Bishop Richard Pococke

June 1760 : Bishop Richard Pococke visited the area : Tours in Scotland 1747, 1750, 1760 by Pococke, Richard, bishop of Meath, 1704-1765; Kemp, Daniel William A publication for the Scottish History Society - pdf held in archive

Ardchattan - Letter XIV pages 67 - 72 (which is p 148 of the pdf) - fascinating report on A "TOWN" between what we now call Craigneuk and Beregonium ??? except that in this account they are one and the same things .. and that Dun McSneam is the other side (now Beregonium)

We went on in the same beautifull country having Lough Etive to the right, and came to the end of the mountains which terminate in a perpendicular rock exactly like the ancient Anxur now called Terracina in the way from Rome to Naples. This rock is called Dun Vallin Re (the Hill of the King's town) and by the Cromwelian soldiers Craig Nuke, and this is the entrance, so that the ancient city rock seems to have been called Vallin or Ballin Re (the City of the King). In the new map of Scotland it is called Berigonium, and seem'd to have been anciently the Chief City in Scotland, and I was told that Buchanan gives it that name. Cambden calls it Beregonium, a Castle wherein the Courts of Justice were anciently kept, but what foundation there is for this name I cannot form any judgement. This rock consists of large pebbles and stones cemented together, and there seemed to me to be some Iron Ore in a sort of Dust between them. Just within it is the Church dedicated to Saint Columbus and being called Kill gives the name to the Hamlet hear it.
A quarter of an English measure mile to the west is a Rocky hill extending a furlong from South to North and close to the Sea, this is called the Dun McSneam (the Fortress of McSneam) all over it are marks of the foundations of Buildings. In the Castle etc, they show the place were the well was, and it is now so moist, that Flaggs grow about it. From the other Rock to this is an Elevated Bank which is supposed to have been a street, and is called the Salt market, there seem to have been houses towards the sea and to the north; there being a sort of terrance on each side; and to the north is a small bog which might have been a pond to supply the town with water. There is a long stone on the south of it. Before I came to the first rock called Ballin Re I saw two Carns consisting of heaps of stones. From the north end of this on the edge of a bog are signs of another street extending about a furlong to the west, towards another rocky hill, and this is called the meal Market, which might be a suburb of the town. The seas seems to have left this place, for the ground between this last street and the sea consists of such pebbles as are on the beach. They have a tradition that the Scots from Ireland landed here.

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