Sunday, 18 May 2014

Panmure Testimonial

The Panmure Testimonial is a land mark visible for miles around that stands on top of Camustone Hill at the western boundary of the Panmure Estate. It was erected in 1839 to commemorate the generosity of William Maule 1st Baron Panmure (1771-1852) by his grateful tenant farmers. During the hot dry summer of 1826 the harvest failed leading to widespread grain shortages and the consequent inability of many of his tenant farmers to pay their rent. The compassionate Lord Panmure's extraordinary response to their plight was to suspend the payment of his tenants rent until such time as they were able to afford to pay it, and in many cases he cancelled their arrears altogether. To show their gratitude the farmers celebrated his generosity, when they were able, by the erection of the handsome Testimonial as a permanent reminder of their Laird's kindness and humanity.

The 32 meter high Panmure Testimonial was designed by architect John Henderson. It is a circular fluted column that supports an urn on the top inside of which is a circular staircase leading up to a viewing platform beneath the urn. At the base of the column is an octagonal pedestal on which four arched buttresses support the column. John Henderson (1804-1862) is a Scottish architect who built many churches in Scotland. His father had been a gardener to Willliam Maule at Brechin Castle.

William Maule was the younger son of George Ramsay, 8th Earl of Dalhousie. In 1782 he succeeded to  the Panmure Estates on the death of his great-uncle William Maule, 1st Earl of Panmure, and in the same year assumed by Royal Licence the name and arms of Maule. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Panmure at the coronation of William IV in 1831.