The annexed part is situated in the Lowlands of Scotland, consisting of fertile alluvial land on the bank or the Endrick, and of a track of ground gently rising towards the base of the mountains. Within this, is Buchanan House, the residence of the Duke of Montrose, with its extensive pleasure grounds and plantations. The rest of the parish is in the Highlands, and forms the western termination of the Grampian hills. It is a mountainous ridge, extending along the bank of the lake; deeply indented, on the east, by Glendow, where the river Forth has its rise; and intersected near the north end by Glenarklet, a vale extending from Loch Katrine to Lochlomond. This Highland district is rugged and barren, and at an early period, if we may judge from the names of places, seems to have been chiefly used as hunting-ground. At the head of Lochlomond stands Benlui, (Fawn's hilt,) where the deer had their coverts, and reared their young. When roused from their lair, they generally directed their course along the east bank of the lake. At Chonan-nish, where the ground became somewhat level and practicable, there the chase began; hence its name signifying, now for the dogs! If the pursuit were unsuccessful along the skirts of Benlomond, it often had a melancholy conclusion at Conichill, which forms the southern acclivity of the Grampian range, and whose abrupt precipices were fatal to the eager dogs; Conichill, or more properly Chonnakill, signifying the dogs grave. The most striking object is Benlomond. On the north, it is precipitous; on the south, setting out from the Inn of Rowardennan, on the bank of the lake, you ascend easily in three hours, walking over a space of three miles. When you reach its conical summit, overtopping every surrounding eminence, and elevated 3000 feet above the level of the sea, you have on the north an endless succession of mountains, like the billows of the stormy ocean; and on the south, you have presented before you, as on a map, the riches and beauty of the central district of Scotland, from the Western Isles to the Frith of Forth.
Islands.- The islands belonging to this parish, several are of considerable extent and value. Inchcaileoch,* which once contained a nunnery and the parish church, is now, without house and inhabitant, covered with copse-wood. Inchfad and Incheruin are arable and inhabited. Inchmurrin, the largest of the whole - being two miles long and one broad - is the deer park of the Duke of Montrose, containing about 200 fallow deer. The keeper cultivates some ground around his house. At the west end of the island, on a projecting eminence, are the ruins of a castle of the ancient Earls of Lennox; near which is a modern lodge, erected by the present family. There also are some islets, uninhabited, belonging to Mrs M. Buchanan of Ross
* The names of places are Celtic. Inchcaileoch signifying old woman's island; Inchfad, long island; Inchcruin, round island; Inchinarrin, the island of St Murrin, who was the tutelary saint of Praisley. The etymology of Buchanan is uncertain. Lochlomond is evidently the same name with Lac-us Leman-us of Helvetia, in the time of Casar. Lomond, signifies bare hill or beacon. Benlomond was reckoned higher than 3000 feet, till thc recent Trigonometrical Survey of Scotland.
Lakes and Rivers -There are three small lakes within the parish: but they attract no notice in the vicinity of Lochlomond, whose beauties have been often described. It is 24 miles long, the greatest breadth is about 7 miles. It is 22 feet above the level of the sea. Its outlet is the river Loven, which meets the tide-way, after a course of three miles, about a mile above its junctiom with the Clyde. As the Leven flows in a narrow channel, it is insufficient for the rapid discharge of any sudden influx of water into the lake. The level of the lake, therefore, varies with the season; it is lowest in the drought of summer; it rises when the rains or autumn commence; and reaches its maximum in the month of February. The difference between the summer and the winter level is about seven feet. In winter, the lake overflows much valuable land at the mouth of the Endrick; and if the rainy season sets in early and copiously, much damage is done to the natural hay and corn crops. In 1782, the harvest was late and rainy, and followed by an early and severe winter. The corn, before it was ripe, was covered with water, and then with ice. The upper part of the lake, from its great depth, never freezes; the lower part is occasionally frozen. In 1814, the ice was so strong between the mainland and Inchmurrin, as to admit travelling on foot. In 1740, the lake was frozen from Buchanan to Luss, so as to carry both men and cattle. it is understood that the surface of the lake is gradually and permanently rising. The cause is evidently the increasing bar at its outlet. The chief tributary rivers are the End-rick on the east, and the Fruin on the west, which flow into the lower part of the lake, arid deposit their alluvion near its mouth.
Geology.-The mountains, like the rest of the Grampian range, belong to the primary formation. Schistus is the chief mineral. Roof-slate and lime frequently occur; but neither are used, nor can be used, to any extent. The former is too heavy to pay for land-carriage, now that the duty is taken off slate carried coast-wise; the latter cannot be burned with advantage, on account of the distance from coal.
Zoology.-Wild animals abound, from the varied accommodation which the parish affords. Ptarmigan and white hares are found on Benlomond. The mountain eagle is still seen occasionally there. One was caught in a trap in 1886. Grouse is common on the bleak upland moors; but it is remarked that this species is giving way to black game, which seem to multiply with the increasing shelter of wood. Roes, for the same reason, are now common. Pheasants were introduced by the late Duke of Montrose, and have spread throughout the whole extent of Strath Endrick. Squirrels have recently come of their own accord. Hares are numerous in Buchanan grounds, where they are strictly preserved. It.may be observed, that the ground under crop bears a very small proportion to that in pasture, and that the depredations of wild animals are severely felt by corn-farmers.
Wood.-Though the woods in the parish, both natural and planted, are of great extent, there is no tree of remarkable size. There are many oaks from 10 to 18 feet in circumference. One near Buchanan House, at the height of five feet from the ground, is 14 feet in circumference, and contains 200 feet of timber. Another oak is 18 feet in girth near the surface, but immediately branches out into five stems, called the Five Sisters of Buchanan. These trees are supposed to be 800 years old.