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Tait's Tomb. Traditional Cache

Hidden : 05/10/2010
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Around 1780 Edinburgh lawyer John Tait purchased a small mansion and estate at Easter Tillicoultry which became the Taits’ summer residence. Harvieston House.

In 1787 Robert Burns stayed at Harviestoun and wrote the poem "The Banks of the Devon".

Tait died 1800 and was buried at the newly created Tait’s Tomb.

Harviestoun went to his son Crauford who spent a lot of money on agricultural and other improvements.

He replaced farm cottages with a magnificent steading and stable block and a walled garden, the latter with water features and a grotto, based on Milton’s Paradise Lost.

He rebuilt the house in Italianate style and in 1807 Tait bought Castle Campbell and the glen from the Duke of Argyll.

Crauford Tait’s extravagent improvements and a court case which prevented him from exploiting the Kellyburn coal mines led to his bankruptcy and the estate was adminstered by the Globe insurance company until 1859.

In 1859 Harviestoun was bought by Sir Alexander Orr, ex lord provost of Glasgow. He turned the house into a castle by adding the striking porch and tower. He also bought Aberdona and Sheardale.

His brother James inherited in 1874 followed by nephew John H Kerr who in turn was succeeded by his son J Ernest Kerr in 1904.

He was a renowned stock breeder winning many prizes for his Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn cattle.
The family moved to Aberdona and Harviestoun was empty for some time until the 1961 fire at Dollar Academy.
After that the castle was used as a prep school with the pupils being taken there daily by bus.

When the prep school left, the roof was removed to save the family having to pay rates.

The weather took its toll and in 1973 the castle was demolished. Some of the stone was used as a retaining wall at the ford at Castle Cambpell and for the cairn to Robert Burns at East Lodge.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ragenapr. Pengnrthf. Pnpur. Fgenvtug yvar. Onfr bs ebhaq cbfg.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)