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and are most poorly paid. The wealth of the parish consists in its valuable coal and iron deposits. There are, however, several freestone and whinstone quarries which are worked with great assiduity. Copper is known to exist in the parish, and it was at one time worked on the hillside near Corrie Farm. As long ago as 1791, Mr. Raspe, a famous mineralogist of his day, made an examination of the deposits and issued a report. His explorations and experiments were entirely satisfactory. For some reason or other, however, which is not at all clear, the excavations were carefully filled up with a view to the prevention of further mining, and so thoroughly was this done that the spot where the trials were made cannot now be identified. Near Corrie, and higher up the burn to the west, he found yellow and red jasper, with nodules of agate and porphyry. "If the jasper," wrote Mr. Raspe, "could be traced here to a regular body, which is not unlikely, lapidaries might be supplied from hence very cheap • or rather, lapidary mills might be set up in the burn, or at Kilsyth, to great advantage, for this jasper is of a very fine grain, and, somehow or other, finds its way already to the lapidary and the seal engravers at Edinburgh and London."
I am not aware that the natural history of the parish calls in any way for particular notice. The badger, the otter, and the pole-cat, which were abundant in the days of the Livingstons, have now wholly disappeared. The most familiar of migratory birds are the cuckoo, the swallow, the lapwing, and the landrail. I have seen on the Kelvin both the wild duck and the kingfisher. Neither the field-fare nor the thrush seems to be so abundant in their season in the parish as in other parts of Scotland; woodcock visit the Gartshore woods, and the ousel haunts the streams.
And now, before we conclude, let us ascend the church tower and take a bird's-eye view of the prospect. 895 steps—how often have we counted them—take us from the manse to the vestry door. The climbing of a stone stair and three steep ladders brings us to the top of the tower. After we have climbed the first ladder we find ourselves in the bell-room, and we notice that the bell, which, since the building of the church, has rung the matins and curfews, is the work of Keiller & Co., Glasgow. Another steep ascent brings us to the clock tower. The clock is made of brass; it was constructed by John Russell, Falkirk, watchmaker to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and is a most creditable and substantial piece of mechanism.
The prospect from the church tower is exceedingly interesting and beautiful. Round about our feet the town clusters, and the mingling of the thatch roofs of the old village with the slate roofs of the new town, which is now springing up, presents a very curious appearance. Hard by the Garrel flows; the scores of coke ovens, like long rows of blackened eggs in dumpy cups, furnish a scene of busy industry. To the north the prospect is bounded by the Kilsyth hills; in every other direction it is only terminated by the haze which rests upon the horizon. To the east the greenness of the pasture lands in this late season is striking, and no less striking is the flatness of the expanse before us. The valley of the Kelvin, on which the sun is shining so beautifully today, was, in glacial times, a great river channel. This channel is now buried 300 feet beneath the surface. The ancient river bed stretches from the Clyde to the Forth, touching the latter at a point near Grangemouth. The river that once rolled here was the Clyde, which was deflected out of its course by the glacier that filled Loch Lomond and the Gareloch; it was 1500 feet thick, and protruded across the valley of the Clyde against the Renfrew hills. A great lake being thus formed, the dammed-back waters found an outlet into the Forth by the way of the Kelvin valley.
Looking to the south, we can trace for several miles the line of the great Roman Wall, built by Lollius Urbicus, sometimes denominated the Wall of Antoninus and sometimes Graham's Dyke. In the past year there has been a revival of interest in this venerable relic of antiquity, which is like a shore line marking where the tide of Roman power had once rolled and where it had been stayed. At the request of the Archaeological Society of Glasgow, headed by William Jolly, H.M.I.S., Alexander Park sent some men to dig on the south side of the ditch at likely places. He received an unique and startling reward. At a little distance from the surface he came upon two lines of freestone kerb, running exactly parallel with the ditch, and in a most singularly fresh state of preservation. The two lines of kerb are fourteen feet apart, and their outer edges are in as straight a line as those of our own streets. This kerbing runs throughout the entire length of the wall. The space between the lines of kerb is laid with stones, and, there can be no doubt, on this as on a foundation the wall was raised. The reasons why the Romans built this wall are apparent. It stretches across the narrowest part of the island. It also marks the boundary of the Lowlands. Furthermore, in the days of the Romans the valley of the Kelvin can hardly have been anything else than a great swamp, and there is every reason to believe that the space from Dullatur Bog to the Forth was under water. The wall and the ditch were only an aid to the excellent natural defences against the incursions of the Caledonians. Without these natural defences that already existed, they would have presented a miserable bulwark against the intrepid foemen of the North.
One of the chief Roman camps was on the summit of the Barr Hill; now, it is worthy of observation that right opposite to this camp, on the north side of the valley at Balcastle, there are remains of an ancient Pictish fort. At Conney Park there are also traces of a fort opposite to that at Westerwood which occupied that portion of the Roman fortification. The Balcastle fort is as good a specimen of that class of structure as is to be found in the country. It is ingeniously placed between two rills, and it is highly probable it was, by means of a dam thrown across their junction, surrounded by water. Was this fort a standing menace to the further advance of the Romans? Was it one of a line of fortifications against the further advance of the southern power? Whilst the Romans had their line of camps on the south of the valley, had the Caledonians their line of defences on the north? The views opened up by these questions deserve a closer investigation than they have yet received. That the natives should also have had their line of defence does not seem to have occurred either to Stewart or Roy, the accomplished archaeologists, who have recorded with so much minuteness their investigations concerning the wall of Antoninus.
Looking still to the south the eye traces for a considerable distance the course of the Kelvin, the southern boundary of the parish. The first syllables of Kilsyth and Kelvin have no etymological connection. Kilsyth is derived from kel or cut/, or cella, a cell, a church, and probably sythin, signifying peace. There is a long tradition of a battle having been fought at Chapel Green between the Caledonians and the Romans, in which a large number were slain, and which was succeeded by a long period of peace- It is probable, however, that syth may have been the name of an individual, some ancient Christian saint, who took up his abode and devoted himself to the conversion of the natives. Kelvin x is thought by Fingalians to mean the Church of Vean or Bean, who was either a Culdee saint, or Fingal, the hero of Ossian. Banton is held to be the town of Vean or Bean, and the word Beanymyre, or Binnimyre, the name of a farm in that neighbourhood, is taken to be from the same root. How far the Kelvin district fulfils Fingalian conditions I leave to the decision of competent Ossianic scholars. What I point out at the present time is that the Kelvin is not a natural but an artificial stream. The original stream, if stream it could be called, simply oozed out of the primitive bog. Sir Archibald Edmonstone, believing that the draining of the water into a definite channel would be of great benefit, made overtures to the Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch proprietors to join with him in the carrying out of the operations. They having declined, he made an experiment at his own expense on the lower part of his estate. This proved so entirely successful that the heritors on the south and north at once agreed to enter on the undertaking. They appointed Robert Whitworth, engineer, and nominated two arbiters to mark the line of the proposed river, and estimate the comparative value of the patches of ground that fell to be exchanged. The top cut for a mile was 18 to 20 feet wide at the surface and 10 to 12 at the bottom. The second mile was 22 to 24 feet wide at the top, and from 14 to 16 at the bottom. The lowest section was 28 feet at the surface, and 16 to 18 at the bottom. Trade was dull at the time; the 1 Vide Appendix VI.