Cumpston Research

Maxwell's Guide Book to the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright
from the Nith to the Cree.
Published Castle Douglas & Kirkcudbright,

History narrates that at Cumpston Castle (a fine old ruin) Montgomery, the poet, who lived there, composed ‘The Cherry and the Slae,’ in which the following lines are given as descriptive of the flooded river Dee as seen from the old bridge at Tongland

“But as I looked me alane,
I saw a river rin
Out o’er a steepie rock of stane,
Sine lichted in a lin,
With tumbling and rumbling
Amang the rocks round,
Devalling and falling
Into a pit profound.”

Although there is a Cumpston Castle in Scotland, there is no evidence of any Cumpstons living there.

"The parish is about eight miles in length from north to south, and varies in breadth from three miles to a half-a mile. It is separated from the parishes of Kirkcudbright and Kelton on the east, by the Dee; from the parish of Twynholm on the west, for two miles, by the Tarff; and on the upper part by two beautiful mountain lochs called Trostree and Culcagrie. The northern boundary is the parish of Balmaghie, from which it is not distinguished by any natural limit, except for half-a mile by a loch called Bargatton...
...Of the two rivers which form the western and eastern boundary, the Tarff is by much the smaller; it has its rise in Loch Whynnion, about fourteen miles from the sea, and after pursuing a very winding course, and presenting a a great variety of channel, it joins the Dee at Cumpston Castle. It is a beautiful, limpid stream, abounding with yellow trout, salmon trout, herling, and occasionally with salmon. In the middle of its course there is a water fall, or rather a succession of waterfalls, called the Linn of Lairdmannoch, between fifty and sixty feet in height, which can be seen from a single point of view, and, when the stream is swollen, forms as picturesque an object as any thing of the kind can be imagined...
...In spring a good many fish are captured with the rod, to which all the men employed in the fishery devote most of their spare time...
...As an illustration of the excellent diversion sometimes had on the Dee, I may mention, that, some years ago, I took, with a small trout fly, a finely-grown newly run salmon, which weighed 14 pounds. My line consisted of three horse hairs, and single gut. The fly was composed of the red part of the partridge-tail feather, a red hackle, and a black worsted body, without tinsel of any kind...
There is a port at Tongland bridge to which sloops of 30 or 40 tons come regularly, occasionally a small brig imports lime, coal, and bone manure. Exports grain, potatoes, and timber. The lime and coals are brought from Cumberland, the bone manure from Liverpool and Ireland...
The large cattle are all of the Galloway Breed, with the exception of those on three or four farms, where the Ayrshire kind have been introduced, with a view to the dairy system..."
(Rev. Dugald Stewart Williamson, Minister) New Statistical Account, Blackwood

There is a Coat of Arms for David Maitland Esquire, Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant. Born July 5 1848, being the eldest son of the late Stuart Cairns Maitland of Compstone and Dundrennan.

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