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  CAS
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  south-east direction from the borders of Ayrshire,
  and fetching a circiut round the village of Lochwin-
  noch, turns east and falls into this loch on the wes-
  tern side. The Dubbs connects it with Kilbirnie
  loch. Castle- Semple loch was originally between
  4 and 5 miles in length, and rather more than 1 in
  breadth ; but it has been considerably lessened by
  draining. It would appear, from the description of
  Hamilton of Wishaw, that Lord Semple, then pro-
  prietor of this lake and the adjoining lands, com-
  menced to drain it in 16S0, or 1700. The estate
  was sold by Hew, Lord Semple, in 1727. to Colonel
  M'Dowall, a younger son of M'Dowall of Garthland,
  who continued the plan of draining the lake, and, in
  1735, had made great progress in doing so. Sub-
  sequent proprietors have directed their attention to
  the same object; and the effect has been the re-
  covery of a great extent of fine rich meadow land.
  In 1773, and in 1774, a canal was constructed of
  nearly 2 miles in length, at an expense of ±'2,000,
  by which above 400 acres of a very deep rich soil
  was recovered. The loch still covers about 200
  acres ; but considerably extends itself when flooded,
  and during winter. The family of Semple was very
  early in possession of the lands around this loch.
  Robert Sympil was vassal in Elziotstoun on the south
  side of the lake, under the high-steward of Scotland,
  about 1220; and previous to 1309, Robert Sympil
  of Elziotstoun was seneschal of Strathgrife. In 1474,
  Sir William Sympil, Lord of Elziotstoun, obtained
  a charter of the baronies of Elziotstoun and Castle-
  toun — now Castle-Semple — from James III. Sir
  John Sympil was raised to the dignity of the peer-
  age, with the title of Lord Sympil, by James IV.,
  in 1488. Elliotston and Castle-Semple continued
  in possession of this ancient family till sold, as above-
  mentioned, in 1727, after having been their propertv
  for about 500 years. In 1813, William M'Dowall
  of Garthland and Castle-Semple, sold his estate of
  Castle-Semple to John Harvey, Esquire, of Jamaica.
  Eastward of the lake, and on the south side, are the
  remains of the old tower of Elliotston, the residence
  of the Semple family previous to 1550. Its length
  is 42 feet, and its breadth 33 feet over the walls.
  Between 1547 and 1572, Robert, commonly called
  the great Lord Semple, built a tower, called the
  Peel — the ruins of whieb still exist — on a small
  island on the lake, now forming part of the main-
  land. This tower was in the form of an irregular
  pentagon, having a sharp end towards the head of
  the loch. " It was built," says Dr. Caldwell, "over
  a strong arch, with bulwarks, gun-ports, &c, and is
  environed with an immense cairn of stones round all
  its foundations, to a considerable height above high
  water."* The castle at Castletoun, or Castle-
  Sernple, near the eastern end of the lake, was erected
  or more probably rebuilt by the first Lord Semple,
  who died in 1513. He changed its name -from Castle-
  toun to Castle-Semple. In Bleau's Atlas, published
  !n 1654, this castle is represented by a mark denot-
  ing the largest size of castles. Crawford — who
  wrote in 1710 — says, " Upon the brink of the loch
  stands the castle of Sempill, the principal messuage
  of a fair lordship of the same denomination, which
  consists of a large court, part of which seems to be
  a very ancient building, adorned with pleasant orch-
  ards and gardens." In 1735 this ancient house was
  demoUshed by Colonel M'Dowall, who erected an
  elegant modern house on its site. Some workmen
  repairing drains in 1830 found part of the foundations
  of the castle still existing below ground. In 1504,
  * A vpry fine copper cannon, having the arms of Scotland,
  and J. R. S. engraved on it, was found in the loch near the
  Peel. This relique is preserved at Castle-Semple. Tradition
  reports that other aix guns were lost at the place where this
  one was fuuud.
  John Lord Semple founded a collegiate church near the
  lake, having a provost, six chaplains or prebendaries,
  two boys, and a sacristan. A stone in the outer wall
  bears the letters R. L. S., and the arms of Sempill
  and Montgomery. It was found, about 25 years ago,
  near the site of the castle of Semple, and was placed
  in its present- situation by the late Mr. Harvey.
  The church is 71 feet 6 inches in length; 24 feet
  3 inches in breadth ; and 15 feet 6 inches in height.
  A portion at the east end, separated from the rest,
  was used as a place of burial by the Semple family,
  as it now is by Colonel Harvey the present pro-
  prietor. Dr. Caldwell describes its walls as being
  covered with ivy, and surrounded by a fine tall horn-
  bean hedge. The roof was taken off about forty
  years ago, and the ivy has penetrated into the inte-
  rior. In ancient times there appears to have been a
  village at this place, and a chapel in its neighbour-
  hood dedicated to St. Bride. A small burn, which
  here falls into the lake, is still named St. Bride's
  burn ; and the residence of Colonel Harvey's factor,
  St. Bride's mill. On the hill of Kenmure, which is
  of secondary trap rock, there is an imitation of a
  Chinese temple, from which a very fine view of the
  lake and surrounding scenery can be obtained. It is
  supposed to have been erected about the middle of
  last century by one of the family of M'Dowall who
  succeeded the Semples. — The Glasgow and Ayr
  railway passes through the estate of Castle-Semple,
  and in the immediate neighbourhood of the loch.
  CASTLE-SPYXIE. See Spyxee.
  CASTLE-TIORAM See Ardxamtjrchax.
  CASTLETON, or CASTLETOWN, a village
  in the parish of Olrick in Caithness, at the head of
  Dunnet bay, 5 miles east of Thurso, on the post-
  road to Houna. There are extensive quarries of Hag
  or paving-stone here. Population, in 1830, 311.
  CASTLETON OF BRAEMAR, a small village
  in the district of Braemar, parish of Crathy, Aberdeei 1-
  shire, on the eastern bank of the rapid Clume, a little
  above its junction with the Dee ; 57 miles west of Aber-
  deen, and 15 from the Spittal of Glenshee, on the road
  to Perth. There are two excellent inns here ; and the
  place is well-known to tourists as forming convenient
  head-quarters while visiting the Cairngorm moun-
  tains, the Linn of Dee, Mar forest, or Strath Dee.
  See articles Braemar, and Crathie.
  CASTLETOWN, a parish forming the southern
  extremity of the shire of Roxburgh, having the form
  of an irregular triangle, and including a more extensive
  area than any other parish in the south of Scotland.
  It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Cavers,
  Hobkirk, and Southdean ; on the east and south by
  Northumberland and Cumberland ; and on the west
  by Dumfries-shire. Its greatest length, from Fauna
  hill, or from Needs Law, on the north-east, to its
  southern extremity at the confluence of Mare burn with
  Kershope water is 174 miles; and its greatest breadth
  from Peel fell on the east to Tudhopehillonthe west,
  is 14 miles. In history and poetry, and very frequently
  still in conversation, its name is Liddesdale, from the
  river Liddel, which runs through it fiom east to
  south. f The upper or northern part is mountainous
  and bleak ; but is generally dry, and affords good
  sheep-pasturage. Some of the mountains both here,
  and along the western and eastern boundaries, are
  very high and precipitous. iMillenwood Fell, and
  Windhead, are each nearly 2,000 feet in height ; and
  t In the old histories, and geographical descriptions of Scot-
  land, it is called * The County of Lidisdale ;' and, in old writs,
  it is styled 'The Lordship 1 of that name. In December 1540,
  the lands and lordship of the forest of Jedburgh, with the lands
  and lordship of Lidiadale, were annexed to the Crown, by Act
  of Parliament. And, on the 2d of January, 1(343, the lands and
  dominion of Lidisdale appear to have been granted to Francis,
  Earl of Buccleuch.

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Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901 > Topographical, statistical, and historical gazetteer of Scotland > Volume 1 > (297) Page 217
(297) Page 217
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Volume 1
DescriptionVolume first. A-H.
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1842 - Topographical, statistical, and historical gazetteer of Scotland
DescriptionGlasgow: A. Fullarton & Co., 1842. 2 volumes. Volume 1. A-H.--Volume. 2. I-Z.
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Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901
Description20 volumes of the most popular descriptive gazetteers of Scotland, providing a comprehensive geographical encyclopaedia of Scotland in the 19th century. Principal places in Scotland, including towns, counties, castles, glens, antiquities and parishes, are listed alphabetically. Each entry includes detailed historical and geographical information about each place.
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