Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hundy Mundy

After taking up my post as security-caretaker/tour-guide at Mellerstain many hours were spent learning and discovering everything I could about this fabulous place. Gazing out of the south-facing windows one morning something in the distance puzzled me. It looked like some sort of entrance to a building, except there was no building! Just this structure, standing 'twixt some trees about a couple of miles away. I soon discovered it was a part of the Mellerstain estate called Hundy Mundy. A Gothic folly built to draw the eye to the southern extent of Mellerstain House in the Scottish Borders. Built by William Adam circa 1726 it is just a tall archway between square towers, each topped by a stone pyramid. It was built with stone from an old tower house which had once guarded this area from marauding 'reivers' and other thieves. A Pictish Princess called Hunimundias was said to have lived in this tower. Because, so the story goes, the children of Mellerstain couldn't pronounce Hunimundias they called it Hundy Mundy. That name remains today and is on maps and documents concerning this area. There are quite a few of these old 'tower houses' in the Scottish Borders. There's one in the town of Gordon and another in the village of Smailholm, both close to Mellerstain. The Smailholm Tower is a most interesting place to visit. Perched on high ground it commands an extensive view for miles around. These towers were built to house and protect the locals from those who would invade the territory, thieving and murdering if they got half a chance. Using my basic video gadget, which has no optical zoom, it's not possible to show Mellerstain House - other than a smudgy light gap in the trees. The digital zoom feature is next to useless, but heigh-ho - you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear This old folly, Hundy Mundy, is now the centrepiece of a woodland or natural burial site, known as Hundy Mundy Wood, but still owned by Mellerstain Estate.
video

10 comments:

The Bug said...

Another nice slice of where you live - thanks! Keep 'em coming!

Monkey Man said...

Not often youi get to put a voice to a blogger. Nice story. Thanks for showing us a wonderful piece of area history.

DUTA said...

I like both the name Hundy Mundy and the story that goes with it.

Towers everywhere were meant to protect from invaders but history shows that they were not always so efficient in doing this.

Argent said...

That certainly looks like a lovely last resting place. I think I would be at peace somewhere like that. Thanks for showing us it.

Lynn said...

When I saw your post title I thought, he's talking about my day - granddaughter to play school, farm store for fall vegetables and seeds to plant, grocery store, pick-up granddaughter, laundry.....it goes on. Then I saw it was yet another lovely view of Mellerstain House. Thanks so much. I may, however, refer to my Monday's as "Hundy Mundy" from now on. Kinda catchy.

Land of shimp said...

Oh!! I've seen something similar to Hundy Mundy before, but I never quite knew what to make of such structures.

I loved the story, and seeing Hundy Mundy up close, and personal.

It is a lovely resting place, and the gravestone you showed intrigued me a great deal. It seemed sort of free form.

I hope it isn't odd to ask, but who ends up buried near Hundy Mundy? Is it the estate's graveyard?

That was a really nice lift to the day, Philip. Thank you so much for filming and posting.

the walking man said...

Isn't it just like a child to name a place according their ability and have that name stick for the duration?

Beautiful view of Hundy-Mundy and the surrounding countryside. A bit of narrative well told Philip.

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

What a clever and lovely way to draw the eyes to that spot. It must have worked becuase it got your attention :0

Barry said...

It is beautiful and it has a great history. I love the story and the picture.

lovelyprism said...

security-caretaker/tour-guide... what a wonderful job and a wonderful place to get to explore freely. I love these stories, Philip.