Monday, June 28, 2010

Castle Campbell

June 28 (1828).—Off we go to Castle Campbell after breakfast, i.e. Will Clerk, Admiral Adam, J. Thomson, and myself. Tremendous hot is the day, and the steep ascent of the Castle, which rises for two miles up a rugged and broken path, was fatiguing enough, yet not so much so as the streets in London. Castle Campbell is unaltered; the window, of which the disjointed stone projects at an angle from the wall, and seems at the point of falling, has still found power to resist the laws of gravitation. Whoever built that tottering piece of masonry has been long in a forgotten grave, and yet what he has made seems to survive in spite of nature itself. The curious cleft called Kemp's Score, which gave the garrison access to the water in case of siege, is obviously natural, but had been improved by steps, now choked up. A girl who came with us recollected she had shown me the way down to the bottom of this terrible gulf seven years ago. I am not able for it now.

"Wont to do's awa frae me,
Frae silly auld John Ochiltree."

Quote above from Ramsay's Tea-table Miscellany (1795), vol. i. p. 125.

The passage above is from Scott's Journal.  Castle Campbell sits in the town of Dollar (Scotland) and was the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, after it passed from the Stuart family to Colin Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll.  The castle was burned by the Scots in 1654, in retaliation for Campbell support for Oliver Cromwell.

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