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Historic Homes of Scotland page 2


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From its site between the old and new courses of the Spey, about a mile north of Fochabers, the castle looks over a well-wooded plain, and along the reaches of the Spey, to Garniouth, the harbour at which, curiously enough, the duke's ancestor, Charles II, landed from Holland in 1650, on his first attempt to secure the crown of Scotland.

The mansion, four storeys high, corniced and battlemented, has a frontage of nearly two hundred yards, while its interior arrangements are in keeping with the rank of a holder of four dukedoms and half a score of other dignities. The park, with lofty gateways and mile-long approaches, which has replaced the ancient morass round the castle, stretches for miles, a fertile landscape, in view of river and ocean; and near the castle, in place of the ancient ferry known for ages as the "Boat of Bog," the Spey is spanned by a magnificent stone bridge of four arches.

Inveraray, the quiet little shoreside burgh near the upper end of Loch Fyne, is familiar to all readers of the romances of Sir Walter Scott, R. L. Stevenson, and Neil Munro. The castle, which stands in its woodland park above the town to-day, is not, however, the ancient stronghold of MacCailean Mor described by these writers. It was begun only in 1745, and after being burned in the latter part of the nineteenth century was restored as it stands to-day amid its lovely grounds.

The older stronghold, a great medieval fastness, which was not removed till the beginning of the nineteenth century, stood nearer the river, with the old town of Inveraray, a somewhat dirty village, clustered under its walls. The town was removed to its present site in 1742, when the ducal grounds, thirty miles in circumference, were begun to be laid out, and the noble woods in Glen Aray were planted. The fine lona cross which now stands by the waterside formerly stood near the castle as the cross of the old town, and the entire scene must have been very different from what it is to-day.

The Campbells only came into the parish in the fourteenth century, their previous seat having been Inisconnel, in Lochawe, but in a comparatively short time they absorbed or ousted the eight septs which were its former inhabitants. The original castle was built for his nephew, the first Earl of Argyll, by Sir Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, the astute and able ancestor of the Campbells of Breadalbane, and many a strange and dramatic incident took place within its walls. Built of a blue-grey slatestone, a great quadrangular mansion, with a round tower at each corner and a high pavilion in the centre, Inveraray Castle appears in every way a fitting home of the chiefs of the great house of Argyll.

One of the most modern, on the other hand, of the great mansions of Scotland is Mount Stuart, the seat of the Marquess of Bute, which, some six miles south from Rothesay, looks out from its beautiful woods upon the main waterway of the Firth of Clyde.

The older Mount Stuart was built in 1718, by James, second Earl of Bute, and was a plain mansion, destitute of ornament, though its picture gallery contained many fine canvases, including a portrait of Rubens by the artist himself. The present mansion was built by the late marquess some fifty years ago, and outside and inside is one of the most ornate of noblemen's seats in Britain. The splendid high, red front, with flanking turrets and dormer windows in the high, steep roof, backed by the dark green woods of Bute, affords one of the first impressions of baronial magnificence to the voyager from America as he sails up the estuary of the Clyde. At the same time the rich interior, with its columned halls and stately staircases and stained-glass casements, and with its costly treasures of many kinds, is a sort of Aladdin's palace, on which boundless wealth has been lavished with unstinting hand.

Of historic interest is Newbattle Abbey, the seat of the Marquess of Lothian, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. It is true that little is left to-day of the actual abbey, which was founded by David I so long ago as the year 1140. The Monkland Wall, which in ancient times surrounded the monastery, and the rude ivied bridge at the eastern end of the lawn, are probably all that remains of the labour of pious hands. But Newbattle, like Holyrood and Melrose, was one of the religious houses upon which David lavished many rich possessions.

After the Reformation in 1560 the abbey passed into possession of Mark Ker, second son of Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford, and it still belongs to his descendant by the female line, the Marquess of Lothian. Among the treasures of the modern mansion are some of the manuscripts of the ancient abbey, beautifully inscribed and illuminated by the monkish hands. Sequestered among its quiet park-lands and woods, with the South Esk, after descending through the rocky ravine of Cockpen, flowing quietly at hand, and the quaint little old village among the trees at its gates, Newbattle Abbey keeps for its chief modern memories certain visits of George IV and Queen Victoria.

Such are some of the historic homes of Scotland. The country suffered far more severely than England in the wars and raids of the feudal centuries. None knew this better than Sir Walter Scott, who makes a Borderer, fleeing to Newark Castle, with his family and possessions all on the back of a single horse, declare that he had begun to think his peel tower immune from aggression, as it "hadna' been burnt for a year and mair."

Nevertheless, the mansions of the north are, at least, not less crowded with interests and associations than are the stately homes of England.

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Pictures for Historic Homes of Scotland page 2

BALMORAL CASTLE ON THE BANKS OF THE DEE: A ROYAL RESIDENCE AMID THE WOODS AND HEATHER
BALMORAL CASTLE ON THE BANKS OF THE DEE: A ROYAL RESIDENCE AMID THE WOODS AND HEATHER >>>>
BLAIR CASTLE, SEAT OF THE ATHOLLS, AND BEMERSYDE OF THE HAIGS
BLAIR CASTLE, SEAT OF THE ATHOLLS, AND BEMERSYDE OF THE HAIGS >>>>
DALKEITH OF THE BUCCLEUCHS, AND BRODICK CASTLE ON THE SHORE OF LOVELY ARRAN
DALKEITH OF THE BUCCLEUCHS, AND BRODICK CASTLE ON THE SHORE OF LOVELY ARRAN >>>>
SKIBO CASTLE, AN OLD MANSION WHICH ANDREW CARNEGIE, NATIVE OF DUNFERMLINE, RENEWED FOR HIMSELF
SKIBO CASTLE, AN OLD MANSION WHICH ANDREW CARNEGIE, NATIVE OF DUNFERMLINE, RENEWED FOR HIMSELF >>>>
LORD ROSEBERY'S SEAT AT DALMENY, AND ANCIENT BARNBOUGLE CASTLE
LORD ROSEBERY'S SEAT AT DALMENY, AND ANCIENT BARNBOUGLE CASTLE >>>>
HISTORIC DRUMMOND CASTLE: GORDON CASTLE OF CLAN GORDON
HISTORIC DRUMMOND CASTLE: GORDON CASTLE OF CLAN GORDON >>>>
INVERARAY CASTLE, THE SEAT OF THE CAMPBELLS
INVERARAY CASTLE, THE SEAT OF THE CAMPBELLS >>>>
CRYPT OF GLAMIS CASTLE, AND THE ANCIENT CHAPEL AT NEWBATTLE ABBEY
CRYPT OF GLAMIS CASTLE, AND THE ANCIENT CHAPEL AT NEWBATTLE ABBEY >>>>
THE MARBLE HALL, MOUNT STUART
THE MARBLE HALL, MOUNT STUART >>>>
STERN ABOYNE CASTLE, AND THE MAGNIFICENCE OF MOUNT STUART
STERN ABOYNE CASTLE, AND THE MAGNIFICENCE OF MOUNT STUART >>>>
THE CORRIDOR IN CORTACHY CASTLE, AGE-LONG HOME OF THE AIRLIES
THE CORRIDOR IN CORTACHY CASTLE, AGE-LONG HOME OF THE AIRLIES >>>>
DUNROBIN AND ABERGELDIE CASTLES, WITH THEIR ROYAL ASSOCIATIONS
DUNROBIN AND ABERGELDIE CASTLES, WITH THEIR ROYAL ASSOCIATIONS >>>>

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