Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bennarty Circuit

June 30 (1828).—We made our pleasant excursion to-day round the hill of Bennarty par terre, and returned par mer. Our route by land led us past Lochore, where we made a pause for a few moments. Then proceeded to Ballingray or Bingray, and so by Kirkness, where late ravages are supplied by the force of vegetation down to the shores of Lochleven. We embarked and went upon Saint Serf's Island, supposed to have been anciently a cell of the Culdees. An old pinfold, or rather a modern pinfold, constructed out of the ancient chapel, is all that attests its former sanctity. We landed on Queen Mary's Island, a miserable scene, considering the purpose for which the Castle was appointed. And yet the captivity and surrender of the Percy was even a worse tale, since it was an eternal blight on the name of Douglas. Well, we got to Blair Adam in due time, and our fine company began to separate, Lord Chief Baron going off after dinner. We had wine and wassail, and John Thomson's delightful flute to help us through the evening.

Thus end the delectations of the Blair Adam Club for this year. Mrs. Thomson of Charlton talks of Beaton's House, and other Fife wonders for the next year, but who knows what one year may bring forth? Our Club has been hitherto fortunate. It has subsisted twelve years.
This entry from Scott's Journal discusses a trip with the Blair Adam group, which was the topic of a recent post.  The trip is centered around Loch Leven Castle, and other sites that were significant to the period when Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.  Bennarty Hill appears in Scott's "The Abbot", which covers this time of Mary's life:
...Sound were his slumbers, until they were suddenly dispelled by the iron tongue of the castle-bell, which sent its deep and sullen sounds wide over the bosom of the lake, and awakened the echoes of Bennarty, the hill which descends steeply on its southern bank...

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