Descriptions for Sketches about Scotland
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Amy Robsart 

Artist: Carpenter - Engraver: Scriven 

" The exquisite beauty of Mistress Amy Robsart, as she grew up from childhood to woman, could not escape one whom circumstances obliged to be so constantly in her company."-Vol. xxii. p. 154. (Sir Walter Scott)


Anne of Geierstein 

Artist: Carpenter - Engraver: Scriven 

The engraving represents one of the beautiful female characters of the Waverley novel, written by a Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. He is considered the first major European historical novelist. His first novel, Waverley (1814), was a great success and revealed his clear understanding of human nature. " Her long fair hair fell down in a profusion of curls on each side of a face, whose blue eyes, lovely features, and dignified simplicity of expression implied at once a character of gentleness." Vol. xliv. p. 47. " And she, that ever thro' her home had moved With the meek thoughtfulness and quiet smile Of woman, calmly loving and beloved, And timid in her happiness the while, Stood brightly forth, and stedfastly, that hour, Her clear glance kindling into sudden power."


Ayr - Scotland 

Artist: Bartlett; Engraver: Benjamin 

"The town is agreeably situated on a level peninsula, formed by the rivers Ayr and Doon, where they unite with the Frith of Clyde. The history of the town dates from the twelfth century, at the close of which a new town and fortress were erected on the water of Ayr, and raised shortly afterwards to the dignity of a royal burgh by the founder, William the Lion. During the competition wars between Bruce and Baliol, and the invasion by Edward I., the town of Ayr appears to have been considered by the latter sovereign as a post of the greatest importance in the prosecution of his designs of conquest. It is closely associated with the brilliant names and romantic valor of that period, and, in its local history contributes largely to the national annals. The modern town is handsome, very favorably situated-for trade, and presents numerous improvements in the appearance and condition of the people. The public buildings, particularly the courts of justice and the new town-hall, are of elegant design and execution, and give an almost metropolitan air to their respective streets. The Ayr Academy has been long distinguished among the best classical seminaries of the kingdom; and has its character established on the surest of all grounds-the great abilities of its teachers, and the liberality, zeal, and judgment, of its patrons and supporters.


Cape Wrath, North Highlands - Scotland 

From the original drawing by Bartlett, Engraver: Willmore 

Cape Wrath is known for its magnificent cliffs, its wildness and grandeur. Cape Wrath is promontory at extreme northwestern Scotland, 368 ft high, extending into the Atlantic Ocean. A lighthouse on the cape is visible for up to 27 mi. The district, in which it is located, consists mainly of bleak undulating moorland dissected by ice-molded glens draining southeastward to the North Sea and northward and northwestward to the Atlantic. Above this main plateau surface rise isolated hills of harder schists and granite. The narrow coastal belt consists of fertile raised beaches and softer sedimentary rocks. The western coast is deeply indented with spectacular fjords and sandy bays


High Street and Town Hall, Dundee - Scotland 

Artist: n/a - Engraver: n/a 

THE most bustling and important part of the town of Dundee is the High-street, called also the Market-place, and the Cross. This is an oblong square, or rectangle, 360 feet long, and 100 feet broad, wearing much of that opulent and commercially great and dignified appearance which characterizes the Trongate or Argyle-street of Glasgow, or even the less crowded parts of the great thoroughfares of London. The houses are of freestone, four stories high, rich and gaudy in their shops, and generally regular and modern in their structure, though in two or three instances, surmounted on the front by the gable-end construction. On the south side, projecting several feet from the line of the other buildings, stands the Town-hall. This is a fine Roman structure erected in 1734; but, being built of a mouldering, dark-coloured stone, it has a dingy and somewhat defaced appearance. Beneath, it lies open in piazzas, and above, it towers up in a spire of about 140 feet in height. At each end of the High-street, is a building which closes up the wide and stirring area of the rectangle, but allows, on both sides, sufficient space for thoroughfares into the adjoining streets. That which occupies the east end, is the Trades' hall, dividing the commencement of the Sea-gate from that of Murray-gate. It is a neat though plain building, adorned in the front with Ionic pillars, and surmounted by an elegant cupola. From the High-street, Castle-street goes off at right angles with the commencement of the Sea-gate, and leads down to the Harbour, of part of which a view has already been presented in Plate X. of the present series.


Edinburgh From Craigmillar Castle - Scotland 

Artist: Allom, Engraver: Prior 

CRAIGMILLAR CASTLE: THIS fine old ruin is situated in the parish of Libberton, about three miles south of Edinburgh, crowning a gentle eminence on the left of the road from Edinburgh to Dalkeith, and commanding a noble view of the south side of the city, the frith and opposite coast, and Aberlady bay. It consists of a square keep, or tower, several stories high, encompassed by a square embattled wall, which has had circular towers at each angle, and the whole surrounded by another rampart-wall, and in some places with a deep moat. On the principal gate is the date 1427. Whether this is meant to record the time that part was built, or an after-repair, is uncertain. The great hall is large, and well-lighted, considering the mode of ancient times; it has a semicircular ceiling, and measures in length 36 feet, in breadth 22; and, at the east end, has a chimney 11 feet wide. The ascent of the keep is by an easy flight of broad stone stairs. On the east side of the outer walls are the arms of Cockburne of Ormiston, Congalton of that ilk, Moubray of Barnbougie, and Otterburn of Bedford, with whom the Prestons of Craigmillar were nearly connected. Over a small gate, under three unicorns' heads couped, is a wine-press and a tun, a rebus for the word Preston. A variety of armorial bearings are scattered all over the outside of this building. The apartment shown as Queen Mary's, is in one ot the upper turrets ; it measures only 5 feet in breadth, and T in length: but has, nevertheless, two windows, and a fire-place. The name of this place occurs pretty early in the national records, in a charter of mortification, in Haddington's collections, granted in the reign of Alexander II. A. u. 1212, by William, son of Henry de Craigmillar; by which he gives, in pure and perpetual alms, to the church and monastery of Dunfermline, a certain toft of land in Craigmillar, in the southern part, which leads from the town of Nidreif to the church of Libberton, which Henry de Edmonton holds of him. Craigmillar afterwards became the property of John de Capella, from whom it was purchased by Sir Simon Preston in 1374. William, a successor to Sir Simon, was a member of the parliament which met at Edinburgh June 1, 1478. He had the title of Domine de Craig-Miller. This castle continued in the possession of the Prestons almost three hundred years; during which time that family held the highest offices in the magistracy of Edinburgh. In 1477, the Earl of Mar, younger brother to King James III., was confined here a considerable time. It was also the residence of King James V. during his minority, when he left Edinburgh.


High Street, Edinburgh - Scotland 

Artist: n/a; Engraver: n/a 

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Edinburgh is the second largest city in Scotland, after the industrial center of Glasgow. Edinburgh's central dominating landmark is Edinburgh Castle, rising on sheer cliffs above the city. Located here is the 11th-century Chapel of Saint Margaret, the city's oldest structure. The Castle Rock is connected to the 16th-century royal Scottish residence of Holyrood Palace by a road known as the Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town district of the city. Other notable buildings in Old Town include Saint Giles, the National Church of Scotland (largely 15th century); the Parliament House, seat of the Scottish Parliament from its completion in 1639 until 1707; and the house of the 16th-century Protestant reformer John Knox. To the north of this district is New Town, which was developed in the late 18th century and contains many fine buildings designed by the Scottish architect Robert Adam. Separating the two districts is Princes Street Gardens, occupying the bed of a loch that was drained in 1816. The Royal Mile, which begins outside the Castle Esplanade, descends Castle Hill, the crest of rock linking the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the east. The Royal Mile bears several names--Castle Hill, Lawnmarket, High Street, and Canongate--recalling its medieval districts. The Old Town's towering tenements are pressed together along the crest, and the cliff-face of houses is broken by wynds--narrow, winding, stone lanes leading down either side of the ridge--and closes or vennels--entryways into courtyards, around and behind which are yet more buildings.


Iona Cathedral, South East - Scotland

Artist: Billings; Engraver: Smith 

The small island of Iona, at the western extremity of Mull, is one of those places which have been held sacred for generations. Various stone monuments prove that this spot was held in veneration at the dawn of history, and this probably induced the Irish apostle, St. Columba, to found here a monastery -the "light of the western world "-which soon became the most famous in Great Britain. Hence went forth those ascetic Culdees whom the jealousy of the clergy caused to disappear in the course of the thirteenth century. In the ruined ecclesiastical buildings of this islet are buried more than sixty Kings of Scotland, Ireland, and the Hebrides, the last interred here having been Macbeth. A prophecy says that one day the whole earth will be swallowed up by a deluge, with the exception of Iona. There was a time when this venerated island was interdicted to women, as Mount Athos is at the present day. Not far from the church lay the " black stones," thus called on account of the malediction attaching to him who forswore himself by their side. It was here that the "Lord's of the Isles," kneeling on the ground with their hands raised to heaven, were bound to swear to maintain intact the rights of their vassals. Among the heaps of rocks piled up on the beach, it is said by monks in expiation of their trespasses, are found fine fragments of granite, porphyry, and serpentine, which the inhabitants employ Scotch workmen to out and polish, in order that they may sell them as amulets to their visitors. Formerly these stones were looked upon throughout the Hebrides as the most efficacious medicine against sorcery ; and when about to be married a bridegroom, to insure happiness, placed a stone of Iona upon his bare left foot.


James Watt

Scottish inventor James Watt made vast improvements to the steam engine, making it practical for large-scale industrial use. In 1764 Watt was given a Newcomen steam engine to repair. While working on the engine, he realized that it wasted energy. He eventually introduced a variety of modifications, including a separate cooling chamber for the steam that made the engine much more efficient.


Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Scotland. 

Artist: Allom, Engraver: Barber

Kilchurn or Colchurn is one of the most romantic and picturesque parts of Scotland. The castle is situated at the eastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyllshire, Scotland, and stands on a small promontory of low rock, which, when the water is high, becomes insulated. The loch is among the largest inland lakes in the country, its length being about twenty-four miles, and its breadth varying from half a mile to two miles and a half; it is thickly studded with small green islets, and surrounded with truly beautiful scenery, woods, and ountains, Ben Cruacban rising majestically over all to the height of nearly 3,700 feet. Diminutive as it appears in the picture, in comparison with the lofty mountains which overlook it, the castle is of considerable magnitude and of a most picturesque character; it recalls the strongholds of feudal times; from its almost insular position and the.impossibility of an enemy's finding shelter in the flat ground around, it must have been a strong place before the introduction of artillery. Mr. Fripp, who has obtained high rank in the English school of water-colour painters, has given to this passage of Highland scenery a solemn and impressive character in harmony with the romantic history of the locality; the sky is overcast with dark, tempestuous clouds, except in one part through which the sun breaks, lighting up the distant mountains. and the tract of flat pasture-grotind immediately below . Ben Cruachan is, in shadow, of a deep purple grey; not so grey, however, as to conceal the silvery stream which rushes down the gorge towards the loch. The foreground, rich with the tints of the red and purple heather, diversified in strength of colour by the alternations of light and shade, is redeemed from utter solitude by a few figures judiciously scattered over it. The entrance into the castle is by a small doorway, bearing the date 1633. The principal building was erected in the 15th Century. The whole of this locality is associated with the romances and relics of Scottish history.


Kilmarnock - Scotland

From the original drawing by Bartlett, Engraver: Hinchcliffe 

"Kilmarnock is the principal seat of population in the county of Ayr, and one of the most active and successful of the manufacturing towns of Scotland, is connected with the history of Burns-from whose residence at Mossgiel it is twelve miles distant-by its being the scene alluded to in one of his principal satirical poems, the residence of his sporting hero Tam Samson, and the place where his poems were first printed. Erected, in 1591, into a burgh of barony, under the family of Boyd, subsequently earls of Kilmarnock whose chief residence, named Dean Castle, is in the neighbourhood- this town was distinguished early in the seventeenth century for efforts of a humble kind in the woolen manufacture. In the days of Burns, the making of blue bonnets for the peasantry, of carpets, and of boots and shoes, was practiced in it to a considerable extent. The town then consisted chiefly of a cluster of mean streets and lanes, the houses of which were small, and mostly covered with thatch; the population was not much above 3,000. Now, Kilmarnock is a large and elegantly built town, of above 22,000 inhabitants, carrying on the carpet manufacture to the amount of about 150,000 sterling-pounds annually, and the manufacture of shawls to the amount, for the same period, of about 200,000, while the trade in leather and its manufactured products has also made a steady advance. Kilmarnock was also raised, by the Act of 1833, to the deserved rank of a parliamentary burgh of the first class."


Loch Doon and Castle - Scotland 

Artist: n/a - Engraver: n/a 

ABOUT twenty-two miles from the town of Ayr, and four from the village of Dalmellington, is Loch Doon, a sheet of water whence issues the water of Doon, whose banks and braes have been rendered classic by the poetic pen of our Scottish hard; and near the margin of which his countrymen have reared a monument to his memory worthy of one of Scotland's greatest sons. The loch is about eight miles in length, and from half-a-mile to three-quarters ill breadth. Its form is nearly that of the letter L; the head of the lake corresponding with the top of the letter, and its lower extremity-where it discharges its waters-with the end of the horizontal line at the bottom. The shores of this lake are wild and solitary, and almost entirely devoted to sheep-pasture. The mountains which enclose it are in many places of considerable height, especially at the top of the lake, where they may be said to be lofty, and where their outline is varied and beautiful. These are the Star mountains, on the borders of the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, and from the base of which on this side, the Doon may be said to take its rise; while the Dee, which flows into the Solway frith, takes its rise on the opposite side. The level of the waters of this lake has been considerably lowered from what it formerly was by the operations of the proprietors, and a portion of its bed laid dry. This as in the case of Loch Leven in Kinrossshire has lessened unquestionably the beauty of the scenery, by the exposure of tracts of barren sand and gravel, formerly covered with water; and like the operations in Kinrossshire has afforded no very useful result, so far as the ground on the shores of the lake is concerned. But, unlike those of Loch Leven, the operations on Loch Doon were not for the purpose of receiving ground; they had a more useful object in view, and have been attended with more beneficial results. Along the banks of the river Doon, there are some very extensive tracts of meadow-ground, which were, after heavy rains, liable to be overflowed by the accumulated waters from the lake. By perforating a bed of rock, over which the lake used to discharge itself, and forming tunnels, the usual level of its waters has been lowered; and, by erecting sluices, the proprietors are enabled to regulate the quantity of water which flows into the river, and thus to prevent the damage to the grounds upon its banks which used formerly to occur.


Loch Lomond, From the Road Above Inversnaid Mill - Scotland 

Artist: Allom - Engraver: Javons 

Loch Lomond is the largest of the Scottish lakes, lying across the southern edge of the Highlands. It forms part of the boundary between Strathclyde and Central regions. The scenery ranges from rugged, glaciated mountains above 3,000 ft in the north to softer, well-wooded hills and islands in the south. It extends about 24 mi, widening south in the shape of a triangle. Although its surface is only 23 ft above sea level, its glacially excavated floor reaches a depth of 623 ft. It drains by the short River Leven into the Firth of Clyde at Dumbarton. Within very easy reach of the metropolitan region of Glasgow, it is a favourite resort for the urban dwellers. The peak of Ben Lomond (3192 ft) rises on the east shore behind Rowardennan.


Loch Maben - Scotland 

Artist: Hill ; Engraver: Forrest 

Engraving depicting a site associated with life and work of Robert Burns. Lochmaben, which, at that time, and till the Reform Act of 1832, voted with Dumfries, Annan, Kirkcudbright, and Sanquhar, for a member of parliament, is about seven miles from the first of those towns. Nine lakes, five of which are' from fifty to two hundred acres in extent, surround the place so closely, that at a little distance a stranger would suppose it inaccessible except by a boat. While these objects, and all the other beauties of a highly cultivated and well-wooded country, confer great external grace upon Lochmaben, it is in itself merely a rural village, of very decayed appearance, containing about a thousand inhabitants. Its burgal privileges, which are supposed to have been conferred by King Robert I., have thus for ages been rather a subject of ridicule than a source of respect-as may partly be gathered from a passage in the last-quoted stanza. These privileges, however, it still retains (excepting that of voting with the other four towns for a member of parliament), being governed by a provost, three bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and nine ordinary councillors, and containing moreover five incorporated trades, which annually elect deacons and other office-bearers. *NOTE: Robert Burns (1759-96) was a Scottish poet and writer of traditional Scottish folk songs, whose works are known and loved wherever the English language is read.


Loch Turit Scotland

Artist: Hill ; Engraver: Miller

Engraving depicting a site associated with life and work of Robert Burns. An excerpt from the original description: Loch Turit served as an inspiration for one of the poems of the Scottish poet Burns. The poem is ON SCARING SOME WATER-FOWL IN LOCH TURIT and below is an excerpt. Why, ye tenants of the lake, For me your wat'ry haunt forsake ? Tell me, fellow-creatures, why At my presence thus you fly ? Why disturb your social joys, Parent, filial, kindred ties ? Common friend to you and me, Nature's gifta to all are free : Peaceful keep your dimpling wave, Busy feed, or wanton lave ; Or, beneath the sheltering rock, Bide the surging billow's shock. Conscious, blushing for our race, Soon, too soon, your fears I trace. Man, your proud usurping foe, Would be lord of all below : Plumes himself in freedom's pride, Tyrant stern to all beside.


Mary, Queen of Scots

Artist: Champagne - Engraver: Jackman

It was in the hall of Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, that the unhappy queen suffered the sentence pronounced upon her. She was attended to the scaffold by Beale, clerk to the Privy Council, her mortal enemy, the Earls of Kent and Shrewsbury, with the High Sheriff of the county, who were empowered to see the fatal mandate carried into effect; by the Dean of Peterborough, a Protestant, to administer the last consolations of religion, in which, however, as a Roman Catholic, Mary could not join ; by the venerable Sir Andrew Melville, long the Master of her Household ; and by some of her deeply-attached female attendants.


Montrose - Scotland

Artist: Bartlett - Engraver: Hinchliffe

MONTROSE, a royal burgh and sea-port town of Forfarshire, is agreeably situated on a level plain, or peninsula, bounded on the north-east by the German Ocean, on the south by the river South Esk, and on the west by a large expanse of this river, called the Basin of Montrose. The erection of this town into a royal burgh has generally been referred to the year 1352, being the twenty-third of the reign of David II.; but it appears to have been a place of some note long before it acquired this dignity, and is connected with many important events in the history of Scotland. It is mentioned by Froissart, as the port from which the gallant Sir James Douglas embarked in 1330, for the Holy Land, attended by a numerous and splendid retinue, and carrying with him the heart of King Robert Bruce. This, as the reader knows, was in execution of the last charge committed to him by his royal master, namely to carry the heart of the deceased monarch to Jerusalem, and there deposit it in the holy sepulchre. The disastrous failure of this pious enterprise is too well known to require further notice in this place. The principal manufactures carried on in Montrose are the spinning and weaving of flax. For this purpose there are several steam-mills for spinning, and one on the North Esk driven by water. These steam-mills produce annually upwards of 800,000 spindles. There are also in the town soap, starch, rope, and sail manufactories ; and others for making steam-machinery. Ship-building is carried on to a considerable extent, and there is a patent slip, introduced for repairing ships. There are also in addition various breweries, tan-works, candle-works, a foundry, and a steam-mill for grinding meal and flour.


Norham Castle - Scotland

From the original painting by D. Kewan Sir Walter Scott has conferred immortality on this stronghold of feudal times in his fine chivalric poem "Marmion." The date of the castle has long been lost in the obscurity of past ages, but its owners played significant part in English and Scottish history. It stands on the southern bank of the Tweed River. Its records show that it was completely rebuilt in 1164, ten years later it was attacked and taken by Henry II. During the wars between England and Scotland it was repeatedly taken and retaken. Edward I made it his residence. After the period of Reformation it belonged to the Bishop of Durham. On the accession of James I, it was sold to, it is said, to Earl of Dunbar for 6000 pounds.


Robert Burns - Scotland 

Artist: Nasmyth; Engraver: Rogers

More about Robert Burns


Roslyn Chapel, South Front and East Window Detail - Scotland

Artist: Billings; Engraver: Smith

The castle of Roslyn stands upon a shelving cliff which overhangs the Esk. The ancient portion of the building covers the side of the rock, while the modern addition rises above it. The whole is approached by a bridge thrown over a kind of ditch cut in the solid stone. The ruins present the same appearance of massive strength which distinguishes the other castellated buildings of the same age, but are not otherwise remarkable. The chapel, in the immediate neighborhood, situated also on a lofty rock overlooking the valley of the Esk, is in many respects a more interesting object than the castle. Although incomplete, its incompleteness is not that of ruin. No traditions of fire and sword account for its present situation-no war of iconoclasm, at least that history knows of, ever raised the impious weapon against the arts which adorn it. The work seems to have been abruptly closed, perhaps by death, perhaps by pecuniary misfortune; and the edifice, therefore, remains in our day the same magnificent fragment which, no doubt, awakened at once the admiration and regret of our ancestors of the fifteenth century. The form is a parallelogram, about twice longer than broad, terminating in a lady chapel at the east end. The nave is bold and lofty, and inclosed as usual by side aisles, the arches and pillars of which are magnificently sculptured. The ornaments, however, are said by Scott to present more of richness than elegance; while the strange anomalous mixture they exhibit of the styles of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, have an odd, and perhaps not a very agreeable effect. Mr. Britton's impression, however, seems to have been much more favorable. "This building," says he, in the Architectural Antiquities, "maybe pronounced unique, and I am confident it will be found curious, elaborate, and singularly interesting. The chapel of King's College, St. George, and Henry the Seventh, are all conformable to the styles of the respective ages when they were erected; and these styles display a gradual advancement in lightness and profusion of ornament: but the chapel of Roslyn combines the solidity of the Norman with the minute decorations of the latest species of the Tudor age. It is impossible to designate the architecture of this building by any given or familiar term: for the variety and eccentricity of its parts are not to be defined by any words of common acceptation. "


Scone Palace - Scotland

Artist: n/a - Engraver: n/a 

All the Scottish princes who mounted the throne in the interval-or all from Kenneth II. till John Baliol-were attracted by this stone to receive their crown at Scone. Charles II., when on his expedition into Scotland, was, on January 1st, 1651, the subject of the last Scone coronation; and he made the occasion memorable bythefacilitywithwhich he seemed to gulp down the Solemn League and Covenant of Scotland and the cool nonchalance with which he afterwards disgorged it in the face of a fond and confiding people who had hailed him as "a covenanted king." The Pretender, James, in his short attempt in 1715, fixed his residence here, and held a council on the 16th of January, 1716, when he issued several proclamations, among which was one for his own coronation upon the 23d of the same month. The approach of the royal army, however, prevented that ceremony taking place. Her majesty, Queen Victoria, honoured Scone Palace with a visit during the Koyal Progress in Scotland, in the month of September, 1842.


Sir Walter Scott

Artist: n/a - Engraver: n/a

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was Scottish novelist and poet, whose work as a translator, editor, biographer, and critic, together with his novels and poems, made him one of the most prominent figures in English romanticism. He was born in Edinburgh, August 15, 1771. Trained as a lawyer, he became a legal official, an occupation that allowed him to write. Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott is considered the first major European historical novelist. His first novel, Waverley (1814), was a great success and revealed his clear understanding of human nature.


St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Lothian Road, Edinburgh Scotland


Wallace Tower at Ayr - Scotland

Artist: Bartlett; Engraver: Brandard

"Wallace's tower " seems to have been originally one of the tail rude towers which were the only fortalices of our Gothic ancestors ; but its warlike appearance has been as materially altered by the said spire having been engrafted upon it, and by the clock-dials which have been stuck around and under its battlements, as would that of a stern veteran knight, if his helmet were taken off, and the snod cocked hat of a decent baillie clapped on in its stead.-Chambers.


W.H. Bartlett 

Artist: Room; Engraver: Holl

A nice portrait of W.H. Bartlett, a well known 19th Century artist whose drawings were engraved to illustrate many travel books, including, United States, Scotland, Ireland, Syria, Constantinople and others.


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