The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Cartland Crags

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July 30. - Cartland Crags, a remarkable chasm with rocky sides, overhung with trees, and rich in wild plants, and also the Stonebyre Falls of the Clyde, afforded us much enjoyment, but we cannot stop to describe them. The natural oaks on the banks of the Clyde we found to be every where Quercus sessiliflora. Lee, Sir Norman Lockhart, is a place of great antiquity, and remarkable for some fine old trees. Amongst these are three larches (mentioned in the Arboretum Britannicum) of the same age as those at Dunkeld, the largest of which is 12 ft. in circumference at 4 ft. from the ground, and 100 ft. high; silver firs and spruce firs of the same age, and of nearly similar dimensions; a row of magnificent old limes, which, however, from standing too close together, have taken the character of a gigantic hedge; an oak of extreme age (Q. sessiliflora), 46 ft. round at the first branch, and a foot or two larger at the surface of the ground; a very fine beech, 3 ft. in diameter at 4 ft. from the ground; very large sycamores and ash trees; and very curious old yew and holly hedges. Altogether this is a most interesting place; but it has little or no artistical merit. The surface is undulated in the most inviting manner for planting, but there are, unfortunately, but few trees in proportion to the extent of surface, and these are by no means disposed go as to produce the best effect. The exterior of the house is imposing, from a massive central tower; and it stands on a terraced platform, covered with loose pebbles, very disagreeable to walk on, or rather wade through, or to drive over, but very suitable for a wet climate, as the surface soon becomes dry after rain, and indeed may be walked on immediately after the heaviest shower. One thousand single trees judiciously distributed over this place, without any other expense whatever, would render it one of the finest on the banks of the Clyde. (To be continued.)