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There is one of a fimilar appearance, but much larger; it , is now generally thought to be natural. On the top of the Knock-hill is the vestige of a small camp, with three regular entrenchments. Above Halley, and direétly opposite to the camp just mentioned, about the distance of three miles, are the remains of an ancient fortification, which is still called the Castle-hill. There are likewise several tumuli in the parish, generally believed to have been raised after the battle of Largs, over the bodies of the slain. This battle was fought in the reign of King Alexander III. in 1263, between the Scots and Norwegians. The Scotch army was commanded by Alexander Stewart, grandfather to the first Monarch of that family. The Norwegians or Danes, under Haco their King, were routed with great slaughter, and many of them taken prisoners. Haco himself escaped, with great difficulty, to his ships. •. The field of battle is still shown. A large plain, to the southward of the village of Largs, is supposed to have been the scene of a&tion. Cairns of stones were on it, formed, it was said, over pits, into which the bodies of the slain were thrown. A course granite stone, about 1o feet high, fioca in the centre of this field, supposed to be erected over the body of a chieftain. It has now fallen down. The Earl of Glasgow and Mr Brisbane had, each of them, Danish axes found in the field. Mr Brisbane presented one of them to the Society of Antiquarians for Scotland. Mr Wilson of Hailley, having occasion for stones to inclose part of his grounds in the year 1772, opened a small hill, called Margaret's Law, supposed to be natural, but found to be a collection of stones, containing upwards of 15,000 cart loads; in the centre of which were discovered five stone coffins, two of them containing five sculls each,
with other human bones, and several earthen urns. It is
Miscellaneous Remarks.-The inhabitants of this parish are, in general, sober, industrious, and economical. Though they enjoy very few conveniencies for making money, many. of them are possified of confiderable sums.
Almost all of them study to provide for futurity; and thus they are enabled to make the most of their fituation. Accordingly, they are in general richer than many in the adjacent parishes, whose advantages are greater.
The plague visited Largs in 1644, and carried off great numbers; among others, Mr Alexander Smith, then minister of the parish,
- - There
This fair is famous over the west of Scotland, and continues from Monday to Thursday. Great numbers of people, from 40 or 5c miles round, refort to it, some for buiness, and some for pleasure. Upwards of ico boats are often to be scen, on this occasion, riding in the Bay. The whole week is a kind of jubilee to the inhabitants, and a scene of diversion to others. Such a vast multitude cannot be accommodated with beds; and the Highlanders, in particular, do not seem to think such accommodation necessary. They spend the whole night in rustic sports, caroufing and dancing on the green to the found of the bagpipe. Every one who chooles is allowed to join in this, which forms their principal amuseument. The candidates for the dance are generally to numerous, that it is kept up without intermission during the whole time of the fair. This was formerly the general meeting place of Highlanders and Lowlanders, for the purpose of exchanging the commodities which each of them could spare for others of greater utility. Since shops have been opened, and pedlars have visited the different islands, this fair has gradually decreased; it is still, however, better frequented than any in the country. Few scenes can afford obječts more worthy of attention to the philosopher, who wishes to contemplate human nature in its simplett and most undisguised forms, or to the benevolent man, who rejoices to see that a great part of human happiness belongs to the virtuous poor.
Opposite the village of Largs, the water is several fathoms deep almost at the very shore. The inhabitants have generally a taste for the sea; and many of them have money, which might be employed to good purpose in trade.
All circumstances contribute to render Largs proper for a sea-port town. The only obstacles are, the want of a harbour, and good roads through the country, to facilitate the conveyance of goods by land. Were these to be removed, fome kind of manufacture to be established, and an act of Parliament procured for the roads, levying harbour dues, &c. the numbers and wealth of the inhabitants would at once be increased ; and this would operate as a stimulus to the improvement of the soil. A place possessing so many beauties and natural advantages, with the addition of trade and manufactures, would have inducements not only to retain the number of inhabitants, but to allure others to settle there. If the parish, however, has not the advantage of more opulent distrićts, in trade, manufactures, and commerce, it is entirely free of the vices which luxury introduces; and, in this troublesome and distraćted period, the inhabitants, with the exception of a few individuals, may be truly said both to fear God and honour their King.