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Environmental and ecological readings

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Philippe Laplace

Part I. Nature and the Environment: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Recreating an Ideal Landscape: a Community’s Approach to the Designed Landscape of Cally

David I. A. Steel

Texte intégral

  • 1 J. C. Loudon, The Landscape Gardening and Landscape Architecture of the Late Humphrey Repton, Esq ( (...)

1In reaction to the formality of seventeenth century garden design a peculiarly British style developed in the eighteenth century, whereby the landscape round many great houses was reshaped to suggest an ideal natural setting. As the garden designer Humphrey Repton put it: ‘The whole art of landscape gardening may properly be defined, the pleasing combination of art and nature adapted to the use of man.’1 The work of William Kent, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and others in England was soon being put into practice in Scotland.

  • 2 For information on the activities of the Gatehouse Development Initiative, see the web site <www.gatehouse-of-fleet.co.uk> [acces</www> (...)

2This article sets out the part played by one community group to conserve aspects of a designed landscape. Gatehouse of Fleet lies in Dumfries and Galloway in the very south west of Scotland on the road from Gretna Green to Stranraer and the Ferry to Ireland. The main M74 motorway and the railway line from Glasgow to England cut through the eastern part of the region, bypassing much of Dumfries and Galloway. It is here that The Gatehouse Development Initiative, a group composed of local volunteers, works to improve the local environment and make the area a better place to live in and to visit. Members of the Initiative have, among many other projects, researched the history of this mid-eighteenth century planned town and the adjoining Designed Landscape of Cally with a view to assisting the local economy, which is very dependent on visitors, including those who return to Galloway to trace their ancestors. The members of the Initiative have sought to record and make available as much information as possible on the non-material and cultural heritage of the area with the aim of enriching the visitor’s experience and encouraging a more sustainable tourism. They have also worked on many practical conservation projects, helping to recreate for visitors and locals alike, something of the ideal landscape created here in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.2

View looking out from the Designed Landscape, photograph by D.I.A. Steel

View looking out from the Designed Landscape, photograph by D.I.A. Steel
  • 3 Available at <http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/heritage/gardens.htm> [accessed 6 March 2015].
  • 4 David I.A. Steel, John Faed RSA, The Gatehouse Years (Kirkcudbright: Stewartry Museum, 2001), p. 8.

3Gatehouse of Fleet lies within the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area and within the recently created Galloway and South Ayrshire biosphere, recognised by UNESCO. Gatehouse of Fleet is an Outstanding Conservation Area and Cally is included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.3 Historically the town and surrounding area are associated with a number of landscape painters, who have been inspired by the town, its people and its surrounding countryside. Gatehouse is fortunate in that it is closely connected to the celebrated Faed family of artists. The Barlay Mill on the edge of the town was the birthplace of the artists John, James, Thomas, Susan and George Faed and John Faed, in particular, the oldest of the family (1819-1902), who left Gatehouse in 1840 to further his career in Edinburgh and later London, returned frequently to the town. He acquired a plot of land overlooking the town in 1867 and built a house here. For a number of years he spent about half of it here and half in London before settling permanently in Gatehouse in 1880. John Faed drew his inspiration from the local people and landscape and many of his pictures including his illustrations for the works of Burns, A Wappenschaw, now in the possession of the National Trust for Scotland, Annie’s Tryst in the Royal Scottish Academy collection and the Trysting Place in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are based on the people and places of Gatehouse. As he himself wrote: ‘Finding that the class of subjects that I was then engaged with required country models, and Gatehouse could supply them of all ages, in perfection, I finally decided to leave London.’4

Scene from the poem ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ by Robert Southey painted by John Faed in Gatehouse, using local models.

Scene from the poem ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ by Robert Southey painted by John Faed in Gatehouse, using local models.

© private collection

  • 5 For more information on the many artists who painted in the Gatehouse area and across Dumfries and (...)

4When E.A. Hornel, (1863-1933), who was born in Australia but who had grown up in Kirkcudbright and his friends among the Glasgow Boys established a fine art society in Kirkcudbright in 1885, they asked John Faed to be its President. Glasgow Boy Charles Hodge Mackie, who had strong connections with the artists of Pont Aven in Brittany, spent much time in Gatehouse working on the murals for Patrick Geddes’ flat in his new Ramsay Gardens development in Edinburgh. In 1921 the Glasgow Boy E.A. Walton spent the summer in Gatehouse, accompanied by his artist daughter Cecile and her husband Eric Robertson and all were inspired by the local landscape. Not long after, A.R. Sturrock and his wife Mary, daughter of the celebrated head of the Glasgow School of Art, Fra Newbery visited Gatehouse and settled here in 1926, where they were joined by others such as Hamish Paterson the accomplished artist son of the Glasgow Boy James Paterson.5

5The Irish born artist R.G. Kelly visited the town in 1852 and his View over Gatehouse of Fleet gives a good idea of the planned town and the adjoining Designed Landscape of Cally, showing the relationship between the two. Gatehouse is best known today as an arrested industrial settlement and this painting shows the mill ponds in the foreground and the fires still burning at the water powered cotton mill, established by the Birtwhistle family, originally drovers from Yorkshire, in 1785. By 1852 the mill was then in its last years of production as a cotton mill but would continue till the nineteen thirties as a bobbin mill.

6Looking more closely at the Kelly picture we see the imposing Cally House, set in its designed landscape with its artificial lake fed by redirected burns, its carefully sited belts of trees and intervening park land. The river, which had been canalised to allow larger vessels to come up to Gatehouse, is seen stretching out toward the estuary. In the distance can be seen the Isle of Man, clearly reminding the viewer of the smuggling trade, which had been prevalent in these parts and which is recalled in Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering. Scott’s brother Thomas was married to Elizabeth McCulloch of Ardwall, a neighbouring estate to Cally and she was one of Scott’s local contributors.

  • 6 J.A. Macky, Journey through England and a Journey through Scotland, III (London: John Hooke, 1723), (...)

7Of course, the history of Cally goes back many hundreds of years. There is a motte from the eleventh century and a later tower house of which little remains. However, Blaeu’s map of 1654, based on the earlier drawings of Timothy Pont already shows Cally, spelt Kelly, even then surrounded by parkland. Macky, in A Journey through Scotland, published in 1723, mentions ‘A Handsome seat call’d the Caily, belonging to Alexander Murray of Broughton, with a large park, which feeds one thousand bullocks, that he sends every year to the markets of England’.6

8Cally had come into the Murray family in 1658, when the male heirs of the Lennox family failed to claim their inheritance and the property passed to Anna Lennox who was married to Richard Murray, who was to inherit the family seat of Broughton in Wigtownshire and the Irish estate of Killibegs in Donegal. It was his descendant James Murray of Broughton, whose fine portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds now hangs at Chequers, who is most associated with the creation of The Designed Landscape of Cally and the planned town of Gatehouse of Fleet. Although James’ father, Alexander, had made enquiries of William Adam about building a ‘Great House’ at Cally, James, who inherited the estate in 1750, took the plans forward. In 1763 Murray, having commissioned architects including Isaac Ware to draw up plans completed his new mansion to the design of Robert Mylne and began to layout the surrounding parkland.

  • 7 S. R. Crockett, Raiderland. All About Grey Galloway (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904).

9S. R Crockett in his Raiderland included some notes of a visit to Cally by a local landowner, William Cunninghame, who drew attention to the substantial walled gardens and mentioned that ‘there was a hot house for stone fruit and another for grapes.’7 It was James Murray who also created the adjoining planned settlement of Gatehouse, partly to provide opportunities for tradesmen who had lived on the old ‘fermtouns’, now making way for modern farms and to house those needed to maintain Cally and to boost his income from feus. Murray also saw an opportunity to increase his income by attracting industry to the town and encouraged the establishment of a brewery and a tannery.

  • 8 For a detailed account of the early years of Gatehouse of Fleet, see David I.A. Steel, The Gatehous (...)

10James Murray, who was MP for Wigtownshire from 1762-1768 and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright from 1768-1774 was also a Director of the Dumfries Bank and had borrowed heavily from it. In 1771 the bank was taken over by the Ayr Bank of Douglas, Heron and Company. Murray and other local landowners were caught up in the collapse of the Ayr Bank in 1772, as were local tradesmen who had borrowed from bank shareholders and all development in the town and at Cally ceased, with Murray and other local landowners having to meet their debts to the bank. The Murray of Broughton papers in the National Records of Scotland show that James Murray had to raise the considerable sum of £16,000 to meet his debts. While Murray was able to raise the necessary finances, local tradesmen found themselves without work and, in 1774, a ship named Gale dropped anchor in the Fleet estuary and took many locals away to New York to begin a new life in America.8

11It was not till 1777 that development began to pick up again. In that year Murray took to the local press to promote the town of Gatehouse of Fleet, greatly reducing feu duties to attract new builders. In this Murray was successful and in 1785 he was able to attract the Birtwhistle family of cattle drovers, who had been buying the local drove cattle for sale in England, and they entered into a contract with him to build a cotton mill in the town. They must have been successful for they soon added another mill and this encouraged other entrepreneurs to enter the industry, leading to a short-lived local boom, which ended in 1795 with the collapse of the business of John Paple.

12A model of Gatehouse of Fleet, housed in the Mill on the Fleet Exhibition Centre, once one of the Birtwhistle cotton mills, shows the town as it was about 1800 with its grid pattern of streets separated by substantial garden plots and its bustling industry. By 1810, however, at the death of Alexander Birtwhistle, the other surviving mill in the town was close to bankruptcy

13While Gatehouse of Fleet and the mansion and grounds at Cally are James Murray of Broughton’s physical legacy, he is also remembered in Robert Burns’ four satirical poems, known as the ‘Heron ballads’ about the Kirkcudbright election of 1795, where James Murray’s candidate Thomas Gordon of Balmaghie, the Tory, was standing against Patrick Heron of Kirroughtree, the Whig candidate. Heron, who had been one of the partners in Douglas, Heron and Company, had recouped his fortune after the collapse of the Ayr Bank and had recently been able to repurchase the estate of Kirroughtree.

  • 9 Robert Burns, ‘Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795’ (First ballad, 41-48), in The Complete Works (...)

Then let us drink: – ‘The Stewartry,
    Kerroughtree’s laird, and a’ that,
Our representative to be’:
    For weel he’s worthy a’ that.
      For a’ that, and a’ that,
      Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
    A House of Commons such as he,
      They wad be blest that saw that.9

14In the second ballad Burns attacks Murray and other supporters of the Tory candidate including Alexander Birtwhistle, making an allusion to the noise of his cotton mills.

  • 10 R. Burns, ‘Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795’ (Second ballad, 1-8 and 61-64).

Fy, let us a’ to Kirkcudbright,
    For there will be bickerin’ there;
For Murray’s light horse are to muster,
    And O, how the heroes will swear!
And there will be Murray Commander,
    And Gordon the battle to win:
Like brothers, they’ll stan’ by each other,
    Sae knit in alliance and kin.
[…]
And there’ll be maiden Kilkerran,
    And also Barskimming’s guid Knight.
An’’ there’ll be roaring Birtwhistle –
    Yet luckily roars in the right.10

15While Burns is bold in his written criticism of Gordon and his supporters, a somewhat earlier letter to David McCulloch of Ardwall, James Murray’s neighbour at Gatehouse, suggests greater hesitation, as Burns prepared to visit Kirroughtree following a visit to Gatehouse.

  • 11 J.E. Russell, Gatehouse and District (Dumfries: Dumfries & Galloway Libraries, 2003), p. 137.

My Dear Sir
My long projected journey through your country is at last fixed; and on Wednesday next, if you have nothing of more importance than to take a saunter to Gatehouse, about two or three o’clock, I shall be happy to take a draught of McKune’s best with you. Collector Syme will be at Glens about that time, and will meet us about dish of tea hour. Syme goes also to Kiroughtree; and let me remind you of your kind promise to accompany me there. I will need all the friends I can muster, for I am ill at ease whenever I approach your Honorables and Right Honorables.
Yours sincerely Robert Burns11

16No depictions of Cally in the eighteenth or early nineteenth century appear to have survived. However, a number of accounts describe the ideal landscape which the Murrays were creating at Cally. In 1792 Robert Heron visited Cally and wrote:

  • 12 Robert Heron, Observations Made in a Journey through the Western Counties of Scotland in the Autumn (...)

Every deformity within these grounds is concealed, or converted into beauty by wood. Everywhere, except at proper points of view, these environs are divided by belts of plantings from the highways and the adjacent country. Many fine swells diversify the scene. These are crowned with fine clumps of trees. Within the extent of the pleasure grounds is a house occupied by a farm servant, which has been built in the fashion of a Gothic Temple, and to accidental observation has all the effect that might be produced by a genuine antique. South from the house of Cally is a deer park inclosed within a high and well-built wall and plentifully stocked with fallow deer.12

17In 1749 Horace Walpole had begun work on Strawberry Hill, a house built in gothic style, Walpole’s creation attracted great interest and gothic elements soon began to appear in landscape gardens. In time, too, the eighteenth century desire to control nature and mask unsightly features gave way to a desire to look beyond the park to the wilder landscape beyond.

  • 13 J.C. Loudon, The Gardener’s Magazine, vol. 9 (London: Longman, 1833), p. 8.

18J.C. Loudon writing in the Gardener’s Magazine of 1833 reflected a more romantic notion of landscape, finding ‘the masses of trees in the park are in many places too formal and unconnected’. However, he went on ‘the scenery about the house, and the views from its entrance front, of the richly wooded country beyond the river, with the mountains and their rocky summits on the one hand, and the sea on the other are unequalled by anything of the kind in this part of the country’.13

  • 14 RIBA Drawings Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, PB1337/PAP (260) (1-50), PB1338/PAP (260) (51 (...)

19In the 1830s Alexander Murray embarked on improvements to Cally House, adding a large portico on the front of the house to designs by John Buonarotti Papworth. An examination of Papworth’s drawings in the Victoria and Albert museum show that he was asked to produce plans for a number of other buildings. However, few of these appear to have been constructed.14

  • 15 Sketchbook in private hands kindly made available to the author.

20Paintings and photographs from the second half of the nineteenth century give us visual impression of Cally House and the features of the surrounding parkland. Mrs Smith, for instance, wife of a Dorset vicar produced an attractive drawing of Cally in the 1860s.15 Mr Murray Stewart the owner of Cally at that time was married to a Miss Wingfield Digby from Dorset, hence the Dorset visitors. Sadly no Cally photograph albums have come to light but the occasional image, which has come to light, gives an idea of life there in the later nineteenth century.

  • 16 Malcolm McLachlan Harper, Rambles in Galloway (Dalbeattie: Frazer, 1896), p. 142.

21An 1895 photograph shows that the entrance gates to Cally were kept shut, suggesting a closed world reserved for the residents of the big house. However, Malcolm Harper in his Rambles in Galloway indicates that ‘Mr Murray Stewart, with a liberality, which is commendable in the highest degree, and worthy of imitation by others, permits strangers to have access to the grounds of Cally, on their applying to his factor, who gives cards of admission, which are available from ten till two o’clock on Tuesdays and Thursdays’.16

22A series of watercolours by another Dorset man, Henry Joseph Moule, factor at Cally in the eighteen sixties and seventies, hint at life behind the gates; incidentally Henry Moule was the man who taught his friend Thomas Hardy to use watercolours. A volume containing over two hundred of Moule’s drawings of the Cally Estate and the surrounding area can be seen at the Dorset County museum in Dorchester. The watercolours show us farming activities within the designed landscape with views of the hills beyond. In one, for instance we see corn being sown in the Spring and, in another, harvesting is taking place in the Autumn. The watercolours of Henry Moule also reveal lost features of the designed landscape such as the sluices which controlled the supply of water to the cotton mills but the detail suggests how they could be recreated. For instance, there is a view of a wooden walkway running under Bush Bridge with a man with a gun, perhaps the laird himself. Photographic images help to complete the scene. A postcard shows the walkway emerging from under the bridge and a photograph shows the continuation of the walkway beyond the bridge, allowing viewers to watch the waterfalls on the burn, which brought the water to the mills. An atmospheric photograph of 1895 shows the walkway under deep snow, helping to build up an impression of this long gone feature of the designed landscape.

23Another important feature is the Temple built for James Murray in 1779. A postcard from the early nineteen hundreds shows the open parkland surrounding the Temple, which would have appeared as an impressive gothic feature to visitors to Cally House.

  • 17 National Records of Scotland (NRS), GD10/925 Sale catalogue, 1846.

24The ideal landscape created by James Murray in the eighteenth century and maintained by his son Alexander Murray in the first decades of the nineteenth century reflected the status of the Murray family but the rents from the estate were not sufficient to sustain the lifestyle, which the family kept up. When Alexander died in 1845, the estate was sequestrated and there was a large sale of the contents of the house and the walled garden. The deer from the park, works of art from the mansion house and even the pineapples from the walled garden were all included in the sale catalogue.17 The Murrays could no longer maintain the ideal life style for which Cally had been designed. In 1908, following the death of the then owner there was another sale and the house was let out.

  • 18 David I.A. Steel, Gatehouse Days: Remembering A.R. Sturrock R.S.A (Kirkcudbright Stewartry Museum, (...)

25In 1933 Cally House and the surrounding park land was sold to the Forestry Commission and a condition of the sale was that the woodland was to be felled. A.R. Sturrock in his painting Felling Timber at Cally, which is now in the Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright, shows this process getting under way. The scene may well have reminded the artist of the battlefields of France where he was wounded at the battle of Arras. Alick had first come to Gatehouse in the early twenties with Hamish Paterson, who was also badly wounded in the Great War. Alick Sturrock and his wife Mary lived at Victoria cottage on the banks of the River Fleet, close by the Anwoth Hotel to which the journalist and amateur artist Mac Fleming was also a visitor. Mac Fleming returned to the Anwoth in 1928 with his wife Dorothy L. Sayers and it was here that she began her murder mystery The Five Red Herrings based on her local artist friends and dedicated to the landlord, Joe Dignam. While the character, Strachan, in the book was Secretary of the local golf club, Alick Sturrock was, indeed, the captain at the time.18

26Following purchase by the Forestry Commission much of the Designed Landscape was planted with new hardwoods. Over the last eighty years these trees have now matured into splendid woodland and thinning is beginning to reveal more of the original designed landscape, providing new opportunities for making the most of this resource. Today, however, the Temple, which was once in open parkland, is surrounded by trees and, trees growing on the building, now threaten the structure, making it imperative that this important landscape feature is conserved.

  • 19 Solway Heritage, Cally Designed Landscape Management Plan (Dumfries: Solway Heritage, 2007).

27However, before the Temple could be tackled the Gatehouse Development Initiative focused on more immediate matters. In 2007, seeing the potential of the Designed Landscape of Cally as a resource for local people and tourists alike, the Initiative commissioned a designed landscape management plan as a basis for future conservation work.19 Another aim of the management plan has been to bring the various stakeholders of Cally together to work on a common agenda in the context of half yearly meetings organised by the Local Authority’s National Scenic Area officer.

Volunteers working on old school, photograph by Jim Logan

Volunteers working on old school, photograph by Jim Logan

© D.I.A. Steel

  • 20 Nic Coombey, Cally Story (Gatehouse of Fleet: Gatehouse Development Initiative, 2007).
  • 21 Nic Coombey, ‘The Development of Cally Designed Landscape’, TDGNHAS, Series III, 82 (2008), pp. 95- (...)

28One of the first tasks for the management team was to publish a short history of Cally, entitled Cally Story to set future restoration work in its historical context and to bring Cally and its designed landscape to the attention of a wider public.20 A more detailed historical study was also published in the Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society.21

29In 2009 a project began in earnest to restore elements of the designed landscape. The first task was the restoration of the main boundary walls which had been neglected over the years, had collapsed in places and had become very overgrown. Dry stone walls are an important feature of Cally and several different types can be found within the designed landscape. Local volunteers, members of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area volunteers, surveyed some seventeen kilometres of wall, recording and mapping the dyke type, style and construction in order to discover the different types of wall and to highlight those which would be best to restore. A priority list of repair projects was drawn up and applications made for funding. The Initiative was fortunate to secure some £66,000, which it obtained largely from the Heritage Lottery Fund and from the European Leader programme, with in kind support from the Forestry Commission. Local volunteers, mostly retired people, were joined by a group of volunteers from a drug rehabilitation centre and a group of young people taking part in a Forestry Commission project for people between the ages of 18 and 25 who were without jobs or education. Working together and learning from each other, these groups of privileged and under privileged volunteers undertook the huge task of cutting vegetation from the boundary walls, from the ha-ha around Cally House from a sunken dyke and from deer dykes.

30The first task was to clear and rebuild a small section of a very old dyke beside a footpath which runs through the Cally Woods. This wall had once been the means to enclose the park where the Murrays fattened their drove cattle. The many users of the wood today were thus informed of the scope of the project as soon as it got under way.

31Gatehouse of Fleet is very dependent on tourists and the state of the boundary wall did nothing to enhance the approach to the town. The main boundary wall right along the road leading into Gatehouse of Fleet was therefore seen as priority project and the volunteers set about clearing it.

32Two teams of professional dykers were employed to restore the boundary walls, thus maintaining an important local craft tradition and giving much needed employment at a time of economic downturn. All the volunteers who helped to clear the walls ahead of the dykers and a local school group had the chance to take part in dry stone dyking training days, giving each an understanding of the craft.

33As well as the boundary dykes, ha-has and deer dykes which are typical of a large estate, there are other unique dyking features in the Designed Landscape of Cally such as a sunken dyke. This is where a large ditch is dug out and a wall is built in the middle of the ditch. It acts as a barrier to control stock but it is also an aesthetic feature as the top of the wall is level with the ground on either side, providing an uninterrupted view of the planned landscape. Photographs of the restored sunken dyke with its turfed top let us see the ideal landscape with its uninterrupted views of mature clumps of trees on the horizon; something which the landowners can only have imagined at the end of the eighteenth century.

  • 22 NRS, SC16/64/5, pp. 219, 222 and 223.

34Cally, like many estates at the end of the eighteenth century was entailed to prevent the break-up of the estate. When a landowner wanted to carry out improvements on an entailed estate he had to inform the local sheriff court. The result is that detailed records have survived of the work carried out at Cally at the beginning of the nineteenth century. From the records of Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court, which can be consulted in the National Records of Scotland we know who built the original sections of wall, how much each dyker built and also the cost. The considerable sums involved show how much a family such as the Murrays were spending not just on estate improvement but on showing off their position in society. Each invoice contains the name of the dyker concerned and, it has been very gratifying to be able to let descendants of these dykers know the sections built by their forebears, whose work they can still admire.22

35The work on the Cally boundaries not only transformed the approach to Gatehouse of Fleet, it also enhanced the Forestry Commission’s estate within the walls. This in turn transformed the relationship between the Commission and the Local Community. The Gatehouse Development Initiative won an award for its work from the Civic Trust for Scotland and the Forestry Commission produced a guide to good practice in Scotland, signalling out the Designed Landscape of Cally. The Commission’s own current forest design plan also draws attention to the good working relationship with the community.

36In front of the mansion house of Cally, an artificial lake was first created at the end of the eighteenth century but the needs of the local cotton industry took precedence and reduced the flow to the lake and it was, therefore, enlarged early in the nineteenth century when a burn was diverted to supply more water to it.

37In 1816 Alexander Murray married Lady Anne Bingham, daughter of the Earl of Lucan and by the lake, Lady Anne had a girls’ charity school built. As with the boundary walls the old school had been abandoned by the Forestry Commission and in 2010 was threatened with demolition. The volunteers cleared this building, too. Fortunately there was a large project called Sulwath Connections, which was looking for small projects to use up remaining funds and the old school was included in this project. Professional masons were employed to secure the structure, using traditional masonry techniques including lime mortar and, thus, another feature of the designed landscape was conserved. To tell visitors to the site of the history of the building an information board was produced, showing the names of the teachers and indicating some of the local businesses which had supplied the school. The building was surprisingly similar to that depicted in the painting The Visit of the Patron and the Patroness to the Village School by Thomas Faed and an illustration of this work was included on the board.

38In the early spring of 2013 the Forestry Commission cleared the Cally motte, the site of the earliest habitation within the designed landscape. Over the years the trees which were planted in the 1930s had grown up and the site had become quite obscured. Felling revealed the true size of the site and the local volunteers cleared up all the brashings, once the main tree timbers had been removed.

39The Gatehouse Development Initiative was now able to turn its attention to the Temple, the two storey gothic structure which now lies hidden in the woods. While the aim is to maintain the mystery of arriving at the building, almost by chance, it is now necessary to remove trees which are growing out of the battlements and to repoint much of the building to prevent its further deterioration.

  • 23 Biography of William Todd, private collection.

40The first task has been to research the history of the building. It was known from Robert Heron’s account of his visit to Cally in 1792 that the building was then lived in by the person who looked after James Murray’s drove cattle. Recently, a memoir has come to light written many years later by the son of the man who kept the drove cattle. We now know from this memoir that both the man who looked after the cattle and his son were called William Todd.23

  • 24 NRS, GD10/1189, payment to John Hunter for quarrying stone for the Temple, 1779.

41Among the Murray of Broughton papers deposited in the National Records there is an invoice showing that the stone for the Temple was quarried in 1778. The invoice is signed by Hugh O’ Neal, Murray’s overseer at Cally.24 We know, too, that there were close connections between Cally and the Murray’s estate in Donegal. People from Ireland were often brought over to help with projects at Cally. Under the guidance of the Dumfries and Galloway archaeologist the volunteers carried out a detailed survey of the area surrounding the building. They found a lot of pieces of pottery and glass as well as nails and pieces of lead which may have come from the roof or from windows. Among the pieces of pottery and glass were finds from the later eighteenth century corroborating the literary evidence of the occupation of the building at that time.

42Another interesting find was an Irish halfpenny of 1775 confirming the Irish connection and suggesting that the Irish tenants may have been involved in the construction of this building.

43Having researched the history of the site, work has now begun on raising the funds to conserve the building, to tell its story and to use it to better inform local people and visitors of the many features of the Designed Landscape of Cally. Exhibition panels in the Mill on the Fleet already help to draw attention to Cally and efforts have been made to bring the designed landscape to the attention of academic audiences through attendance at conferences and seminars and the publication of papers. The Gatehouse Development Initiative is also taking part in heritage related Grundtvig European projects to bring its work to the attention of groups from across Europe and to work together with them on best practice.

44The work carried out by the local development initiative in partnership with the Forestry Commission and the other local stakeholders over the last six year has helped to conserve and enhance important local resources and has also helped to recreate, for a much wider public, something of the ideal landscape which was once created for a privileged few.

Notes

1 J. C. Loudon, The Landscape Gardening and Landscape Architecture of the Late Humphrey Repton, Esq (London: Longman, 1840), p. 410.

2 For information on the activities of the Gatehouse Development Initiative, see the web site <www.gatehouse-of-fleet.co.uk> [accessed 6 March 2015].

3 Available at <http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/heritage/gardens.htm> [accessed 6 March 2015].

4 David I.A. Steel, John Faed RSA, The Gatehouse Years (Kirkcudbright: Stewartry Museum, 2001), p. 8.

5 For more information on the many artists who painted in the Gatehouse area and across Dumfries and Galloway see the Artist’s Footsteps web site: <www.artistsfootsteps.co.uk> [accessed 6 March 2015].

6 J.A. Macky, Journey through England and a Journey through Scotland, III (London: John Hooke, 1723), p. 328-29.

7 S. R. Crockett, Raiderland. All About Grey Galloway (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904).

8 For a detailed account of the early years of Gatehouse of Fleet, see David I.A. Steel, The Gatehouse Adventure (Gatehouse of Fleet, Gatehouse Development Initiative, 2011).

9 Robert Burns, ‘Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795’ (First ballad, 41-48), in The Complete Works of Robert Burns, ed. by James A. Mackay (Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1987), p. 544.

10 R. Burns, ‘Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795’ (Second ballad, 1-8 and 61-64).

11 J.E. Russell, Gatehouse and District (Dumfries: Dumfries & Galloway Libraries, 2003), p. 137.

12 Robert Heron, Observations Made in a Journey through the Western Counties of Scotland in the Autumn of 1792, part II (Perth, 1793), p. 213.

13 J.C. Loudon, The Gardener’s Magazine, vol. 9 (London: Longman, 1833), p. 8.

14 RIBA Drawings Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, PB1337/PAP (260) (1-50), PB1338/PAP (260) (51-107).

15 Sketchbook in private hands kindly made available to the author.

16 Malcolm McLachlan Harper, Rambles in Galloway (Dalbeattie: Frazer, 1896), p. 142.

17 National Records of Scotland (NRS), GD10/925 Sale catalogue, 1846.

18 David I.A. Steel, Gatehouse Days: Remembering A.R. Sturrock R.S.A (Kirkcudbright Stewartry Museum, 2003).

19 Solway Heritage, Cally Designed Landscape Management Plan (Dumfries: Solway Heritage, 2007).

20 Nic Coombey, Cally Story (Gatehouse of Fleet: Gatehouse Development Initiative, 2007).

21 Nic Coombey, ‘The Development of Cally Designed Landscape’, TDGNHAS, Series III, 82 (2008), pp. 95-114.

22 NRS, SC16/64/5, pp. 219, 222 and 223.

23 Biography of William Todd, private collection.

24 NRS, GD10/1189, payment to John Hunter for quarrying stone for the Temple, 1779.

Table des illustrations

Titre View looking out from the Designed Landscape, photograph by D.I.A. Steel
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufc/docannexe/image/9118/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 38k
Titre Scene from the poem ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ by Robert Southey painted by John Faed in Gatehouse, using local models.
Crédits © private collection
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufc/docannexe/image/9118/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 35k
Titre Volunteers working on old school, photograph by Jim Logan
Crédits © D.I.A. Steel
URL http://books.openedition.org/pufc/docannexe/image/9118/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 47k

Auteur

Studied at the University of St Andrews. He spent two years working in Lincolnshire, working on A Lincolnshire Village, Corby Glen in its Historical Context (Longman, 1979). In 1976 he returned to Scotland where he worked as a fisheries economist. In 1981 he moved to Brussels where he worked with the European Parliament, advising members on a range of policies. In 1997 he joined the private office of the President, before retiring to Scotland in1999. Today, he is responsible for a web site devoted to landscapes of Dumfries & Galloway <www.artistsfootsteps.co.uk>, has written The Gatehouse Adventure and is chairman of the Gatehouse Development Initiative.

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