Utilitarian, or, to speak more gently, "the requirements of the age." have much to answer for in the way of removing so many of the time-hallowed memorials of the past. The venerable reliques of a byegone age, in the shape of old mainsions, castles, nay, even churches, whose walls have stood the blasts of centuries, suggest only to the business man of the present day the fact that they occupy a fine site ; and soon the ?at goes forth which levels them with the dust, though perhaps on their foundations may arise structures far exceeding them in elegance and comfort. Such has been the case over all the country, and Dundee forms no exception to the rule. One after another of her old mansions is torn down, and, saving perhaps a few of the best stones, the whole material is carted away to some convenient spot, where a modest signboard intimates "Rubbish shot here."
We have been led into the above reflections by observing the operations going on in Barrack Street, where the two remaining wings of the old convent of monastery are being taken down to make way for an extensive erection on the site by Bailie Buchan. The building is of unknown antiquity, but was in use as a religious house in the time of Queen Mary, who granted the garden, now better known as the Howff, to the town as a burying ground, the building itself seems to have come into the possession of the family of Forrester, proprietors of the estate of Milnhill, in the Carse of Gowrie, and was fitted up by them as a town mansion.
How long it remained so we cannot at this moment say, as that family has long been extinct, but all our day it has been in the hands of other proprietors, and has been appotioned out as dwelling-houses for working men. The vaults under it were occupied as warehouses. One space in the north wing was well known as the Hammermen's Hall, and must have been a fine room. The windows of it, however, are modern. In clearing it out the remains of a finely carved fireplace have come to light, and are very well worthy of a visit by the curious. The building itself is some four storeys high, and the staircase is of the most massive description; few such are built nowadays. The apartments are small and mostly wainscotted. This work does not seem older than the middle of last century. Besides, some of the larger rooms seem to have been modernised, even more recently, and new fireplaces added. Altogether, the whole interior has a quaint like appearance, and carries the mind back to the days of early Georges. On removing the wainscotting from over a fireplace in the north wing, the remains of a finely carved mantlepiece have been discovered. On it there have been two coats of arms, one which had been ruthlessly defaced by the workmen in order to get their pannelling close to the wall. The Roman letters D-H alone remain, the sheild being hewn off. On the other side is a shield, charged ; base, a sheaf of wheat, surmounted be a chevron, the upper quarters having a star on each. The letters on each side are I. and F., evidently the initials of some member of the Milnhill family. A quaint window frame, which had furnished a borrowed light from the long cloistered passage, has been secured in preservation. On one of the panes is the following inscription, evidently written with a diamond:- "Eternity, Eternity, O Eternity. Thomas Hanby. June 21 1772" This same Hanby has a history, and must at the above date have reesided in the building. We observe Mr Charles Lawson, artist, has been and still is, engaged taking drawings of the rooms, stair cases, inscriptions, &c., so that though the original ceases to exist we may yet see the more interesting features of this ancient building reproduced by the aid of the engraver. We hope some of our local savans will be at the trouble of watching over the progress of demolition, as some new and startling discoveries may be mare ere the walls are torn down. Some curious articles which have been removed are in the custody of Bailie Buchan, and may be seen at his office, Bank Strret.-Cor.
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