Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drumlanrig


August 24 (1826).—This morning lunched at Parkgate under a very heavy shower, and then pushed on to Drumlanrig, where I was pleased to see the old Castle, and old servants solicitous and anxious to be civil. What visions does not this magnificent old house bring back to me! The exterior is much improved since I first knew it. It was then in the state of dilapidation to which it had been abandoned by the celebrated old Q.,[324] and was indeed scarce wind and water tight. Then the whole wood had been felled, and the outraged castle stood in the midst of waste and desolation, excepting a few scattered old stumps, not judged worth the cutting. Now, the whole has been, ten or twelve years since, completely replanted, and the scattered seniors look as graceful as fathers surrounded by their children. The face of this immense estate has been scarcely less wonderfully changed. The scrambling tenants, who held a precarious tenure of lease under the Duke of Queensberry, at the risk (as actually took place) of losing their possession at his death, have given room to skilful and labouring men, working their farms regularly, and enjoying comfortable houses and their farms at a fair rent, which is enough to forbid idleness, but not enough to overpower industry.

From Walter Scott's Journal.  Drumlanrig was a Douglas stronghold, now in the hands of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry.  Building commenced around 1684.  Click on picture for link to source.

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