Monday, March 30, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kircudbright - A Royal Burgh

Kircudbright - Introduction

Kircudbright - First page

Kircudbright - End page

Kircudbright - The Gates

The gates of this old 'Adams' style' house belonging to the late E. A. Hornwell whose art has captured the wonder of the woods and flower-decked bays outside the town. His forebears belonged to Kirkcudbright and although he was born in Australia he spent his life in the town and enhanced its reputation in the world of art. He died in 1933. His house and contents he gifted to the stewartry as a gallery and museum. 'Broughton House' dates from the 17th century.

Kircudbright - Down by the Harbour

This cottage is of great antiquity. One of its recent tenants was John Houston postman & weather prophet. Now occupied 1934 by W Stitt river pilot. The Mote Brae which looks down on it was the site of a ship building yard called The Old Yard Quay where Homer and James Campbell grandfather and granduncle of William Mac Kenzie bookseller (1934) built ships 100 years ago.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Her face was veiled with a veil of gauze but her feet were naked

Illustration for The Fisherman and His Soul by Oscar Wilde

Kircudbright - Osborne's Lane

Like many others this Close bears the name of its latest owner. Formerly it had doors at either end and a bakery in the Close sixty years ago.

Kircudbright - Gordon Anderson's Smithy

This smithy has been owned by Andersons for generations. This Close also contains the stable of the Selkirk Arms Hotel where Burns wrote the words of "Scots wha hae" report says.

Kircudbright - Market Close

This archway leads to the slaughterhouse. The corner stone in the form of a sculptured head originally came from Dundrennan Abbey.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Spray of Wild Hemlock

Illustration for "The Fisherman and His Soul" by Oscar Wilde.

Kircudbright - McKeachie's Close

McKeachie's takes its name from the grandfather of the present owner Miss Wishart. The houses in the Close are the original building when Lord Kircudbright was proprietor and the house to the left of the archway was built on the site of his house.

Kircudbright - The washing day of old

Modern washing houses are certainly more convenient, but there is a certain charm in this method.

Kircudbright - Fisher's Close

Fisher's Close gets its name from one of the later owners of the houses. Formerly a sawmill called Payne's was situated in this close. Earlier it had the name of Gordon Hall.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kirkcudbright - Corbie Slap

This Close is supposed to owe its name to Jean Corbie the only woman who dared to speak in favour of Elspeth MacEwen the last witch to be burned in Scotland. William Johnston, merchant, who founded the Johnston Free School lived in the house on the right side. The Muckle Yett was at this Close. It was removed and is now at Saint Cuthbert's church yard. Alexander Cavan, banker, was instrumental in saving this old world edifice's foundation stones in the High Street.

Kirkcudbright - Canon's Close

John Canon a worthy old gentleman kept a bookshop here. He lived in the house above the archway.

Kirkcudbright - Milroy's Close

Bears the name of its present owner. Formerly called Devlin's Close: its earliest name was The Wynd End - The house over the archway is said to have been built by Lord Kirkcudbright for his daughter Lady Betty. The present owner George Milroy is called the "Iron King" because of his dealing in old iron.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kirkcudbright - Behind the Tolbooth

The Tolbooth was the prison & dates back to 16th century. Partly built with stones from Dundrennan Abbey. The last witch to be burned in Scotland was imprisoned here. Paul Jones founder of the American Navy was a prisoner and many other victims of turbulent times in which they lived.
The southern side of the Tolbooth looks on to the town gardens. At the foot of the closes where many washings may be seen fluttering in the wind and sunshine.
(Original kindly lent by Miss Irene Ferguson)

Kirkcudbright - The High Street looking towards the Bar Hill

The High Street is L shaped and the portion towards the east 'the Cannon Walls Gate' (the name still exists in a house name) gives access to a wooded slope called the Bar Hill walk, through woods called the Nine Stiles.

Kirkcudbright - The corner of High Street

The Cross is now placed at the top of the Tolbooth steps and crowns a tablet which reads –
"This fount, not riches, life supplies. Art gives what nature here denies. Posterity must surely bless Saint Cuthbert's sons who purchased this. Water introduced 23rd March 1762. This tablet renewed 1840."
But lately this original water supply has been turned off and the tpwn's new supply from Loch Whinyeon has been substituted. 1934

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The White Knight

Also done for the 1902 Turin Exposition - and yes, the lady does look a wee bit like me.

Turin 1902

Chapter divider illustration for the Scottish section of the guide to the 1902 Turin International Exhibition.

Kircudbright - Old Cross

The base of the old cross now supports a lamp - electrically-lit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kircudbright – The Green Gate

Kircudbright has been called the "Barbizon" of Scotland. Certainly many artists have lived there. The Green Gate is now the residence of E.A.Taylor and his wife Jessie M King. A colony of artists is to be found in the close beside their house. The Green Gate was the property of William Gordovne of Cambellton who sold it in 1761. In 1795, William McWwhinnie, a merchant in Leghorn purchased it & planted a circle of Espalier apple trees at the foot of his garden. This circle still exists–a tribute to his love of beauty and perhaps a memory of that Italian garden in the Risoli at Leghorn

Kircudbright – The Ballroom

The house facing this approach to High St. is one of the oldest on record. The white-washed building to the right of it which has a door communicating with the main building was called the "Ballroom." The gable to the left is the end of two houses restored and form magnificect examples of the savings of buildings of historic interest.