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Ross Doocot

A beehive doocot in Learmonth Gardens in Linlithgow, opposite the Union Canal basin, the Ross Doocot is situated on the hillside immediately to the south of the town centre. The doocot was built in the 16th C. and was originally to be found in a garden on the High Street below its present location. However it was moved to serve as a monument to Alexander Learmonth, who was Provost of Linlithgow from 1802 to 1807. It contains 370 nest boxes but is now inaccessible.

It original owner, Baron Ross of Halkhead, made a gruesome discovery in 1699 when he found a murder scene within the doocot. It was revealed that his gardener, Gabriel Mowbray, had killed his daughter some months before, when unable to feed her. Unfortunately, the blame had fallen on another - a deaf mute called 'Brother Michael'. Unable to defend himself, Michael had been put to death, but his ghost was said to have led Baron Ross to the true killer, who was duly hanged at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.


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