where the round tower joins the central square mass. Of that mass, the upper will be seen to be of very different character from the lower architectural department, which probably was the unadorned square tower of the fifteenth century. The dates, which appear on the more modern and ornamental portions, point to the time when the turreted style had reached its highest development in Scotland 1617 and 1618."

The central square mass above alluded to, with the roof springing from a more decorated superstructure, has a lofty round tower of six storeys overtopping the roof on one flank, occupying the fore halt of that side, and a higher slender turret, perched, as described, in the front junction; while, on the opposite side, the main building is embraced by another square tower, retreating back, uniform with itself, and which leaves the fore portion of that side of the central tower free. The main building is thus more massive than Fyvie. Two ranges of lower buildings extend behind, each terminating in a conical-roofed tower. All the angles of the whole structure are surmounted by high similar shaped turrets, and the effect of the whole is admirable.]

15. Huntly and Keith, the two principal inland towns on this road, owe their prosperity chiefly to their localities being well adapted for bleachfields, and the manufacture of linen and woollen stuffs. The latter, or rather the new town of Keith, was founded in 1750, on a barren moor upon the Isla Water, by James, father of the last Ogilvy, Earl of Findlater, whose title and estates have now passed into the family of Grant of Grant, Earls of Seafield. Huntly stands on a dry and pleasant bank at the confluence of the Bogie with the Deveron, and consists chiefly of two principal streets crossing each other at right angles, and forming a spacious square or market-place. Near it on the banks of the Deveron, is the elegant residence of Huntly Lodge, the jointure-house of her Grace the Duchess of Gordon; and hard by, the ruins of the old castle of Huntly, the ancient seat of the Duke of Gordon's eldest son while Marquis of Huntly, and which is a structure with peculiar features, and far more imposing, when examined in detail, than it seems to be at a distance. Aberdeenshire is traversed by a number of fine rivers of various character, giving rise to much diversified scenery, and to many rich alluvial plains or straths, along their banks. In the maritime and more easterly portions of Banff and Aberdeen shires, Episcopacy has ever retained a strong footing, her congregations being numerous, embracing both rich and poor; while a considerable portion of the population are also Roman Catholics, especially in the district of the Enzie, in Banffshire. About the city of Aberdeen, and towards the north-west, Presbyterianism early obtained the ascendancy.

16. A short but rapid descent of nine miles from Keith terminates at Fochabers, a little town which stands at the distance of a few hundred yards from the east bank of the river Spey, on an elevated gravel terrace; and Gordon Castle, now the seat of his Grace the Duke of Richmond, about a mile to the north, on a lower one. The town forms a regular parallelogram, the sides of which are composed chiefly of thatched cottages. A square, surrounded by respectable houses, occupies the centre; from the east and west sides of which straight streets of similar buildings proceed, and the town is traversed by two parallel and cross lanes of houses. On one side of the square there is a porticoed church, surmounted by a neat spire; and on the south side of the town, a Roman Catholic chapel, remarkable for its handsome and tasteful front, has been lately erected. A Scotch Episcopal chapel has also been recently added. The population of Fochabers is about 900. It contains an excellent hotel, about seventy slated houses, and thrice that number of thatched cottages. A munificent educational fund has lately accrued to the place, through the bequest of a townsman, Alexander Mylne, merchant of New Orleans, whose institution has been erected at the eastern approach.

Gordon Castle, the north-country residence of the Duke of Richmond, formerly the seat of the ducal family of Gordon, is a magnificent structure, consisting of a large central building of four storeys, with spacious two-storeyed wings, and connecting galleries or arcades, of a like height; forming altogether a front of 540 feet. Behind the main building rises a square tower six storeys high, which harmonises with the general design. The castle is faced on all sides with freestone, and encircled by an embattled coping. It stands in a park 1300 acres in extent, formerly a marsh called the Bog of Gicht, whence the duke himself was often styled only the "Gudeman of Gicht," and is adorned with a variety of forest trees of large dimensions, particularly the limes, horse-chesnut, and walnut trees. One of the finest is a lime behind the castle, measuring eighteen feet in girth, whose drooping branches cover an area of upwards of 200 feet in circumference. The gardens occupy about twelve acres, and the grounds are ornamented by a large pond, where the lordly swan holds undivided though secluded sway. In the castle are several paintings, copies from the old masters, by Angelica Kauffman, and a large collection of family and other portraits, of which a few are by Vandyke, Jameson, and Sir Peter Lely. As remarked by Miss Sinclair, Gordon Castle, on the whole, was, when she wrote, "the finest ducal residence in Scotland"—"a world of a house; the park is bounded only by the horizon, the trees are gigantic; everything, in short, appears on the grandest scale:" while of the older palace which preceded the present one, and which was in the Moorish style, Franks wrote in 1658, that "it struck me with admiration to gaze on so gaudy and regular a frontispiece, more especially to consider it in the nook of a nation."

17. Crossing now the Spey by a handsome suspension bridge, from which the view, both up and down the valley, is remarkably beautiful, we leave behind, with no regret, the last bleak spurs and ridges of the Grampians, and enter upon the soft and verdant alluvial plains of Moray. The river Spey, it will be remarked in passing, is a deep and rapid stream, subject to sudden speats or overflows, during which it "rolls from bank to brae" a fearful and desolating torrent. Hence it has ever been regarded as the natural bulwark or safeguard of the North Highlands, which, before the erection of the present bridge, were often completely isolated by it. Here the clans of old fought many a tough battle for their independence, and here Prince Charles Edward, in 1746, ought to have contested the passage with the English troops, and which he could have done with great advantage, instead of letting them quietly cross the Spey, and the rivers Findhorn and Nairn, before he met them at Culloden.

18. A beautiful ride of nine miles farther ushers us to the capital of Moray, the fine old ecclesiastical city of Elgin, built on the winding haughs of a deep but sluggish stream, the Lossie, and a ridge south of them, and marked from afar by the late Duke of Gordon's monument at the west end, erected near the ruins of a very old castellated structure on the Lady hill, and by the dark massive towers of the cathedral at the east end, and by various public buildings, quite remarkable for a small provincial town. All the public coaches stop at the Gordon Arms Inn, in the central square of the town, which is close by the market-place and esplanade, and has the post-office directly opposite the windows, with an immense freestone fountain beneath them, suggesting rather freezing than pleasing sensations for this cool climate. Directly east of it is the huge parish church (of a Grecian design, surmounted by a Prince of Wales feather!) on the site of the ancient Gothic church of St. Giles, which was of venerable antiquity, and which had retained ample bounds around it so as to throw the neighbouring buildings well away from it in a kind of square, having a long street running east and west from either end, and numerous cross lanes and small streets south and north like the old town of Edinburgh. North Street, a little west of the inn, leads to the Lossie, and the village of Bishopmill, on the farther side of it (past the loch and old castle of Spynie), and to the seaport of Lossiemouth, distant five miles, and which, with the adjoining village of Stotfield, is much resorted to in summer for sea-bathing. A street (Moss Street and Lossie Wynd) at the east end of the town runs directly north and south, conducting, in the latter direction, to the Glen of Rothes, and the interior of the country, and near which, as being the sunny side of the place, there are a perfect labyrinth of old crofts and burgh riggs, a number of handsome houses and villas, and the neat churches erected by the Roman Catholic and Free Church congregations. At the west end, besides the main post road to Forres, which inclines to the north, one proceeds southwest along the Infirmary and Lunatic Asylum walls to Palmer's Cross, and the rich corn district watered by the Lossie. Elgin contains a flourishing population of about 4500 inhabitants, and possesses public printing-presses giving forth two weekly newspapers, and an extensive and valuable circulating library, and excellent academy. Society in Elgin comprehends an unusual proportion of persons in affluent or easy circumstances. The town is lighted with gas, and the inhabitants display much spirit in all measures of improvement. Owing to the vicinity of the freestone quarries of Quarrywood and Caussie, its newer houses and the adjoining villas appear to an advantage rarely exhibited by small provincial towns; and they are likewise, in general, tastefully designed. The streets also abound with picturesque and fantastic-looking houses, some of them of considerable antiquity, which, besides every variety of shape, often display projecting wooden balconies and piazzas, overhanging and partly encroaching on the public way, and one or two of them have still the mark of the old Templars' property on them —a high iron cross on the topmost chimney.

19. But the glory of Elgin is its venerable cathedral, now in ruins, long and, justly styled "The Lanthorn of the North." (Speculum patria et decus regni.) Of this edifice there are standing only the two large square western towers (84 feet high), but without their spires, though, fortunately, the intermediate large doorway, and part of the window above, are entire; as also, at the eastern end, the choir and its cloister, the grand altar, and double-rowed and orieled windows above it, with the two eastern terminal turrets and adjoining chapter-house. The length of the cathedral measured 282 by 86 feet over the walls, and the transept was 115 feet in length, while in the centre of the whole a magnificent tower, supported on massive pillars, rose to the height of 108 feet. A flight of spacious steps received the visitor on his approach, and landed him at the great western entrance, the floor of which represents the general basement level of the whole structure. Traces of this pavement have lately been discovered, and the ascent of steps may yet be restored. The chapter-house is of an octagonal form, with windows of variously patterned tracery; and its flat stone roof is supported by a clustered pillar, nine feet in circumference, rising from the centre of the chamber beneath, and from the top of which, beautiful light groined arches proceed round the building, and unite with those composing the windows. While the general dimensions of the whole cathedral (which is in the style of the early decorated Gothic) attract admiration for their symmetry, the workmanship of the chapter-house (erected, it is supposed, about 1480) is peculiarly deserving of notice for its lightness, richness of ornament, and great delicacy in the execution of the minuter tracery, and the flowered fillets and capitals of its columns. The cathedral stands at the east end of the town of Elgin, and was surrounded by a high wall 1000 yards in circuit, having four gates. The officials had each a manse and garden within the precinct, in a street still called the College, and a glebe in a large adjoining field. But little is known of the original building of this noble minster, which alone, of the Scottish cathedrals of the thirteenth century, had two western towers.

The diocese of Moray was constituted by Alexander I., in the year 1115, and the foundation-stone of the cathedral was laid, on 19th July 1224, by Bishop Andrew de Moravia, nephew of that St. Gilbert who, on the opposite shore of the firth, at the same time, raised the humbler walls of Dornoch. The work was afterwards completed, through the exertions of the Popes, who caused collections in aid of the undertaking to be made in different parts of Europe, and sent artisans and architects from Rome to forward and superintend its execution. Along with the towns of Elgin and Forres, this magnificent pile was, in 1390, burned by the ferocious "Wolf of Badenoch." Alexander Stewart, son of Robert II., who also to avenge himself on Bishop Bar for refusing to recognise him as his liege lord, set fire, at the same time, to the College, the raison Dieu (an hospital, it is believed, for lepers), and the Town Church of St. Giles, which, with their whole writs and documents, were all reduced to a heap of ruins. Well might the old Church Chronicler style those as days in which there "was no law in Scotland, but the great man oppressed the poor man, and the whole kingdom was one den of thieves. Slaughters, robberies, fire-raising, and other crimes, went unpunished; and justice was sent into banishment beyond the kingdom's bounds." The Bishop, making his lamentation to the king of the damage done on this occasion, describes the cathedral "as the pride of the land, the glory of the realm, the delight of wayfarers and strangers, a praise and a boast among foreign nations—lofty in its towers without, splendid in its appointments within—its countless jewels and rich vestments, and the multitude of its priests." It had seven dignitaries, fifteen canons, twenty-two vicars-choral, and about as many chaplains. (See Quarterly Review for June 1849.) A second plundering and burning of the town and cathedral was perpetrated in 1402 by Alexander, third son of the Lord of the Isles, a worthy rival of the ferocious Wolf, who, like him, was previously sworn, bound by writ, "not to allow his men, nor any other Kethranes, to beg or strole through. the country of .Moray, nor to annoy or destroy the inhabitants!" Both incendiaries had speedily to propitiate the Church, and obtain absolution by costly presents. The rebuilding of the cathedral was commenced by Bishop John Innes, a son of the family of Innes, in 1407, but was not completed till 1420. In 1506, the great tower fell, and its re-erection was not finished till 1538. On the 14th of February 1,568, the Regent Moray and his council issued an order to strip the roofs of the cathedrals of Elgin and Aberdeen of their lead; but the vessel freighted with it is said to have sunk in the bay of Aberdeen. Since that period the building has been, till of late, totally neglected, and suffered to fall into its present state of decay. A small sum was latterly given, by the Barons of Exchequer, to a self-constituted guardian, who displayed great taste and industry in clearing away the rubbish and restoring the ground-plan of elevation, and is still continued. Its original extent and history have been traced out by a gentleman of Elgin (Isaac Forsyth, Esq.), to whose public spirit the inhabitants of this district are, for many reasons, much indebted, and by whom a series of beautiful engravings, on a large scale, of the remains of the cathedral, with letter-press descriptions, was published some years ago. It is difficult for us, who lavish so much on our own "ceiled houses," to appreciate the sentiments of the age that decorated so profusely the house of God; but even after visiting Melrose Abbey, the stranger will be obliged to confess, on beholding Elgin, that "enough yet remains of it to entitle it to rank as at once the grandest and the most beautiful of our cathedrals, if not the most superb edifice of Scotland."—Reg. Moray. Preface.) Elgin, as remarked by the learned author, whose words we have just quoted—the present sheriff of the county (C. Innes, Esq.)—" long retained a strong impress of its ecclesiastical origin. Within the memory of some yet alive, it presented the appearance of a little cathedral city, very unusual among the burghs of Presbyterian Scotland. There was an antique fashion of building, and withal, a certain solemn, drowsy air about the town and its inhabitants, that almost prepared a stranger to meet some church procession, or some imposing ceremonial of the picturesque old religion. The town is changed of late. The dwellings of the citizens have put on a modern trim look, which does not satisfy the eye so well as the sober gray walls of their fathers. Numerous hospitals, the fruits of mixed charity and vanity, surround the town, and with their gaudy white domes and porticos, contrast offensively with the mellow colouring and chaste proportions of the ancient structures. If the present taste continues, there will soon be nothing remaining of the reverend antique town but the ruins of its magnificent cathedral."

Elgin possesses a good museum, chiefly illustrative of the geology of the district, and from this town have emerged many learned scholars and most able men, in all departments of the state. No province in the kingdom has been better illustrated than Moray by local historians and antiquaries—the foundation materials being the cathedral records which were published in 1837, under the eye of the Bannatyne Club, by the late and present Dukes of Sutherland; and the most interesting of which consists of transcripts of the more ancient documents, collected under papal authority immediately after the burnings by the Wolf of Badenoch and Alexander of the Isles. The History of the Province of Moray, by the Rev. L. Shaw, one of the ministers of Elgin of the last century, is a most valuable work; and while all the recent agricultural and other improvements have been chronicled in the new Statistical Accounts of the different parishes, and the scenery and antiquities by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, the Flora of the province have been separately illustrated by one of the clergymen, the Rev. George Gordon of Birnie, and the geology by P. Duff, Esq., a professional gentleman in the town, and by Alexander Robertson, Esq., a native of it.

Instead of the summary of the Geolosy of Moray, contained in the last edition of this work, we have now the pleasure of submitting to our readers the following synopsis or index of the subject, with which we have been favoured by Alexander Robertson, Esq., and which is the result of original observations carried on for many years. It illustrates the geology of the whole asin of the Moray Firth, and may be referred to by the geologist in Orkney.

Ventose accumulations of sand, or dunes, are largely developed at Culbin, to the west of the hay of Findhorn, where they have buried an extensive area of what was once the most fertile cultivated land in the county, and attain a height of 113 feet above low-water mark. Similar deposits, though on a less conspicuous scale, are found all along the seaward zone of the district, the sand in some cases, as at Inveruo e, alternating with seams of vegetable soil.

All the different kinds ofpeat (with the exception perhaps of the maritime species) are met with in Morayshire. The slopes of the upper hills are covered with mountain peat, while their flats and hollows are occupied by the marsh and forest varieties. In some elevated and exposed mosses, as those on the Brown Moor, which are from 600 to 1100 feet above the sea, the stools and trunks of oak and other trees are found of a size, which the climate now existing at such heights in this district does not admit of. The stools of the oaks are sometimes more than three feet in diameter, and the breadth of their annual rings testifies to a rapid growth having taken place. In the lower region, accumulations of forest, lake, and marsh peat are of frequent occurrence, hut they are, for the most part, now cultivated. In general they exhibit little that is noticeable. In autumn of 1819, however, the horn cores and part of the frontal bone of a large Bos priasigenius (Bo.), together with the shed horn of a stag, were found in cutting a drain at Westfield. These specimens axe now in the Elgin Museum. A little to the west of Burgh-head there is a submarine forest, which must, from the circumstance of trees being occasionally dragged up by the anchors of ships riding in the bay, extend for a considerable distance beneath the sea. Part of it is exposed at low water. It is a combination of forest, lake, and marsh peat, and is full of cavities containing dead shells of Pliolas candida, P. crispata, and wenempis perforans.

Shell marl occurs in some places, as in the old bed of the Loch of Spvnie and at Inverlochty associated with lake peat. Rock marl is found, under similar circumstances, at Newton.

Clay of a dirty white colour appears below marsh and lake peat in Mosstowie, and brownish and bluish clays are generally found thus accompanied, as at West Calcotts and Spynie.

The fluviatile deposits of the district consist of shingle, gravel, and coarse sand, and of fine sand and loam. The coarser accumulations are chiefly to he found for some distance below the gorges through which the rivers pass, as on the Lossie and Shoggle in the parish of Birnie, and on the Spey about Craigelachie. A considerable extent of the flat and fertile lands which lie along the rivers consists of loam. It is distinctly laminated, and sometimes several feet in depth, with partings of fine sand. The colour is generally brown, as at Invererne, near the Findhorn, Ilaughland on the Lossie, and Dandaleith on the Spey. Lower down on the last mentioned river, after the stream has passed through the deep red sandstones and conglomerates there prevalent, the loam changes to tle hue mentioned, as at Dipple. Organic remains are found in the fluviatile loam; but, from the physical configuration of the country covered by it, it has evidently been deposited in lakes and estuaries now obliterated. The character of the mass precisely resembles that of the modern detritus brought down by the rivers when in flood.

Where the coast is not rocky, as is the case from the western extremity of the county to Burgh-head, between Craighead and Stotfield, and from Lossicmonth to the Spey, the present beach is bounded by a series of ridges, externally of shingle, but skewing rudely saddle-shaped alternations of gravel and shingle, when a transverse section is made. The ridges vary in size, and the distances between them are unequal. The breadth to which they extend inland is sometimes, as near Inchbroom, a mile and a half, and their number is occasionally from twenty to twenty-five, as near the Black Hill of Spey. They are, in general, nearly parallel with the existing coast line; but at Culbin and at Speyslaw they are so contorted as, in sonic places, to run at right angles to it. The same occurs near Inchhroom; but here the phenomenon has clearly been produced by the interference of the ancient estuary of the Lossie, and similar agency was probably at work in the other cases: in that of Speyslaw this hypothesis agrees both with etymology and tradition. The ridges are due to the piling action of waves during storms. Irons their mode of distribution they may be regarded as rings of growth, skewing the intermittent nature of the elevation of the land. To the east of Hopeman Lodge, and on a terrace about half is mile west of Craighead, similar series of ridges, though on a smaller scale, are found about fort feet abore the present high-water mark.

Caves, as at Covcsea, occur in the precipitous cliffs along the coast. Although due to the action of waves, they are at present generally far removed beyond the abrasive influence of the ocean. Sonic isolated rock pillars, as the Gu's (i, e. gull's) castle, near Covcsea, appear on the beach below the cliffs, their bases only being now washed at high water.

From ten to twenty feet above high-water mark there are beds of rubbed and comminuted shells of existing species, as to the west of Hopeman, and close to the inn at Brnnderburgh. Some years ago a waterworn fissure was discovered in a sandstone quarry at IIopeman. The lower part of the cavity contained deposits of sand, shingle, and fragmented shells. At some po ints these reached to within four inches of the ledge which projected from one, side,, and formed a sort of roof to the fissure. Above them lay a quantity of bones of quadrupeds, birds, and fishes, shells of Littomia lit. torca, Patella vulgata, and Helix liortensis, pieces of charcoal, burnt stones, and a flint arrow-head. These relics were imbedded in a brown and fetid sand, both the colour and odour of which were due to the decomposition of animal matter. Among the bones, Professor M`Gillivrav distinguished those of the beaver and crane. The others belonged to the ox, red beer, R.c., and, with the remaining exuvite, were precisely similar to those usually found, as at Culbin, around the residences of the ancient inhabitants of the country. In the interval between the deposition of these remains and the quarrying operations which led to their disinterment, the upper opening of the fissure had been partially overgrown by vegetation, and then covered with blown sand. The cavity was simply a convenient receptacle for the rejectamenta of a carnivorous people, and, but for the occurrence of remains of the beaver and crane, both of which are now extinct in Britain, its investigation belongs rather to the domain of the antiquary than the geologist.

In many parts of the old bed of the Loch of Spynie there is a stratum of sea shells, under a foot or two of sand. The shells are Littorina littorca, Nerita littoralis, Ostrea edulis, Mytilus edulis, Lutraria compressa, Carduim edulc, Tellina solidula, &cc. In sonic places, as near the Watery Mains road, opposite Findrossie and 1)uffus Castle, the shell bed reposes on lake peat and shell marl, the latter containing Lynmeus periger, Planorbis vortex, P. contortus, Pisiduim pulchellum, 8:c. Below this there is marine sand. The phenomena prove that, after the area had been occupied by a fresh water lake, it was again covered by the ocean.

Sand, gravel, and shingle, with occasional layers of sandy loam, all more or less regularly stratified, are very generally distributed throughout the lower part of the district. These bins are found at all elevations, from the present beach line to the height of 259 feet, as at Clunyhill near Foci-es. The superficial character of the strata is seldom level, in general undulating. Sometimes they appear as flat-topped hills, and bare flat hills; and at other places, as in the woods east of Lochnabo, irregular hol- lows have been worn into them by denudation, producing groups of confusedly arranged hillocks. Erraties of various sizes, consisting of crystalline and conglomerate rocks, are strewn over the surface of these strata in some localities, as the low grounds eastward of the Loch of Spsnie, and in the woods of Urquhart. These blocks have, certainly, been transported by icebergs. No fossils have been found, owing doubtless to the porosity of the masses which are, however, unquestionably of marine origin.

Clays of various kinds, belonging to the same period as these areuacious strata, are found in some places. At Bosebaugh and Sheenpston the clay is red, and attains a height of thirty to forty feet above the bottom of the valley. Below the old bed of the Loch of Spynic a gray clay occurs at Lochside, and the same deposit appears at Ardivot, the top of it being here about ten feet above the present surface of the lake. Some bones of a red deer were found in the clay at Lochside. All these beds are superior to the boulder formation; but the relative ages of the different members of the series have not been satisfactorily determined. There are grounds for believing that, since the glacial period, the land has thrice suffered subsidence and elevation.

The boulder formation is well seen in Morayshire. It consists of a red loam, containing more or less rounded and striated masses of a great variety of rocks. The rocks on which it rests are grooved and scratched in a direction generally within a few degrees of north-west by west, and southeast by south; but, more rarely, as at `pynic and Luiksfield, the markings run between north by east and north-north-east, to south, by west and south-south-west. The loam covers the slopes of the hills in the lower district, especially on their northern and western aspects, where, from the strata dipping in that direction, they are in general less abrupt than out their opposite faces. Formerly it must have extended over the tops of these hills, as traces of it are to be found near their highest points, sad scratched surfaces occur on the summit of Quarrywood hill, and are strikingly developed on the Moor of Carden. On the Brown Moor, 1100 feet above the sea, the thickness of the deposit is still considerable. The loam is seen to push under the stratified sand and gravel which mantle the inferior parts of the slopes, and it is often reached, at the depth of a few feet, on penetrating the superficial beds spread over the bottoms of the valleys, as in digging for the purpose of founding houses at Elgin. In the western and southern parts of°the district, the masses included in the loam are, chiefly, crystalline rocks, identical in composition with those which occur in situ in the croup, and old red conglomerates are seeing with those of the lower region of eastern Ross-shire. A small ammonites dupi'ex (Low) inclosed in a matrix, corresponding with that of specimens from Shandwick, near Cromarty, was found in the boulder loam at Inverugie, nearly a mile from the sea, and 200 feet above it; and, in another part of the deposit, a slab with the peculiar fucoids of the lower old red sandstone, its mineral character being the same as that of strata at Navity, to the south of Cromarty, which yield the same species, was met with at Windberg, at an elevation of 600 feet above the sea, and about ten miles inland. Towards the interior, masses of the sandstones and conglomerates, which form the hills of the lower district of Morayshire, are minoled with the farther travelled rocks already mentioned. Thus the conglomerates o? the moors of Alves and Carden are found on the Brown Moor and Tiendland, having traversed the intervening valleys, and ascended the slopes which lead to their present situation. The boulders in the loam of the northern and eastern portions of the county are probably derived from the north-east of Ross and the south of Sutherland shires, but their on-gin has not as yet been clearly traced.

The theory of floating ice is quite inadequate to account for the phenomena associated with the boulder loam of Morayshire. Its distribution is unequivocally due to glaciers, one of which must have come from Ben Wyvis.

At Inverurie lime-quarry, the surface of the limestone is striated and covered with boulder roam. Above this there is a thin stratum of sand and gravel, which is succeeded by several beds identical in composition and structure with the boulder loam, but separated from each other by areuaceous and gravelly seams. These beds of loam are doubtless droppings from icebergs, deposited during that subsidence of the land which ultimately put an end to the glacial period.

Between the Wealden beds at Linksfieid, and the subjacent "old red" limestone, a mass of boulder loans is intercalated. The surface of the limestone is scratched and polished, and the thickness of the loam varies from an inch or two to about five feet. Besides the usual boulders, the loam contains nearly angular fragments of both the subjacent limestone, the overlying Wealden beds, and sometimes includes considerable seams of the clays and limestones of the latter. The Wealden beds have suffered considerable disturbance, and are irregularly curved. In explanation of these appearances, it is supposed that the terminal portion of a vast glacier, in the course of its resistless march, inserted itself between the surface of the underlying limestone and the yielding beds of the Wealden, scratching the former, elevating the latter, and introducing a mass of subglacial detritus (the boulder loans) beneath them. On the melting of the ice, the Wealden beds would fall down in flexures, force the plastic loam to accommodate itself to their susuositics, and finally rest upon it, as they actually do. It may be mentioned, that M. Agassiz gives his sanction to this hypothesis.

None of the systcros between the Pleistocene strata and the Oolitic series are represented in Morayshire, nor is it certain that any of the oceanic members of the latter occur absolutely in situ. Detached blocks belonging to several of the divisions from the superior Oolite to the Oxford clay, both inclusive, are found in the boulder loam, as well as in the overlying stratified deposits; and in some places, as near Lhanbr} de, they are associated with a sandy-gray clay. Their angles are in general but slightly rounded, and they are very abundant in certain localities, front which circumstances, it may be inferred that their parent sites are not far distant from the spots where they now rest. The fossils which have been extracted from these masses include many new shells, Hybodus undulatus (Ag.) (erroneously stated in Poiss. Foss. to be from Linksfield), and an undescribed tooth of another species of the same genus.

At Linksfield, near Elgin, Wealden, beds are found; but as none of the oceanic Oolitic beds are associated with them, it is impossible to determine their position in the series. They consist of gr een,ray, and black clays, gray limes tones,-varyirna in shade front a dirty white to almost black, and in texture from compact to crystalline, shale, and calcareous grit in nodules and concrctional masses. The fossils of thegrits are bones, scales, and teeth of fishes, and teeth of Plesiosaurus; sonic of the upper pale-coloured limestones abound in shells, with occasional remains of fishes; the gray shale is full of the cases of Cypris, and also contains icthyic relics; while the under surface, of a blackish limestone, ten or twelve feet from the bottom of the series—itself almost a mass of bivalves, and resting on dark-coloured clay—has yielded most of the larger specimens of vertebrate hitherto discovered. The total tluckness of these strata is about thirty-five feet. They are found, though much less developed, in other places in the neighbourhood of Elgin; and that their former extension must have greatly exceeded their present limits, is proved by the occurrence of detached masses of the stony beds, in the superficial detritus of localities several miles apart. The remains obtained from these strata are, a femur of a species of Trionyx, (Prof. Owen,) vertebrae of Plesiosaurus suhconcavus ore, and teeth of Plesiosaurus; scales of species of Semionotus, Lepidotus, Pholidophorus, and Euguathus (?); teeth of Ilybodus Lawsoni, Duff, and P. dubius Agnss., and of Sphenouchus Martini, A"., and an Acrodus; spines of Ilybodus. The shells are of the genera \fclanopsis, Pa'Iudina and Planorhis, Ostrea Avicula, Modiola, Mytilus, Astarte, Unio, and Cyclas. There are also valves of Cypris, fragments of carbonized wood, and two or three species of ferns.

Moray-shire contains neither Triassic, Permian, nor carboniferous rocks; but those of the Old Red Sandstone system are well displayed, and several of the strata abound in icthvic remains, although as yet no trace of follusca or Crustacea has been discoverea. As is generally the case with this series, the classification of its members, from their included fossils, does not correspond with that of any other district. Many of the beds are unfossilifcrous, so that a rigid definition of the limits of the diviaious is impracticable. The uppermost of these consists of y, yellow, and red sandstones and conglomerates, both fine and coarse, associated in sonic places with chocolate-coloured shale; there are also occasional deposits of more or less siliceous limestone. The ridges of Stotfield, Cocesea, Inverugie, and Roseille, belong to this division. Its thickness is considerable, but notwithstanding diligent search, it has only Ipnxluced a single fossil, the Stragonolepis Bnbertsoni Ag. found at Stotfield by 'sir. Duff. The second division is composed of sandstones and siliceous conglomerates of various hues, and sometimes containing calcareous matter; seams of chocolate-coloured shale and fuller's earth; limestones like those above them; and at Cot-ball, on the Findhorn, above the limestone, a green clay with calcareous nodules. The strata of Quarrywood, and the moors of Carden and Alves, of the magnificent section on the Fiudborn, of Scat Craig, and of the Lossic and Slio gle in Biruie, are included in this division. The limestone beds are unfossiliferous; but the other strata generally }yield either osseous relics of fishes, or the impressions of them, in Feeler or less abundance. Prof. Agassiz has figured and described the followin ieth}rolites from these beds, in his " Nfonographie des Poissons du Vieux Gres Rouge, Ptericthys major, IIoloptychius Nobillissimus, If. giganteus, Dendrodus strignv atus, D. latus, D. sigmoideus, Lamnodus vi rorcatus, L. hastatus, Cricodus incurs, Aste- rolepis Malcolmsoni, Bothriolcpis ornata, B. favosa, Actinolepis tubcrculata, Placothorax paradoxus, and Cosmacanthus Malcobnsoni. There have been found, besides these, many species as yet unedited. The conglomerate of Seat Craig abounds in fossils, and many are also to be extracted from the rocks of the Flndhorn. Beautifully perfect impressions of scales and osseouslates have been discovered in the Bishopmill and Hospital quarries, and in those of Carden Moor. The lowest division includes red and gray sandstones and conglomerates, red shales, and clay with calcareous nodules,-all resting on a very coarse conglomerate of great thickness. These strata are found on the Spey, and the base of the Brown Moor and Tiendland is coin-posed of the la-seat conglomerate, At Ripple, near Fochabcrs, the nodular beds occur. They are of the same age as those of Tynat, in Banffshire, and Letbenbar, in Nairnshire, and also contain remains of fishes; but the fossils are both fewer in species, and much less perfect, than those of the adjoining counties just mentioned. The fishes are of the genera Coccosteus, Asterolepis, Glr ptolepis, and Osteolepis. No Silurian rocks have been discovered in Morayshire. I he interior of the county is composed of Hypo-ene masses, but, so far as these have been examined, they present little worthy of special notice. Neither Volcanic nor Trappian rocks have been met with, but the dip of the Old Red Sandstone strata (sometimes as much as twelve to fifteen degrees) stews that po werful subterraneous forces at one time prevailed in the district.

The "Sketch of the Geology of Morayshire," by P. Duff, Esq. of Elgin, published some years ago, contains much information on the subject to which it refers, and is beautifully illustrated by engravings of the unique specimens in the author's cabinet. There are, besides the collection referred to, that of the Elgin Museum, and several others, belonging to Mr. Martin, 31r. Robertson, and other gentlemen in the town aid its vicinity, all of which are, doubtless, open to the inspection of the geological wanderer.

According to Mr. Duff, the following is the

20. In the vicinity of Elgin, the castle of Spynie, the old residence of the bishops of Moray, and the abbey of Pluscardine, are objects highly worthy of the traveller's attention; our limits, however, prevent us from attempting a description of them. We will advert, however, to

21. Burgh-head, a seaport, about nine miles distant from Elgin, and ten from Forres. The rocky promontory on which the town or village is built projects into the firth, from the general Iine of the coast, in a north-westerly direction, to the extent of about three-quarters of a mile. This promontory rises from the neck uniting it to the mainland, at first with a gentle inclination, to within 400 feet or so of its termination. Of the remaining extent, which narrows towards the extremity, and ends in a perpendicular front towards the sea, the southwestern half is a level space, of an average width of 250 feet, and 80 feet above the water; while the rest of the ground attains a somewhat higher elevation. Where the declivity commences, three parallel ramparts 15 and 20 feet high, with intervening ditches 16 feet wide (considerable portions of both of which still exist), were carried quite across the promontory. Ramparts, on some sides still pretty entire, encompassed both the upper and lower terminal areas within these breastworks. The houses of the modern town occupy the inclined surface in regular lines of low-sized buildings. About thirty years ago, there was discovered, within the rampart of the upper area, a very interesting memorial of the mighty people whose grasping ambition led them to tenant even this remote corner of the world, and whose soldiery, in all probability, ceased to be its occupants less than a couple of centuries after the commencement of the Christian era. It consists of a cubical-shaped covered chamber (the sides of which measure 14 feet each) cut in the solid rock, and having in the centre a cistern, 4 feet deep, and 10 feet 9 inches square; in which springs up a fountain of clear fresh water. A projecting cornice, one foot broad, runs round the chamber, about 6 feet from the top of the walls, and at one of its angles is a pedestal for a statue. The communication from without is through an excavated passage on one side, and a flight of stone steps ascending to the surface of the ground. The chamber is coated with plaster, which, though now faded, was, when first opened, of a deep red colour, and its angles are rounded. No Roman coins have been dug up here, but on some shapeless slabs of freestone met with in the well, the figure of a bull is outlined in coarse basso-relievo, believed to have been sculptured by the Roman soldiers.

There can hardly be a doubt that Burgh-head is the Ultima Ptoroton of the Romans, mentioned in the monk Richard of Cirencester's curious but questionable journal, said to have been written A. D. 1338. The position assigned by him to that station is the mouth of the Varar, which is generally admitted to mean the river Beauly, one branch of which is still named the Farrar ; and there are reasons for thinking that this river then flowed through the open strath on which the sea has since encroached, forming the Beauly Firth, and that the dry land at that time extended as far eastward as the promontory on which Fort-George stands; so that Burgh-head and Tarbetness, opposite to it, would have really composed the points of the Varar Ęstuarium. General Roy in his "Military Antiquities," and Chalmers in his "Caledonia," concur in opinion that Tuesis, a name made use of in connexion with Ptoroton, was a station near the mouth of the river Spey, probably at Bellie, north of Gordon Castle, where there are still the vestiges of an encampment believed to be Roman. A place called Varis is stated as eight miles distant from Ptoroton. The name and the distance correspond with those of Forres (in Gaelic Far-Uisae, pronounced Famish); above which, midway, round the highest of the Clunie Hills, are traces of an encampment; while at the Doune Hill of Relugas, and, we believe, some others also of the neighbouring vitrified forts and ancient British strongholds, remains of Roman pottery and arms have been found, seemingly indicating that they were occupied for a short time by that people. Towards the south, between Forres and Cromdale, near Grantown, on the Spey, there are traces for several miles through the hills of what appears to have been a Roman road. In two different routes to Ptoroton, Tuesis or the Spey is noticed, and on one is set down as the stage next to that place, and on the other to Varis, and Varis to Ptoroton: Bellie and Cromdale seem exactly to answer this description of the situation of Ptoroton. It is easy, however, to deceive one's self, like Dlonkbarns, on Antiquarian matters: and Mr. Arrowsmith has shown many reasons for our being suspicious of the old English monk and all the modern illustrations of his supposed journey to Scotland. We may add, however, as matter of fact, that some years ago Burgh-head was known among the country people of this district by the name of Torrietown. The Norwegian Earls of Orkney, who were in constant warfare with the Scottish Earls of Sutherland and Caithness, and the pirates from Denmark and Norway who infested our seas for nearly four centuries, are known to have found at Ptoroton a commodious harbour for their fleets, and an impregnable fortress ; and after their occupation of it the place acquired its modern Norse appellation of Burgh-head. All our historians are silent as to the length of time during which it was either permanently held or occasionally resorted to by these Northmen.

About two miles east of Burgh-head, a range of high rocky cliffs commences, containing a series of caves, and presenting some fine cliff scenery : they are called the Coves of Caussie, and are celebrated as the resort of bands of tinkers or Scottish gipsies; and close by them is the house of Gordonstown, built by the last Sir Robert of that old family, a cadet of the House of Sutherland, and who, from his morose disposition, and retired scientific habits, was believed to have dealt in the "Black Art" of Diablerie, and to have had no shadow like other men. Sir William Gordon Cumming of Altyre and Gordonstown, now enjoys this estate and baronetcy.

22. We now resume the route along the main post road. A beautiful drive through the woods, and past the freestone quarries, of Quarrywood (belonging to the Fife property), and behind the Knock of Alves, brings us (four miles from Elgin) at Newton (Forteath) upon a high moorish table land, along which, with a few slight undulations, the road continues to Forresoverlooking the plain or "laigh of Moray," an immense stretch of cultivated land, scarcely elevated above the present sea-level, and on the further side of which a continuous ridge extends westwards from the Stotfield lighthouse to the hill of Roseille —at right angles, to which the bold promontory of Burgh-head juts out into the ocean. Along with the next western seaport of Findhorn, it will be descried as dotted over with clusters of houses and shipping. The ridge alluded to was at one time an insular one, and was likely elevated by a granitic upheaval, which has burst out among the sandstones at Stotfield in the form of pure white and highly crystallized quartz rock, with small veins and nests of galena or lead ore. On the farther side of the firth the mountain ranges of Caithness, Sutherland, and Ross, come distinctly into view; while more to the west the bluff Sutors of Cromarty in the foreground lead 'off the eye to the Cromarty or Dingwall firth, backed by the huge and imposing form of Ben Wyvis, and the more elegantly-formed peaks of Strath Conon. The proprietors along this stage are chiefly the Earl of Moray, Campbell Brodie of Lethan, and Grant Peterkin of Grange; and the places of most interest along the road side are the village of the Crook, and old kirk of Alves on the right; the Free Church of the same parish, with the old towers of Burgie and Blervie on the left.

23. Half a mile from Forres the celebrated carved cross or obelisk, called Sweno's Stone, stands on the right hand, on the margin of a field close to the toll-bar, whence a road strikes off to Findhorn. Since the days of Pennant it has given rise to many puzzling questions among archeologists. It is about twenty feet high above ground, and is carved over with figures of warriors, both on foot and horseback (some of them also decapitated), and with birds and animals, together with very beautiful Runic knots and circles, cut in alto-relievo. By whom, or for what purpose, this very costly pillar was erected, are questions as yet undetermined, and on which our limits forbid us to enter; except to remark, that the general belief is, that it was erected to celebrate the final expulsion of the Danes, in the reign of Malcolm II., from this coast; and that an expression in a charter of the neighbouring lands of Burgie by Alexander II., and which bears, among other signatures, that of Freskinus de Moravia, stating that the grant extended "a magno quercu in Malvin usque ad Rune Pictorum," is supposed as possibly referring to Sweno's stone, and to be the earliest written document which mentions it.

24. Two miles north of this obelisk are the ruins of the once extensive and beautiful Abbey of Kinloss, founded in 1150 by the pious King David I. The monks were Cistertians, and amply endowed; and they appear to have been excellent gardeners. The abbots were mitred, and had a seat in Parliament. In 1650, the Laird of Lethen, the then proprietor, with Gothic barbarity, consented to the destruction of this stately edifice, and converted it into a quarry for the erection of Cromwell's citadel at Inverness. It stood on a slightly elevated plain, bordering the wide embouchure, or bay, into which the river Earn or Findhorn empties itself below Forres, and from which its waters are again ushered through a narrow passage into the open sea at the port of Findhorn.

This village is beset with great sand-banks, on which a heavy surf is generally beating, and as these bars frequently shift their position, the navigation is not pleasant. Findhorn, it is believed, has changed its site more than once, owing to the encroachments of the sands which have been drifted along from the westwards.

The extensive and beautiful estate of Culbin, or Coubin, on the west side of the estuary, anciently called "the granary of Moray," having been possessed, from the earliest times, by a wealthy family of the name of Kinnaird, who derived their descent from Freskinus, first Lord of Moray, and whose last curious monument (dated in 1613) still exists in the adjoining churchyard of Dyke, was swallowed up, about two centuries ago, by these moving sands, which rise on it in long shelving hillocks and ridges to the height of more than 100 feet above the sea.

25. Forres probably stands on the site of the ancient Varris of Ptolemy, one of the stages between Ptoroton (Burgh-head), the farthest Roman station on this coast, and their permanent encampments in Strathspey, and on their road across the central chain of the Grampian mountains. At the west end of the town, a high projecting bank, level on the surface, but steep on three sides, is supposed to have been the site of the Roman camp; and on the same foundation the Castle of Forres, a stronghold of the Earls of Moray, and frequently dignified, both before and during their sway, by the presence of royalty, was subsequently built. A small part of the walls, and the lower dungeons of this structure, still remain. Forres was the seat of the Archdean of Moray, but it was never rich in ecclesiastical buildings.

The modern town of Forres contains at present about 3700 inhabitants, and is situated on a dry and beautiful terraced hank, sloping gently towards the south and north, having one main street, with numerous lanes of houses diverging from its sides, which are separated from one another by old and productive gardens. Forres commands the advantages of cheap living, and a good seminary of education, a large parish church, a free church, one or two dissenting meeting-houses, and an Episcopal chapel, a new jail and court-house, a decorated cross, handsome assembly rooms, two excellent inns, and the Forres Gazette; and its neighbourhood has always possessed a polite and kind gentry. None of the buildings in the town require particular notice; but the traveller will not fail to perceive strong indications of the Flemish origin of the people in their fair features, broad dialect, and in the old-fashioned style of having their houses generally erected with their gables towards the street, and in the low Saxon archways, conducting to their inner courts and small dark shops.

The very beautiful undulating range of the Clunie Hills, which are crowned with pine woods, and encircled with numerous walks, press in upon the town towards the south. On the nearest of them an ancient hill fort stood—the first link, also, it is probable, of the chain of signal-posts which extended from the sea to the interior of the country, and by means of which the approach of hostile fleets was announced in ancient times to the inhabitants of the inland glens. In its room a high tower has been erected, to commemorate the victory of Trafalgar under Lord Nelson; from the summit of which a most extensive view is obtained of all the very varied lands and mountain screens bordering the Moray Firth.

We have in a separate chapter (Route it. D.) described the scenery about Altyre and the upper parts of the Findhorn, and we have here only to remind the tourist, that he ought, on no account, to quit Forres without examining the course of the stream upwards from Findhorn bridge, by Cothall, the Ramphlet, and Sluie, to Logie and Relugas, and thence to Farness, with the glen of the Divie, than which, a finer or more varied walk does not exist in all Scotland.

26. Crossing now the Findhorn, along the handsome suspension bridge latterly erected over it, the road skirts, for the first two miles on the left, the lower fringes of the Tarnaway oak and pine forest which extends for many miles inland, concealing from view, though not far distant, Tarnaway Castle, the northern seat of the Earl of Moray. The grounds themselves are well worthy of being examined; but the castle hall, an apartment 90 feet long by 33 feet broad, is inferior to none in Scotland, and resembles much the Parliament I-louse of Edinburgh. The walls rise to the height of 30 feet, and a carved roof of solid black oak, divided by large knobs and compartments, forms the arched ceiling. A suitable fire-place that would roast a stalled ox, an enormous oaken table, and some carved chairs, still garnish this hall, though the modern apartments in front of it but ill correspond with its Gothic character. It was erected as a hunting-lodge, in the fourteenth century, by Randolph, first Earl of Moray, the friend and companion of Robert the Bruce, and Regent of Scotland during the minority of David II.; but it was not the Earl's chief country residence, as, in the charter of erection of the earldom, the Castle of Elgin, "manerium de Elgyn," is appointed "pro capitali mansione comitatus Moravi." It appears also, from a charter of Robert III. to Thomas le Graunt, son of John le Grant, dated in 1390 (Regist. No. 22, p. 473), that there was an older royal castle of Tarnaway, which was previously in the keeping of the Cumings, and afterwards of the Grants; and in fact, the Cuming family, Earls of March, seem to have been introduced from Forfarshire, as the great instruments for exterminating, or at least suppressing, the early insurrections of the clan Chattan, who were thus in all probability the aboriginal Celtic inhabitants of Moray.

27. The road now rapidly passes along the estate of Brodie of Brodie, an old and respectable family, whose castle (modernized) lies on the north side surrounded with fine old trees, and the hall of which is a small but beautiful specimen of its sort, with a finely carved pendant roof of oak. The adjoining churchyard of Dyke contains one of the strange old sculptured obelisks which abound in this district; and immediately to the eastward is the beautiful little property and mansion-house of Dalvey (Norman M'Leod), distinguished in the north for its flower gardens and conservatories, and which fully justify the eulogium of old, passed by George Buchanan on the amenity and productiveness of this district.

28. About a mile beyond Brodie, we quit Elgin or Morayshire and enter on the parish of Auldearn and county of Nairn; and, ascending a little eminence, we see beneath, on the north, an extensive plain, stretching eastwards from an old tower (the Castle of Inchok) for several miles, but partially cultivated, and exhibiting many ugly dark pools and quagmires. Until a recent period the whole neighbourhood, to the banks of the Findhorn, was bleak and heathery, and passed under the name of the " hard moor." Tradition assigns to it a highly classic interest, as being the "blasted heath," on which ,Macbeth, according to Shakespere, met the "weird sisters ;" and a little hillock planted with fir trees, immediately north of the toll-bar west of Brodie, is shown as the precise spot at which they vanished from the sight of the ambitious usurper.

"Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you."

Well might a traveller, in the olden time, here anxiously inquire, "How far is't call'd to Forres!" The thanedom of Cawdor is made, in the dialogue between Macbeth and Banquo, an object only second to the crown:

"Macbeth.—Your children shall be kings,
Banquo.—You shall be king.
Macbeth.—And Thane of Cawdor, too; went it not so?
Banquo.—To the self same time and words."

After all, these same thanedoms could not have been such objects of ambition as the dramatist and popular belief make them ; for, from the undoubted evidence of the Registrum Moraviense, or Chartulary of Elgin Cathedral (page 471-2), it appears that there were at least four of them between Nairn and Forres—namely, Cawdor, Moyness, Brothyn, now Brodie, and Dyke; and an opinion is gaining ground among antiquaries, that the term Thane is a Saxon translation of a Celtic office of no great dignity and importance; and that latterly, at least, the landed territory belonging to such was partially cultivated, and was not always held of the crown, or even of a subject-superior, for the usual return of personal military service.

29. Auldearn, two miles farther on, a village of considerable antiquity, at which the river Nairn seems at one time to have emptied itself into the sea, and where the district road from Inverness and Cawdor joins the post road, is noted as the scene of a most sanguinary battle (in 1645) between the celebrated Marquis of Montrose, the King's Lieut.-General in Scotland, and the Parliamentary army, commanded by the experienced Hurry, and the Earls of Sutherland and Seaforth, who were accompanied by the flower of the covenanting clans, and the gentry of Moray and Aberdeen. A sketch of the order of battle and onset is subjoined.


The battle of Auldearn was fought on the 9th May 1645. Montrose seems to have calculated for success almost entirely on generalship and artifice; and he made an exquisitely skilful arrangement of his troops. The ground lie selected was a sort of hollow, behind, or to the east of the ridge on which stands the village of Auldearn, and behind various other heights which stretch northward from that village, towards the house of Booth. Ile arranged his army in two wings or divisions: one, consisting of the Gordons and the horse, he placed on the left, to the south of the village; the other, comprehending the Irish and Highlanders, he arranged on the right, amidst the gardens and enclosed fields to the north of Auldearn. The former he commanded in person, with Lord Gordon under him; the latter was given in charge to Master MacCol. The entire village intervening betwixt the two bodies was only occupied by a few foot, who however aisplayed a number of banners, and passed off for a main body. He gave the charge of the royal standard—a large yellow banner—to MacCol, in the expectation that it would induce the enemy to attack him with their best regiments; in which case, as they were sure to be difliculted in charging, he calculated upon deciding the day by attacking their flank obliquely with his left wing at the moment of distress, when the whole were almost sure of being thrown into irremediable confusion.

The battle turned out almost exactly as he had calculated. Hurry, the covenanting "eneral, on approaching bins from Nairn (with an army of 3500 foot and 600 horse, to whom Montrose could only oppose 1500 foot and 200 horse), found it totally impossible to comprehend the arrangements of an enemy who had taken up so mysterious a position; but was induced, by the sight of the royal standard on the right wing, to direct his strength chiefly upon that point. His men not only met there with a warn; reception from MacCol, but presently became confused by reason of the enclosures and ditches through which they had to make their charge. When Montrose saw them in that condition, Yee brought forward the left win", which, by an arrangement similar to that of Epaminondas at Lenctra, was much he strongest, and made a furious flank attack upon the "rent mass of the covenanting enemy. This being chiefly composed of raw Highlaned foot from Ross and Sutherland, probably averse to the cause, was quite unable to withstand the charge of the Gordon chivalry, led, as it was, by such men as Montrose, Lord Gordon, and the brave Sir Nathaniel. Hurry saw the advantage his opponent had gained, and endeavoured to neutralise it, by ordering his whole horse to the support of the wavering lines on his right; but the commanding officer, a Captain Drummond, either through treachery or stupidity, misapprehended the order, and, wheeling to the left instead of the right, only threw the disciplined regiments who were contending with MacCol into greater contusion.

It was at this battle that this Hebridian ally MacCol, commonly called Macdonald Colkitto, performed most signal prodigies of valour almost single-handed. With the impetuosity of a Highlander, he had permitted himself to die drawn beyond the enclosures, which Montrose had assigned to him to defend, by the insulting language of the enemy, and, in consequence, he was nearly surrounded and cut to pieces. At one time lie received several successive pikes on his target; but by his amazing, strength of arm lie cut off the heads of those weapons, sometimes more than one at a time, and by one particular stroke, no fewer than five, breaking .his own sword. The enemy's foot fought most bravely; and this was one of the most sanguinary battles ever fought by Highlanders, there having been no less than 3000 of the Covenanters slain (of whom, it is said, 87 left widows in the lordship of Loeat alone); while Montrose only lost 24 men, and captured 16 standards and the whole baggage and provisions of his opponents, whose general officers had great difficulty in escaping to Inverness.]

In the burying-ground of Auldearn, there are several interesting covenanting monuments, and also some of the Hays of Lochloy and Moyness, whose Castle of Inchok stands a ruin a little to the eastward. It was in apology of an injury done to this family in a cattle-lifting raid that Cameron of Lochiel wrote to the Laird of Grant on the 18th October 1645, that his men went not to his "worship's bounds, bot to Morray land qre all men take yair prey, nor knew not yt Moyness was ane Graunt, but thocht yt he was ane Morray man;" and adding, in reference to the conflict that had occurred at the "lifting," "that who got the greatest loss be refearrit to the sight of friends that luveth us both alyke ; for their is such a truble heir [Glenlocharkeg in Lochaber] we cannot luke to the samin for the present time, for we have aught men dead alreadie, and twelve or thirteen under cure, qlk I know not quho shall die or quho shall live!"

30. Nairn is a clean, healthy, little town, on a dry airy bank, rising from the river of that name, near its embouchure into the sea; having, on a lower beach, a cluster of fishermen's houses, called the sea-town. It is a royal burgh, uniting with Forres, Fortrose, and Inverness, in sending a representative to Parliament; and, anciently, it had a royal castle, of which the neighbouring Barons, Roses of Kilravock, were constables. A jail and court-house, a large and comfortable hotel, three banks, and five churches (one of them intended for an Episcopal congregation), a good academy, a free church school, and an infirmary, constitute its principal public buildings; while in the neighbourhood, are several pretty villas and numerous well-stocked gardens. The soil is early and kindly; and from the cheapness of living, purity of the air, and especially from its having an extensive sandy sea-beach, Nairn is, in summer, a resort of many strangers for sea-bathing. A most comfortable set of warm and cold salt-water baths have been fitted up on the shore, which are let out on very moderate terms. Recently the harbour has been greatly enlarged, and a long jetty thrown out, so as to give safe access to sailing vessels and steamers, which now touch at Nairn as one of their regular calling ports. It was of this town that the facetious King James VI. was wont to boast to his English courtiers, that he had a town in Scotland " sae lang, that the folk at the tae end couldna understand the tongue spoken at the tother"—alluding to its being inhabited by Gaelic Celts at the west end, and by Broad Scotch fishermen at the opposite extremity.

31. One mile west from Nairn the house of Balblair (to the left), on the summit of a lofty terrace, marks the spot where the Duke of Cumberland's army lay encamped in April, 1746, prior to their marching to fight the decisive battle on Culloden or Drumossie Moor. It overlooks the whole route by which the Highlanders had to approach in their meditated night attack; and the spot may be seen from it (about two miles off), where the rebels faced about, in the early dawn, on perceiving, by the watch-fires and the noise of the kettle-drums, that their enemy was aware of their advance, and could not he taken by surprise. `Vest of the encampment a great extent of dark and very deep peat mosses, with quagmires and ugly lakes, may be seen, filling hollows in the gravel beds, which here overspread the district. These peat hags are continued almost uninterruptedly westwards to the great moss of Petty, which is nearly on a level with the sea, and seems at one time to have been overflown by it.

32. A little way beyond the second mile-stone the road forks into two, the branch inclining to the left being the newest and shortest route to Inverness, while that which proceeds direct on to the right (and along which the mail coach still travels) leads to the village of Campbelltown and the garrison of Fort-George, described below.


The village of Campbelltown (eleven miles and a-half from Inverness) is a burgh of barony on Earl Cawdor's property. It is a poor place; but on the high bank behind the town there are the mounds of an ancient British hill fort, called Cromal (by some supposed to have been a station of Oliver Cronmwell's troops), which commands a most extensive view. It is likewise a locality of several rare plants, especially the beautiful mountain pink (Dianthus deltoides), which also occurs on the Ross-shire coast, especially near Craiton, at Kessock.

Fort-George is situated on the point of Ardersier (one mile from Campbelltown), which projects far out into the sea, and appears from a distance as if united to the opposite point of Chanonry in Russ. It is an irregular polygon, with six bastions, mounting 18 twenty-four, 25 eighteen, 22 twelve, and 4 six pounders, and 4 thirteen-inch mortars. It was built soon after the rebellion of 1745, for the purpose of keeping the Highlanders in subjection The land front is defended by a ditch, covert way, and guns, two lunettes and a ravelin, mounting twelve-pounders. The north and south curtains are casemated, each containing 27 bomb-proof apartments, fifty-two feet long by twelve feet wide. The grand magazine is bomb-proof, and will. hold 2474 barrels of gunpowder. The staff buildings he towards the land front, and are occupied by the governor's, lieutenant-governor's, and officers' quarters: the artillery barracks are also in these buildings. At the eastern extremity of the garrison there are two small casemated magazines, fifty feet long by thirty-four broad, with ammunition made up for immediate use. The barracks are constructed for a governor, lieutenant-governor, fort-major, chaplain, 8 field-officers, 22 captains, 56 subalterns, and 2090 non-commissioned officers and privates. The fort is also provided with a chapel, brewhouse, bakehouse, and inn, and is supplied with water from eight pump- wells. At the north and west angles the sea has thrown up large gravel blinks, but on the cast it has rather been encroaching too near (lie foundation of the walls; hod like all other promontories opposed to the sea, this one must necessarily, though very gradually, give way on one side, while the debris will be deposited in a bay or hollow on the other. The drawbridges and main approach form an elegant and imposing piece of workmanship, mid the whole of the masonry has been executed in the han5somest and firmest manner. Fort-George, in short, is considered a mode] of a fortified place : yet it is ouly secure against attacks from the sea: for it is thought it could be easily battered from the adjoining height above Campbelltown, or flat lines of approach could be formed against it in the sandhills to the eastward. The few officers who are obliged to reside in it during "the piping times of peace" find it exceedingly dull; and, certainly, had their comfort, and the interests of the Highlands in general, been thought of at the time of its erection, it would have been built at Inverness. not on the remote cold promontory on which the garrison now stands.]

The undulating gravel plain we are now passing, is in itself quite uninteresting, except that in summer and autumn it is rendered beautiful by the rich yellow blossoms of the furze, or whin and broom, succeeded by the crimson of the heather bell, and that cultivation and improvement increase as we get westwards. On the road side, towards Fort-George, a few upright of the building; and may, perhaps, be part of the older castle of Ilallhill, often mentioned in the annals of this parish, and which for some time was possessed by the 0gilvies of Findlater. It was burnt in the year 1513. Till very lately, this castle was celebrated for its orchard, especially for its geans, a small kind of cherry; and the forest trees round the park were among the finest in the country. The apartments inside had become disfigured, the rafters were carried away, and the slates had fallen from the roof, and the whole fabric was fast crumbling into ruin, had not the proprietor, the late Earl of Moray, seasonably interfered, and given orders for restoring the structure as much as possible to its ancient beauty. The precise period at which this castle was erected is disputed. By some it is said to have been a favourite residence of James IV., and to have been built as a hunting-seat. Others assert that the Regent Moray was its founder, and that Queen Mary occasionally paid it a visit. Its style of architecture rather belies the antiquity assigned to it; and the date on the building (1625) tallies with the only authentic notice we can find of it, which is in Sir Robert Cordon's Earldom of Sutherland, p. 391. Speaking of a dissension between the Earl of Moray and the clan Chattan, the historian says, " This year (1624) they goe (the clan Chattan) to ane hoes which he (the earl) hath now of late built in Pettie, called Castell Stuart; they dryve away his servants from thence, and doe possess themselves of all the Earl of Moray his rents in Pettie. Thus they intend to stand out against him." The whole district, however, originally, we suspect, belonged to the clan Chat-tan, and they were only trying to regain what the "bonnie" Earls of Moray had gradually squeezed from them. The estate of Culloden, on which we now enter, was the last holding on the plain of Pettie which belonged to the Mackintosh, chief of clan Chattan, and it was parted with in James VI.'s time to the founder of the Culloden family (Duncan Forbes, provost of Inverness, and an advocate at the Scottish bar), for good service done, in protecting the laird at court against the oppressions of the Earls of Moray and Huntly. Four miles from Inverness is seen on the left the House of Culloden, a stately mansion, in the style of the English palaces of last century, beautifully embosomed in woods; and in which, besides some relics of the "forty-five," there is a good collection of paintings---one, in particular, by Titian, the " Flight into Egypt," being highly valued.

Behind Castle Stewart are previously seen, on the right, the church and manse of Pettie, with the bay of that name beneath. On the bank above are two of the largest tumuli, called Moat Hills, in this country. The circumference of each is at the base 150 feet, at the top 120 ; and the height 42 feet. On the south side of the bay an immense stone, weighing at least eight tons, which marked the boundaries between the estates of .Moray and Culloden, was, on the night of Saturday, the 20th February 1799, removed and carried forward into the sea about 260 yards. Some believe that nothing short of an earthquake could have moved such a mass; but it is more probable that a large sheet of ice, which had collected to the thickness of eighteen inches round the stone, had been raised by the tide, lifting the stone with it, and that their motion forward was aided by a tremendous hurricane which blew from the land. [On the plain of Fettle, and near the junction of the roads last mentioned, a number of squall, but very perfect, Druidical circles are to be seen. They vary in form, but in general there are two concentric circles, with the stones set close together, and having an outer circle of larger ones several feet apart from each other. I n one instance, two circles touch one another, forming the figure 8.]

35. At length (when three and a-half miles off) the smoke, with the houses and shipping, of Inverness—the low lying Highland capital—come into view across a reach of the Moray Firth, the waters of which, pressed in at Kessock Ferry (which separates Inverness from Ross-shire), again expand and fill the inner basin of Loch Beauly, the huge lengthened bulk of Ben Nevis looming high above the skirting eminences. The opposing shores are lined with terraced gravel banks, on which are seen numerous cottages and farm-steads; and the prospect on all hands, and particularly to the south-west, along the course of the great Caledonian valley—the foreground intersected by rich belts of hardwood—and westwards, in the direction of the Lovat country, called the Aird, and Strath Glass—ranges of distant mountains rising beyond the valley of the firth—is from this point as varied and beautiful as can well be imagined. The mid-distance of the picture, also, is very elegantly set off and framed, as it were, between the opposite hills and vitrified forts of Craig-Phadrick, and the Ord of Kessock, which guard the entrance to Loch Beauly.

36. Our readers will elsewhere find ample details as to the accommodations and sights in and around Inverness. (See Section iv.) We have only farther to inform them, that in the latter part of the present route, since quitting the Spey, they have been travelling over a portion of the old Province or See of Moray, which, both as to physical structure, and from the history and prevailing language of the inhabitants, rather belongs to the Lowlands than to the Highlands of Scotland. Anciently, however, the whole of this district was possessed by Gaelic tribes, governed by one of the most powerful families, the great Celtic Maormors of :Moray. Continually engaged with hostile Norsemen, who were located on the northern shores of their firth, and who seem occasionally to have established themselves even in the "laigh of Moray," these native lords appear also to have had some pretensions to the Scottish crown, and hence to have drawn their followers into repeated ruinous insurrections against the ruling sovereign, which ended in a most extraordinary exercise of power (scarcely to be credited, were it not confirmed by undoubted authorities)—the almost total expulsion and extermination of the inhabitants by King .Malcolm IV., in the year 1161, and the settling of a colony of strangers, chiefly Flemings, in their stead (See Chambers' Caledonia, and Preface to the Registrum Moravien). Hence the curious association in Moray, and partly at Inverness, of Gaelic names of places, with such surnames of persons as Barbour, Brodie, Cant, Cowper, Duff, Dunbar, Fleming, Forsyth, Hay, Innes, Peterkyn, Russell, Reid, Suter, Wilson, Wyat, Wiseman; and hence the reason of the comparatively modern Highland maxim regarding Moray, as usurped by the Sassanach, and as therefore a "land where all men may take their prey."

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