(Or Auchinleck Castle)
MONIKIE, ANGUS, SCOTLAND
note that the castle is not open to the public.
Use the website search engine for much
text of the following article is from item 224(24) of the 'Lamb
Collection' held at the WELLGATE
LIBRARY (Local History Department) in Dundee, Scotland. The
booklet consists of, what appears to be, old newspaper clippings which
appear to have been affixed to an old, used, library returns book, or
similar dating, from WW II.
Unfortunately, I have been unable
to identify the original source of these writings, which were in a
serialised form in the clippings. After conversation with
staff at the library it seems reasonable to assume that the original
article may have been produced in a limited circulation, possibly
subscription, periodical, around 1850. The clippings might arise
from this original being reprinted in (possibly) The Dundee Courier
& Argus newspaper some time after that date.
* Some text has been coloured red where
it tends to give an indication of the date or timescale of the original writing.
If you can put more light on these publication
matters the webmaster would appreciate your contribution.
PANMURE HOUSE AND VICINITY
The estate or barony of Auchinleck, now small in
extent in comparison to what it once was, lies towards the West and North side
of the parish of Monikie, of which we have said something in a former paper,
about a mile West of the parish church, and about ten miles North and East from
Dundee, and close to the West side of the great reservoir that supplies that
town with water. The parish of Monikie is the most northern of the Presbytery of
Dundee, and is about as far distant from the Presbytery seat in this direction
as Kinnaird, in Perthshire, is in a western line. The name Auchinleck,
provincially pronounced Affleck, is from the Gaelic, and is said to signify the
"Field of Stones".
The Castle or Tower, a fine old building, stands
upon the high grounds towards the middle of the parish, on the north side.
It consists of a double tower of considerable elevation, and of excellent
masonry; but from its arrangement and style of building it had never been
intended for a place of strength , in the military sense of the word. It
is still entire, and is, or was not long ago, used as a granary and for other
purposes connected with agriculture, to which it had been applied since
the erection of the modern mansion-house, which stands close beside it. On
the top of one of the towers there is a flag-staff, but its use is not for
displaying abroad an ensign of defiance, but for hoisting a signal for gathering
the reapers to their healthful labours in the jocund time of harvest. At
what time and by whom it was erected there is apparently no record. In the
reign of James I the estate was the property of a family designed from it
"of that Ilk", but all that we know regarding it is, that in or about
the year 1480, Sir John Auchinleck, Knight, at that time the proprietor, married
a daughter of Sir John Boswell of Balmullo, in Fife, who after his death, was
married to Durham of Grange of Monifieth. The
year was 1480 however is too old a date for the erection of the Castle, which
might have been, as no doubt it was, erected by one of his descendants before
the estate was alienated from the family. Be that as it may, the Castle
was inhabited so late as 1746, and for some years later. Before and at
that period it was, along with a considerable extent of the territory of the
ancient barony, the property of a family of the name of Read (or
Reid), that had acquired opulence as merchants in Dundee.
This family was attainted for being connected
with the rebellion in 1745, and as the estate was forfeited, it was severed into
parcels and sold to different purchasers. Many years
ago we were informed by a respectable aged person, whose grandmother when
a young woman was waiting maid to Mrs. Read, that on espying he officers of the
law, with a military party accompanying them, approaching to take possession of
the castle and lands, they both secreted plate to a considerable value about
their persons, and unmolested by the officers, who had to much gallantry or
feeling to meddle with or insult two unfortunate and unprotected women,
proceeded to Dundee on foot, a distance of about ten miles. Mr. Read had
succeeded in effecting his escape to France after the Battle
of Culloden (1745), where his lady and family
joined him, but whether they availed themselves of the Act of Grace that was
afterwards published, to come home and make their submission, is not certainly
known, neither would the knowledge be of any particular value now after the
lapse of more than a hundred years.
Thomas Read of Auchinleck, who was either the
father of the laird who was forfeited, or the forfeiter himself, presented a
silver communion cup to the Kirk Session of Dundee in the year 1733, which gift
, along with a great many others of various kinds and donors, was recorded in
gilt letters on the west wall of the session house, where it was to be seen
until the destruction of the churches by fire on the 3rd January 1841. We
would consider the forfeiter to have been the son of the donor of the cup,
principally upon this account, that people are generally pretty far advanced in
years and verging upon dotage, before the devout idea of bribing heaven
by making gifts to the Church takes possession of their minds. Some time
after the forfeiture of Mr. Read, the castle with a large part of the estate,
was purchased by James Yeaman, merchant in and one of the bailies of Dundee; and
a few years ago the late Mr. Stirling Graham of Kincaldrum purchased the same
from his descendants. After acquiring the estate the bailie probably in
the estate, at least during part of the year; but after the erection of the
present modern mansion-house, a plain, unpretending, modest, white-washed
building, which was built by one of his successors, the castle as a residence
PANMURE HOUSE AND VICINITY
Part of the barony of Auchinleck was
sold about or not long after the beginning of last century,
but whether by any of the Reads or a previous proprietor we are unable to state.
The purchaser was Henry Smith, second son of Henry Smith of Glaswell and Canno
or Camno, near Kirriemuir. This gentleman, who died in 1726, gave the name
of Smithfield to the lands he had purchased, by which name they have ever since
been known. His son John, second of Smithfield, married Margaret, daughter
of William Douglas, Provost of Forfar, and ancestor of the family of Douglas of
Brigton, in the parish of Kinnettles. Provost Douglas was the son of Dr.
Robert Douglas, Bishop of Brechin, and afterwards Bishop of Dunblane, to which
he was translated in 1684, in which See he continued until deprived by the
Revolution in 1688. He died at Dundee on the 22nd September 1716, in the
91st year of his age. John Smith and Margaret Douglas had an only
child, Catherine, who married John Fyffe of the family of Dron, merchant and
banker in Edinburgh, and by the death of their son, --- Fyffe, a few years ago,
who was a merchant in Glasgow, the estate devolved upon Major David Fyffe of the
Lodge, Broughty Ferry, who is representative of the family. The Major
married one of the daughters of the late Robert Douglas, senior, of Brigton, a
descendant of the Bishop of Dunblane, and through him of the Douglases, formerly
Earls of Angus.
Please note that the castle is not open to the public.
You can read more about the castle in some of the OLD
Another local building called HYND
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showing Parish and some place names.
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This page was updated - 21 July, 2011