Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary June 1828

Monday 30 June 1828


Vide last night just asked her how she did and off at 6 35/60 to embark on the lake (vid. Scottish Tourist, 120/415 et seq.). Only one boat for pleasure & one for fishing allowed by the fishmonger (Reid? of Edinburgh) who rents the lake at £300 per annum of Sir James? Montgomery. ¼ hour sparpish walking down the long street of the town & then turn left to the lake. Embark at 6 50/60. A civil sort of almost middle aged London merchant had met & spoken to me & offered to go with us. ¼ hour rowing to the island. So thick when I set off, doubted whether to venture. Cleared & by the time of landing on the island very tolerable view. More remains of the castle than I expected. [1] The square tower, the round tower called Glass Tower where Mary’s servants were & whence she escaped, & some walling along which one can walk. Very interesting picturesque remains. 20 minutes there. Doubted whether to go the other island or Inch of St. Serf, 2 miles off. The gentleman offered to help to row. But could not be back much before 10 & that too late. The boat engaged for the lord high commissioner & I to be off early to meet the Dunfermline coach at the Rumbling Bridge. The Inch famed as a breeding place for wild ducks & sea fowl but May the month for seeing it. Contains about eighteen acres of land. But this will probably rather hurt the fishing by taking away so much feeding ground. Row back in 20 minutes. The gentleman & I walk back to the inn together in ¼ hour (he (too) there on his travels) & got back at 8 5/60.

Loch Leven Castle by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd
From Modern Athens, displayed in a series of views; or, Edinburgh in the nineteenth century; exhibiting the whole of the new buildings, modern improvements, antiquities, & picturesque scenery of the Scottish metropolis & its environs, by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (original drawings) with John Britton (text). Original held and digitised by the British Library.

Breakfast at 8¾. Off from Kinross (long sort of village – like little town – Kirkland’s a new, comfortable house – much better apparently than the other inn) at 10 5/60, we 2 & our boy driver (as usual) in a gig. In passing put into the post office my letter written last night to “Mrs James Dalton, Croft Rectory, Darlington, Durham.” Always good road & heavy tolls. Country less rich & pretty. Soil less good than yesterday. The lake pretty but too much breadth of flat ground around it for the [picturesque]. Passing the Rumbling Bridge got down at 11 20/60 for ten minutes to reconnoitre it. Certainly very fine cleft in the rock. Prettily wooded, being in the grounds of a Mr Haigh, an Edinburgh brewer. Alight at Rumbling Bridge Inn for a few minutes and at 11 40/60 took a boy from the inn as guide & off to the devil’s mill, pretty little eddying fall into a deep black basin, & at a short distance from the Rumbling Bridge. Then off to Caldron Linn & got there at 12¼ after a hot walk along the Devon, partially thro’ a fir plantation. 20 minutes at the Linn. Very fine. But no way from here, without going far round about, of getting down to the bottom of the Linn. The peep into the vale of Devon below the Linn very pretty. The country all around on this side nothing particular. (Vid. Scottish Tourist, 122-3/415). 2 ladies there sketching. One wading over the Devon with her shoes & stockings off, & then thus sitting on a stone in the midst of the broadish, shallow stream. Regret we could not get down to the bottom. But still well enough pleased to have come thus far to see the thing as we did from the top.

Cauldron Linn
Iain McDonald / Waterfall on River Devon / CC BY-SA 2.0

Got back to the inn at 1¼. Had boiled milk & bread & butter, took our gig forward & off to Dollar (to see Castle Campbell) at 1 50/60. Good road but still the country not so pretty as we have of late been accustomed to. At 2¼ old castle (right) repaired & turned into a tolerable castle house. Stopped at Dollar Inn (nice little road-side inn where one might be very comfortable) at 2 40/60, pay off our boy & order another gig for Dunfermline to wait our seeing the castle. A hot walk thro’ the village of Dollar & then up hill thro’ the woods of the Glen of Care along the water of sorrow to the Castle of Gloom, now called Castle Campbell, sold by the Duke of Argyll to a Mr Tate, a writer to the signet [2] at Edinburgh. Some of the oldest family property the duke had. Came by a marriage into the royal family. Ought never to have sold this. Sheer necessity. Got to the castle, on a high conical hill, closely surrounded with higher hills, in ¾ hour at 3½. Considerable remain. A farmer & his family live in it. The land (precipices) not being fenced, lose 5 or 6 head of cattle every year. The stairs to the top of the great square tower entire. Shewed us some notes respecting the castle. “Glenochel a descriptive poem, Glasgow & London, 1810,” 1 volume, 12mo, 308 pages. References made to Anderson’s [Recreations] volume vi, page 216-17, the castle destroyed by the Marquis of Montrose in 1645, and to Dr Graham’s sketches of the picturesque scenery of the Trossachs. ‘Tis observed too that the old Rumbling Brigg was 1st of wood, then stone, built by William Gray, a native of Saline in 1713 (this is what is the present under bridge without parapet walls), one arch, 22 foot span and 12 breadth. Depth from surface of bridge to water 86 feet. Tiresome talking old woman who shewed the place, the farmer’s wife. Considerably above one hour scrambling down from near Kemp’s cut, near the chapel, a place where [John?] Knox preached to the Argyll family & first administered the sacrament in the present Presbyterian form (he is said however to have first administered the sacrament in that form elsewhere, at Lord ____’s). Very fine cleft in the rock. Very little water. Small fall but highly picturesque. & then scrambling up & down the hill side thro’ the pathless wood (very hot & fatiguing) to see the upper fall. Very little water. Tremendous cleft. Huge masses of rock at the bottom. When full of water must be very fine.

Castle Campbell. This photo makes it obvious why Anne had to scramble up and down.
From the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J-foreign section. Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, 1905
This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsc.07563

Got back to the inn in 35 minutes at 6 20/60. Had boiled milk & bread & butter & off from Dollar Inn (Malcolm. Very civil people. A Little from the village. The new academy there large, handsome looking white stone building) at 7¼. At 7 20/60 ford the broad shallow Devon. Pretty drive from perhaps a couple of miles till getting on to high, bleak, poor ground. Poor [corn]. At 8 20/60 pass thro’ the neat, good, scattered village of Saline with neat new church. At 8½ descend towards Dumfermline & come gradually into the easterly haugh, thick mist, enveloping all around. At 9 20/60 arrive at Dunfermline completely in the thick mist. Long shabby village-like town, before coming to the good part where we alight at the Spire Inn, a very good looking house. Large, lofty rooms. The lofty spire over the [middle] of the house we had taken for a church spire. The waiter cannot say what the building was originally intended for. Dinner at 10. Went to my own room at 11¾. Fell asleep for above ½ hour as I sat at my dressing table. Dinner & whisky toddy had overpowered me. Very much heated today. Not a dry thread upon me. Very fine day.

Kinross to Rumbling Bridge Inn, 8 miles                  )
Rumbling Bridge Inn to Dollar Inn, 5 miles             )              24 miles
Dollar Inn to Dunfermline, 11 miles                          )

[1] Anne is referring to Loch Leven Castle on an island in Loch Leven. The castle was built in the late 13th or early 14th century. Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner there from 1567-68 until her jailer’s family helped her escape.

[2] Senior solicitor in the Court of Session

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