Internal ID: 0060 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: NLS Acc. 13028, 7a-
Notes:

A slip in the item envelope notes that the paper of the journal is watermarked 1815, and that the first entry is on Tuesday July 8, leading to an inferred year of writing: 1817.

Editors: Edited with an Introduction by Alex Deans
Cite:


Tuesday July 8th.

My Father Jane and I left Lixmount on a little Tour to the West of Scotland ––––– the first place we stopped at was Linlithgow a distance of 16 miles. here we should have walked out to the Palace in which the unfortunate Queen Mary was born, but a heavy rain confined us within the walls of an uncomfortable Inn –––––


As soon as the weather cleared up, we proceeded to Falkirk where we slept.

Wednesday. The day was very fine and we had a pleasant ride to Cumbernauld ––––– while the horses were resting, we walked towards the Seat of Admiral Fleming Elphinstone;1 the road from thence to Glasgow is extremely good; but the scenery is not at all interesting –––––

We walked this Place about 5 o'Clock, after finding our abode


at the Star Inn, we called on Mr.–––––, and then walked thro' different parts of the Town, and along the Banks of the River, before we came in to Supper. Thursday. We took a little tour thro' the town before Breakfast, and afterwards went to see the Hunterian Museum with which we were much gratified. This is a very valuable collection of Minerals, Shells, Coins, and Anatomical preparations, all finely arranged, besides an
extensive Library and some good Paintings ––––– they were chiefly bequeathed by the late Dr Hunter of London. The building in which they are deposited was built with money left by him for the purpose, it forms the Eastern side of the University, and the front presents a Doric Portico of six columns; amongst the Medals, we observed one similar to ours of Edward the 2nd. tho' not in such high preservation.
My Father then parted from us to pay some visits, and Jane and I were happy to avail ourselves of the opportunity to visit the Botanic Garden which has been lately made ––––– it contains about five Acres, laid out with considerable taste, there seems to be a good collection of Exotic plants, and in one corner of the Garden is a Lecture room in which students of both sexes are admitted ––––– on our way home we went into
Harley's celebrated tea house. After dinner we thought our time could not be better employed than going to see Madame Girardelli perform her wonderful experiments with fire. which detained us till a late hour.

Friday. We set off at 7 o' Clock and had a delightful ride to Dumbarton, where we Breakfasted, the weather was fine, and the objects that attracted our attention


on this road are too many to be enumerated. The Country is luxuriant the Clyde runs on the left, and on both sides of the road, are several neat Seats and Villas.

Scotstoun, belonging to Mr. Oswald on the left about 5 miles from Glasgow, appeared to me one of the pleasantest. Near the opposite side of the Clyde is Elderslie belonging to Mr. Spiers and which is noted for being the birthplace of Wallace. Renfrew is seen at some


distance among the trees, a few miles further on, we ascended Dalnotter Hill from which the prospect is extremely beautiful presenting at once many interesting objects. The Clyde is here very much expanded, the great Canal flows into it ––––– at a little distance Erskine the Seat of Lord Blantyre is delightfully situated on the opposite
Banks of the River, the rock of Dumbarton rises abruptly above the water, the ruined Fort of Dunglas has a very picturesque effect, and Vessels of different kinds enliven the scene. We then descended to Kilpatrick where we understand is the termination of the Roman Wall, and at a mile and a half distant are some other remains of this adventurous people
Glenarback formerly belonging to Lord Web Seymour, and now to Mr Hamilton, is prettily situated amidst trees on the right. We then passed Dunglass Castle on the left — and on the right Auchintorlie the Seat of Mr. Buchanan, on the same side is the Printfield of Milton belonging to Messrs. Mitchell — all in a most romantic situation and a very lofty rugged rock called Drumbec. Dumbarton
Castle
next presents itself on a singularly shaped rock 560 feet high divided into two summits, it is on a point of land formed by the junction of the Clyde and Leven

The plant generally considered the scotch Thistle grows here very abundantly, and it is curious that many parts of the rock are Magnetic, the Tower is small and uninteresting. After taking breakfast, we very willingly resumed our journey


as it was to lead us to Loch Lomond, the road crosses a Bridge over the Leven; for several miles we rode along its Banks. There is a Monument erected near the place where Smolet was born. Every part of the Country thro' which we passed is rich and picturesque, there are many elegant Seats and neat Villages, the Country is finely wooded, and we observed a great variety of wild flowers
growing in the richest luxuriance. Tillichuen Castle seems a beautiful place in the Gothic style, further on is Woodbank, and soon after leaving it, we had the first view of Lock Lomond, which even here is very beautiful, it is partly concealed from the road by trees; but we seldom lost sight of it altogether.

Many Gentlemen have taken advantage of the attractive situation, by building elegant Mansions on its Banks


We particularly admired that of Sir James Colquhoun called Rosedou it is on a Peninsula stretching into the Lake, and commands a fine view of the surrounding scenery.

We passed Camstradden belonging to Mr. Colquhoun, then crossed a Bridge over the River Luss, and soon afterre arrived at Luss. We were now all anxiety to have a full view of the far famed Lake, and as soon


as we had engaged a Boat, we walked down to the Shore, which is beautiful beyond description, the Boatmen ferried us over to Inch Tavanach which tho' not the largest of the Islands seems to be most elevated, we ascended thro' the Woods and Heaths by which it is covered to the Summit. — our guide was very intelligent, and able to answer all our questions, he said the Island we were
on was a mile and three quarters long and half a mile broad, and the name means the Island of the two women. From the Top we had a delightful view of almost the whole Lake embosoming its verdant Islands. — there are about 30 of them some covered with pastures, and others wooded from their summits to the water edge. Inch Murren is one mile long and two broad, it belongs to
the Duke of Montrose, it seems to be thickly wooded and contains 200 deer.

Inch Caillaich was the burial place of the Macgregors.

To the Eastward we saw Inch Cruin used as an Assylum for persons of dissipated habits whose friends send them here for seclusion, and many local circumstances Render it well adapted to this purpose We afterwards landed on Inch Lonay further to the North, used for a similar purpose, it is remarkable


for a natural wood of very old Yews, and it is stocked well with Deer — The property of Sir James Colquhoun after stopping here about half an hour we again stepped into the Boat, which took us back to Luss.

The weather being clear we had from the lake a very fine view of Ben Lomond, which we should ^have liked very much to ascend, as the prospect from it must be still more magnificent than that


from Inch Tavanach its perpendicular height is 3240 feet above the surface of the Lake and 3262 above the surface of the Sea, our Guide pointed out to us a narrow stream running down a hill on the edge of the Lake famous for being the scene of a sanguinary conflict between the Colquhouns and Macgregors in the beginning of the 17th. Century.2 The Island containing Rob Roy's Cave we observed at a distance. It was with
difficulty we could leave the lovely Banks of Loch Lomond and return to the Inn.

Saturday. We rose early to return to Glasgow, we passed over the same ground as we had done the day before.

After arriving at Glasgow we walked about, but observed nothing worth mentioning

Sunday. After Breakfast we prepared to go to Church to hear Dr. Chalmers Mr. ––––– gave us leave to use his seat, which


being very near the Pulpit, we had an excellent opportunity of seeing and hearing this celebrated Preacher — I had heard him before but never to such advantage. The Text was in the 6th. chapter of Mathew and 29 Verse. The subject tho' a common one was treated in a very striking and forcible manner. As the weather was fine we resolved on going to Greenock this Evening, and had no wish to wait till the next day to go by the Steam Boat, as in our excursion to Luss, we had had a
full view of the finest parts of the Clyde, the road from Glasgow is excellent and the Country pleasant and well cultivated, we passed several Seats but did not to whom they belonged [sic] One called Lint House on the right particularly struck us. Paisley is seen at a distance. We passed Elderslie Mr. Spier's, and then entered Renfrew consisting chiefly of one narrow Street about half a mile in length — further on is South Bar belonging to Mr Alexander, which appears a very pleasant
place, and soon after stopped at a solitary Inn called Bishopton. while the horses were resting we walked on about two miles. and had a delightful view of the Clyde and the surrounding scenery, we now saw the side of Dumbarton Castle next the River and the Bold Rock called Dumbrec. We passed thro' Port Glasgow, near it is the old Castle of Newark belonging to Lord Belhaven 3 miles further on is Greenock, where we remained all night.


Monday. After Breakfast my Father paid several visits, and then went with out with us to look at the Town, it is situated on the sloping side of a high Bank towards the South, and the Sea on the North. The principal Street is nearly a mile long, and runs from East to West, has a commodious Harbour, and is the finest Port in Scotland. About 2 o' Clock we continued our journey thro' a beautiful
and romantic Country — the road excellent, and the weather was uncommonly fine. After travelling 3 miles we passed thro' Greenock, a small Harbour, and a resort for bathing. We had a view on the right of Roseneath, belonging to the Duke of Argyle. The property on this road is chiefly Sir Michael Shaw Stewart's, and his Seat Ardgowan is about 5 miles from Greenock, 2 miles further on we crossed a small Bridge
called Kelly Bridge, and entered Ayrshire, the road now is close to the Shore, and on the other side for a mile is a perpendicular rock, which in some Places seems nearly 100 feet high — soon after on the left are the Ruins of Knock Castle on the Estate of Brisbane, we then arrived at Largs a small Sea Port Town ––––– it is beautifully situated and commands a fine view of the Islands of Cumbra, Bute and Arran, and betwixt the
Mainland and the South end of Arran is a distant view of the Island of Ailsa, which rises to great heights in a Conical form. The weather being fine, we saw the place to great advantage, and admired the situation of it extremely; near the Shore there is a very neat building containing a reading room hot & cold Baths.

We ascended a Mound behind the Village, on which General Brisbane has erected a sort of Signal Tower for Astronomical purposes — it commands a view of Brisbane


House, and the surrounding Country, and near it is a large plain, which is said to be the scene of the defeat of the Danes in their last Invasion.

Tuesday. After leaving Largs, we rode along the Banks of the Clyde, and on the other side the Country is rich and diversified.

We passed Kilburn House the Seat of Lord Glasgow, and soon after the Estate of Fairly now belonging to Sir William


Cunningham of Robertland, on which are the Ruins of an old Castle. On the right is Hunterston which appears a fine House, and 4 miles further on, we passed thro' the Village of Kilbride, near which are the Ruins of Law Castle.

For some miles we had left the Shore, now the road goes along it to Ardrossen, where there is a new Harbour for Ships. — It belongs to Lord Eglinton and the Houses are newly built.


In a height are the Ruins of a Castle which seems to have been a Place of considerable strength, and South of it are the remains of Danish encampments, we went off the usual road to see Ardrossan and soon arrived at Saltcoats, which is 2 miles distant. There we Breakfasted, and after walking down to the Harbour and round the Village, which consists chiefly of one long Street we again stepped into the Carriage.

We now lost


sight of the Clyde, and passed on the left Seabank, belonging to Mr. Cunningham, a little on the Village of Stephenstoun, and afterwards Killwinning a small Tower noted for being the Seat of the first Mason Lodge in Scotland — and here are the remains of a Monastery, — at some distance we had a view of Eglinton Castle.

Irvine where we next stopped is a Sea Port Town and stands on a rising ground — the Church is neat and has a handsome


Spire. We went into the Church Yard from which there is an extensive view — we likewise saw the new Academy a fine Building in an airy situation, near it are the Ruins of a Castle the antient Residence of the Eglinton family.

As the weather was extremely warm, we did not Irvine [sic] till 6 o'Clock it was a delightful Evening, and at a distance out the left, we saw distinctly the Castle of Dundonald from which the family


of Cochrane derive their Title, it appears a very large building eminence opposite to it is a fine Bank of wood in which is situated the House of Auchans a seat of the Earls of Eglinton. The Country tho' not so picturesque as what we had lately seen, is far from being uninteresting, some parts are barren, and others highly cultivated.

The Firth of Clyde continues in sight and the Island of Ailsa appears more distinctly. We saw Troon


which is a Promontory in Ayrshire from which the Duke of Portland has extended into the Clyde on a curved line to a very considerable extent so as to form a safe Harbour for the shelter of Vessels in general, as well as for the exportation of the Coals upon his Estate to Ireland, this Harbour is thought to promise being of more utility than the one erected by Lord Eglinton at Ardrossen, further on the left is
Fullerton House, belonging to the Duke of Portland.

After travelling 5 miles thro' rather a bleak Country, and two inconsiderable Villages, we crossed the River Ayr, and entered the Town of Ayr. This is a very ancient Town, and was formerly distinguished for military strength, — but we could perceive no remains of antiquity except and old Tower, and round it is the strong wall of a Fortress built by Oliver Cromwell.

Wednesday. As my Father


had several visits to make we remained here all day, but regretted that owing to the excessive heat, we could not walk much till the Evening, when we took a survey of the Town, and the new Prison, and Count House that are building.

Wednesday. We set off soon after six o'Clock in order to go one stage before the heat of the day. but the Sun was already so powerful that we were almost


afraid the horses could not reach Ochiltree where we were advised to stop instead of proceeding to old Cumnock.

We were very glad to find ourselves at the door of the Inn, and all required resting as well as the horses. After getting an excellent Breakfast the Landlady offered to accompany us on a walk to an old Castle near the Village, which formerly gave the Tittle [sic] of Baron to a Branch of the Family Stewart.3 The heat soon


obliged my Father to return to the Inn, but Jane and I unwilling to give up seeing the only curiosity that the Place afforded, went on, and were somewhat gratified.

The River Lugar runs past this old edifice which Sir Alexander Don inherited from his Mother Lady Glencairn, but he has sold it to Mr. Boswell of Auchinleck. Lord Bute is the chief Proprietor in this Neighborhood. I must not omit to mention that we had not any where seen


such fine corn fields as between Ayr and Ocheltree. Soon after leaving this Place, we saw on the left Dumfries House surrounded by extensive Plantations, then passing thro' the Village of old Cumnock, we went on to new Cumnock, where we stopped at a most wretched and uncomfortable Inn. As soon as the horses were sufficiently rested, we again continued our journey thro' a Country that differed in aspect to what we had been lately accustomed ––––– it is generally
Mountainous, some of the Hills are covered with Heath and others affording pasture to flocks of Sheep and Black Cattle. The road goes along the Banks of the Nith, but we saw nothing interesting. Jane owing to the extreme heat felt rather fatigued by the time we arrived at Sanquhar which terminated our day's journey. This is a small Town and at a short distance from it are the ruins of a very ancient Castle.


Friday. We went to Eliock about 3 miles off, where we Breakfasted: in this house the Admirable Crichton is said to have been born, and there is a Portrait of him in the drawing Room. After leaving Mr. Veitch's we found the road very pleasant keeping along the East Bank of the Nith which in some parts is extremely Picturesque, we then passed the fields and Plantations of Drumlanrig, and had a good
view of this beautiful Mansion we now lost sight of the Nith, and passing Closeburn, Mr. Monteith's on the left reached Brownhill, a tolerable Inn, where we rested two hours, the first part of the next stage is very delightful, the Nith again appears in picturesque windings, the Banks prettily wooded and the surrounding Country well cultivated ––––– agriculture being now apparently more attended to than pasturage


The Evening was uncommonly fine, and added to the beauty of the scenery. Soon after crossing Alquith Bridge, we saw on the left a very pleasant Place called Friar's Carse, belonging to Mr. Chrighton. As we approached Dumfries nothing struck us as remarkable till we crossed the River by a handsome Bridge and entered the Town, being rather fatigued with the excessive heat of the weather, we ordered supper as soon as
and deferred looking at the Town till the next day.

Saturday. We walked before Breakfast to St. Michael's Church where a Monument has been lately erected to the Memory of Burns, the design is rather elegant. in the form of a Temple, and a Statue of the Poet, leaning on a Plough, is to be placed in the Centre. Dumfries appeared to us the pleasantest Town we had seen. It is situated


on the Nith, about 9 miles above, where it discharges itself into the Solway Firth — it contains many excellent houses, and handsome public buildings. We went into the Court house, and then walked along the Banks of the River towards the Harbour. About 3 o'Clock we resumed our journey, but instead of going on to Moffat we stopped for an hour at a small Inn called Park-gate about 8 miles and a ½ from Dumfries — while we were
here a shower came on, which cooled the air, and made it pleasanter for travelling, but owing to the rain we did not see the Country to such advantage: the surface of it is generally rugged and Mountainous we passed over a very pretty Bridge, called St Ann's Bridge thrown over the Annan,4 we saw on the left Raehills, the Seat of Sir William Johnstone Hope. It was almost dark before we arrived at Moffat, but this we did not regret intending
to remain here all next day.

Saturday. The weather in the Morning was tolerably fine, and had not much the appearance of rain, but just as we were setting off to Church a very heavy shower came on, and obliged us to remain within doors till the Afternoon, when we went to the Parish Church. Moffat has been long celebrated for its Mineral Water, which was discovered about 150 years since. There is also a petrifying spring about 4 miles distant, but this we did not see


and we regretted that the badness of the weather prevented us from going to the curious cascade called "Gray Mare's Tail"

Monday. We rose before 6 o'Clock, and as the weather was favorable we determined on going to the Well, and had a very pleasant expedition. The Well is covered with only a sort of hut, and the surrounding scenery is rather picturesque — by the time we returned to the Inn the Carriage was ready, so immediately set off, and got to


Crook Inn to Breakfast — a few miles from Moffat on the right is a deep hollow in the rock, where the Annan rises, and from the opposite side of the same Hill, the Clyde and Tweed have their source. After Breakfast we ascended the steep hill behind the Inn, and saw beneath us, the windings of the Tweed, now of considerable breadth. one hill appears beyond another, partly covered with heath, and partly with pasturage The Country thro' which we afterwards passed has the same unvarying
aspect, the Tweed for some miles continues in sight, and on the Banks are the ruins of the old Castle of Drummelzier near which was buried the celebrated Merlin,5 we next passed the Estates of Broughton, Cairnmuir and rested the horses at a small Inn on the road, the Country now becomes more flat, and nothing appears worthy of notice on the road to Noble House, which ended this day's journey.

Tuesday. As the weather had


the evening before the appearance of rain we were agreeably surprized when we arose to find it was fair, tho' the road shewed there had been rain during the Night — Almost opposite to the Inn is Sir George Montgomery's on the same side La Mancha belonging to Mr. Basil Cochrane and the Whim to Sir James Montgomery; much of the Country about here seems barren and neglected, before entering Pennycuick there are the Ruins of an old Castle on a height
overlooking the Esk which rises in this Neighborhood. from thence we beat our course to Lixmount where we arrived after being three weeks absent.

Marginalia

[f.1.r] William George H. T. Fairfax
from his affectionate Mama
July 22nd 1843.

[f.3r]: By A. Montgomerie, Lady Fairfax — when Miss Williamson.


Editorial notes

1. Williamson's assiduous noting of country seats and their owners probably indicates the use of a guidebook, such as Daniel Paterson's, A New and Accurate Description of all the Direct and Principal Cross Roads in Great Britain, first published in 1771 and revised and reissued into the late 1820s.
2. A reference to the 1603 battle of Glen Fruin between the MacGregors and Colquhouns, as controversially described in the quarto edition of Pennant, A tour in Scotland 1769 (1774), pp.243-44.
3. Possibly Taringzean Castle.
4. St Ann's Bridge spans Kinnel Water, at tributary of the Annan.
5. A tradition of unknown origin, though perhaps dating as far back as the fifteenth century, holds that the legendary Merlin was buried near Drumelzier Castle. The 1793 parish entry for Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland 21 vols., (Edinburgh: 1791-1799) pithily notes: 'The celebrated Merlin is buried here; but no other person of great distinction', vii, p.155.