Taken from Malcolm McLachlan Harper's "Rambles in Galloway", published in 1876, this is an excellent introduction to the Parish of Rerrick.


Among the many pleasant drives and walks that lie within easy distance of Castle-Douglas, at once beautiful and deeply interesting in historical associations, there are none which will afford the visitor more gratification than that which we have chosen for the present Ramble.

The finely-wooded vale of Yerrock, through which the road passes, the delightful sea views, and the beautiful remnants of hoar antiquity to be met with by the way, cannot fail to interest and call forth the admiration of the traveller. It has always been a favourite route of holiday seekers; and by many Castle-Douglas " auld boys," the broomy braes of Gelston will be fondly cherished and remembered, as recalling many pleasing reminiscences connected with the excursions of their nut-gathering and bird-nesting days.

The Glen of Yerrock is at all times inviting, but the season in which to see it to the best advantage is either in early summer when the trees are in full and tender leaf, and the hill-sides are adorned with the golden flowers of the broom and the milky spray of the hawthorn, or when it wears the more splendid and diversified tints of autumn. We have chosen the former season for this Ramble, and the bright morning gives promise of a beautiful day. So we leave Castle-Douglas by St. Andrew Street, getting a glimpse of Carlingwark Loch as we pass near Whitepark. A walk of about two miles brings us to what was, in the days of tolls in the Stewartry, Burnstick bar, and a short way up the road to the right is Gelston village. Proceeding onwards, to Castlegower, we observe the remains of a vitrified fort to the left; almost directly opposite, on the right, is Gelston Castle, at a short distance from the road, and finely situated on a rising ground tastefully laid out with trees. It was erected by the late Sir William Douglas, and being a comparatively modem building, possesses no historical interest.

By the taste, judgment, and liberality of Sir William Douglas, the late Mr. Maitland, and Colonel Maxwell, in laying out their estates of Gelston and Orchardton with ornamental plantations, the scenery of this glen was so much improved that the genial and talented editor of the Dumfries Courier, Mr. John M'Diarmid, described it as the Trossachs of Galloway. It now well merits the appellation: a lake, with the hills reflected, being all that is wanted to form a perfect picture of Highland scenery.

We are now walking leisurely through the sunlit glen, admiring, as we proceed, the attractions of early summer. The road is delightful, and a choir of birds are chanting their songs in the woods and hedges as we pass. Thriving plantations crown the precipitous hills on both sides, and contrast beautifully with the grey and bald rocks of Screel towering above them. Almost every point in the scenery of this Ramble is pleasing to the eye, but such scenes must be seen to be duly appreciated.

Continuing our stroll we reach Douganhill, at a point where four roads meet. The one to the left leads to the small village of Palnackie, which, previous to the introduction of railways into Galloway, was of very considerable importance as a seaport. It was then the port of Castle-Douglas, and the whole surrounding district was supplied from it with coals, lime, slate, wood, etc. It is now almost deserted of its shipping, and has a drowsy appearance.

About a mile up the road, leading onwards, is the picturesque old round tower of Orchardton, situated amongst trees near the road side. This tower is the only one of the kind in Galloway. It is chiefly interesting as being associated with a very romantic incident in the life of a former proprietor of the estate of Orchardton, whose history formed the groundwork of Sir Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering. The account here given of it is from Family Recollections by Miss Goldie, and is perfectly reliable. It is there narrated that "soon after the battle of Culloden a number of prisoners were one day brought in by a party of military before Mr. Goldie, then Commissary of Dumfries, who had, alas! no alternative but to order military execution to be done upon them, after it was proved that they had formed part of the rebel army. They had contrived to hide themselves and get to the Galloway coast, nearest to the Isle of Man, where they were skulking in hopes, of some smuggler, or foreign vessel, enabling them to escape.

As they were just about to be led out to execution, Mr. Goldie observed one young man, of superior and interesting appearance, attempting to tear a written paper, when he immediately called out to an officer who guarded him, 'seize that paper,' which was immediately done. Upon reading it, Mr. Goldie said, ‘Why, young man, you were attempting to destroy yourself. This paper is your commission from the King of France as an officer in his army; and I now detain you as a prisoner of war, instead of sending you off to be shot as a rebel.'

The young man was accordingly put in a place of confinement, and not a very severe one, considering what prisons then were, as he afterwards related that his chief occupation consisted in counting the large square stones with which his apartment was flagged, in every possible direction, and thus trying what their number could be raised to. But he did not continue long thus employed. A rumour speedily arose in the town that this was the long-lost heir of the house of Orchardton, an old Roman Catholic family. An old female domestic, hearing the surmises, made her way to his place of confinement, when a little conversation left no doubt that he was indeed the only son of the late Sir Robert Maxwell, who had sent him at an early age to the college of Douay, the usual place of education at that time for young men of family or fortune of the Catholic religion. Sir Robert himself being superannuated, his brother, who then took the management of him and his son and estate, wrote desiring that he should be educated for the priesthood. The young man, not relishing this destiny, made his escape from college, and enlisted in the army of Louis XV., and was one of that part of it which was sent to Scotland to assist in the enterprise of Prince Charles Edward. Young Maxwell had thus actually been taken wandering as an outcast, and in danger of forfeiting his life, on the confines of his own estate, unconscious of his rights, while his uncle was equally unconscious of the danger to his unjust possession, which lurked so near him. The whole of the facts were, however, so recent, and could be so easily proved, that Mr. Goldie immediately proceeded to take all necessary steps for the security of the young Sir Robert, and also to put him in possession of his estate, when the death of the uncle removing the formidable obstacle, the usual legal formalities, after proving the identity of the heir, put him in possession of his father's fortune and title. Sir Robert soon married Miss McClellan, a niece or near relation of the last Lord Kirkcudbright, and took up his residence at Orchardton, where he continued, while he lived, the ornament and delight of the country, uniting all the gentlemanly dignity of the old school with the bland and graceful gaiety of foreign manners. The intimacy which arose between Sir Robert and Mr. Goldie and his family through this romantic beginning, was long continued on very affectionate terms." Sir Robert being a partner in the Ayr or Douglas and Heron Bank, lost a large portion of his estate when that bank stopped payment. He died suddenly in September 1786, whilst on the road to visit the Earl of Selkirk.

From the papers to which the lawsuit gave rise. Miss Goldie gives some very curious details in regard to the settlement of the property of Sir Robert Maxwell, grandfather to the one before mentioned.

A rare fern, Ceterach Officinarum, grows on the walls of the tower.  In Moore's British Ferns, it is described as "a dwarf, evergreen, distinct-looking, and very pretty fern, growing in tufts."

Resuming our walk from the point where the four roads meet, the one to the right leading to Auchencairn is followed, and a brief walk brings us to Potterland, its name being derived from a pottery which was at one time in operation in the vicinity. Near to Potterland a few old hollies and ash trees mark the site of an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Merinus, called Kirkmirren. There was also a burying-ground here, traces of which are still discernible. The traveller will at this point observe the old road to Castle-Douglas. This is also a very pleasant road for the rambler. It skirts the base of Screel, and from the heights near to Kirkland of Gelston, where are the remains of the old church of Gelston and the churchyard, a splendid prospect is obtained of the Solway and English coast, with the Cumberland hills closing in the distance. Northward is the range of hills bounding Galloway and Ayrshire.

Proceeding onwards, we shortly afterwards pass the lodge and entrance-gate to Orchardton House, which is finely situated near the Bay of Orchardton, and commands a series of delightful hill, park, and sea views. The wood-work of the present roof of this house was taken from the old castle of Kirkcudbright. The grounds of this fine estate are very tastefully laid out and trimly kept, and many of the trees would form excellent studies for the artist

Torrs House, situated near the road, on our right, and commanding a beautiful view of the Bay of Auchencairn, with the green island of Heston in the middle distance, is next passed, and a short way farther on is the road leading up to Collin and Forest House; on the road to which, at the top of Collin Brae, is the site, marked by a few old fir trees, of the Ringcroft of Stocking, where the famous ghaist of Rerrick spirit played its unearthly pranks.

Auchencairn village is now reached, and, after our pleasant walk, the inn is visited for a little rest and needful refreshment.


The village of Auchencairn is pleasantly situated at the head of the bay, and within the last few years has considerably improved in appearance. Many new houses have been built in the village and vicinity. The attention of the visitor cannot fail to be directed to the buildings occupied as shops, towering high above all others in the village, which were erected by the late Mr. Mackie.

The Established Church is a very handsome little building, in the Gothic style. The late Miss Culton of Nutwood, and Mr. Welsh of Collin, assisted liberally in the building and endowment of this church, and Auchencairn is now a quoad sacra parish, forming part of the civil parish of Rerrick. The Free Church is situated at the top of the village, and is a substantial and commodious building.

We now take a ramble in the vicinity of the village, and on reaching the top of the brae leading through it, follow the road to the right. Near the manse we arrive at the New Cemetery, situated close to the road, on a gentle slope facing the village. This cemetery is divided into three plots, intersected with gravel walks, along which range shrubs and flowers, and is altogether more tastefully laid out and kept than any we have seen in these Rambles.

Proceeding onward to the mines, we see Forest House and Collin House, almost completely embowered in woods, on the right, and pass by the way some farm-houses, where, as usual, “Hens on the midden, ducks and dubs are seen."

A short walk brings us to the site of the iron mines, on the property of Auchenleck, belonging to the Earl of Selkirk. They are situated near to the lofty and rugged hills of Bengairn, Ben Tudor, and Ben Garry, and are leased by the Auchencairn Hematite Iron Company. At present they are not wrought, but the ore that has been found is very valuable.

Retracing our steps for a part of the way, and again reaching the road to Dundrennan, we leave the public highway, and follow a path through the Auchencairn Moss to the shore. The cushat's "amorous lay," and the blackbird's lusty notes, mingling with the " wheeple o’ the whaup," are heard as we saunter along, and the fragrance of the herbs and wildflowers growing here in profusion is wafted on the balmy breeze of June.

The farm-house of Airds is now reached, in a beautiful situation, commanding sea and inland views of great extent and beauty. From this point the most favourable peep of Auchencairn House is obtained.

The copper mines in the vicinity are next visited. For a long period these mines have been unproductive; but at the time of our visit it was considered by those qualified to judge that they would henceforth be more successfully carried on. The shaft runs more than 100 fathoms into the face of a hill close to the shore, and has been hitherto wrought with great labour and expense. There is much on this coast worthy the attention of the mineralogist and student of nature. Near to the mines is a ponderous rocking-stone, which a slight touch of the hand easily moves. There is also, in the vicinity of Balcary Point, a natural seat or chair in the rock, which has long borne the appellation of "Adam's Chair," from the tradition that a smuggler of the name of Adam was wont in the darkness of the night to sit here with a lantern as a beacon-light to the smugglers, at one time so numerous in this quarter, to land their craft or stow away their contraband goods in some of the coves on this rugged coast. Nearby is a remarkable stone which the peasantry term "Lot's Wife," from its natural resemblance to a pillar. Walking round the shore we visit some of the Heughs of Airds, so famous for their grandeur and sublimity, and pass on our way the Tower placed on Balcary Point. The mansion-house of Balcary, reposing in the wood on the shore of the bay of the same name, is also passed. This house, in the days when smuggling formed the chief occupation of many of the inhabitants of intelligence and enterprise of Galloway, was originally built, it is said, by a company of smugglers, solely for the purpose of carrying on their illicit trade with the Isle of Man, the cellars below the edifice being constructed for the reception of the smuggled goods. The house and its surroundings still retain that air of antiquity which distinguishes the old abodes of the country squire.

The pleasure of a rural ramble is greatly enhanced by the sight of these old dwellings, now almost all that remain of our recollections of the brusque, honest-hearted, and dignified Galloway squire, of gaiter, ruffles, and hose. It is with a feeling of regret that one sees the decay of these semi-baronial looking old buildings, with their time-honoured exteriors, peeping with a sort of self-conscious dignity from the tall ancestral trees, around which hang the ivy and moss of centuries, - their homely interiors, bluff and honest looking in their oak panellings and furnishings, so free from sham and display, unappreciated amid the glitter, varnish, and unreality of modem times.

Leaving for a time the bay, in which lie at anchor some very picturesque-looking wave-worn craft with nut-brown sails, we come to Auchencairn House and grounds, the property of the representatives of the late Mr. Ivie Mackie.

Musing on the changes that had taken place with "men and things" in our remembrance, we were more than anywhere else impressed with those that have taken place on the estate of Auchencairn. Such alterations and improvements have been made that the old place is scarcely recognisable. We remember well in boyhood having visited this house when it was more familiarly known as "Nutwood," and recollect how we then looked with admiration and pleasure on the comfortable and homely air which rested on everything about the hospitable old mansion. Now we experience a surprise as great as that of the Worthy miller, who, when transported to Elfinland, saw the barren rocky cave transformed into a brilliant hall, illuminated by a thousand golden lustres. This house is situated a short distance from the shore, on a naturally rising ground; and although possessing no great architectural beauty, it has, from the striking contrast of the red freestone of which it is built to the bright greens of the foliage in which it is embosomed, a very imposing appearance from a distance. The grounds, though rather limited in extent, are tastefully laid out, and the conservatory and vinery are well worthy of a visit. Busts and statuary are in appropriate places, and the entrance-hall is very artistically painted and adorned with allegorical groups and figures of the most renowned celebrities in literature, science, and art. There is also a very good collection of modem British pictures.

Not far from the mansion are gas-works, erected by the late Mr. Mackie, which supply Auchencairn House and village with gas-light. The neat, orderly, and comfortable appearance of the cottages recently erected here, and the apparent desire of the occupants to keep them so, as seen in the flower-plots and gardens, are worthy of all praise.

A brief, and very enjoyable walk, brings us again to the village; and, after our devious and somewhat lengthened rambles, we are glad to hail the sign of the inn where we purpose staying for the night


It was a bright dewy morning when we sauntered up the brae of the village on our way to Dundrennan. The road past the manse was taken, and from the heights by the way pleasing glimpses of old ocean laughing back the smiles of the glorious sunlit sky were obtained. The cattle, straying among the daisied pastures, or reclining in picturesque groups in shadow of the trees, seemed to rejoice in the clear, cool, morning air, and presented pictures that would have filled the heart of a Landseer or Bonheur with joy. The feathered songsters were also astir in the hedges as we passed, and from "heaven's blue vault" the larks chanted joyously. The smoke rising from the cottage chimney, bespoke the early morning meal begot of honest toil; and the whole scene was suggestive of pleasurable emotions. We loitered long on the way, and thoroughly enjoyed the short walk to Hazlefield House, in the vicinity of which Queen Mary passed her last night in Scotland. The house at the time belonged to a family of the name of Maxwell, relations of Lord Herries, who so much befriended the Queen. She was honourably received by the family, and it is recorded (Nicholson's History of Galloway) that she was so much attracted by their beautiful baby boy, on whom she lavished many caresses, that she begged he might be permitted to share her bed. Mary was always much attached to children, and was probably reminded of her own infant by little Maxwell. She presented the infant heir of Hazlefield, at parting, with a small ruby ring from her finger, which, together with the chair on which she sat, and the table-cloth that was used on that memorable occasion, are said to be preserved as heir-looms by the Maxwells of Terregles.

In Mr. Fraser's Book of Carlaverock there is an account of the relics of Queen Mary preserved at Terregles, but he does not mention the "ring." - Vol. i p. 523.

Mr. Fraser gives an anecdote of a later Maxwell of Hazlefield which is worth quoting:- “The proceedings of the Courts of Barony frequently gave rise to heavy complaints of oppression, which, there is little doubt, were often well founded. In the year 1715, William Makmyn, smith in Auchencairn, in the parish of Rerwick, presented a humble representation to the Earl of Nithsdale, complaining against Robert Maxwell of Hazlefield, his Lordship's baillie of the barony of Dundrennan, and praying for redress. He complains that the said Robert Maxwell was, without cause, prejudiced against him, vowing to do him mischief if in the compass of his power. He had the strongest reason for suspicion that the baillie instigated his neighbours to pursue him on groundless and vexatious clamours, that he might pronounce sentences against him to his oppression and ruin. He, in particular, complains that the baillie had instigated Thomas Maxwell of Coull, factor to Sir George Maxwell of Orchardton, who, with one David Cairns, brother to John Cairns of Torr (who was under sentence of exile and banishment by the Lords of Justiciary, in their circuit at Dumfries about three years previous, for rioting and duelling, and other offences, of which he was convicted), had the year past unjustly framed libels and indictments against him for his alleged cutting and rooting out timber, and cutting and taking away broom out of Orchyardtown and Torr grounds, and who, in the course of vexatious proceedings against him, had held courts for the most part every week in every part of the parish, on purpose to harass and ruin him, in which courts the said David Cairns, who had avowed malice and revenge against him, was both his procurator-fiscal and clerk. They gave sentences against him, notwithstanding all the relevant defenses offered by his procurators." - The Book of Carlaverock, vol. i. pp. 423, 424.

From Hazlefield the road passes through a comparatively uninteresting district, but commands, from many points, extensive views of the Solway and English coast. This landscape is so varied and extensive in its range that we can only here indicate a few of its more prominent features. On an ordinarily clear day, one obtains, from many points, a sweeping view of the English coast, almost from St. Bee's Head to Silloth - the towns of Maryport, Workington, Allonby, and Silloth - the smoke of the furnaces in these districts flecking the blue sky with varied hues, being distinctly visible to the naked eye; while in the distance are discerned the lofty summits of the Cumberland hills. In the middle distance we have the expansive Firth, on the bosom of which numerous snowy sails are moving to and fro; while in the immediate foreground the rising grounds of Barlocco slope gently into the brown heath of Stockmoss, again gradually rising into the green and verdant crown of Airds and Balcary. Eastward the cloud-capt Criffel bounds the scene; while the snug hamlet or farmhouse, nestling among the woods or reposing in a bay at the foot of the precipitous and hoary cliffs, mark the parish of Colvend. The rugged barren peaks of Almorness jutting out to sea, with the green isle of Heston lying in the mouth of the Bay of Auchencairn, give to this view the appearance of lake scenery. Landward, towards Bengairn and Screel, the scene has much of the Highland character.

Pursuing our route we take the road to the left, near Kirkcarswell, where there are several moats. Next comes a delicious little glen, and we are soon in the immediate vicinity of Dundrennan. Today the glen displays its gayest adornments of leaf and blossom, and, almost hidden from view by the umbrageous foliage, flows a merry little stream. Now it reposes in a dark pool beneath the spreading trees; anon it dances playfully in sunshine, or ripples in bright foam pearls among the moss-clad stones, and again it bounds over the jutting rocks and pebbles, gushing and murmuring in its course to the sea. Its features answer, in many respects, the verse of Burns: -

" Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As through the glen it wimpl't;
Whyles 'neath a rocky scaur it strays,
Whyles in a well it dimpl't;
Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi’ bickering dancing dazzle;
Whyles cookit underneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel. "


The parish of Rerwick contains many objects of antiquity, but the most remarkable and interesting is certainly the Abbey of Dundrennan. There are few finer specimens of Gothic architecture in Scotland than the ruins of this ancient abbey. Its situation in the beautiful and secluded valley renders it an object of great attraction apart from its historical interest The parish of Rerwick has borne at different times, besides its present appellation, the names of Monkton and Dundrennan; the former from the monks who dwelt at the abbey, and the latter from the Irish or Celtic words Dun-Drainan, or hill of thorns. In Inglis's Briar of Threave and Lily of Barholm, mention is made of these thorns thus: -

" Dundrennan has her Hill of Thorns,
And Carlinwark has three;
There is no wild wood that adorns
The Scottish land from sea to sea,
That tells the tale of olden time
In silence, solemn and sublime.
Like to the hawthorn tree. "

The situation chosen by the monks for the site of their monastery shows that they had an eye to comfort as well as the picturesque. Placed upon a slightly rising ground, on the banks of a rocky and sparkling stream, it is surrounded on all sides, except the south, by a range of hills, those rising towards the sea unadorned with wood, while the deep glens and rising grounds on the adjacent estate of Dundrennan are interspersed with fine belts of wood, adding much to the beauties of the scene. Although the ruins of the abbey have suffered much from the mouldering hand of time, and not a little from the demolishing spirit of the Reformation period, and dilapidation, for the purpose of building cottages in the neighbourhood, they still retain a sufficiency of architectural beauty to impress the spectator with an idea of their former grandeur and magnificence. The ruin is almost entirely covered with a pale grey moss, which gives an airy lightness to the lofty columns and gothic arches, many of which in the transepts are entire. The following short sketch of the history of this abbey is extracted from a volume published by the Rev. Aeneas B. Hutchison of Devonport, which treats, in a very exhaustive and learned manner, of all the antiquities connected with it: -

“The reign of David I. (a.d. 1124 to 1158) has been truly described as the great age of religious establishments in Scotland. There are differences of opinion in regard to the foundation of this monastery. Holinshed, in his History of Scotia, published in 1577, says, ‘he buylded the number of 10 abbeys, 2 nunneries, and 4 bishoprics.' Notwithstanding this assertion of Holinshed, Chalmers does not scruple to assign the honour of founding Dundrennan to another. He says in his Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 301, ‘Fergus, Lord of Galloway, who was by marriage allied to the throne, emulated royalty in the munificence of his foundations, one of the most remarkable of which was Dundrennan.' The historical notices of this abbey are extremely meagre. The Chronicle of Melrose, the compilation of which has been frequently, but perhaps erroneously, ascribed to the Abbot of Dundrennan, contains only this slight mention of the abbey: - Anno M.C.XLII fundata est Abbatia De Dundraynan in Galwaya, Spottiswood's account of the abbey is equally short and unsatisfactory; but he also gives the honour of founding it, not to King David, but to his noble kinsman, Fergus, Lord of Galloway, who is said to have filled it with Cistertian monks from the Abbey of Rievall in England. The Cistertians were a religious order, begun by Robert, Abbot of Molesme, in the diocese of Langres in France, in the year 1098. These monks were called Monachi Albi, white monks, for distinguishing them from the Benedictines, whose habit was entirely black, whereas the Cistertians wore a black cowl and scapular, and all other clothes were white. They were named Cistertian, from their chief house and first monastery Cistertium, in Burgundy; and Bernardines, because St. Bernard, a native of Burgundy, fifteen years after the foundation of the monastery of Citeaux, went thither with thirty of his companions, and behaved himself so well to their humour that he was sometime after elected Abbot of Clairvaux {Abbas Clairvallensis). This Bernard founded 160 monasteries of his order; and because he was so great a propagator of it, the monks were called from his name Bernardines. They were divided into thirty provinces, whereof Scotland was the twenty-sixth, and had monasteries in this part of the country, situated at the following places - Newbottle, Dundrennan, Holm or Holmcultran. It is impossible to furnish a complete list of the Abbots of Dundrennan, but the following notices, the earlier names being copied from Cardonell and Murray, may not be without interest: - Silvanus was the first abbot. He was afterwards made Abbot of Rievall, and died in Dnndrennan in 1188. Gaufridas was abbot in 1222, who dying, was succeeded by Robertus Matwisal, sub-prior. Jordanus, abbot in 1236, was then deposed, and Leonius, a monk of Melrose, chosen in his place. Recordus, prior of Melrose, succeeded him in 1239. Adam, who was abbot in 1256, was, upon his death, succeeded by Briannus, a monk of the same house. There is a chasm of many years in the history of this abbey, which no learning or research can now fill up. In the beginning of the 15th century Thomas was abbot. ‘He was a man who was an honour not only to his country but to the age in which he lived.' Henry, who succeeded Thomas, was abbot of this place before the year 1437. Edward Maxwell, son of John Maxwell, Lord Herries, was abbot here in the time of Queen Mary. Gavin Hamilton, son to John Hamilton of Orbiston, who was slain on the Queen's side at the Battle of Langside, then minister of Hamilton, was presented to the See of Galloway in 1606; and because the revenue was small King James had given him, by letters-patent, 6th February 1605, the Abbey of Dundrennan. He was consecrated at London 20th October 1610, according to the form of the Church of England. Here he sat till his death in the year 1614. He was an excellent good man. The chartulary of Dundrennan does not appear to be extant, or at least accessible. It is supposed that on the suppression of the monastery the charters were removed to France; and it is said that some years ago they were offered for sale to a member of the Maitland family (the present possessors of the Dundrennan estate), but not purchased, as the price asked was considered to be too high. A fragment of a charter or homage deed is preserved in the Chapter House at Westminster, with seals of the Abbeys of Dundrennan, Holm, and Coupar, in a state of very perfect preservation.”

The following account of the ruins and monuments is abbreviated from Mr. Hutchison's work: -

" The ruins of the abbey were repaired about the year 1842 by the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods and Forests, in whom is vested the proprietorship of almost all the ruined cathedrals and religious houses in Scotland. The accumulated debris was then removed, the pavement and precincts restored to their original level, and he ancient monuments and curious fragments cleaned and tastefully disposed," many of these interesting relics of the past still being in a tolerable state of preservation. "The ruins are at present entered by the great western door of the church, which remains in a very perfect state. This door externally is formed by an early English arch, with four sets of plain mouldings, supported on either side by single shafts, with rounded heads and square caps; a small dog-tooth ornament appearing on the outer and inner edge of the caps and on the upper side of the first inner moulding. The shafts, with one exception, have disappeared. The base of the south-west pier in the nave is the only one which remains, and has supported a cluster of twelve shafts. The bases of the wall piers in the west wall also remain." The nave is entirely destroyed. “In the north end is a single round-headed window, 6 feet wide internally, splayed on all sides to about half its size externally, a single round moulding running all round it. Beneath this window, but adjoining the west pier, in the wall, is a tomb under a Norman arch, with single round moulding, squared on outer edge, encircling a mutilated effigy, said to be that of Allan, Lord of Galloway." In the chapter-house the most interesting monument is that of an abbot, in basso relievo. “The figure is represented with shaven crown, with a forelock and a tuft of hair on either side. The right hand is raised, open, upon the breast; the left arm is extended, the hand resting upon a pastoral staff, the crook of which is on a level with the head of the figure, and turns inwards. Over the right shoulder, and filling a similar space to that occupied by the head of the staff, is a double rose of six petals. The figure appears to be dressed in a cowl and hood, which was not only the dress the Cistercians used when they went abroad, but was also their choir habit. The garment appears to be open in front, and therefore the scapular has been laid aside." On the left breast is what appears to be a dagger, or a cross fitce." The abbot's feet rest upon a semi-nude human figure, lying on its back, inclining slightly towards the left, and embracing the abbot's right foot with its left arm ; the sharp point of the pastoral staff is piercing its head. The figure is dressed in a sort of kilt, whilst round its loins appears a cord twisted into many coils. The knees approach to the upper edge of the stone, over which the legs turn; these are bare, and the feet are enclosed in long pointed shoes. Treading or standing upon a figure indicates the saint's spiritual triumph over it. This effigy may fairly be referred to the middle of the 14th century. Placed by the left of this effigy is a very low relievo slab, much mutilated. It represents a monk with shaven crown and very prominent ears, hands clasped in prayer, dressed apparently in a cowl, with a hood thrown back. From the inscription we learn that he was the Cellarer of the Abbey. Over the head, on dexter side, is a mutilated rose, and on sinister side an oak leaf. The space over the shoulders is filled on dexter side with five palm leaves, and on the sinister side with five oak leaves. These spring out of shafts which run down to the feet of the figure, when they pierce the open mouth of two serpents, upon which the Monk is standing, and which are conjoined in the centre by nowed or twisted tails. A border inscription, of a very bold and beautiful raised character, runs round the whole. It is mutilated at the top comer on the dexter side, and a portion of the middle on the sinister side is lost. At the top comer on sinister side appear three leaves, and in the bottom comer on dexter side an eagle or other bird. Each principal word is separated by a rose. The inscription may be continuously read as follows : -

" Hie . jacet . Dominus . pa[tricius . D]ouglas . quondam . Cellerarius . De
Dundraynan . qui . obiit. anno . Dni . MCCCCLIII. - orate –“

“On the right hand of the figure of the abbot is a stone, measuring 6 feet 8 inches by 3 feet. The inscription, which is in incised Roman letters, irregularly arranged, may be read continuously as follows : -

" Heir . lyis . ane . Right . Honorable . [m]an . Sir .Will[iam Livingstoun . of . Culter . Knight . Brother . To . The . Noble . Earle . of . Linlithgow . qua . died . 2 . May . anno . 1607.

'Christ ai on[ly] lyf
A[nd] death is our gaine.'

“In the lower portion of the slab are two shields of arms, one under the other; the lower one is much mutilated, and a portion of the lower sinister comer alone remains  three stars of five points may be traced on it.

“The next tomb that will claim our notice is an incised slab in the East aisle of the South transept, representing in bold outline the figure of a Nun - we may fairly suppose of the Cistercian order. The hands are clasped in prayer, the folds of the white wimple are most clearly traced, and the black veil is thrown back, falling on the shoulders. The feet are resting on two lambs, couchant, placed tail to tail. The slab is broken into six fragments, some of which have been apparently misplaced.

In the North wall of the East aisle of the North transept, under a Norman arch before described, is the tomb, containing a much mutilated figure, now said to be that of Allan, Lord of Galloway, and Constable of Scotland in 1233, who was buried in the Abbey of Dundrennan, of which Fergus, his great-grandfather, was the reputed founder. “The effigy is much mutilated; arms, legs, and face are lost; it is enveloped in a hauberk of chain mail, covered partially by the surcoat. A belt passes round the waist, buckled and looped on the left side, divided by bands at regular intervals; a similar belt passes over the right shoulder, and is also divided by bands. The hilt of the sword, which appears to have been a very ponderous one, is lost. Around the head (which is covered by a coif-de-mailles), at the temples, is a band charged at equal distances with small plain 'heater-shaped' shields. The head rests on a plain square pillow, and the entire effigy on a pallet, edged 6 inches deep with a round moulding, in the dexter top corner of which is an hexagonal socket, 5 inches from side to side, and a base of 10 inches chamfered on the edge. Adjoining this tomb, to the South, and on the pavement of the transept aisle, is a flat stone, measuring 6 feet 8 inches by 2 feet 9 inches, with an inscription in Roman letters, part of which is illegible : -

“Elizabeth . Vans . sometime . Lady , Brovghtovn . qwhav . Departed . this
 - - - hir.age.63.”

“Under a pointed arch, on the West side of the North door in the North transept, is a slab, on which is the following inscription, very legible, in Roman capitals: -

"Heir . Lyis . Margaret . Lundie .
Late . Spouse . to . Master . Robert . Bowis . minr . at . Rerick
Who . Departed , Sept . 21 . 1681 . Aetat. 45.”

“This slab also covers the remains of her husband, who was the last ‘Episcopalian’ minister of the parish (Register of Synod of Galloway from October 1664 to April 1671)." A tombstone in the choir bears the following inscription ; -

“Heir lyes Edward Cultane, sometime malster in Burn, who departed this life
the 19th day of September, and of his age 60, and the yeire of God 1667”

In the contiguous burying-ground there are some interesting tombstones. “In the south-east comer is an enclosed mausoleum, in which are planted four Irish yews, belonging to the family of Maitland of Dundrennan. Thomas, the eldest son of Adam Maitland, assumed the title of Lord Dundrennan on being made a Scottish judge, and his shield of arms is placed at the head of a series of epitaphs to various members of the family."

The thoughts of the contemplative visitor pacing the grass-grown and gravelled walks of the sacred aisle, or standing beside these interesting sculptured tombs, involuntarily turn on life's fleeting nature, and the mutability of man's most beautiful and costly handiwork. Centuries have passed away. The work of the artist still is traceable, but the artists - where are they? All, alas! long ages since, gone to their final reckoning, and these, "their footprints on the sands of time," will soon too be washed away in time's advancing tide. Where once the Latin hymns were chaunted by the choristers in the still eve, the daw and owl, the sparrow and the starling, are now the ministers; and over the ground once sacred to the tread of the Abbot and his train in religious procession, now the "lowing herd unconscious strays." The time-honoured ruins are still firm, and in their mouldering decay may still last many years. Our wish on leaving the precincts was -

Long may the airy columns of the sacred aisle
Throw graceful shadow o'er the lovely rural vale,
Long may they yet defy the fury of the blast,
To tell to coming age the glories of the past.

The village of Dundrennan consists chiefly of a single row of houses of one storey, facing the ruins, and has a neat and comfortable appearance. The parish church is situated in the centre of the village, and, with its circular windows and tiny spire, is a great ornament to the place. To the south-west of the Abbey there has been recently built a handsome modem manse for the clergyman of the parish. The old Manse, which stood close to the Abbey Cloisters, when pulled down about a year ago, was found to have been almost entirely built of stones taken from the rains, which, in fact, were used as a quarry for all the neighbourhood ; even for soma of the bridges the stones were specified to be taken from this Abbey.

It is worthy of remark that there have only been five incumbents of Rerwick since the Revolution. The first of these was the Rev. Alexander Telfair, who is now chiefly known as the author of "A true relation of an Apparition, expressions and actings of a Spirit, which infested the house of Andrew Mackie, in Ringcroft of Stocking, in the Paroch of Rerrick, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, in Scotland, 1695." It is embodied in Nicholson's Legends of Galloway; and it is a curious illustration of the superstition of the times, that the truth of the details of supernatural agency contained in the relation "is attested, as what they saw, heard, and felt," by the ministers of Kells, Borgue, Crossmichael, Parton, and Kelton, and by several of the most respectable parishioners of Rerwick Mr. Telfair was succeeded by Mr. William Jameson, author of An Essay on Virtue and Harmony, published in 1749. Mr. Jameson died in 1790, and was succeeded by Mr. James Thomson, who died in 1826. His son occupied the benefice after him; and, after an incumbency of fifty years, was also succeeded by his son, the present minister.

The road from Dundrennan to Port Mary passes through a narrow and secluded valley, beneath the spreading trees of which the Abbey burn murmurs on its course to the sea. Passing Netherlaw, in a retired and pleasant situation among the woods, the road leads directly to the shore, at the Abbeyburnfoot, where are a few cottages, forming very picturesque groups near the shore of the creek.

At Port Mary the rock is still pointed out from which the hapless Queen Mary embarked on her ill-fated voyage to England. It is situated in a little creek, surrounded by precipitous cliffs, and called Port Mary, in commemoration of the event. The thoughts of the contemplative rambler, on arriving at this interesting spot, cannot but turn to the melancholy event with which it is associated, and a feeling of sympathy with the beautiful, accomplished, and unfortunate Queen, must ever be strong in the bosom of every true Scotsman.

Readers of Scottish history will remember that after the battle of Langside, fought on the 13th May 1568, the Queen fled, at the recommendation of Lord Herries, who accompanied her, to Dundrennan. Edward Maxwell, who was then Abbot of Dundrennan, along with his relations, Lord Herries and Lord Maxwell, as also Gordon of Lochinvar, Maclellan of Bombie, and many others connected with this district, subscribed a bond immediately before the battle of Langside obliging themselves to protect the Queen. A consultation having been held as to what course should be adopted, she resolved, contrary to the entreaty and remonstrance of Lord Herries and her other friends, to throw herself into the hands of Queen Elizabeth, and accordingly sailed from this spot in a fisher's boat, and arrived with some difficulty at Maryport on the opposite shore, attended by eighteen or twenty persons. There is, however, some difference of opinion on this point. Miss Agnes Strickland, in her Lives of the Queens of Scotland, vol. vi, note at page 102, says, "Port Mary, on the Scottish coast, has been latterly pointed out as the place where Mary embarked, and Maryport, on the opposite shore, as that where she landed, with the confident assertion that these derived their names from these circumstances; but this is a vulgar error of modem times. The names of both are of recent date, and have no reference to the Royal voyager. Maryport, which was called Ellensport till nearly the close of the last century, received its name from a rich merchant of that place, who made the harbour, and named it after his daughter."

The secluded residence of Port Mary is immediately contiguous to the shore, and commands sea views of boundless extent and beauty. This shore, almost as far as Balcary, is composed of a series of bold and lofty cliffs, so impressive, that they are believed to have furnished to the author of Waverley the material for much of the scenery of Guy Mannering. On reaching the shore near Port Mary, and looking over the cliff, the visitor cannot fail to be attracted by a remarkable natural vein of Barytes rising boldly from the tide mark, which, from its resemblance to a person in a state of suspension, has long borne the name of “the hangit man.”

A few miles beyond this, on the Barlocco shore, are two large caverns, called the Black and White Coves, which are well worthy of inspection. They are seen to the best advantage from the sea when approached in a boat, which can be obtained at Abbeyburnfoot. From the land they are so very difficult of access that they are seldom visited by that way. The Black Cove is a dark and gloomy "lonesome cave forlorn." It has a thoroughly Salvator Rosa look about it, and would be an excellent den for a family of sea-lions; while the White Cove, hanging with the deep green fronds of the sea spleenwort fern, and resounding with the cooing of the rock-pigeons, who build in the recesses of its roof, would be a fair and fitting habitation for the triton and sea nymph. On the way to Rerwick Churchyard, Orroland House, which has evidently seen better days, but which has now a dreary neglected aspect, is passed. Rerwick Churchyard is next reached. Part of the old church still stands, on a stone of which is carved, “This Church, originally a Chapel, was enlarged in 1743, taken down in 1865." There is little to be seen here noteworthy, save the usual doleful literature of the churchyard.

Pursuing our walk to Dundrennan village, we cross the Abbey burn by a bridge, which is supposed to have been built from the stones of the abbey. It is supported on two square ribs of very solid work, and forms a nearly perfect round arch. Originally its dimensions seems to have been much less, about 5 feet having latterly been added to it on the north side, so as to allow vehicles to pass to the residences on the shore.

How cheering to the plodding pedestrian, as the shades of evening close around his path, is the sign of the pretty little wayside inn, where the stranger with a slight air of respectability about him, and a little cash in his pocket, laying aside his knapsack and staff, is sure to meet with an hospitable welcome. To ramblers like ourselves, "living by the way," there is, as has been so well and quaintly said by the author of the Sketch Book: - "A momentary feeling of something like independence and territorial consequence, when, after a weary day's travel, he kicks off his boots, thrusts his feet into slippers, and stretches himself before an inn fire. Let the world without go as it may; let kingdoms rise or fall, so long as he has the wherewithal to pay his bill, he is, for the time being, the very monarch of all he surveys. The arm-chair is his throne, the poker his sceptre, the little parlour, some 12 feet square, his undisputed empire. ‘Shall I not take mine ease at mine inn?' thought I, as I gave the fire a stir, lolled back in my elbow-chair, and cast a complacent look about the little parlour" of the Dundrennan Arms.