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Edinburgh Past and Present


DALMENY. 85 a castle famous in traditional lore as the birthplace of Cromwell’s mother, and which the ‘Protector’ is said to have visited during his invasion of the nation; in like manner Dundas Hill with its wonderful range of basaltic columns, eight hundred feet high and two hundred broad; and Blackness away in the distance, the state prison of a former age, darkly looming on a narrow point of land jutting out into the Firth, the ancient harbour of Linlithgow- ‘ Where Rome’s strong galleys found a safe retreat, -all these may be taken as forming remarkable and deeply interesting features in the landscape, of which Queensferry may be regarded as the standpoint, and’ lending a charm and aitractiveness to the place which in itself it would not possess. And Commerce moored her richly-freighted fleet ;’ DALMENY. Joumeying eastward through a beautifully diversified district, of undulating character and great fertility, we enter this parish. Like Queensferry, it lies in the county of Linlithgow, is well enclosed, finely wooded, and richly cultivated, and now embraces Auldcathy within its area, which was formerly an independent parish. There are in it also one or two quarries of excellent freestone, which have long been very remuneratively worked, and are even yet far from being exhausted. Of the village which takes the name of the parish very little need be said. It is just such a wral village as is frequently to be met with in the country districts of Scotland. It is chiefly remarkable for its-fine 016 church, which is in the Saxon style of architecture, and has long been justly admired. Its apse, or semicircular recess, with its semicircular windows and semi-vaulted dome, is regarded as the best and most perfect specimen of this ancient kind of structure now existing in Scotland. Perhaps we may add that in the church of the next parish, Kirkliston, there is likewise an interesting relic of this same order of edifice, in the form of a circular doorway, in a good state of preservation. A very noticeable feature of this district is that, within so narrow a compass, comparatively, there should be found adorning it the stately seats of so many families of distinction. Here we have Craigie Hall, a handsome old mansion, inviting to peace and retirement by the deep quiet and sage serenity of its aspect : there Dundas Castle, a massive and substantial structure of
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86 QUEENSFERRY TO MUSSELBURGH. baronial dignity and lordly importance, eIoquent of the wonderful tales of the summers that have smiled, and the winters that have frowned upon it : while on the other hand, again, Dalmeny Park, Lifts high its princely head,' ' Seated on its spreading lawn, the palatial residence of the Earls of Rosebery, the noble successors of the daring and gallant Mowbrays of olden Scottish story. Indeed, there are few districts so highly favoured in this way, the mansions and grounds of these and other opulent families throughout it, lending a beauty and an interest to the locality, particularly if visited in the happy summer-time, which is truly Perhaps we shduld remark that Dundas Castle and Dalmeny Park, presently occupied, are comparatively modern structures, built, if we mistake charming. . . BABNBOUGLE CASTLE. not, within the century, not very far from their aged predecessors which are still standing. Old Dundas Castle, dating from 1120, is a commanding object, hoary and grey, .and reminding one strongly of some old veteran wamor who has seen some severe fighting in his day, and bears upon him the scars of his wounds as trophies of his victories. Barnbougle Castle again is hardly less venerable, and equally suggestive of old-world memories. Possibly there may be much that is merely legendary about the daring exploits and chivalrous deeds of the gallant Mowbrays, of freebooter fame ; still, with a large . deduction in that sense, there must yet have been a great deal that was fearlessly heroic and generously noble in that doughty family. Those relics of the olden time when ' micht was richt ' and 'he who wins should wear,' are
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