Carnoustie in old picture postcards volume 1

Carnoustie in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Annie L. Thompson
:   Angus
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-1146-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Carnoustie in old picture postcards volume 1'

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The town ofCarnoustie was founded just over 200 years aga, but the name comes from the ancient language of the Picts and most likely means Hill of the FirTrees. Not to be taken seriously are a couple of fanciful nineteenth century explanations. Because the sandhills on which the town is built yielded a large number of ancient stone coffins or cists dating back to the Bronze Age the early builders of Carnoustie assumed they were all casualties of a battle buried in a 'Cairn o'Hosts'. Same Carnoustie inhabitants used to point out to visitors the many rookeries in the trees on the higher part of the town with the solemn explanation that the name derived from 'Craws' Nestie'!

Befare 1797 Carnoustie was a large farm in the parish ofBarry. A document of 1573 states that a man named Fairney held bath Carnoustie and Grange of Barry, paying feu to Arbroath Abbey. The farm had several more owners until in 1792 it was bought by MajorWilliam Philip, who, with his neighbour to the west, David Hunter ofPitskelly, conceived the idea ofbuilding a village, which they called Taymouth Feus.

The first feu was taken up byThomas Lowson, a loomwright from Barry. Legend says he was making his way between the weavers' hamlets ofInverpeffer and Buddon Ness on a warm summer's day. Stopping to rest halfway he fell asleep. His dream that he had a cottage on that spot was sa vivid that he

awoke determined to make it come true.

The sandy soil ofhis patch turned out to be so fertile that even the twigThomas used as a dibble while planting cabbages took root and grew into a tree, a proof which encouraged others to settle atTaymouth Feus.

There had been an earlier plan for a village just east of Carnoustie when in 1670 George Maule, Third Earl ofPanmure, had plans prepared for a harbour between the fishing villages ofWesthaven and Easthaven to provide shelter for ships waiting for high tide so they could proceed up the Tay to Dundee. Mauleshaven actually appears on a map of that period, but its construction was postponed when [ames VII and II was forced to abdicate. George Maule devoted his fortune to the hopeless cause ofrestoring King [ames, and Mauleshaven was never built.

In 1807 Major Philip sold Carnoustie to George Kinloch, MP for Dundee. Mr. Kinloch planned a grid of streets, changed the name of the settlement to Carnoustie and opened a brickworks, which, with a quarry owned by David Hunter at Pitskelly, supplied the building materials for the early feuars, who were mostly handloom weavers.

As many of them were members of the two Secession Churches George Kinloch in 1 810 allowed bath congregations to build churches in Carnoustie. One of these is still in use as

Erskine United Free Church. Mr. Kinloch also encouraged a baker, shoemender and grocer to set up shop.

As early as 1810 a family from Kirriemuir taak summer lodgings in Carnoustie in order to benefit from the sea air. The opening in 1838 of the Dundeel Arbroath Railway encouraged professional and business families to settle, and brought in more holidaymakers. It was at this time that the village, until then bounded on the east by the Lochty Burn, extended into the neighbouring parish ofPanbride.

Golf had been played informally on Barry Links since the sixteenth century. Now, in the early 1840s, golf clubs were established and the flrst specially-constructed golf courses laid out. Carnoustie became a Burgh in 1 889, with a Provost and Town Council. Money was raised to purchase a large section of the Links for golf and other leisure actlvities. The remalnder of the Links, stretching to Buddon Ness, was bought by the War Department and Barry and Buddon Camps were established in 1897.

The Town Council encouraged tourism, claiming Carnoustie as the 'Brighton of the North' . They and their successors sought the latest visitor attractions to add to the natural advantages of five miles of sandy beach, attractive scenery and one of the sunniest climates in the British Isles,

At a time when few people had the use of a telephone there

was a huge demand for postcards from holidaymakers, soldiers, and in deed the local residents.

Now these cards teIl the story of the town that grew from a twig.

I wish to acknowledge the help of Andrew Reid, David Torrie, David HoveIl, Rev Colin Caskie, Rev. Ian Forrester and Reg Cunningham, who kindly allowed me to borrow from their colleetions the postcards which make up this baak.

1 As Thomas Lowson planted cabbage seedlings in his new garden in the spring of 1798, passers- by on the road from Barry to Westhaven shook their heads. Nothing could grow sa close to the sea, they said, but they were proved wrong. Not only did Thomas's cabbages thrive, but the twig he had cut from a willow tree to use as a dibble and had left stuck in the earth taak root and sprouted leaves. Two hundred years Iater Tam's Dibble, now a venerable crack-willow, still flourishes, grown much larger than it appears in this picture.

Tammas Lowson's Dibble, Carncus ie.




.?..?. "


2 The caption on this card repeats a localIegend, now discounted. Although Hector Boece ofPanbride, writing in the sixteenth century, described a defeat by Maleolm Ir in the early eleventh century of a Danish raiding party led by a prince named Camus, records of that period make no mention of such a battle or of anyone named Camus, In fact, relations between Maleolm and the Danish King Sueno were amicable. The cross, which is from around 1000 AD, may mark the site of an early church building. A eist found near it by Sir Patrick Maule in 1620, contaming human bones and an urn, and assumed by him to be the grave ofCamus, was probably

a Beaker burial from many centuries Be. The cross was moved to its present position from lower down Downie Hili during landscaping in 1853.

Cl '", .. o Ol c >: -e

3 Panmme House, built in 1664 by George Maule, second Earl ofPanmure, using stones from the old castle and from a quarry on the estate, was said to have been cursed byan old woman whose cottage was pulled down to dear the site. She prophesied that within three hundred years the stones would return to

the earth whence they were dug. In 1953 the house and estate, by that time the property of the Earl of Dalhousie, were sold to pay death duties. As na use could be found for the mansion - now in disrepair - it was demolished in

1 955 and the stones used to infill the quarry The stabie block and chapel survive.

4 In 1 7 15 [ames, 4th Earl of Panrnure, and rus brother, Harry Maule of KeHy. rode out of Panmure with an army they had raised to assist their nephew, the Earl of Mar, in rus support of the cause of the Pretender, [arnes Stuart, against George of Hanover, who had been chosen to succeed Queen Anne. Earl ]ames ordered the gates to be locked behind them, never to be reopened until a Stuart king should sit on the British throne. Almast three hundred

years later the gates remain locked, while the drive that led from them and the house itself na langer exist. Six weeks after his trinmphal departure the Earl returned to Panrnure from the field of Sherriffmuir disguised as beggar. He had been taken prisoner, and then rescued by his brather Harry and a servant, Henry Fairlie.

5 Knowing Panmure would be watched, the Earl and Fairlie left their horses at New-

bigging, donned rags and continued on foot. The Barl's wife, Margaret, concealed hirn in a secret room at Panmure until she could arrange for him to leave the country. As he rode away towards Easthaven where a fishing baat waited to take him to a ship lying affMontrose, which would carry rum to exile in France, Margaret watched until he was out of sight, and later had this memorial placed on the spot. The Earl never returned to Scotland.

Margaret, through the influence of her father, the Duke of Harnilton, was permitted to rernain in Panmure House, although the estate was confiscated and sold off to the York Building Company. Margaret set up a hand-spinning business and before her death in

1 732 had succeeded in buying back part of the estate. The purchase was completed some years later by Harry Maule's son, William.

6 Camonstie children leam the points of the compass by reciting, 'North to the Monument, South to the sea, East to Arbroath and West to Dundee' . The Panmure Testimonial, also called the Live and Let Live Monument, was erected by the grateful tenants of William Ramsay Maule, Baron Panmure. A sympathetic and fair-minded landlord, during the famine years of the 1820s he excused his farmer tenants from paying rent. When times improved he refused to accept the back rents he was offered, sa the money was used to build this tower on Downie Hill, one mile from Panmure House, Completed in 1839, and 106 feet high, it contains astair leading to a viewing

platform. The monument was damaged during the storm of December 1879 which destroyed the Tay Rail Bridge. When it was repaired an urn was placed on the pinnacle in memory of three Panmure House servants who perished in the Tay Bridge disaster.

Panmure Monument.


7 The earliest lighthouse on Buddon Ness was a seventeenth-century wooden structure on a wheeled platform which could be moved whenever the shifting of the Tay sandbanks made this necessary. An eighteenth-century stone tower was made obsolete by further shtfimg of the sands, so when these two lighthouses were erected in 1868, it was cut down to farm part of the light-keeper's house seen in this picture.

Still further sand movement meant that twenty years later the Lower Light, a 65-foot high, 440 ton structure had

to be moved on rollers. At the rate of five feet per hour, it taak a month to relocate it 160 feet to the north-east.

Later sand drift has made the lights redundant, but they remain in rep air in case they should again be needed.

Buddon e Ligh houses. Barry Camp

8 The Upper Mill is the only one left of four by the Barry Burn. There has been a mil! here sinee the sixteenth century, but this building dates from 1 815 when the previous mil! was destroyed by fire. A working business until 1984, it has been restored by the National Trust for Scotland and is open to the public, who can see oats being ground. This is done for demonstration only, and the meal is used for animal food, as under present -day health regulations it is not considered suitable for human consumption. The bridge to the left of the picture is older than the town of Carnoustie. Built in 1777, it earries the ancient road whieh onee linked Barry

and Panbride, and whieh has never been paved. Iust above the keystone of the bridge is a earving of a man ploughing.

9 Carnoustie Bay, seen in a 70-year-old picture, was onee known as Barry Sands. Here in 1659 three Forfar witehes, Helen Guthrie, Isobel Shyrie and Elspeth Alexander, met on St. [ames's Night, 18th ]uly, with three Barry witehes and the Devil. They built a fire and brought about the stranding of a ship on Barry Sands, then parted after making arrangements to meet again at Hallowe' en. The Forfar witehes were brought to trial in 1661. Guthrie and Shyrie were exeeuted. Alexander was released. Neither the Barry witehes nor the man who taak the part of the Devil were ever identified.

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