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where there is an excellent Inn, situate, as its name denotes, at the head of Loch Earn. This lake is seven miles in length, and its depth is said to be 100 fathoms; it was never known to freeze, which may be owing to its great deepness. A road passes along each side of the lake ; and as the traveller
be inclined to circumambulate it, and visit what is remarkable in its vicinity, let him proceed down the north shore ; when, about three miles from the Inn, the great chain of mountains screening the view southward appears to open ; and the delightful vista thus presented is closed up by the enormous Ben Voirlich, (i. e. the Great Mountain of the Lake,) rising above the surface of the lake to an altitude of 3000 feet. It surpasses in height all the other mountains south of the Breadalbane territory ; and from its summit there is an extensive prospect over the south of Scotland, stretching to the eastern and western seas, and to the mountains on the English borders. It is the property of William Stewart, Esq. whose house of Ardvoirlich is situate at no great distance from its base, upon the margin of the lake. Contiguous to Ben Voirlich, on the west, is the unshapely hill of Stuch-achroan; and to the south is Glen Artney, where there is a red-deer forest. At the foot of the lake, is a beautiful small wooded island, said to be artificial, which was once the rendezvous of desperate banditti of the name of Neish, whose history is as brief as it is tragical. They had waylaid some of the clan Macnab and robbed them of provisions which they were conveying from the low country ; this naturally enraged the laird's sons, who collected a party of the clan, and caused them to transport a boat from Loch Tay across the mountains to Loch Earn. During the night, the Macnabs made good their landing on the island ; and the Neishs being unprepared for attack, were soon put to the sword. In commemoration of this event, the Macnabs have a Neish's head for the family crest, with the motto Dread Nought.
Stretching eastward from this lake lies Strathearn, deriving its name from the river Earn, which issues from the lake at its eastern extremity. It is the Arcadia of Scotland; uniting, with richness of soil and pastoral beauty, much that is interesting to the mineralogist, naturalist, and geologist. This beautiful valley was the scene of many sanguinary conflicts between the Romans and the unconquerable natives of the mountains. Within its limits some suppose the famous battle recorded by Tacitus, in which the Caledonians, commanded by Galgacus, were defeated by Agricola was fought. Claudian, in celebrating the victories of the elder Theodosius, alludes to this district in the following often quoted lines :
maduerunt Saxone fuso
Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis Ierne." In the neighbourhood of Lochearn-head, on the south side of the lake, a short way up a narrow glen, is a beautiful waterfall, where there is an ancient castellated house, Edinample, surrounded with trees, the property of the Earl of Breadalbane. The Ample, a mountain stream, is suddenly precipitated in two spouts over a projecting shelf of rock, into a profound abyss, where they unite, and rush again over a second precipice. *
To such of our readers as may wish to shorten the tour, we would recommend tlie road to Perth through Strathearn, a distance, from Lochcarn-head, of 36 miles. This celebrated valley presents the finest combinations of rich and romantic scenery. The road proceeds nearly seven miles along the north shore of the lake, and enters the
Leaving Lochearn-head, the road enters the deep defile of Glen Ogle, a wild and sterile tract, hemmed in
pretty little village of St Fillan's, formerly Portmore, or Mickle Port. It has been completely modernized, and exhibits an air of comfort and cleanliness rather rare in the villages of the Highlands. This is the seat of a society called St Fillan's, which was formed in 1819, and comprehends most of the gentlemen of rank and property in the west of Perthshire. They assemble annually, dressed in the ancient costume of the country ; on these occasions, athletic sports, and war. like exercises, with performances on the bagpipe, are exhibited upon a square stage, erected in a glen near to the village ; and prizes are given by the society to the successful competitors. The valley, which is capacious towards its head, suddenly contracts, and, on every side, hills of the most picturesque forms appear in sight, and pierce the clouds with their lofty pinnacles, in some points of view not unlike the representations given by modern travellers of Mount Sinai. A little way east from St Fillan's is seen the verdant and conical hill called Dun-Fillan, about 600 feet in height. On the summit, is a rock called St Fillan's chair ; from this the saint so called used to bestow his blessings upon the surrounding country. Near the chair are two small cavities in the rock, said to have been worn out by his knees, so incessantly was he engaged in prayer. On the summit of this hill was a spring consecrated by him, and possessed of miraculous healing powers ; but since the downfal of popery, it has modestly descended into the valley, and is still resorted to by a few superstitious valetudi. narians. Nearly adjoining Dun-Fillan, is the Binean of Dundourn, a loftier and more romantic hill. The road continues along the banks of the Earn, under thick forests of tall pines and larches; these confine the view to the broken ridges of mountains seen in perspective. At length a vista opens to the left, and discloses, at the head of a verdant lawn, Dunira, the favourite summer residence of the late Viscount Melville, now the property of Sir Robert Dundas, Bart. Its situation is very romantic, screened on all sides by lofty mountains, each displaying some bold characteristic.
Beyond Dunira the hills become craggy and bare, and stand out bleak and forlorn. Two miles and a half from Dunira, Dalhouzie, (Skene, Esq.) is seen upon the right, and Aberuchill Castle, (Sir A. Campbell, Bart.) upon the same side. This castle, which has received some inodern additions, was built in 1692, and was the scene of many sanguinary broils between the Campbells and the Macgregors ; by the latter of whom, its interior was several times destroyed. The avenues
by the rocky sides of the mountains, from which vast fragments have descended, and lie scattered beneath.
leading to the castle are singularly grand. A little above the garden is a deep dell, or glen, into whicli a mountain stream tumbles in beautiful cascades. A wooden bridge thrown across the first fall commands a full view of the turbulent progress of the stream, and of the successive pools, overspread with the gloom of procumbent trees and shrubs, in which its waters are whirled round in circling eddies. The valley enlarges as the different mountains recede from the road ; and beyond aberuchill, in rainy weather, the traveller will be astonished by the appearance of sheets of water pouring down a height of 1000 feet from the sides of the lofty bills. At the distance of other two miles, and 12 from Lochearn-head, the road enters the village of Comrie. It has been subject to earthquakes, that have occasionally been felt for a number of years; these are sometimes accompanied with an alarming noise. The mountain of Benchonzie, a few miles to the north-east, is considered the focus from which they radiate. It has a considerable population, and is pleasantly situate upon the north bank of the Earn, at its confluence with the Ruchill. Close to the vil. lage stands Comrie-house, (Drummond, Esq.) upon the east side of which the Lednock darts, in rapid volume, till it reaches the Earn. A conspicuous object in this neighbourhood, is an obelisk of granite seventy-two feet in height, upon the summit of the hill called Dun. more, sacred to the memory of the late Lord Melville. From this monument there is a fine view of the adjacent country, an amphitheatre of mountains. At the bottom of Dunmore there is an object of fear. ful interest, called the Devil's Caldron, which the Tourist would do well to examine; here the Lednock rushes for a space of 100 feet, between walls of smooth solid rock upwards of twenty feet in height, and only four or five feet apart, making a descent into a dark and dismal gulf: the roaring of the water is tremendous, and the whole scene overpowering. The Lednock has another fine fall, called Spout Rolla, about two miles above the Devil's Caldron, which is distinctly seen from the monument.
About a mile southward of Comrie is the famous Roman Camp of Dalginross, situate upon Galgachan muir ; here Gordon and Chal. mers suppose the famous battle between Galgacus and Agricola was fought.
A mile and a-half beyond Conrie, Lawers, the elegant mansion of Lord Balgray, is passed upon the left; and three quarters of a-mile further on, Clathick, (Colquhoun, Esq.) is observed upon the same side. Further on is a cross road to Strowan; and half a-mile beyond
One of these is propped by a piece of rude masonry, and is said to mark the spot where a ruffian was slain by a
Clathick, the road passes Monivaird kirk ; a mile and a-half beyond is Ochtertyre, the charming residence of Sir Patrick Murray, Bart. ; the views around which, are of the most varied and rich description in Alpine scenery.
The river Turret is crossed about a mile from Ochtertyre. It has its origin in a small lake, and descends from a most romantic glen, (Glenturret,) which the Tourist, setting out either from Ochtertyre or Crieff, should not omit to visit. Various paths conduct from the bridge to the lake along the sides of the glen, and overlook the turbulent stream, as it tumbles over rocks, or plunges into deep ravines, forming a succession of most beautiful cascades and cataracts; one of these will strongly remind the traveller of the Dargle among the Wicklow mountains, near Dublin, though here the scene is more enchanting.
From the bridge of Turret the road winds along the brow of a wooded hill for the space of a mile, and enters the thriving town of Crieff, which contains a population of upwards of 3000, who are principally engaged in the manufacture of Silesias and cotton goods. It has a Banking establishment, an Assembly Room, &c. The road from St Fillan's to Crieff by Comrie is thought by many to be out of sight the most pleasingly romantic in Scotland.
When at Crieff, the Tourist ought not to omit visiting Drummond Castle, once the princely residence of the Perth family, now the property of the Lady Willoughby D'Eresby, a daughter of the last Lord Perth. It is situate two miles south of Crieff, upon the road to Dunblane. The Castle commands an enchanting view of the whole of Strathearn, and is surrounded by noble avenues, fine gardens, and extensive deer parks. Great attention is paid to visitors, who are shown the gilded figure of the crown which was carried in the coronation procession of his Majesty George IV., and the chair on which he sat at the banquet in Westminster Hall. There is also shown a large two-handed sword, said to have belonged to Robert Bruce, and many other curiosities.
Another delightful excursion may be made from Crieff, northward to Amulrie. The road crosses the Turret twice, and two of its tribu. tary streams, and reaches the village of Monzie, situated amid splendid scenery. Adjacent to the village is Monzie Castle, (General Campbell.) Here there are many fine walks, enlivened with waterfalls. Follow the road which leads to Fianteach, or Fendoch, and the Bridge of Buchanty, and examine a Roman camp upon the banks of the Almond : near this camp is the village of Fianteach, or Fingal's house.