Friday, December 6, 2019

Ross Priory

 There’s a programme here called The Last Of The Summer Wine, where three or four old blokes. Compo, Cleggy and Foggy get up to all kinds of mischief. It’s a very gentle comedy, set high in the Yorkshire Dales, full of very big women, and men who are scared of them. The theme music was played at the end of my Dad’s funeral, for obvious reasons. (Being the last of the summer wine, a good thing drawing to a close, not that my mother was a big woman and my dad was scared of her!)

It’s become a catch phrase for old men getting up to daft escapades.  They are having a Last of the Summer Wine moment. I have a patient (85 years of age) who goes out with his ‘walking club’ every Wednesday morning. He is the youngest of them. They all have had their scrapes with cancer and heart disease. But even in a force ten gales they are still out ‘getting up to no good’ somewhere.
If the weather is bad. I’m sure the coffee and cake stop happens sooner, the walk will be sheltered, and there are a few more jumpers and scarves. But off they go. One of them, who I only know as Jim, takes a video camera of the weather if it is good and then edits it and puts it to music.

He gave us a copy as the patient and I very often chat about the walks, the wildlife they have seen, the adventures they have had…. Coming across a lady and her pal who had fallen in the heather, one has broken her leg, another time one got bitten by a snake, being run over by a mad cyclists on the tow path (their Chris Hoy moment) and then there’s the caravan……a rundown caravan on the side of the loch where a man is building his own house, He has been building it for thirty years and it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.
I have told him he should write a small book. The walks are official and guide book walks, in the  gentle section,  but he should write a companion book for them, so people could go and follow in their footsteps.

One of their walks is round Ross Priory.
It sits near the village of Gartocharn on the south-west shores of Loch Lomond. Technically the building is owned by Strathclyde University.]The setting is stunning, and more importantly, its open for lunch and dinner, with beautiful views over the loch, the Luss hills and Ben Lomond.
Even in bad weather, it’s rather impressive. Which is handy.

The building is 18th century and much of the house is by the architect James Gillespie Graham (1775-1855) who was obviously fond of a Gothic touch.
 Like most old Scottish houses, including mine, it has a ghost. It also has a curse ( mine doesn’t).
A Buchannan of Ross Priory gave a Jacobite shelter then clyped on him to the government.

 On a more literary note, Sot Walter Scott wrote much of the "The Lady of the Lake” here and his novel "Rob Roy" was penned while he was sitting in what is now called ‘The Scott room.
On a sporting note, the house stands in 173 acres and has its own 9 whole golf course.

 Caro Ramsay 6th December


  1. Beautiful to look at, but I don't think I'd want to pay the heating bill...

  2. What's the summer wine folks attitude toward accepting auxiliary members from the colonies?