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in command of the king's troops. The latter were totally defeated,—and among the slain was the Earl of Caithness. Here also, in February 1645, the clan Campbell, commanded by their chief, the Marquis of Argyll, were put to the route by the Marquis of Montrose ; of the Campbells, 1500 fell in the action.
About four miles north of Fort-William, on the brink of a tremendous precipice, overlooking the river Lochy, are the remains of a very ancient castle, called Tor Castle, which, according to tradition, was built at the same time with the one of Inverness. Banquo is supposed to have had his castle in this neighbourhood ; and a charming walk along the Lochy, a little way below the ruins, still retains his name. It seems more than probable, therefore, that these are the ruins of Banquo's castle.
The Tourist who is desirous of exploring the romantic Glen Nevis will do well to employ a guide, as there is no regular road through it. The scenery of this glen is of the most gloomy grandeur. Above the house of Glen Nevis, (Cameron, Esq.) where the valley turns to the left, is the green hill of Dundearduil, on the summit of which are the remains of a vitrified fort. Beyond this point, the glen, changing to wild pine-clad steeps and ragged crags, is walled in and darkened by towering mountains; and along its bottom the river Nevis rages and foams over fragments of rocks.
A considerable way up the Glen, the Tourist comes to a remarkable cave, or grotto, on the south side of the river, called Haigh-t Hovile, or Samuel's Cave. It appears to have been formed by an immense rock being thrown or rested against the face of another, and presents an arch 30 feet long, 11 broad, and from 6 to 14 feet high. At the mouth of the cave, which is only three feet and a half in height, is a perpendicular rock, about forty feet high. The cave has three divisions, the largest of which would give shelter to thirty people ; and its floor gradually slopes from its mouth downwards. At its extremity, are two passages, conducting into other recesses in the rock. One of these passages descends ten feet, the other ascends above the roof of the main cavern. Here some of the unhappy fugitives from the field of Culloden took up their abode, and lived for some time in security.
Opposite this rock, on the other side of the river, is a beautiful cascade, tumbling from the side of BenNevis, upwards of half a mile before the river reaches the glen. Two miles farther up the river is another cascade, upon the same side with the cave.
After forcing its way among rocks, it falls perpendicularly at least 500 feet. By some, these falls have been thought superior to the one of Foyers.
The parallel roads of
may now be described ; these are situate in Lochaber, about eleven miles north-east of Fort-William ; to reach them, the Tourist must return to High Bridge, over the Spean, eight miles from Fort-William, where Glen Roy may be said to commence, and proceed by the road to Badenoch, as far as Keppoch ; thence a road strikes off on the left down the centre of Glen Roy. There were originally three lines of these roads on both sides of the glen, of corresponding height. They run along the declivities of steep mountains, which inclose Glen Spean and Glen Roy, the lower line has been much effaced
; they are generally from sixty to seventy feet in breadth, and the distance between two of them is 180. Dr Anderson, in his. View of the Agriculture of Aberdeenshire, thus speaks of them: “ These roads are carried forward along the sides of the hills, in a direction everywhere perfectly horizontal. Wherever they come to a vacuity
in the hill, they bend inwards till they find the natural level ; and where they come to a river, instead of sink-, ing down to the level of its bottom, or requiring to have a bridge directly across it to raise the ground to its proper level, they turn up the bank of the river, keeping still their horizontal direction, till they thus gradually reach the bottom of the stream, when, crossing it, and altering their direction once more, they pursue the course of the stream on the opposite bank till they reach the streak, when they proceed forward in the same horizontal direction as before.” One opinion concerning these celebrated roads is, that they were made by the Scottish kings when they resided at Inverlochy. By men of science, these roads are regarded simply as a natural phe
It is thought that the glen was once a lake, which, having successively burst its barriers, and had its surface level reduced, each line of road is only what was the margin of the lake at a particular period. Very recently, Captain Basil Hall, of the Royal Navy, discovered a valley in Peru, bounded by hills, along the sides of which run parallel roads, similar in all respects to those of Glen Roy ; and he accounts for their appearance by the same hypothesis we have been stating.
The Tourist, after visiting Glen Roy, should proceed from Keppoch, a few miles farther along the road to Badenoch, when he will reach Loch Laggan, a lake of great interest to the antiquary. It is fifteen miles in length, and one and a half in breadth ; and the road proceeds along the whole extent of its northern shore. On the south side is the Coill More, or Great Wood, the most considerable remnant of the Caledonian Forest. This was a famous place for hunting, and formerly abounded with deer and roe, until the introduction of sheep farming. In the middle of the Coill More is a place called Aist Merigie, or “ the height on which a standard was wont to be erected.” Here, too, is a place held sacred from the most remote antiquity, and said to be the burial place of seven kings of the ancient Caledonians, about the period when the Scots were driven by the Picts beyond the Tay, and had their seat of government at Dunkeld. At the east end of the lake stand the remains of an old church, dedicated to St Kenneth, and surrounded by a burying-ground, which is still used.
The stranger, at Fort William, if ambitious of enjoying the most sublime prospect to be met with in Great Britain, will ascend to the summit of
This gigantic mountain is no less than 4380 feet in height; and a great part of it is composed of the most beautiful porphyry or red granite. The ascent is by a ridge of the mountain, towards the west, a short way up the river Nevis. The hill of Glenurs limits the view until a height of 1500 feet is gained, when the pastoral beauties of the glen open to the view. Ascending higher, the prospect enlarges to the south-west ; the Strait of Corran, the isles of Shuna and Lismore, Mull, Seil, and Kerrera; and beyond these the lofty Paps of Jura
appear within sight. To the north-west, the isles of Rum, and Canna, and Skye, are distinctly seen ; and, westward, the mountainous territory of Lochiel. At the altitude of 1800 feet, vegetation ceases, and the Tourist walks over naked rocks or gravelly beds, called scarnachs, from which gush abundant springs of excellent water. Having gained the summit, and, approaching the northeast side of the mountain, which is flat, he finds himself on the brink of a tremendous precipice, in which snow lies throughout the whole year. The height of this rock is supposed to be equal to a third of that of the mountain. Here the Tourist sees across the whole island, from the German ocean to the Atlantic. East
ward, he beholds the chain of lakes which occupy
the bottom of the great glen, and, to the south-east, Loch Laggan and Loch Rannoch. All around are lofty mountains, over the summits of which he casts his
with conscious pride, from the greatest point of elevation in the British dominions. Among these he will discover Ben-Cruachan, at the head of Loch-Awe in Argyllshire ; Schihallien, Ben-More, and Ben-Lawers in Perthshire ; Bhillan in Glencoe, Ben-More in Mull, Ben-Wyvis and other hills in Ross-shire; each of them surrounded by an assemblage of other mountains. At the distance of ninety miles, Colonsay seems to rise from the sea like a shade of mist, over the opening of the Sound of Mull. The verdant Lismore and Shuna, though distant thirty miles, appear as if immediately under the mountain. The whole extent of view is 170 miles from the horizon of the sea at the Moray Firth, on the north-east, to the island of Colonsay on the south-west. The vistas formed by the opening of the mountains, appearing to rise like ramparts from the valleys, are very grand ; the eye travels along the course of noble rivers, and mark the relative bearings of different lakes and islands. Besides all this, conceive the ocean, with its numerous firths and bays appearing in repose,—the serenity of the sky,—the absence of all sound but that of the rushing wind, and a faint idea may be formed of the glories of the scene.
It is proper here to mention, that an excursion to the summit of Ben-Nevis and returning, will consume at least seven hours, allowing time for making observations.*
* Steam-boats sail between Fort William and Glasgow twice a week, by which the Tourist, instead of travelling by land, from Fort William to Oban, a distance of eighty-two miles, may be conveyed to Oban, In that case, his only loss will be a view of the scenery of Glencoe ; for, after visiting the islands, and returning to Oban, if he proceed to