‹‹‹ prev (20)

(22) next ›››

of St Ciair, a large building which still remains being the only remnant
of these religious houses extant. It is situated at the head of Methodist
Close, the Wesleyans having used the chapelry of it as a place of worship
on their tirst establishment in the town. It now belongs to the Ham-
mermen Incorporation, and is still used as a place of worship on Sab-
bath by a small body, and a school-room and hall for meetings during the
week. There are other vaulted and arched ruins remaining, which show
that the buildings had been extensive and substantial. These monastic
establishments shared the fate which overtook all similar institutions at
the reformation, in which the town took a prominent part, and were
almost entirely demolished — all, indeed, except the chapel of the Nun-
nery. The beautiful and accomplished, though unfortunate Mary, Q,ueen
of Scots, subsequently bestowed the site upon the community, with the
garden and orchard attached, which were designated the " Queen's Do-
nation." Mary was a considerable benefactress of the town, which she
visited with her consort, Henry Darnley, in 1565. The gi'ounds thus
bestowed were immediately laid out and used as a burying-ground, a
great desideratum at the time ; the existing one — on the site of the present
Town Buildings in High Street — being very conhned and over-crowded.
Though used as a peaceful restii g-place for the t'ead, the grounds seem to
have served also as a resort of the living for the purposes of recreation and
gossip; as appears from the name of "• the llouif" or place of resort, by
which it was long known, a d by which it was designated in an ace of
the Head Court, entitled an " Act anent the Houff Dykes.'' It is now
known as the Old Buryii g-Ground at Meadowside, extending from the
head of Reform Street to the head of Barrack Street. It is still resorted
to by many, especially on Sabbath, who pass the hours of interval in
'■' meditations_ among the tombs," and poring over the numerous ancient
memorials of departed citizens with which it abounds.
The venerable tower or steeple in Nethergate, whose origin and
erection have already been noticed, is the only entire edifiGfi' extant,
connecting our ancient with our modern town, and is amongst the most
ancient piles in our country ; having withstood the wasting energies of
time during , the long period of seven hundred years. It is a plain
but massive structure, 156 feet in height, and yet comparatively in
a good state of preservation. The church of St Mary's, built at the same
time, was in little more than a century (1295) buri.ed to the ground by
Edward I. under circumstances of great atrocity. John Baliol, whose

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence