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(25) Plate X/a

(25) Plate X/a -

                                                               Plate X.

                                    TARNAWAY CASTLE.

TARNAWAY, or, as it is improperly called, DARNAWAY CASTLE, is in the parish of Dyke, in the county
of Murray. It is the property and occasional residence of the Earl of Murray; and was formerly the seat
of the Randolph, Dunbar, and Stewart race. Its elevation is bold, and produces, like most of what are
called Gothic buildings, great variety of outline. It has been built at different periods; and the oldest part
of the present edifice is a vast and magnificent hall, said to have been erected by Thomas Randolph, when
Regent of Scotland, during the minority of David Bruce, for the reception of his numerous vassals.
Although the various buildings form a fine and venerable pile, yet this hall is undoubtedly by far the most
remarkable part of them. It is still, notwithstanding the various changes it has undergone, a most pleas-
ing monument of ancient hospitality and magnificence. This hall is eighty-nine feet long, thirty-five
wide, and is still about twenty feet high, besides the vaulted roof, although its floor has been raised about
twelve feet, in order to construct a range of vaulted cellars. At one end there is a gallery for musicians,
running quite across: at the other is a large chimney, with a second on one side. The roof of this hall
is supported by diagonal couples and rafters of massy oak, similar to that of the Parliament House at Edin-
burgh. Earl Randolph's hospitable board, formed of thick oaken plank curiously carved and bordered,
stands on six pillars, and draws out at one end to double its length.—The prospects about the Castle are
fine, extensive, and various.

Mr. Stoddart, in his 'Remarks on local Scenery and Manners in Scotland,' speaks thus of this Castle:
'The country about Forres is well varied with seats and extensive plantations, among which is Tarnaway
Castle. This ancient fabric is one of the noblest habitable specimens of Gothic grandeur in the north of
Scotland. It is a large but irregular pile, standing on a green eminence near the great forest, from which
it takes its name, and which is supposed to have been dedicated to the druidical deity Taranis, or the
Thunderer, from the Gaelic word taranach, thunder. The hall is a monument of the splendour of Thomas
Randolph, Earl of Murray, in the thirteenth century.'—This view was taken in 1799.

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