David Forsyth: Hidden histories - the material culture of Jacobitism: Thursday 5th October 2017

The Society begins its 2017-18 programme with a talk by David Forsyth of National Museums Scotland based on "Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites" - an exhibition currently running at the National Museum of Scotland. This is the largest exhibition on the Jacobite Stuarts for over 70 years. It tells the story of the Stuarts’ attempts to regain their lost thrones from the exile of King James VII & II in 1688, until the death in 1807 of Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal York, younger brother of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. 
 
A resident of Kirkintilloch, David Forsyth is Principal Curator of Renaissance to Early Modern Collections in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland. He has curated a number of major exhibitions over his nearly twenty-one years with National Museums and has written widely on the juxtaposition of history and material culture, including contributing to and editing the book to accompany the Bonnie Prince Charlie exhibition and articles in History Scotland, as well as contributing to a number of broadcasts on related topics.

Charles Edward Stuart by Allan Ramsay

Doors Open: Saturday 9th September 2017

The Society contributed to this year's Doors Open programme in East Dunbartonshire on Saturday 9th September by its presence in the Park Centre in the morning and by organising a guided historical walk around what was Kirkintilloch Basin, now the Marina, in the afternoon.
 
In the Park Centre, two PowerPoint presentations showing historic photographs of the town and canal, and the Society's activities and programme were continuously projected; in addition, committee members - Rita Bennie, Ros McMeekin, David Graham and Ivan Ruddock - were present to provide information and answer questions.


Committee members 'manning' the Society's stand.
The presentations showing Society activities and historic photos.
 
 

 
In the afternoon, Don Martin, the Society's secretary, led a well supported walk from the Park Centre to the Marina where he described Kirkintilloch's industrial heritage including shipbuilding, iron founding and the role it played in the early days of railways as one terminus of the pioneering Monkland and Kirkintilloch system. 

The Society's secretary explaining the significance of  the Basin
Foundry, formerly located in what is now Kirkintilloch Marina.

Report on "From Stone to Stone" - Baldernock Boundary Walk: Tuesday 22nd August 2017

On Tuesday 22nd August 2017, a rather cool and murky day, ten members of the Society met Professor Niall Logan at 2.00 pm in the car park of Newlands Forest for a guided tour of the boundary stones between the Parishes of Baldernock and Campsie. Suitably clothed and with stout footwear we were reminded of the history of the boundary stones and provided with a map on which the stones of the boundary were numbered and displayed.

 The NE corner of Baldernock Parish showing
a line of boundary stones. (© Niall Logan) 

Briefly, the land was owned by the Duke of Montrose who sold parts of it to adjoining estates. As a result, the boundary between the various parishes changed and in order to better define it a series of stones were positioned in what was originally muir or moorland. Initially easy to identify, over time they had become less prominent and slowly but surely been incorporated into the wetland of the muir. However, some were still sufficiently prominent to be recorded on the 19th Century OS and on estate maps. From being 'arable', much of the land had become forested under the management of the Forestry Commission(FC). With the support of the FC and after the land had been clear felled, Niall explained how with the help of the old maps, the use of modern GPS and a trowel he had been able to identify some fourteen of the original stones embedded in a 'hump' or longitudinally arranged mound of soil and stones that defined the boundary between the two parishes.
 
It was very impressive to see that some of the stones had been carved with the letter 'B' for Baldernock on one side and the letter 'C' for Campsie on the reverse. Although a little difficult to read, one of the stones was also surmounted by “1817”, presumably the year in which the stones were laid.




Niall Logan describing the location. 


The best preserved stone with "B" for Baldernock visible.
The ribbon is to mark the stone during tree felling.
 
All in all a very interesting afternoon much enjoyed by those present with a big 'thank you' to Niall for such an informative and successful visit to the South Brae of Campsie.
 
Members of the group at the conclusion of the walk.
 Report by David Graham

"From Stone to Stone" - Baldernock Boundary Walk: 2.00 pm Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Demarcating stones were formerly a feature of parish boundaries in Scotland but nowadays they seldom survive. However, in our area an interesting sequence can still be seen on the Baldernock/Campsie boundary.

Professor Niall Logan has agreed to provide a guided tour of these stones, as a follow-up to his talk on the subject to the Society last October. This will be held at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 22nd August 2017.

Members should make their way by means of their own transport to Newlands forest car park. Please travel by way of Station Road, Lennoxtown (turning left off Main Street just beyond the Post Office) onto the South Brae of Campsie and continue for almost two miles. The car park is adjacent to a green barrier and as parking is limited, members should share cars wherever possible. Due to the terrain being quite rough, stout footwear is essential.

If the weather is very bad, it might be necessary to cancel the walk. In case of doubt, please phone Don Martin on 0141-578-1127.
 
A boundary stone. (© Niall Logan)
Baldernock Parish. (©  Estate of Ewen Bain)

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites: National Museum of Scotland: 23rd June - 12th November 2017

A major exhibition on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is being held this summer in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh from 23rd June until 12th November. Full details can be found by clicking here. It is of particular relevance to the Antiquaries because its curator, David Forsyth, will be speaking on this topic in the Society's forthcoming autumn programme. 

Report on the Summer Outing: Saturday 3rd June 2017

On schedule at 1300 hours, 29 members boarded one of Ann's Coaches and departed on the first leg of the journey along the recently re-engineered roadworks of the M80, M73 and the M74 to South Lanarkshire. First stop was Low Parks Museum in Hamilton meet the guide for the tour of the Hamilton Mausoleum.
 
Hamilton Mausoleum. Built in the grounds of Hamilton Palace, the Mausoleum became the resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton In keeping with the grandiose plans of Hamilton Palace, Alexander, the 10th Duke of Hamilton, replaced the family burial vault in a nearby dilapidated collegiate church with a Roman-style domed structure. Building works started in 1842 and was completed in 1858 some 5 years after the death of the 10th Duke. The Duke was interred in an Egyptian sarcophagus while 17 of his ancestors were interred in the crypt below. The guide stated that the Mausoleum was 37m high but that over time due to mining subsidence the building had settled by some 16 feet or so. Because of this and potential flooding from the River Clyde, the family was re-buried in Hamilton’s Bent Cemetery. But more was to be revealed after we entered the building and appreciated the similarity of its internal architecture to the Pantheon in Rome. 
 
Members of the Society listening to the guide at Hamilton Mausoleum
Members inside the Mausoleum
Inside the Mausoleum we were shown the original bronze doors featuring bas-relief similar to those on the Baptistery Chapel in Florence. Also on display was the sarcophagus, the beautiful multi-coloured marbled floor (possibly with Masonic symbolism), the niched walls and the 'Whispering Wa's' or walls that allow a whispered conversation to be overheard. Finally, and by no means least, the guide demonstrated a 15 second reverberation that at one stage held the world record. A great start to the day with a friendly well informed and very enthusiastic guide.
 
Low Parks Museum. The next part of the outing was a return to the Museum where we arrived just before the cafe was about to close. Refreshed, we learned that the Museum was opened in 1967 as the Hamilton District Museum and is located close to the site of the Palace which was demolished in 1927. The Museum comprises two main buildings – Portland built in 1696 and the Palace Riding School built in 1837. The group was given sufficient free time to visit the various exhibitions which included an extensive displays about the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and the history of the Dukes of Hamilton and their Palace. Exhibits also told the history of South Lanarkshire with an emphasis on weaving, agriculture and coal mining.
 
Roman bath-house. The next part of the trip was to Strathclyde Country Park to see the remains of the Bothwellhaugh Roman bath-house. Considered to have been in use between 142 and 162 AD it was surveyed in 1975 and because of potential flood damage was excavated and relocated to its current site in 1980. To the delight of us all, the Society’s secretary Don Martin was persuaded to give an account of the bath-house which comprised the changing room, the cold room (Frigidarium), two warm rooms (Tepidarium), a hot room (Caldarium) and the furnace room.. Adjacent to this site we were shown the so called Roman Bridge that spans the south Calder Water. However, also known as a pack-horse bridge it is unlikely to be Roman but rather late medieval and possibly about 500 years old.

Don Martin interpreting the visible remains of the bath-house
Members about to leave Strathclyde Park for dinner in Bothwell
Fortunately in spite of some thunder and a heavy sky, the weather held and we arrived dry at the Riva Restaurant, Bothwell for dinner. Saited and happy we arrived back in Kirkintilloch at about 20.15 after a most enjoyable half days' outing. Perhaps a precedent had been set.
 
David Graham