« PreviousContinue »
WILLIAM RAMSAY MAULE
THIS Volume is respectfully addressed to you, as a testimony of that esteem which has been universally excited by the independence, public spirit, and attachment to the best interests of your native country, which at all times you have displayed.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient
And most humble Servant,
NOTHING oceurs specially deserving notice concerning Agricul
the agriculture of this district. A considerable quantity
Agricul cow-houses are placed opposite to the barn, and the dung is thrown into the space between the barn and the stables. There are few of the small farmers who have any foddering yards. The farm-houses and offices were formerly covered with an alternate layer of thatch and turf, called divot. Of late they are generally covered with pan-tiles. They have a more agreeable appearance than the old thatch-roofs; but there are many inconveniences attending them, especially in a county subject to high winds, which often uncover large spaces of the roof, and break a great quantity of tiles. They are extremely cold in winter, and excessively warm in summer. In short, they make an unpleasant and expensive covering for any kind of buildings; but as the first cost of them is considerably less than a slate roof, tiles are come into general use. An attempt has been made to mingle tiles with thatch of wheat-straw, to prevent their being broken by the winds, and to save, at the same time, the expence of pointing the tiles with lime; but the effect of the contrivance is not yet known. In a severe climate like that of Scot land, it seems probable that, where a slated roof cannot be afforded, no covering will be found more unexceptionable than that which we formerly mentioned as used in some quarters of Airshire, consisting of a mixture of straw and lime, by which a sort of tarras is formed of a durable nature, and preserving that degree of warmth which is so requisite in our unsteady climate. The old custom of paring the surface of the moors to produce turf for covering the cottages is most truly barbarous, as it leaves the land, during a long period, in a state of absolute barenness.
There are some fields of the Carse inclosed with hedge and ditch; but this does not, in the general opinion, add to their value, as the hedges, in some measure, obstruct the free circulation of air; a matter of the