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rounded by a wall, where deer were formerly kept and hunted. This field, together with other portions of ground in the vicinity, forms a small jurisdiction, called the Constabulary of the Castle. At the east end lay the gardens, the ground occupied by which is now little better than a swamp, though vestiges of the walks and parterres, and stumps of fruit trees, are still visible, In this quarter is a mound of earth, called “the King's Knot,” where the court is said to have held fêtes champêtres. This probably is the round table mentioned by Barbour ; and, if so, it was here that James IV. used to amuse himself with the pastime of The Knights of the Round Table, of which he was excessively fond. Around the gardens are the vestiges of a canal. In the Castlehill is a hollow called the Valley, coniprehending about an acre, where tilts and tournaments were exhibited ; and, adjoining to it, on the south, is a small craggy pyramidical mount, called, “ The Ladies' Hill,” on which the ladies were seated to observe and applaud the valour of the combatants.
North-west of the Castle is a steep path called Ballengiech, or the windy pass, leading to the entrance of the castle called the Ballengiech-gate. James V. whose amorous adventures are recorded in song, and whose affability and love of justice procured for him the endearing appellation of “King of the Commons,” frequently travelled through the country in disguise, and when questioned who he was, always replied, “ The Gudeman of Ballengiech."
Opposite to the Castle, on the north, lies Gowling Hill, on the northern extremity of it, near the bridge, is a small mount named Hurlyhacket, from its having been the scene of a courtly amusement, alluded to by Sir David Lindsay, who says of the pastimes in which the young king was engaged,
“ Some harled him to the Hurlyhacket;"
this consisted in sliding, upon a seat, from top to bottom of a smooth bank. This mount was “ the heading hill,” where Murdoch, Duke of Albany, the King's uncle, and formerly Regent, and his two sons, Walter and Alexander Stewart, with the aged Earl of Lennox, his fatherin-law, were sacrificed to the vengeance or stern justice of James I. in 1425 ; and where afterwards Sir Robert Graham, and several of his associates, were brought to the block, after undergoing the most inhuman torments for their concern in the shocking murder of that monarch.
It is in allusion to the bloody transaction we have described, that Douglas, in The Lady of the Lake, is made thus to address Stirling :
66 Ye towers, within whose circuit dread,
The last execution of great note, which took place at Stirling, was that of Hamilton, Archbishop of St Andrew's, the primate of Scotland, an able but unprincipled man, for his accession to the murder of the Regent Murray, by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh.
The stranger visiting Stirling Castle will be struck with delight and astonishment at the magnificent prospect it commands. Every traveller has spoken of the view from the Castle in the language of enthusiasm ; and even foreigners have pronounced it to be the finest in the world. It is at once luxuriant, wild, and magnificent. To the east is a plain of vast extent, rich in corn, adorned with woods, stately mansions, and smiling hamlets, and watered by the Forth, whose circuitous course has been compared to the folds of a huge serpent. The in sight;
windings of this noble river, is here navigable by small vessels, but so singularly intricate, that its channel, from Stirling to Alloa, a distance of only six miles in a direct line, extends to nearly twenty. At the latter place, it expands to the breadth of half-a-mile, and soon swells out into a capacious estuary. Most of the towns along its coasts, to the distance of Edinburgh, are distinctly descried. Northward, the beautiful Ochils appear and, in that direction, may be pointed out the Sheriffmuir, where, in 1715, the battle was fought between the king's troops and those of the Pretender. Southward, are the Campsie Fells, remarkable for their rapid acclivity, level summits, and rich verdure ; and to the west, not less fertile or delightfully variegated with wood and water than the eastern valley, is seen the vale of Monteith, stretched out to the bases of Benlomond and Bevenue. The former seems of more imposing magnitude when seen from Stirling Castle, than from the margin of its own lake ; and there can be no doubt, that the grand and striking features of the view from Stirling are to be found in the Grampian barrier from Benlomond to Benvoirloch, including the Arrochar Hills, Benledi, Benmore, and other mountains, which form a sort of amphitheatre of great height, with bold and broken outlines.
The town of Stirling contains a population of about 8000, which is believed to be upon the increase. Some of its public buildings deserve notice. The Greyfriars' Church, erected by James V. is a very handsome building, in the best style of Gothic architecture, but is now divided, and forms two Presbyterian churches. It was in this place the Earl of Arran, governor of the kingdom during Queen Mary's minority, publicly renounced the reformed religion in 1543. It was also here that James VI. was crowned. In the adjoining church-yard, General
Monk erected his batteries against the castle ; and the tower and roof of the church have many marks of bullets fired by the garrison in their defence. Several shells were also fired at this church from the castle in 1746, when the rebels celebrated their victory of the battle of Falkirk in it.
To the north of the church stands a ruinous building called Mar's Work, erected by the Regent Mar in the minority of James VI. It was built from the ruins of the celebrated abbey of Cambuskenneth, which stood upon the north bank of the Forth, in the vicinity of Stirling. To mark his contempt of the reproaches cast upon him on account of the imputed sacrilege, he caused to be inscribed upon it the following lines :
Esspy. Speik. Furth. I Cair. Notht.
Consider. Weil. I Cair. Notht." The building has been greatly dilapidated.
Near Mar's Work, on the right of the street leading to the castle, is a spacious edifice, called Argyll's Lodging, built by the eminent poet, Sir William Alexander, created Earl of Stirling. It was afterwards acquired by the Earl of Argyll, who entertained here, in 1681, the Duke of York, in whose subsequent reign he was iniquitously put to death.
There are three Hospitals in Stirling, one of which was founded by Spittal, (whose name it bears,) tailor to James the Fourth. In the Council-house is a vessel called a jug, formerly appointed by law to be the standard of dry measure for Scotland.
As Stirling is justly admired for the richness of its landscapes, and the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, the tourist should not omit to visit the interesting objects in its neighbourhood. Dumiat, the highest of the Ochil hills, at the distance of a morning's walk, commands one of the noblest views any where to be met with, or he may have the same view, somewhat softened,
from a height in the grounds of Airthrey, still nearer than Dumiat. Should his leisure permit, he may also feel disposed to make an excursion to Dunblane, distant six miles, and the Roman Camp of Ardoch, about twelve miles distant. In doing so, he crosses the bridge at Stirling, and afterwards the bridge of Allan, a mile and a half beyond which the road passes Kippenross, the beautiful seat of John Stirling, Esq. In the lawn there is a plane tree, remarkable for its size, being 27 feet in circumference at the ground, and 30 where the branches shoot out. A little beyond Kippenross is
a place of great antiquity, delightfully situate upon the water of Allan. The cathedral stands on an eminence on the eastern bank of the river. It was founded in 1142, and richly endowed by David I. that “ saint for the crown,” as James I. described him. The building is in ruins, but enough of it remains to attest its pristine magnificence. The choir is used as the parish church, having - lately been elegantly fitted up in the Gothic style. The climate of Dunblane has been highly praised for its s lubrity ; and the mineral spring at Cromlix, in its vicinity, is much resorted to. The spring is situate on the banks of the Allan, about two miles above Dunblane; a delightful walk by the side of the river leads to it. In the town is a library, founded by the good Bishop Leighton, afterwards Archbishop of Glasgow. About a mile beyond Dunblane is Kippendavie, (Stirling, Esq.) on the right, near the western extremity of the Sheriff-muir, or Muir of Dunblane, where the battle was fought in 1715, between the royal army under the Duke of Argyll, and that of the Pretender, under the Earl of Mar. It is not a little extraordinary, that each of the two armies should have retreated under