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DAL
301
DAL
tlie parish, extends away eastward, limiting the low-
lands, and abruptly terminates to the north-east of
the village, in a splendid colonnade of basalt, 300
feet in height, and 600 in length. Two other ridges
run south-eastward and southward, and are connected
at the north end by a ridge coming dowi. upon them
westward from the parish of Ne w-Cumnoek. Though
the hills are in general easy of ascent, and in only
three places are, for a short way, precipitous, yet
they form gorges and mountain-passes of fascinating
interest, and, in one or two instances, of peculiar
grandeur. Along the road from the village of Dal-
mellington to Carsphairn in Kirkcudbrightshire, two
ridges approach for upwards of a mile, so nearly to
an embrace as to leave at their bases barely suffi-
cient space for the public road and the bed of a moun-
tain-rill. At the extremity of the range, also, where
the liver Doon issues from its picturesque mountain-
cradled lake, [see Doon, Loch,] rocky, perpendicular
elevations, whose summits rise 300 feet above the
level of the river, are, for about a mile, so brief a
space asunder, as to seem cloven by some powerful
agency from above, or torn apart by some convulsive
heave beneath their base. The narrow, stupendously
walled pass between is called the glen of Ness, and
opens, at its north-western extremity, into the low-
lands, or crescent-figured plain, of the parish. The
river Doon escapes from the loch by two narrow
channels in the naked rock, dashes impetuously along
the glen of Ness, and afterwards moves slowly for-
ward among meadowy banks, receiving, in its pro-
gress, the waters of several rills, or occasionally
swollen and inundating torrents, from the inland
heights. The springs of the parish are pure and
limpid, and flow, for the most part, from beds of
sand and gravel. Nearly a mile from the south-east-
ern boundary, and surrounded by heathy moorland,
is a small lake of about 25 or 30 acres in area, the
waters of which are dark, and very deep, and abound
in black trout. The soil, on the plain along the
Doon, is a strong, rich, clayey loam ; around the
village, is dry and gravelly; and behind the Doon, or
lower range of hills, is moss or moorland. About
J of a mile below the village is a morass of about
150 acres, resting on a spongy bed, and imbosoming
some oaks of considerable size. Coal — the most
southerly of the Ayrshire field, but prime in qua-
lity — is worked from deep seams, and affords a sup-
ply to places in GaUoway even 30 miles distant.
Sandstone abounds ; and lime and ironstone are not
infrequent in occurrence. The parish is traversed
by two great lines of road parallel to the Doon. one
of them the coach-road from Ayr to Dumfries ; and
by a line of road north-eastward, leading from the
village of Dalmellington to that of New-Cumnock ;
and it is abundantly accommodated with bridges for
these and for by-roads, there being 6 across the
Doon, and 9 or 10 across the smaller streams. A
very old house in the village, bearing the inscription
1 ,003, is called Castle-house, owing, as is supposed,
to its having been built of materials taken from an
ancient castle in the vicinity, called Dame Helen's
castle. Between the village and the site of that
castle is a beautiful moat, surrounded with a deep,
dry fosse. On a precipitous cliff in a deep glen, pro-
tected on three sides by the perpendicular rock, and
on the fourth by a fosse, stood formerly a fastness,
which, from some storied connection with Alpine,
king of Scotland, gives to its site the name of Lacht
Alpine. In the uplands were, at one time, three very
large cairns, one of them upwards of 100 yards in
circumference, and all covering vast masses of human
bones. A Roman road, coming up from Dumfries-
shire and Kirkcudbrightshire, and measuring 10 or
11 feet broad, formerly traversed the parish from
south-east to north-west, and passed from it into
Dalrymple. DalmeUington figured largely in the
affecting scenes of the persecution under the Stuarts,
and abounds in traditions respecting the sufferings of
the Covenanters. Wodrow represents it as having
been watched and oppressed with such large bodies
of troops, that, at one period, they must have been
more numerous than the inhabitants ; and, while
giving detailed accounts of the heavy and multiform
local grievances which they inflicted, he says, " Had
materials come to my hand as distinctly from the
rest of the country as from this parish, what a black
view we might have had !" — The village of Dalmel-
lington is snugly situated, on the road from Ayr tc
Dumfries, in a recess of the plain of the parish,
sheltered by the hills, and about J of a mile north-
eastward of the Doon, or of a stripe of waters J- of
a mile broad, and called Bogton loch, into which
the Doon, during about a mile of its progress, ex-
pands. It is a neat, thriving place, — and has two
woollen mills, a carpet manufactory, and a consider-
able number of private looms. Here are a subscrip-
tion library, a reading-room, a savings bank, 7 inns,
3 schools, and the parish-church. Belonging to the
village are 2 commons, which afford pasturage to
from 50 to 60 cows. Annual fairs are held on Fas-
tern's E'en, Halloween, and the first Friday after
Whitsunday, all old style. The village is a burgh-of-
barony. Population of the parish, in 1801, 787 ; in
1831, 1,056. Houses 189. Assessed property, in
1815, .£2,566 Dalmellington parish, formerly a vic-
arage of chapel-royal of Stirling, is in the presbytery
of Ayr, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Patron, the
Crown. Stipend .£158 6s. 8d. ; glebe £20.— The
parish-church was built in 1766; sittings 400. Par-
ish-schoolmaster's salary £34 4s. 4|d., with £10 fees.
There are two schools non-parochial.
DALMENNOCK BAY. See Loch Ryan.
DALMENY,* a parish in the north-east of Lin-
lithgowshire, consisting of a main body and a de-
tached portion The former is bounded on the north
and north-east by the frith of Forth ; on the east
by Cramond; on the south by Edinburghshire and
Kirkliston ; and on the west by Abercorn. It has
a figure somewhat resembling the outline of a violin ;
and measures, in extreme length, from Cramond
bridge on the east to an angle near Tottling Well
on the west 5| miles ; and in extreme breadth, from
Mound Point on the north to a bend in the Almond
near Wheatlands, 3£ miles. The detached portion
lies a mile south-west of the main body ; is bounded
on the north by Abercorn, on the east by Kirkliston,
and on the south and west by Ecclesmachan ; and is,
in its greatest length, 1J mile, and in its greatest
breadth 1. The surface is high in the central dis-
trict, declines somewhat to the west, has a very con-
siderable declivity to the south, and slopes still more
rapidly to the north, where it terminates in a bold
bank upon the Forth. Toward the east are three
rocky ridges or hills, covered with wood, called
Mons, Dundas, and Craigie. The summits of all
these, but especially that of Mons-hill, place an ob-
server in the midst of a vast and most beautiful and
varied panorama, bounded only by the limits of vision
or the hazily seen summits of the great mountain
ranges of Scotland. The Forth, with its thousand
attractions, glitters in nearly all its length before the
view ; the Lothians and the most cultivated districts
of conterminous counties, are spread out with the dis-
tinctness of a map; and the spectator, delightfully
* Dalmeny or Dalmenie, is a corruption of Dumanie. In
ancient charters, the name is written in the Latin form, Dum.
anyn. Dumanie is said to mean, in Gaelic, * a Black heath ;'
and may probably be descriptive of the orignal appearance of
a large portion of the parish*

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