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GD253Papers of Messrs D and JH Campbell, WS, solicitors, Edinburgh1516-1904
GD253/144Botanical Papers of John Hope MD Professor of Botany and Materia Medica at Edinburgh1761-1786
Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference GD253/144/4
Title 'Notes taken on a Jaunt October 1765'
Dates 1765
Access status Open
Location On site
Description (Critical observations on route. Dr. Hope mentions a companion but does not name him).
1-4 Route: Bathgate, Houston, Shotts, Hamilton House, Chatelherault and town of Hamilton.
Bathgate - 'amazingly increased it is running Eastward up the hill towards Killin. A miserable bad street on the West end'.

'Marjoribanks ought to undoubtedly purchase Balincrieff which is a good place for an Edinburgh man particularly if the road to Glasgow should go that way'.
Bathgate moor I found the Lycopodium [a moss]...and at several places on the road by Shots...The landlord at Shots told me that trees were found in moss to the depth of six yards...and that they were generally fir and oak.'

Hamilton House. `Upon viewing the front the wings appeared to me vastly too long, 8 windows. For the body of the house, 6 windows. Their length darkened the front...You enter at the centre into a hall which is very low-roofed and very long to remedy which it is crossed with pillars. At one end, viz the East, is the Dining Room of the same height...this room the last Duke used is hung all round with pictures of horses. It shows the different taste of ages - some choose to preserve the memory of great or good men - others favourite horses. O mores! At the other end of the hall is the stair which is heavy beyond expression, has two unequal windows. There is hanging in it a picture by Paul Veronese. The stair conducts you into the Gallery which I was told was 130 feet long, which I hardly believed, by 24, and I fancy 15 feet high'.

`In riding up the avenue we are struck by the beauty of the water...From there we go by a fine bridge of 3 large arches over the Evon and from thence by another winding road to the Dog Kennel where you cannot fail being struck with the beauty of the natural form of the grounds and where you have the most mortifying sight of the severest hardship put upon Lady Nature? Nothing in my humble opinion can be poorer or uglier than the view of Chatelherault from the palace yet when you come to it, it is pleasant and fairylike and breathes the spirit of its great artist. But good God what Dreadful havock of the poor suffering Earth which unmolested was beautiful...'

From Chatelherault they travel to the old castle of Kego and thence to Baron Cleuth. `A singular place. It consists of 4 or 5 terraces supported by stone walls...amongst other things it has a greenhouse...which has a furnace and a flu. We here see Adam and the blue bonnet cocks and hens and many other curiosities all cut out of the pliant tortured yew'.

Hamilton Garden has a 12 foot high brick wall round two sides, 300 feet at top heated by six furnaces. The Pinery he considers faulty. `Nothing in it but pines cockscombs, capsicums and arums'. (Brief visit to Hamilton Church and Town followed.)

5. (1-2) Route: Glasgow to Dumbarton - Luss - Tarbet - Glen Croe - by Rest and be Thankful - Cairnclow and Glen Kinglas to Inveraray.

`A charming ride'. Sees a very fine ash tree at Levenside Kirkyard. Luss very pleasantly situated. Considers the road might have been still pleasanter by its being carried along the side of the loch instead of being carried over the rising ground. The wood along Loch Lomond consists of oak, ash, fir, beech and alder. The beauty of this ride is enhanced by the fine freshwater loch with the planted islands and large banks of trees.

`Down Glen Kinglas there is a hole out of which has been thrown a number of huge stones which some think is the effect of a subterranean irruption, others the effect of water, and lastly stones thrown out of a mine or quarry.'

`From Cairndow, situated on Loch Fine, we have a pleasant ride to Inveraray. All along the Loch side the North side is planted...' `At Inveraray we first went to the gardens which consist of 30 acres within the walls but there is not above 5 or 6 dedicate to the purpose of a garden the rest being filled with old fir, beech and other trees...Mr Paterson says the Duke could not have chosen a worse spot as it is generally a stiff clay and the bank to the house rises so high that for a considerable part of the winter they have no sun. The garden is filled with a number of exotic plants...introduced here since 1744...In the old garden there is a considerable number of hardy trees such as American larix and New England pines. In the meadow behind the garden there is a still water. It had a faint smell of Mofat water but no ferrugineous taste which we attributed to the great rain. There is a cover to the well which as it stands is inconceivably heavy but it was meant to have spire above it. The meadow is terminated by a high circular tower pigeon house. There are no less than 3 bridges. Just at the house the uppermost is a cycloid by John Adam and very elegant. The undermost is the parliamentary bridge of 5 arches which are beautiful but spoilt entirely by semi-circular turrets with battlements which give it a very heavy appearance. There are several easy sloping cascades...'

`...The garden should have been in a green enclosure by the beach where the soil is good and the sun not interrupted even in winter.'

6. (1-4) Route: Inveraray - Tyndrum - Taymouth - Blair. `The hills began to be covered with snow...The horses on crossing tumble on the road to Blair. We found smaller but not of the same shape.

At Taymouth `the fine double row of lymes grow in an absolute chanle and gravel with which they make lyme and which in former times probably had been the channel of the river...The large beech is supposed to be 170 years old and was the first beech brought into the country.'

'The garden at Blair `so much talked of is rather a piece of water than a garden. It astonishes me to find people taken with this garden unless we value it for the difficulty with which it was executed...The walk called Hercules's is abominably ill placed. The wilderness is in the old taste.'

Here grows `the tulip tree, deciduous cypress, laurestinus, rosemary, sweat chesnut, walnut, and horse chesnut with difficulty, white pine has been unthriving, I saw one or too, they did not promise anything good. The whole plantation consisted of scots fir, but not much of it, beech, oak, larix and spruce fir, much of it, a fine Balm of Gilead fir. I saw but one silver fir [and] one good row of scarlet oak...'

`The cascade, the glen, the views from the South West room and the Dining room are the chief beauties.'

[This section includes references to Lord Loudon's plantations and methods of propagation.]

7-8 Route: Dunkeld - Perth - Alva.
At Dunkeld he is critical of a cedar of Lebanon but admires a black spruce and two fine birches. `The greatest Beauty of Dunkeld is the noble river, the number of whins and some bold rocks. The walk by the river side is very beautiful.'

`The Duke showed us a tea chest made of broom, also the standart of a fire screen, both most beautifully intermixed with chesnut colour and yellow.'

At Alva he notes the young plants in the garden, an American birch, a Judas tree, deciduous cypress in plenty and tulip trees.

(9) Sketch of the plan of Scone Palace.
(10) Recipe for copal varnish.
Level File
Extent 14 items

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