Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Too much cultural heritage?

From e-mail just sent to staff on M.Litt. Scottish Cultural Heritage, Crichton Campus of Glasgow University.

My plan with the blog is to post on it my historical researches and related material. For example, today I helped my brother deliver some furniture to Ross farm (Meikle Ross, Kirkcudbright Bay) and managed a quick chat with the farmer about its history. He told me his family have farmed there since 1848, but that the farm was originally part of Balmangan, in turn part of the St Mary's Isle/ earl of Selkirk estate - which has a direct link back to the Galloway Levellers and Sir Basil Hamilton of Baldoon/ Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon - through a complicated bit of family history where by Basil Hamilton's son Dunbar became 4th earl of Selkirk....

We then had a delivery at Barholm 'castle' Tower, a recently restored 15th century tower house [: had originally said ' Dutch owners' but incorrect -see following. Have apologised to Mr. Brennan for getting it wrong :

A small correction regarding Barholm ("Dutch owners"). As your brothers would probably have realised, we are in fact Scottish , but currently living in Holland. I was born in Selkirk, but spent most of my life up to 18 in Stranraer and Dumfries: my wife is from Ayr. The site gives the impression that Barholm Castle is part of the take over of Scotland by wealthy absentee foreign owners. We shall be returning to live at Barholm in a few years.

Best regards,

John Brennan]

and had to negotiate the stone spiral staircase. This involved a trip along the back roads of Borgue and Kirkdale/ Kirmabreck parishes- with spectuular views over Wigtown/ Fleet Bays and the Solway Firth from the High Auchenlairie road. I am not quite sure how much 'Scottish (or at least Stewartry of Kbt) cultural heritage' we passed through, but we discussed everything from the Galloway Levellers to Dirk Hatterick's cave to cup and ring markings to the 'Wife of Ushers Well' [prompted by Carlelton farm/ carling/ old wife/ ceorl + Walter Scott] to the new houses being built at Mid-kelton steading by the owner of Auchenlairie Holiday Centre...

But how can all this be connected in to the M.Litt Scottish Cultural Heritage course?

Hence 'The Last of the Westland Whigs'. The theory being that I can fill it up with such details, which are then available as an 'extra curricular resource'.


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