Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 261-262
WEEL, there use’t tae be a gran’ hoose up the Water o’ Fleet they ca’t Carstammen, but the laird wus a great antiquary, an like a’ folk o’ antiquarian notions at that time, he wus Roman-mad. If ye fun a stane hemmer, or a bress sword, or a flint elfshot, or a cley urn, or even a muckle bane, it wus ey Roman.
Weel, there wus a big roon raith on the tap o’ hill east o’ the hoose, yt they ca’t The Doon, an somebuddy show’t it tae him; for in Gallawa, like ither bits, there’s few lairds kens muckle aboot their ain grun, but whaur they could pit on another croon an acre on the rent, or whaur there’s maist rabbits, or wha’s tae be turn’t oot next for votin the wrang wey at the last election.
Weel, he cheinge’t the name o’ the hoose tae Castramont, an inventit a gran aunceint an authentic tradition for the occasion.
It seems whun the Emperor Vespasian wus thereawa, he sent pairties o’ men up the different glens tae explore the country; an there wus yin o’ them commandit by Tacitus the Historian yt gaed up The Fleet in the beginnin o’ the wunter, an didna come doon again till the spring.
Whun he cam doon tae Caerbantorigum again, the Emperor ax’t him whut keepit him, an speir’t whaur he had been a’ the time.
“O,” says Tacitus, “we wur hem’t in by thae confoondit Pictis Gallovidienses, an couldna wun back; an we bade a’ the wunter in Castra Montis, an than cut wur wey though them.”
Of coorse, bein a great general, he wud say’t in terrible fine English, but ye maun joost tak it in Scotch.
“Weel,” says the Emperor, “in memory o’ that gallant defence, its name ‘ll be Castramont for ever efter.” That’s joost the verra wey kings diss.
The genteel natives is beginnin tae ca’t Caster-a-munt noo too.
It’s an awfu pity, but the name’s Gaelic, an means “the meadow or carse o’ the bore-tree busses.”
Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).
- Elfshot ‘The name given to a flint arrow-head on the supposition that it was used by fairies to injure cattle.’ [ELF-SHOT]
- Raith ‘A circular earthwork, a hill-fort.’ [RATH]
- Thereawa ‘Of place: away to or in that district, over there, in that general direction.’ [THERE]
- Speir ‘To ask (a piece of information, a question), inquire, make inquiries.’ [SPEIR]
- Wun ‘= Eng. get: (1) to make or find one’s way, to proceed, pass on, to succeed in arriving at some destination, freq. with the notion of surmounting obstacles on the way.’ [WIN]
- Bade (past tense of bide) ‘To stay.’ [BIDE]
- Maun ‘Must.’ [MAUN]
- Carse ‘Low and fertile land; generally, that which is adjacent to a river.’ [CARSE]
- Bore-tree ‘The elder tree.’ [BOURTREE]