A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
FILLAN'S, ST., a village, in the parish of Comrie, county of Perth; containing 172 inhabitants. It is a beautiful and romantic place, situated on the north side of Loch Earn, and consists of a number of wellbuilt houses, rendered of pleasing appearance by shrubberies in front. Here was established some years since the St. Fillan's Society, holding annual meetings for the encouragement of Highland games and dress. A school is supported by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who allows the teacher a salary of £20, and a dwelling-house and garden. On the summit of Dun-Fillan hill is a rock known as St. Fillan's Chair, and two small cavities are said to have been made by the saint, the impression of his knees from his constant habit of prayer.
FINDHORN, a burgh and sea-port town, in the parish of Kinloss, county of Elgin, 4 miles (N. by E.) from Forres; containing 806 inhabitants. This place, the name of which signifies "the mouth of the Erne," stands on the northern boundary of the county, and near the river Erne, or Findhorn, which expands into a capacious bay called Loch Findhorn, on the west of the town, and communicates by a narrow strait with the Moray Frith. It is a burgh of barony, the sea-port of Forres, and the property of H. A. I. Munro, Esq.; it is inhabited chiefly by fishermen, seafaring persons, and a few merchants and tradespeople, and is the seat of a very considerable traffic. This is the third town of the same name, the first, which stood about a mile west of the bar at the mouth of the harbour, and the second, a little to the north of the present town, having both been washed away by the sea. Even now, only a small space, containing a broken bank of sand, intervenes between the tide-mark and the north end of the town, forming the sole rampart against the tremendous swell occasioned by north-easterly winds; and this is sometimes so torn and drifted by hurricanes, that the sand covers the streets and gardens to the depth of ten or twelve feet, threatening the town with destruction at no distant period. The river, affording fine trout-angling, and famed for its romantic scenery, rises in the mountains near Badenoch, and, after a serpentine and impetuous course of about sixty miles from the south-west, through the counties of Inverness, Nairn, and Elgin, often carrying, in rainy seasons, desolation to the neighbouring crops, expands into the bay already referred to, and joins the Frith.
Findhorn is one of the safest harbours on the coast; it measures in length, from the bar at the north to its southern limit, three and a half miles, the breadth varying from a little more than half a mile to two miles. There are two quays of hewn stone, one of which was recently erected with a breast-work, by which it is joined to the old pier, at an expense of upwards of £1300; superior accommodation is afforded for shipping, and the depth of water in the channel, where most shallow, is ten and a half feet at the lowest neap tide, and from thirteen to seventeen at high tide. A considerable part of the bay is dry at low water; but the river, in some places half a mile broad, has, at the lowest ebb of stream tides, from twelve to fifteen feet of water, in which the largest vessels can float in safety. The earth and sand bank at the entrance, called the bar, and by some supposed to be a portion of the land encroached upon by the sea, would prove dangerous from its shifting with strong floods or easterly winds; but the pilots understand its nature so well, that an accident is scarcely ever heard of. The fisheries pursued are those of salmon, herrings, and haddock, which are carried on with great spirit, and prove a source of considerable emolument to the proprietors: about sixty men are engaged, who follow their avocation in large boats carrying several persons and from eight to ten tons' weight of fish. The salmon-fishery produces annually, on an average, about six hundred boxes of fish, each valued at £5, and sent, packed in ice, to the London market: the herring-fishery, which has been carried on for above twenty years, has for a long time supplied 20,000 barrels every year; and the haddock-fishery is valued at £2000. There are twelve vessels belonging to the port, together registered at 1000 tons, and occupied in an extensive coasting-trade. The imports comprise great quantities of Sunderland and Newcastle coal, and lime from the same places; coal from the Frith of Forth, slates from Ballichulish, iron from Wales and Staffordshire, salt from Liverpool, and large supplies of bone-dust for manure. The exports for provincial use consist of herrings, grain, eggs, and about 2000 loads of timber every year from the forests of Darnaway and Altyre. The port is also visited by foreign vessels, bringing iron, timber, and tar from the Baltic, and timber from British North America; and there are regular trading smacks from London, Leith, and Liverpool, with cargoes for Forres, Elgin, and Nairn. A very good turnpike-road runs from Findhorn to Forres, between which places there is a daily post; and from this road a branch diverges at the bridge of Kinloss, eastward to Burgh-Head and Elgin. Fairs are held in the town for the sale of sheep, blackcattle, and horses, on the second Wednesday in March, July, and October, O. S. An Assembly's school was till lately supported, the master of which had a salary of £20, and about £12 fees, with an allowance of £10 from Mr. Munro, of Novar, in lieu of land and other accommodations: a school-room and a house for the master were built a few years since, at a cost of £160, raised by subscription and public collections. This school is now maintained from the funds of the Free Church, and is in strict connexion with it.
FINDOCHTY, a village, in the parish of Rathven, county of Banff, 2½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Buckie; containing 414 inhabitants. This is a fishing-village on the coast of the Moray Frith, a short distance from Findochty point, and a mile and a half north-east of Rathven. It was founded in 1716, on the property of the then Earl of Findlater. The fishery here is very extensive, affording employment to nearly the whole of the male population, whose reputation for the superior cure of herrings and other fish has been maintained for upwards of a century. About forty boats, chiefly of the larger size, belong to the place.
FINDON, or Finnan, a village, in the parish of Banchory-Devenick, county of Kincardine, 6½ miles (S. by W.) from Aberdeen; containing 190 inhabitants. This is a fishing-village, situated on the eastern coast, near Girdleness, and having a small harbour; it is celebrated for the finely-flavoured fish called the "Finnan haddock," which are caught here, and cured in a peculiar manner, by the smoke of peat. So delicate is this fish that it can rarely be sold fresh, in an undepreciated condition, at the distance of Edinburgh. Several boats, and a large portion of the inabitants, are engaged in the fishery, and, in the summer season, in that of herrings in the Moray Frith.
FINNIESTON, a village and western suburb, within the jurisdiction of the city of Glasgow, county of Lanark; containing 2096 inhabitants. This place, which forms part of Anderston, was commenced by the founder of that district on a plan laid down by his chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Finnie, from whom it derived its name; it consists of several streets, crossing each other at right angles. The houses are well built, with garden ground attached to each, and stretch northward from the banks of the Clyde, on which are some handsome villas, occupied by the opulent merchants and manufacturers of the city, and which, from their elevated site, command pleasingly interesting views. In the village is a spacious manufactory of cut-glass, in which many articles of the most elegant and brilliant quality are produced. To the east of this place are Grahamston and Brownfield, formerly distinguished as detached suburban villages, but now forming an integral part of the city.
FINTRAY, a parish, in the district and county of Aberdeen, 2½ miles (E.) from Kintore; containing 1032 inhabitants. This place is said to have derived its name from a Gaelic term signifying "the fair bank or boundary of the river." It was formerly celebrated for its abbey, nothing of which now remains but the foundations; it was called the Northern Abbey of Lindores, and is supposed to have been erected in 1386, that date having been found upon a stone thought to have been, on account of the situation in which it was discovered, a part of the ancient building. The parish is in that part of Aberdeenshire called Formartin, and stretches from five to six miles along the bank of the river Don; it is from three to four miles in breadth, and contains 6500 acres. It is bounded on the north and west by the parish of Keith-Hall; on the south by the Don, which separates it from the parishes of Dyce, Kinellar, and Kintore; and on the east by New Machar. The ground rises gradually towards the north to the height of about 300 feet, after which it forms an easy declivity. The violent and destructive floods of the river, which runs from west to east, and falls into the sea near Old Aberdeen, are among the most remarkable events of modern times connected with the history of the parish: the first of which account was taken happened in 1768, at harvest time, and carried away the larger part of the crops from the lower grounds, just as it was ready to be laid up in stacks. Another inundation took place in August, 1799, and, in addition to a considerable quantity of hay, swept away much grain then standing uncut. A still more violent flood occurred on Aug. 4, 1829, desolating to a great extent the property of several individuals; the water rose about fourteen feet above its ordinary level, and nearly eighteen inches higher than it had done in any former case in memory. Good embankments, however, have been constructed; and at Fintray and Wester Fintray, about 300 acres of land of very fine quality are now protected.
The soil varies considerably; in the neighbourhood of the river is a deep, rich, alluvial mould, while at some distance inward the soil is much lighter. On the higher land it is poor, consisting chiefly of peat-moss and moor; but in the northern quarter it improves in quality, and rewards the labour of good cultivation. There are from 5000 to 6000 acres cultivated, or occasionally in tillage; about 800 are pasture or waste; and between 600 and 700 under wood. The produce is oats, peas, hay, potatoes, sometimes a little barley, and large quantities of turnips, to the growth of which the soil is well adapted. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4130. The cattle are of the Aberdeenshire breed, many of which are fed and fattened, and the horses are of superior quality: a few sheep only are reared, and these chiefly for gentlemen's pleasure-grounds. The improvements in draining, inclosing, and embanking have been considerable within the last few years; and the farm-houses and offices are in a far better condition than formerly. The plantations are in a flourishing state. The prevailing rock is granite, which is found in large quantities, and of superior quality; limestone may also be obtained, but fuel is too scarce to admit of the necessary process for converting it into lime. There is a good residence, built in the cottage style, upon the lands of Disblair; but the chief mansion is Fintray House, a large and excellent edifice lately erected by the chief proprietor of the parish.
The manufacture of fine woollen-cloth is pursued at Cothal mills, established in 1798, and regularly carried on since that period: it produces about 8000 yards per month. The recent introduction of the manufacture of Tweed plaid has enabled the proprietor to employ a considerably larger number of hands than formerly, to meet the call for an extensive supply of this article, to the production of which his works are particularly adapted. The inhabitants of the parish are, however, chiefly engaged in husbandry. There are well-constructed commutation roads passing in all directions through the parish. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Aberdeen and synod of Aberdeen, and the patronage is vested in Sir John Forbes, Bart.: the stipend is £217, with a manse, built in 1804, and a glebe of the annual value of £10. The church, which is a commodious and substantial building, was erected in 1821, and has 500 sittings, all free. There is a parochial school, in which Latin and mathematics are taught, with the usual branches of education; the master has a salary of £28, with about £23 fees, a portion of the Dick bequest, a house, and a quarter of an acre of garden-ground. Another school is open, in which the instruction is of the same kind as in the parochial school; the master receives the interest of £200 left by the Rev. Dr. Morison, of Disblair, with fees, an allowance from the Dick bequest, and a house and garden. A silver cup is still in possession of the minister, having the date of 1632, and believed to have been cast from a silver head of St. Meddan, who was the tutelar saint of the parish; it is reported to have been carried in procession, on account of its magical virtues in procuring suitable weather for the purposes of agriculture.
FINTRY, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 17 miles (N.) from Glasgow; containing, with the villages of Gonochan and Newtown, and the Clachan, 884 inhabitants. This parish is said to have derived its name from Gaelic terms signifying "Fair land," and applied in consequence of the picturesque appearance of parts of the district, in contrast with the dreary moors and barren mountains by which they are surrounded. It is of an irregular form, extending about six miles in length, from east to west, and five in breadth; and comprises 13,000 acres, of which 1000 are arable, 100 under wood and plantations, and the remainder hill and moor pasture, chiefly laid out in large sheep-farms. The surface, which embraces some of the highest ground between the Friths of Clyde and Forth, is considerably diversified, and marked principally by three ranges of hills, and two intermediate, and beautifully rural and fertile valleys. The ranges of hills are, the Fintry hills, on the north; a continuation of the Killearn line, traversing the middle of the parish, and uniting with the Dundaff range, on the west, in St. Ninian's parish; and a southern chain, continued from the Campsie Fells and the Meikle Binn. These elevations are rich in fern, moss, and lichen, and in the various valuable botanical specimens peculiar to such localities; the moors abound with grouse and a variety of wild-fowl. The chief rivers are the Carron and the Endrick, both of which rise in the parish, and, watering the two valleys already referred to, contribute materially to enliven their delightful scenery. The Carron, celebrated in song, running by the margin of the Campsie hills, forms the boundary line, for the distance of about two miles, between Fintry and the parish of Campsie, after which, leaving the valley, it enters a new district, and eventually empties itself into the Forth. The Endrick, which receives a considerable accession to its waters by the junction of the Gonochan burn, is a bold and precipitous stream, passing with great noise, in some places, along its rocky and rugged channel, and exhibiting a magnificent cascade in its progress over a lofty rock, commonly called the "Loup of Fintry," ninety feet in height; it loses itself at last in Loch Lomond. Both these rivers are well stocked with trout; and in the latter, below the waterfall, a species called par is exceedingly numerous, and affords fine sport to the lovers of angling.
The soil is in general productive; and oats and barley, which are the staple crops, are raised of very excellent quality, together with hay, a great quantity of which is obtained from an extensive tract called the Carron bog, situated near the river of the same name. The fine sheep-walks, however, formed of many small farms broken up several years ago, and upon which large numbers of live stock range, confer on the parish its chief character, and are the principal source of wealth to the landowner. About 4000 sheep are usually kept, and nearly 1000 head of cattle, besides a good supply of Ayrshire cows for the dairy, the produce of which is of superior quality, and is disposed of in the neighbouring towns and villages. Open drains are frequently cut along the margin of the hills, to the great advantage of the pastures; and several excellent farm-houses, with offices, have been built in different parts of the parish within these few years. The rateable annual value of Fintry is £4610. The rocks are of several kinds, and become so prominent in the northern chain of hills as to invest the scenery with a character of singular variety and grandeur; they chiefly comprise granite, whinstone, freestone, and redstone, here called firestone, and in the north-western portion of the parish is a hill called Doun, formed partly of a perpendicular rock about fifty feet in height, distributed into numerous beautiful basaltic columns. Small quantities of coal are also found in different places. The plantations, some of which are recent, consist of various sorts of fir, oak, beech, &c.; and encompassing Culcreuch House, an ancient mansion with modern additions, situated in the north-west, is an extensive sweep of fine old timber.
The chief village, designated Newtown, was built to accommodate the population that sprang up in consequence of the erection of a cotton-factory by the late Mr. Speirs, nearly fifty years since; it is situated in the western part of the parish. The establishment contains 20,000 spindles, and employs about 260 hands, the machinery being partly driven by the water of the river Endrick, collected for that purpose in a reservoir covering about thirty acres. The intercourse kept up with Glasgow by the conveyance of the raw material and the manufactured goods, is said to have been the occasion of a material improvement in the state of the roads, and to have opened a larger market for the sale of the farm produce. The village, the population of which exceeds 500, also contains a distillery, erected in 1816, and producing annually 70,000 gallons of malt whisky. There are likewise two hamlets, one called Clachan, and the other Gonachan, in the former of which are the church and manse, and in the latter the parochial school, and near it a small wool-factory. The numerous lambs bred here are generally sent for sale to Glasgow, with a part of the dairy produce, the other part being disposed of at Campsie and Kirkintilloch; the black-cattle are sold at Falkirk. The parish is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Duke of Montrose; the minister's stipend is £155, with a manse, lately rebuilt, and a glebe valued at £22 per annum. The church is a neat structure with a tower at the west end, built in 1823, and contains 500 sittings. The master of the parochial school has a salary of £34, with about £20 fees, and a house and garden. Another school has lately been opened in the village, chiefly for the benefit of the children of those employed in the factory; about 100 attend in the day-time, and fifty or sixty in the evening. The premises, which are spacious, and comprise a house for the master, were erected in consequence of a legacy of £3000 for that purpose by Mr. John Stewart, a merchant of Fintry, who died in 1836, and who also left £500 to form a fund for a savings' bank in the parish. There is a small subscription library, which has been established several years. The only relic of antiquity is the ruin of an ancient castle, with a fosse and mound, the former residence of the Grahams, of Fintry; it stood on the south side of Fintry hill, opposite Sir John de Graham's castle in the parish of St. Ninian's, which was burnt down by Edward I. after the battle of Falkirk. The parish confers the title of Baron on the Duke of Montrose.
Firth and Stennes
FIRTH and STENNESS, a parish, in the county of Orkney, the former district 6 miles (W. by N.) and the latter 8 miles (W.) from Kirkwall; containing 1167 inhabitants, of whom 584 are in Firth. These ancient parishes, which appear to have been united soon after the abolition of episcopacy in Scotland, are situated on the Mainland of the Orkney Islands, and are bounded on the north by the parishes of Harray and Rendall, on the east by the parish of Kirkwall, on the south by that of Orphir, and on the west by the parishes of Sandwick and Stromness. The coast, including the small island of Damsay and the holm of Grimbister, detached portions of Firth, lying in the bay of that name, is about ten miles in length, and the shores low and flat, with few or no headlands of importance. The bay of Firth abounds with fish of various kinds; and oysters of large size, and of excellent quality, are found in considerable numbers. The island of Damsay, more than a mile in circumference, is extremely beautiful; its surface is covered with verdure, affording luxuriant pasture for sheep, of which a few hundreds of superior breed are kept within its limits. On this island was anciently a castle, which at that time was regarded as a place of much strength; and there was subsequently a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, of which, however, little more than the site remains.
The parish is about nine miles in extreme length, and varies greatly in breadth: the number of acres, from the great irregularity of form, has not been ascertained. The surface is broken by numerous ridges of hilly moorland, covered with heath and moss to the very summit; the soil near the shore is a deep mossy loam, and in other parts shallow. There are some portions of arable land in good cultivation, yielding tolerable crops, and some fields of rich pasture near the borders of the loch of Stenness, and in parts of Firth; but in general little improvement has been made in agriculture. The loch of Stenness, to the north-west, is a noble sheet of water nearly five miles in length, and divided almost into two separate lakes by the projection of a strip of land from the north-west to the bridge of Broigar. In that portion of the lake which is bounded by the parish of Harray on the east, are numerous small holms, frequented by great numbers of aquatic fowl of various kinds; and the shores are embellished with fields of natural grass, alternated with others of highly-cultivated land, and studded with neat houses belonging to the proprietors of small farms that acknowledge no superior landlord. On the peninsula dividing the lake are the celebrated stones of Stenness, one of the most extensive and complete Druidical relics in the county, consisting of a circle, nearly entire, of massive and lofty columns, beyond which are a semicircle, with several single stones irregularly placed, and numerous cairns. Burness, a seat in the parish, is a handsome mansion finely situated on the shore of the bay of Firth. There is but one village, namely that designated Phinstown, seated at the western extremity of the bay: the platting of straw affords employment to part of the females, who work at their own homes for the manufacturers of Kirkwall and Stromness. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cairston and synod of Orkney. The minister's stipend is £158, of which part is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and two glebes valued together at £27 per annum; patron, the Earl of Zetland. There are two churches, that of Firth, built in 1813, and the church of Stenness, in 1793, and repaired and reseated in 1816; they are both neat structures, and contain each about 700 sittings. Divine service is performed in each regularly every Sunday. The whole of the services were until recently performed by the incumbent alone; but he is now assisted by a missionary, for whose support the General Assembly give the annual sum of £30, while one of the proprietors contributes £20. There are also, in the parish, places of worship for members of the Free Church and the United Secession. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £26, with a house and garden: the fees are very inconsiderable. There is in each of the districts a school supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, who pay each of the teachers a salary of £15 per annum. In the neighbourhood of Garmiston, in Stenness, is an extensive plain between two hills, on which are numerous tumuli, supposed to cover the graves of the slain in the battle of Summersdale, or Bigswell, which took place in the reign of James V., between the inhabitants, under Sir James Sinclair, son of Robert, Earl of Orkney, and a body of men under John, Earl of Caithness, who, pretending to have some claim to the earldom, landed at Howton in order to take forcible possession of it.
Fish Holm Isle
FLADA-WHEIN, an isle, in the parish of Kilmuir, county of Inverness. This is one of the Hebrides, lying about six miles northward from the nearest point of the Isle of Skye; it is two miles in circumference, and its coasts abound with fish. The quality of the grass here is very good, and the land is wholly appropriated to the pasturage of sheep. Although the isle stands in the midst of a salt, deep, and rapid channel, it contains two or three fresh-water springs. In its vicinity are four smaller islets, each capable of rearing a few sheep.
FLADDAY ISLE, in the parish of Harris, county of Inverness. This is a flat islet, situated within the island of Scarp, at the entrance of Loch Resort, and on the western side of the Mainland of Harris.
FLANNAN ISLES, a group of seven islands, in the parish of Lewis, county of Inverness. They lie seventeen miles north-west of Gallan Head, in Lewis, and are supposed to be the Insulæ Sacræ of ancient writers, and to have been the residence of the Druids from the number of Druidical remains still found upon them. The largest islet has an area of about eighty acres, and the second in size perhaps twenty acres, and both are noted for fattening sheep; the rest are of much smaller dimensions, and altogether unoccupied. Various kinds of sea-fowl resort hither; and when, on the arrival of a boat, they come out of their holes, they are described as covering the surface of the islands, and giving them "the appearance of a meadow thickly enamelled with field-flowers." Though this group is much dreaded by mariners, it would seem that the danger of approach is not great.
FLAWCRAIG, a hamlet, in the parish of Kinnaird, county of Perth, 1 mile (S. W. by W.) from Kinnaird; containing 44 inhabitants. It lies in the southern part of the parish, and on the road between Kinnaird and Fingask.
FLISK, a parish, in the district of Cupar, in the county of Fife, 8 miles (N. W. by N.) from Cupar; containing, with the hamlet of Glenduckie, 270 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name, descriptive of wetness or moisture, from the situation of the lower grounds, which, stretching along the Tay on one continued level, were formerly subject to occasional inundations. The parish lies on the south bank of the river, and is about four miles in length, and of very irregular form, varying from half a mile to two miles in breadth; it comprises 2500 acres, of which 430 are pasture, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder arable land in profitable cultivation. The surface near the river is flat, but rises gradually towards the south till it attains a considerable elevation, forming part of a hilly range, of which the highest points are, Lyndemus hill, Logie Law, and Glenduckie hill, the first of which is about 750 feet above the level of the river. The beach is clayey, and is defended by an accumulation of shingle thrown up by the tide. The soil is, for the greater portion, a loam intermixed with clay; in some parts, especially towards the river, clay and gravel; and in others, a rich black loam of great fertility. The scenery is in several places enlivened with flourishing plantations, chiefly of larch and Scotch fir; the timber in Flisk wood, of more ancient growth, is mostly oak. There are numerous springs of excellent quality, which afford an ample supply of water. The crops are, barley, oats, wheat, potatoes, peas, and turnips. The system of agriculture is improved; draining has been practised to a considerable extent, and some progress made in inclosing the farms; the fences are mainly stone dykes, and are kept in good repair, and bone-dust has been extensively introduced as manure. The cattle are usually of the old Fifeshire breed, crossed occasionally with the Forfarshire and Teeswater; but the number is very limited, and few, if any, sheep are reared. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3027.
The substrata are generally secondary trap, of which the upper part of the hills is composed, and red sandstone in the lower districts; greenstone is also found in several places, with agates and other stones. Along the margin of the river Tay are the debris of an ancient forest, covered at full tide, with four or five feet of water; the appearance is that of peat-moss, and at low water the stumps of trees, with their roots attached, are seen resting on a stratum of clay. The nearest market-towns are, Cupar, Dundee, and Newburgh, to which the farmers resort for the sale of produce. There are several stations in the parish for the salmon-fishery, and also two for sperling; the quantity of fish taken is not great, but they are of excellent quality. The manufacture of potato-flour is carried on at the farm of East Flisk, where a mill has been erected for the purpose, which is propelled by a steam-engine of two-horse power. Coal, tiles, slates, and stone are landed on the beach; but as there is no pier, the inhabitants derive little other benefit from the navigation of the river. The road from Newburgh to Woodhaven, maintained by statute labour, runs through the parish. Flisk is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife, and patronage of the Earl of Zetland; the minister's stipend is £151. 11., with a manse and glebe. The church, erected in 1790, near the site of the old church, then taken down, is a neat plain edifice adapted for a congregation of 150 persons; it is beautifully situated on the bank of the river, and about four miles from Glenduckie, the inhabitants of which hamlet attend the church of Dunbog, it being more convenient for them. The parochial school affords a good education to the children of the parish; the master has a salary of £34, with £10 fees, and a house and garden.
Near the western extremity of the parish are the ruins of the ancient castle of Ballinbreich, seated on an eminence overlooking the river, and surrounded with a plantation; it was for many ages the residence of the earls of Rothes, of whom Andrew, the fourth earl, was buried in the old church. Being, however, deserted by that family, the castle was sold, together with the adjoining lands, and has been suffered to fall into decay. The only remains are, part of the walls, of red sandstone, which appear to have inclosed an area 150 feet in length and seventy feet in width, and some of the ancient timber, of which two remarkably fine chesnut-trees have been preserved. Near the castle, and within the grounds, is a spot called Chapel Hill, said to have been the site of some religious building, of which the foundations may with difficulty be traced. There are also slight remains of another chapel, in Flisk wood, consisting of low walls; but whether this building or the ruin near the castle is referred to in the enumeration of the parishes of Fife, in which this parish is designated "Flisk cum Capella," is uncertain. Several stone coffins of rude form, containing urns in which were burnt bones, were a few years since discovered on the farms of East Flisk and Belhelvie; burnt bones were also found in a cairn on the summit of a mount, on Fliskmill farm; and on Fliskmill hill are some stones called St. Muggin's Seat. Silver half-crowns, shillings, and sixpences, coined in the reign of Edward III., have been also found on the lands of East Flisk. The Rev. John Wemyss, principal of St. Leonard's College, St. Andrew's, in 1592; and the Rev. John Fleming, D.D., author of the Philosophy of Zoology and History of British Animals, and professor of natural philosophy in King's College, Aberdeen, in 1832, were ministers of this parish.
FLODDA, an island, in the parish of Barra, county of Inverness; containing 53 inhabitants. It lies near the island of Helesay, in the sound of Flodda, and eastward of the Mainland of Barra. Flodda Sound opens to the south, and ships of large burthen may ride in it with safety at all seasons.
FOCHABERS, a burgh of barony, in the parish of Bellie, county of Elgin, 7 miles (E. S. E.) from Elgin; containing 1135 inhabitants. This place is situated in the vicinity of Gordon Castle, on rising ground near the confluence of a small rivulet with the Spey, over which latter is a fine bridge of three arches, having a waterway of 340 feet. It is a neat village, built on a regular plan, with a handsome square in the centre, ornamented on each side with trees, and streets entering the square at right angles; and is governed by a baronbailie, appointed by the superior. A village of the same name formerly stood about a mile northward of the present, and still nearer to Gordon Castle; but it ceased to exist on the formation and rise of the modern village. Among the most conspicuous buildings are, the parochial church, and a highly-ornamental episcopal chapel, recently built and endowed by the Duchess of Gordon, on the north side of the village, and consisting of two stories, surmounted with two spires; the upper story is used for public worship, and the ground floor is occupied as an infant school, and contains apartments for the teacher. There are also a Roman Catholic chapel, and a subscription library. The great road from Edinburgh to Inverness passes through the village; and annual markets are held, partly for the sale of horses, but especially for black-cattle, on the third Wednesday in January, the fourth in March and May, the second in August, and the fourth in October and December. In the neighbourhood is a spacious mansion for the lessees of a salmon-fishery on the Spey, with a range of apartments in an extensive court, conveniently fitted up, and supplying every facility for the operations connected with this important branch of traffic; the produce, valued at several thousand pounds a year, is sent to London packed in ice, and employs regularly, during the season, eight smacks in the conveyance.
Gordon Castle, until lately the seat of the dukes of Gordon, whose title has become extinct, and now a possession of their heir of entail and representative, the Duke of Richmond, is considered the most magnificent and princely mansion north of the Frith of Forth. This edifice was originally a gloomy tower, in the centre of a morass called the Bog of Gight, and accessible only by a narrow causeway, and a drawbridge. It is now a vast structure, of which the exterior measures 570 feet in length; and the building consists of four lofty stories, with spacious two-storied wings, and connecting galleries or arcades of similar height. From behind the centre rises a ponderous square tower of the eleventh century, nearly ninety feet high, overlooking the stately pile, which is faced on all sides with freestone, and encircled by an embattled coping. The castle is approached by an imposing gateway at the north end of the village, and entered by a grand vestibule embellished by copies of the Apollo Belvidere and the Venus de Medici, a bust of Homer, busts of Aurelius and Faustina, of Cæsar and Caracalla, one of a vestal virgin, and one of Pitt, each raised on a handsome pedestal of Sienna marble. At the bottom of the great staircase are busts of Seneca and Cicero, and of a grand duke of Tuscany, a relative of the family of Gordon; and on the first landing-place is a gigantic wooden head of some ancient divinity of the sea, with other objects of striking interest. The state apartments are numerous and splendid, and superbly furnished: the great dining-room is of the most just proportions, and contains many fine paintings and portraits, as do most of the other rooms, including the library, where are several thousand volumes, various ancient and valuable MSS., geographical and astronomical instruments, and antique curiosities. There are also a small theatre, and a music-room. Among the finest pictures may be mentioned those of Abraham turning off Hagar and her son; Joseph resisting Potiphar's wife; St. Peter and St. Paul; Dido and St. Cecilia; Ulysses and Calypso; Bacchus and Ariadne; Venus and Adonis; a portrait of the last duke of Gordon; and one of the second countess of Huntly, daughter of James I., and the lady through whom Lord Byron boasted of having a share of the royal blood of Scotland in his veins.
The park in which the castle stands is of great extent, and presents every variety of surface, walks, drives, meandering streamlets, groves, arbours, and broad-spreading meadows; while an almost interminable forest extends over the mountain side in the distance. Among the trees are majestic rows of elm and beech, and many of large dimensions, particularly the limes, planes, the walnut, and horse-chesnut; and there are fine plantations of birch, larch, Scotch fir, and other growing timber in a flourishing state. Before the castle is a richly-verdant sward, fringed with sweetly-scented shrubs; and the gardens around it occupy a space of twelve acres, and are ornamented by rare plants, and enlivened by a beautiful lake. To the north of the mansion is a military station, called the "Roman camp."
FODDERTY, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 2 miles (W.) from Dingwall; containing, with the villages of Auchterneed, Keithtown, and Maryburgh, the island of Balblair, and part of the quoad sacra districts of Carnoch and Kinlochluichart, 2437 inhabitants. The name is probably derived from two words in the Gaelic language, signifying a meadow along the side of a hill, a description characteristic of the celebrated valley of Strathpeffer, which comprehends part of the parish. The ancient history of Fodderty is very imperfectly known; but it appears to be closely connected with that of the famous Mc Kenzies, of whom Roderick Mc Kenzie was knighted by James VI.; the grandson of Roderick, named George, was made secretary of state to Queen Anne, with the dignity of Earl of Cromarty, and in 1698 he obtained an act to annex all his lands in Ross-shire to the county whence he derived his title. Fodderty comprehended a large part of these lands; and thus it happens that, though actually situated in Ross, it belongs to the county of Cromarty. The length of the parish, from north to south, is about eleven miles, and it is nine miles in breadth, from east to west. It is bounded by Dingwall on the east, by Contin and Kinlochluichart on the west, by Kincardine and Kiltearn on the north, and by Urray on the south. The surface partly consists of the valley already mentioned, encompassed by lofty hills; and a rivulet called Peffery runs through it, whence the valley, nearly six miles long and three-quarters broad, derives its name. The views in every direction are very fine. The lofty and massive Ben-Wyvis, 3426 feet high, and partly in the parish; Knock-Farril, on which is a strikingly marked vitrified fort; the vale of Strathpeffer, with its venerable castle; the town of Dingwall, the Frith of Cromarty, and the interesting scenery of Tulloch Castle, interspersed in different directions with the round tops of wild and rugged hills, all unite to complete the landscape. Loch Ussie, containing several islands, and encompassed with thriving plantations, is also a pleasing object.
The soil slightly varies, but in general it is found to be a dark loamy mould, with a stiff clayey subsoil. A very large portion of the land is in a state of high cultivation; about 1000 acres are under fir and larch plantation, and the remainder is hill pasture. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6092. The strata differ considerably, exhibiting gneiss on the higher grounds, and in the lower parts red sandstone and conglomerate; in many places is a slaty rock with black whinstone, and in others a bituminous schist, mixed with pyrites. The noble mansion of Castle-Leod, built in 1616, the ancient residence of the earls of Cromarty, is of truly baronial appearance, five stories high, and turreted; it stands at the base of a hill beautifully rounded at the summit, and in the midst of extensive parks adorned with various kinds of trees, many of them of ancient growth and gigantic stature. Among these is a chesnut, measuring at the bottom of its trunk twenty-four feet in circumference; the width of its branches is ninety feet.
There is a great variety of mineral springs within the parish, but the most celebrated is the Strathpeffer spa, which has been brought into great repute within the last thirty years; it has two wells, one much stronger than the other, both impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas, and said to be highly efficacious in nervous and dyspeptic complaints. A considerable number of respectable houses have been built in the vicinity of the spa, the fame of which has drawn many visiters. A large and convenient pump-room was erected, in 1819, at an expense of £125, and is regularly supplied with the public papers; a splendid hotel has been recently built at Blar-na-ceaun, within about half a mile of the pump-room, and there is an inn also on the east side with comfortable accommodations. An hospital, or infirmary, has been lately formed, through the exertions of J. E. Gordon, Esq., for the poor who resort to the spa for the benefit of its waters; it can accommodate fifty persons, but is yet unendowed. There is a penny-post in the parish; and between the months of May and October, during the visiting season, a conveyance runs twice every day to Dingwall, where it meets the Inverness coach. On the river Conon is a salmon-fishery; and in the small stream of the Peffery, black trout are frequently taken. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dingwall and synod of Ross: the stipend of the minister is £255, with a manse, built in 1796, and a glebe and garden of thirteen acres; the patronage belongs to the Hon. Mrs. Hay Mc Kenzie. The church, a plain but pleasing structure, built in 1807, and enlarged in 1835, accommodates 600 persons with sittings: the service is alternately performed in English and Gaelic. In the village of Maryburgh is a church, recently erected, distant from the parish church about five miles. A parochial school is maintained, in which the classics are taught, with the ordinary branches of education; the master has a salary of £36, with a house, and £20 fees. Near Fodderty is Temple-croft, or Croicht-an-Team puil, in which stone coffins containing skeletons have been recently found: on the heights of the Hilton estate is a sepulchral cairn, measuring in circumference 260 feet, and near this spot are the remains of some Druidical temples. There are two huge stones on either side of the church, vulgarly reported to have been thrown at his enemies by the farfamed Fingal, the hero of Ossian, and to have remained in their present position. The most striking antiquity, however, is Castle-Leod, built by Sir Roderick Mc Kenzie.
FOGO, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 4 miles (S. by W.) from Dunse; containing 455 inhabitants, of whom about 35 are in the village. This place, of which the name is of uncertain derivation, appears, though unconnected with any event of historical importance, to have some claim to antiquity; and from a confirmatory charter of Malcolm IV., in 1159, it is clear that the church of Fogo had been granted previously to that time to the monastery of Kelso. The parish is five miles in length, from east to west, and two miles and a half in average breadth, and comprises about 5000 acres, of which 4600 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow and pasture. The surface is traversed in the north by two parallel ridges of inconsiderable height, between which the river Blackadder flows throughout the whole length of the parish: on the south are some extensive level tracts. The scenery is pleasingly varied, and in parts enriched with timber of stately growth. The Blackadder, which has its source in some mossy land in the parish of Westruther, from which circumstance it takes its name, runs in a direction from east to west, and falls into the Whiteadder in the parish of Edrom; it abounds with eels and trout of a reddish colour, but salmon are never found in its stream. There is a bridge of one arch on the road to Dunse, built in 1664, lately repaired, and which bears the name of the family of Cockburn, of Langton.
The soil on the higher land is exceedingly fertile, consisting principally of a deep black loam; but in the lower lands it is thinner, and of inferior quality, resting on a retentive clay. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, and turnips; the system of agriculture is in an advanced state, and the four-shift course of husbandry generally prevalent. Bone-dust and various other kinds of manure are used in the cultivation of turnips; the lands have been in great part thoroughly drained, and inclosed with hedges of thorn; the farm-buildings are substantial and well arranged, and all the more recent improvements in the construction of agricultural implements have been adopted. Considerable attention is paid to the rearing of live stock; the cattle are partly of the short-horned, and partly of the Highland breed, and the sheep mostly the Leicestershire. The plantations are fir, intermixed with forest trees, of which the chief are, beech, birch, and lime. The rateable annual value of Fogo is £5851. Caldra House, the principal mansion in the parish, is now in the occupation of Capt. Cathcart; and Charter Hall, a neat summer seat, built by the late Henry Trotter, Esq., of Morton Hall, is occasionally visited by the proprietor. Communication with the neighbouring market-towns and other places is afforded by good roads, of which the turnpike-road to Berwick, and to the suspension-bridge communicating with Northumberland, passes through the parish, and that from Coldstream to Dunse crosses its western extremity. Fogo is in the presbytery of Dunse and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £219. 5. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18. 10. per annum. The church, situated on the banks of the Blackadder, is an ancient structure, repaired in 1755, and reseated in 1817, and is adapted for a congregation of 200 persons. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £25. 13., with £20 fees, and a house and garden. Among the remains of antiquity may be mentioned the old house of Harcarse, situated on the immediate borders of the parishes of Edrom and Swinton, and formerly belonging to the family of Hogg, now extinct; and at the western extremity of the parish, at a place named Chesters, are vestiges of a Roman camp, the stones of which have been nearly all removed. To the south of the parish have been discovered, in a marshy tract of land, some remains of a causeway, probably part of the road leading to the camp.
FORDEL-SQUARE, a village, in the parish of Dalgety, district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 2½ miles (N. E.) from Inverkeithing; containing 157 inhabitants. It lies on the western side of the parish, and is connected with the Fordel coal-works, which have been wrought for nearly 250 years, and where nearly 70,000 tons of coal were until recently annually raised. In the neighbourhood is a picturesque waterfall; and Fordel House, an elegant mansion, surrounded with extensive plantations, is only a short distance from the village.
FORDOUN, a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 11 miles (W. S.W.) from Stonehaven; containing, with the village of Auchinblae, 2342 inhabitants, of whom 34 are in the Kirktown. This place, which is of remote antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language the "front hill," from the situation of the church on the brow of the hill of Fenella, in front of the Grampian range. The parish, or part of it, had also the appellation of Paldy, from the dedication of an ancient chapel to St. Palladius, who was sent from Rome in the fifth century, to oppose the Pelagian heresy, and who, but upon very doubtful authority, is said to have fixed his residence here. Of this chapel, on a pilgrimage to which, to visit the shrine of the saint, Kenneth III. was murdered by Dame Fenella, as related in the article on Fettercairn, some memorials are preserved in the name of a well in the manse garden, still called the well of St. Palladius. A sculptured stone, commemorative of the murder, appears to have been erected in the chapel, but, at the Reformation, it was removed, and for greater security concealed under the pulpit of the old parish church, where, on the rebuilding of that structure, it was afterwards discovered.
The parish, which is situated on the south side of the Grampian mountains, is about eight miles in length, and five and a half in average breadth, comprising an area of 27,800 acres, of which 11,500 are arable, 2160 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moorland pasture and waste. The surface is strikingly varied, rising from the south-east, by bold undulations, towards the Grampian range on the north-west, and broken into deep glens and pleasing vales by numerous streams descending from the mountains, and by the prominent hill of Fenella, nearly in the centre of the parish. This hill, which is one mass of sandstone, is about four miles in length, and a mile and a quarter in breadth, rising in a gracefully curvilinear form to the height of 1200 feet above the level of the sea, and separated, by the picturesque vale of Strath-Fenella, from the Grampians, which in this parish do not attain an elevation of more than 1500 feet. The rivers are the Luther and the Bervie. The Luther has its source in the hills behind Drumtochty, and, flowing to the village of Auchinblae, where it receives a stream from Glenfarquhar, takes a south-easterly direction to Fordoun House, beyond which it changes its course to the west, and' flows through the parish of Laurencekirk into the North Esk. The Bervie has its source in the hills of Glenfarquhar, and, running to the south-east, by Glenbervie House, winds round the base of the hill of Knock, and, after a devious course, flows through the parish of Bervie into the sea. Of the small streams that descend from the Grampians, the principal are, the burn of Craigniston, which for some distance separates the parish from Fettercairn; and the Ferdun, formed by two burns which unite at Clattering Briggs, and, after washing the western base of the hill of Fenella, fall into the Luther. The Luther and the Bervie both abound with small trout; and salmon are occasionally found in the latter.
The soil in the lower grounds is a tenacious clay, of moderate fertility; along the bases of the hills, a deep rich loam; and on the higher grounds, a brown gravelly loam: the crops are, barley, oats, wheat, beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips, with the various grasses. The system of husbandry has been greatly bettered under the auspices of the Fettercairn Club, which includes also this parish and the parishes of Laurencekirk and Marykirk. The lands have been drained and partly inclosed; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and the more recent improvements in the construction and use of agricultural implements have been adopted. Much attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, and to live stock. The cattle are of the pure Angus or Aberdeen polled breed; the best are sent to the London market, where they obtain a high price, and the remainder to Edinburgh and Glasgow. The sheep, which are reared solely on the hills, are of the black-faced or mountain breed, with a few of the Cheviot, recently introduced; and the horses, reared chiefly for agriculture, approach very nearly to the Clydesdale breed. The wood is of modern growth, with the exception of some natural birch and coppice, on the lands of Drumtochty Castle; the plantations consist of larch, and spruce and Scotch firs, interspersed with oak, ash, elm, beech, birch, and sycamore. The chief substrata are, red sandstone, greenstone, in which occasionally amethysts are imbedded, clay-slate, limestone, and freestone, of which there are several quarries. The rateable annual value of the parish is £12,967.
Drumtochty Castle is a spacious castellated mansion in the early English style, erected by George Harley Drummond, Esq., at a cost of £30,000, and seated on an eminence rising from the bank of the Luther, in a richly-wooded demesne, tastefully laid out in walks, commanding much picturesque and finely-varied scenery. Phesdo, an elegant mansion of Aberdeen granite, in the Grecian style, with a handsome portico of the Doric order, built by the late Alexander Crombie, of Aberdeen, Esq., is beautifully situated in grounds embellished with plantations, and near the base of Fenella hill, commanding a fine view of the vale of Strathmore and the Grampians. Monboddo, the birthplace of Lord Monboddo, is an ancient mansion, greatly improved by the late Mrs. Burnett, his daughter. Fordoun House is, together with the farm, in the occupation of a tenant; as is also Castleton. The Kirktown merely contains the church, manse, and school-house, with a few cottages and an inn. The village of Kincardine, once the county town, and residence of the sheriff, who held his courts here till the reign of James VI., when they were removed to Stonehaven, has dwindled into an insignificant hamlet: the ancient cross that stood in the market-place has been removed, and placed in the village of Fettercairn. The castle of Kincardine, of which the ruins are situated on the adjacent lands of Castleton, was a celebrated palace of several of the Scottish monarchs, of whom Kenneth III., while here, was murdered by Dame Fenella; and in this castle John Baliol is said to have been residing when he abdicated the crown in favour of Edward I. of England. From the ruins, it appears to have been a spacious quadrangular structure of great solidity, but only the foundations of some of the walls are now remaining. The village of Auchinblae, situated to the east of StrathFenella, contains several inns: the inhabitants are partly employed in the spinning of flax and the weaving of coarse linen; and the place, which has a thriving appearance, has been erected into a burgh of barony, and is governed by a baron-bailie appointed by the Earl of Kintore. Fairs are annually held in the parish, of which the most considerable is Paldy fair, for horses, sheep, and cattle, which takes place in July, on a moor near the foot of the Grampians. Another fair for horses and cattle is also held in July, at Lammas muir, in the western portion of the parish; and at Auchinblae, besides two annual fairs, are weekly markets for grain and cattle, during the winter. Runners from the post-offices of Stonehaven and Montrose bring the letters; and facility of communication is maintained by the turnpike-road from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, through Strathmore, and by statute roads and bridges kept in excellent repair.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Fordoun, which holds its sittings here, and the synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister's stipend is £249, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, erected in 1829, at a cost of £3000, is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, with a tower at the west end, ninety-three feet in height; the interior is well arranged, and contains 1230 sittings. The burying-ground is inclosed by a wall of masonry, in which is an elegant gateway. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church. The parochial school, for which an appropriate building has been erected, is attended by about seventy children; the master has a salary of £35. 12., with a house and garden, and the fees average £15 per annum. A parochial library was established in 1827, which now contains nearly 700 volumes; and there is also a small library belonging to the Sunday school. Alexander Crombie, Esq., bequeathed £100, Mrs. Bogendollo £50, and the late Mrs. Burnett, of Monboddo, £50, for the benefit of the poor. Close to Fordoun House are the remains of a Roman camp, of which the prætorium is in a tolerably perfect state; near it have been found urns containing ashes and half-burnt bones, a gold ring, and other relics of Roman antiquity. In a secluded glen not far from Drumtochty, are some remains of a small friary; and on the hill above Newlands, and near Castleton, are Druidical ruins. John of Fordoun, author of the Scotochronicon, and Dr. Beattie, brother of the author of The Minstrel, were natives of this place.
FORDYCE, a parish, in the county of Banff; containing, with the villages of Sandend and New Mills, and the town of Portsoy, 3442 inhabitants, of whom 243 are in the village of Fordyce, 2½ miles (W. S. W.) from Portsoy. The name of this place, which appears to have undergone no orthographical variation since the most ancient times, is supposed to be derived from the two Gaelic words fuar, cold, and deas, south, which, from their original appropriation as descriptive of the southern portion of the parish, have been subsequently used as an appellation for the whole of it. The lands once belonged to the family of Sinclair, but afterwards came into that of Ogilvie, in which they have remained for about 400 years to the present time. Sir Walter Ogilvie, in 1455, obtained permission of James II., to fortify his house of Findlater, situated here; and the castle seems to have been regularly occupied till nearly the end of the reign of James VI., when it was in the possession of John Gordon, son of the Earl of Huntly, who had received the castle and estates from one of the Ogilvie family, who had disinherited his own son. After much litigation and many severe feuds, however, it returned to the former possessors, chiefly through arbitration, in which the queen took a leading part. During its occupancy by Gordon, it was one among many places that refused to acknowledge Queen Mary when she visited the northern districts, in consequence of which she sent a party of 120 soldiers against it, who were attacked by Gordon at Cullen, and all of them either slain or routed. The district of Findlater has given the title of Earl to several of its proprietors, one of whom united to it that of Seafield; and the present Lord Seafield, who now holds the estates, is grandson to Sir Ludovic Grant, who married Lady Margaret, eldest daughter of James, fifth earl of Findlater.
Fordyce, which once comprehended the parishes of Ordiquhill, Deskford, and Cullen, long since separated, is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, and is about seven or eight miles in length, and from two to six in breadth, comprising 18,670 acres, of which 9306 are either cultivated or occasionally in tillage, 5960 waste or natural pasture, 1500 undivided common, and 1234 under wood. The surface is greatly diversified with hill and dale, and several lofty elevations give to the scenery a very bold and decided character. The principal of these are the hills of Durn and Fordyce, nearly in the middle of the parish, which stretch in a form almost semicircular, from north-east to south-west, the former rising about 700 feet above the level of the sea; and the hill of Knock, near the southern boundary, on the summit of which is a bed of peat-moss, and which, attaining an elevation of between 1200 and 1400 feet, serves at a considerable distance as a landmark for mariners. The coast, though not precipitous, is marked by a strong rocky outline, broken by numerous caves and several headlands and bays. The chief points are, the East and West heads, taking their names from their relative positions to Portsoy, and Logie head, at the western extremity of the parish; the bays are named Portsoy and Sandend, the former possessing a secure and convenient harbour, and the latter having about half a mile of sandy beach, in which is situated Redhyth point, where small vessels find anchorage and shelter. The streams are inconsiderable, comprising only the burn of Boyn, which marks the eastern boundary of the parish; the burn of Durn, which joins the sea at Portsoy; and the burn of Fordyce, falling into the bay of Sandend.
The soil, which is incumbent on strata of almost every description, comprehends strong clay and light and clayey loam; it is wet and cold in the southern quarter, but rich and fertile about the coast, producing all kinds of grain, with potatoes, turnips, hay, and flax. The cattle are chiefly a cross between the old Banffshire and the Buchan breeds: their improvement has been greatly promoted by premiums given by the Banffshire Farmers' Club and the Highland Society; and a decided advantage has been obtained by the introduction of the Teeswater bull. The sheep are the Cheviots, with a few of the native black-faced; the horses are in general of the ordinary kind, with the exception of those bred from Clydesdale mares, which are very superior in strength and appearance. Though the fences and farm-buildings are still, to a great extent, in a defective condition, much has been done within the present century in the way of agricultural improvement, especially by draining. Upwards of 10,000 yards of ditches, and nearly 20,000 yards of drains, have been completed on one farm since 1837, independently of 1600 of marsh ditches cut in another part; bone manure has been introduced, and several threshing-mills erected. The rateable annual value of Fordyce is £8712. The parish is of considerable importance in a geological point of view, and is celebrated for its extensive strata of serpentine rock, of which there are immense beds, and which, admitting of a very fine polish, has long been a favourite material, not only in Britain, but also in many parts of the continent, for the manufacture of various kinds of ornaments. In the palace of Versailles, where it is known by the name of Scottish marble, it has been employed in the construction of several chimney-pieces. Among the numerous geological varieties are, hornblende, syenite, granite, felspar, mica-slate, quartz, and clay-slate; also limestone with veins of granite, and small portions of magnetic iron-ore. The plantations are principally larch and Scotch fir, with some ash, the last of which is found in a thriving condition near the old castle of the Boyn. The seats are, Birkenbog, an old plain building, inhabited by the tenant who rents the farm; and Glassaugh, a neat and spacious modern mansion, recently much enlarged and improved. The village of Fordyce was made a burgh of barony in 1499. About fourteen miles of turnpike-road run through the parish, branching off in various directions to Banff, Cullen, Keith, and Huntly; and there are several good substantial bridges. Two fairs are held; one in November, for cattle and for hiring servants, and the other in December, for cattle only.
The parish is ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Fordyce and synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of the Earl of Seafield. The stipend is £226; and there is a manse, with a glebe of two and a half acres, valued at £5 per annum, and a croft of five acres, called the Vicar's Croft, bequeathed in 1595 for the use of the minister. The church, built in 1804, contains 1050 sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in Greek, Latin, mathematics, and all the branches of a useful education; the salary of the master is £34, and he has also 10 acres of land, left by Thomas Menzies, of Durn, and receives about £30 in fees. Walter Ogilvie, of Redhyth, in 1678, bequeathed land for the establishment of bursaries at the parochial school and at King's College, Aberdeen; in the former there are seventeen, extending to five years each. George Smith, who was born in the village of Fordyce, established nine bursaries in his native parish, likewise of five years' duration; they commenced in 1801, and are worth £25 per annum each, appropriated to board, clothing, and education: he also left £25 a year to the minister for superintending the youth on the foundation. The Rev. James Stuart, rector of Georgetown and All Saints, in South Carolina, left £1200 for a bursary in the school of Fordyce, for boys bearing the name of Stuart, which endowment commenced in 1810; and there are two other small bursaries, founded by James Murray. On the hill of Durn are the remains of an encampment, supposed to have been thrown up by the Danes; and several urns, containing ashes and bones, have been occasionally dug up in different places. But the chief relic of antiquity is the old castle of Findlater, situated on a rock almost surrounded by the sea, and which appears to have been of considerable strength. The lower apartments are cut out of the solid rock, and are strongly arched; and on the south were formerly a fosse and drawbridge, beyond which, at the distance of about one hundred yards, an outwork existed, for greater security, consisting of a fosse and rampart. There are several chalybeate springs; but the most celebrated is that called "John Legg's Well," which is much frequented in summer both by natives and strangers. Sir James Clark, Physician to Her Majesty, and Dr. John Forbes, physician extraordinary to Prince Albert, were educated at the parochial school.
FORFAR, a royal burgh, the county town, a parish, and the seat of a presbytery, in the county of Forfar, 70 miles (N. by E.) from Edinburgh; containing, with the villages of Carseburn and Lunanhead, 9620 inhabitants, of whom 8362 are in the burgh. This place, in some ancient documents, is noticed under the designation of ForfarRestenneth; and in others, Forfar and Restenneth are separately mentioned as distinct parishes, the union of which, though extremely probable, has not been proved by any authentic evidence. In the latter part of the seventh century, a priory was founded at Restenneth, which became subordinate to the abbey of Jedburgh, and of which there are still some remains on the west side of the loch of Restenneth. In this establishment, Alexander I. deposited the public records that had been placed by King Fergus in the abbey of Iona, or Icolmkill, which was difficult of access; and in 1296, Robert, then prior, took the oath of fealty to Edward I. of England. The priory appears to have been well endowed, and to have had considerable possessions in the neighbourhood; it flourished till about the year 1652, when the right of patronage of the church was purchased from the prior by the magistrates and council of the burgh. Forfar appears to have been a royal residence at a very early period. Malcolm Canmore is said to have held parliaments in the castle, situated on an eminence to the north of the town, where he resided with his court; and his queen, Margaret, had a palace on a small island in the loch of Forfar, called the Inch, on which, for many years, the inhabitants of the burgh were in the habit of celebrating an annual festival in honour of her memory. In 1307, Robert Bruce, on his route from Aberdeen to Angus, assaulted the castle of Forfar, at that time strongly garrisoned by the English, and, taking it by escalade, put the whole of the garrison to the sword, and ordered the fortifications to be levelled with the ground. In 1647, the burgesses opposed the surrender of the person of Charles I. into the hands of the republican party, and, through their provost, entered a warm protest against that measure in parliament. When the city of Dundee was taken by the army of General Monk, a detachment of English forces was sent to Forfar, who plundered the town, and destroyed all the charters and public records of the burgh. Towards the close of the 17th century, frequent trials and executions for witchcraft occurred here, of which the last was in 1682: the place of execution, a small hollow to the north of the town, still retains the name of the "Witches Howe," and the iron bridle that was fastened round the head of the victims on these occasions is yet preserved.
The town, which is situated on the road from Aberdeen to Perth, consists of two principal and of several smaller streets, in which are numerous well-built houses, many of them of handsome appearance; and within the last half century very great improvements have taken place. The streets are lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from wells sunk by subscription of individuals, aided by grants for the purpose by the magistrates of the burgh. A subscription library is supported; there are a newsroom, and a mechanics' reading-room, both containing a good collection of books; and a horticultural society has been established. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the linen manufacture; the principal articles are, sheetings, Osnaburghs, and dowlas, in the weaving of which about 3000 persons are regularly employed in their own dwellings. The quantity of linen annually woven is about 14,000,000 yards, and the average value £300,000. There are ale and beer breweries, and various shops for the supply of the vicinity with different articles of merchandise. A very considerable increase of general traffic has taken place since the opening of the railway between Forfar and Arbroath, which has its terminus at the north extremity of the town, and which was opened to the public, for the conveyance of goods and passengers, on the 3rd of January, 1839: the line is fifteen miles in length, with a rise upon the whole distance of about 220 feet, and it was completed at an expense of £140,000. In 1840, an act was obtained for increasing the capital stock of the company. An excellent road from Forfar to Kirriemuir, also, has been constructed, opening a communication with a large Highland district. The principal market is on Wednesday; and there is a market, well supplied with provisions of all kinds, on Saturday. Fairs are held on the last Wednesday in February, the second in April, and the first in May, for cattle and horses; on the day after Dunsmuir fair, in June, for cattle; on the first Tuesday in July, for sheep, on the Wednesday following, for cattle, and on Thursday, for horses; on the first Wednesday in August, for cattle; the last Wednesday in September, for horses and cattle; and the third Wednesday in October and the first in November, for cattle. These fairs are much frequented by dealers from the southern counties and from different parts of England; and on account of its position in the very centre of the county, Forfar is remarkable for the great attendance and amount of business transacted at its Wednesday weekly market, which indeed, from the beginning of the month of November until the end of that of March, resembles a large fair.
The burgh, by charter of Charles II., bestowed in the year 1665, is governed by a provost, two bailies, a treasurer, and a town council of fifteen members. There are five incorporated companies, the glovers, shoemakers, tailors, weavers, and hammermen, the terms of admission to which vary considerably; the fee paid on admission as a burgess is, for a stranger £2, and for the son of a freeman, the husband of a freeman's daughter, or an apprentice, £1. The jurisdiction of the burgh extends over the whole royalty, which is about two and a half miles in length, and half a mile in breadth, and also over the liberties, under the charter. The bailies hold a court for the determination of civil pleas to any amount, in which they are assisted by an assessor, and also a criminal court, chiefly for the trial of petty offences, though by charter their jurisdiction extends to capital crimes; but, from the conducting of causes by written pleas, the expenses of process tend greatly to diminish the number of suits in the latter. As the county town, the sessions are regularly held here, as well as the election of the representative in parliament. A handsome building has been erected at an expense of £5000, containing a sheriff's court, with offices for the sheriff's clerk, and rooms for the juries and for the records. The town and county hall, situated in the centre of the town, is a neat edifice, comprising halls for the transaction of public business, and courts for holding the sessions; and in the same building is the old gaol, now converted into an excellent marketplace, as, from its inadequacy as a gaol, ground was lately purchased to the north of the town, on which a more spacious and better arranged prison has been erected. The burgh, with those of Montrose, Arbroath, Brechin, and Bervie, returns one member to the imperial parliament: the elective franchise, under the Reform act, is vested in the resident £10 householders; the number of these is 250.
The parish, which is situated on the south side of the valley of Strathmore, is about six miles in length, from north to south, and five miles in breadth. The surface, though generally level, is varied by the two hills of Balmashinar, near the town, and Lower, at its southern extremity, of which the former commands an extensive and richly-diversified prospect: the rivers are the Lunan and the Venny, which, though abounding in trout, are, in their course through the parish, very inconsiderable streamlets. There were formerly three large lakes, Restenneth, Fithie, and the loch of Forfar; but the two first have been drained for marl, and the last, though still a fine sheet of water, has been much reduced in extent. The soil, with the exception of a tract of wet clay in the south, is generally light and dry, producing excellent crops of oats, barley, and turnips, with various other green crops. The lands are in a good state of cultivation; the use of shell-marl found in the lakes for manure has been almost superseded by the use of lime, and the system of husbandry has been greatly advanced. The rateable annual value of the parish is £12,015. In the south-west, and also in the eastern parts of the parish, freestone of good quality for building is extensively wrought. From the quarries here, has been taken the stone of which most of the houses in the town, and the steeple of the church, are built; and large quantities of flags for pavement, and of thin sandstone for roofing, are sent by railroad to Arbroath and Dundee, whence they are shipped to various parts of the kingdom. The only mansion-house is that of Lower, built by a former earl of Northesk, and now the property of his descendants, the family of Carnegie.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister's stipend is £267. 17., with a manse, a handsome modern building, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum; patrons, the Town Council. The church, originally built in 1791, and partly rebuilt, and made more commodious, in 1836, is a plain substantial edifice, with a steeple erected in 1814, in which are three old bells, the gift of Mr. Strang, a native of the town, and a merchant of Stockholm; the interior contains about 1800 sittings, of which sixty-two are free. The church of St. James was erected in 1836, at an expense of £1200, raised by subscription; and a portion of the parish, comprising an area about a quarter of a mile long, and of nearly equal breadth, and containing a population of 2236, was for a short time assigned to it as an ecclesiastical district, by authority of the presbytery. It is a neat structure, containing 1134 sittings, of which 100 are free; and the stipend of the minister, derived from seat-rents, is £80 per annum, to be advanced to £100 when the funds will permit. An episcopal chapel was built in 1824; it has 380 sittings, and is under the superintendence of the Bishop of Dunkeld. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Secession, and for Independents; and an old house has recently been purchased, and fitted up as a Roman Catholic chapel, in which service is occasionally performed. The parochial school affords instruction to about eighty children; the master has a salary of £34, with an allowance of £8. 15. in lieu of a house and garden, and the fees average £25 per annum. There are likewise three burgh schools, the master of one of which has a salary of £40; the other masters have each a school-room rent-free, but are not in receipt of any salary. A considerable income arises from land purchased with a bequest of Mr. Strang, in 1650, for distribution among the poor. In the vicinity are the remains of two Roman camps, between which a causeway was continued for some way through this parish; and nearly at an equal distance from each, are remains of a Pictish camp of large extent, of which the rampart and fosse, extending from Loch Forfar to Loch Restenneth, are said to have been formed by the Picts under Feredith, to protect their camp from the Scots under Alpin, prior to the battle of Restenneth.
FORFARSHIRE, a maritime county, in the east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Aberdeen and Kincardine; on the east, by the German Ocean; on the south, by the Frith of Tay; and on the west, by Perthshire. It lies between 56° 27' and 57° (N. Lat.) and 2° 28' and 3° 22' (W. Long.), and is about 38½ miles in length, and 37½ in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 840 square miles, or 537,600 acres; 38,255 houses, of which 36,184 are inhabited; and containing a population of 170,520, of whom 79,375 are males, and 91,145 females. This district, which was formerly called Angus, is said to have received that name from Angus, brother of Kenneth II., to whom it was granted by that monarch, after his victory over the Picts; and it continued for many generations to be governed by a succession of thanes, of whom Macbeth, the associate of Macduff, Thane of Fife, in the murder of Duncan, was the last. The county was subsequently governed by earls, of whom Gilchrist, the first earl, flourished in the reign of Malcolm III., and was succeeded by his son, the second earl, who attended David I. at the battle of the Standard, in 1138. The earldom was, by Robert II., conferred on the Douglas family; and at present, the shire gives the inferior title of Earl to the Duke of Hamilton. Prior to the Reformation, the county was included in the diocese of Brechin; it is now in the synod of Angus and Mearns, and comprises several presbyteries, and about fifty-five parishes. For civil purposes it is divided into the districts of Forfar and Dundee, in each of which towns is a resident sheriff-substitute; and it contains the royal burghs of Forfar, which is the county town, Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, and Brechin, and the market-towns of Kirriemuir and Glammis, with several smaller towns and villages. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., the county returns one member to the imperial parliament.
The surface is boldly varied. Towards the north it forms part of the Grampian range, here called the Binchennin hills, of which Catlaw, the highest, has an elevation of 2264 feet above the level of the sea: this portion of the county, known as the Braes of Angus, is a wild pastoral district, though less bold and rugged than others in the country. Nearly parallel with these heights are the Sidlaw hills, supposed to be a continuation of the Ochil range, and of less height than the Binchennin, few of them attaining more than 1400 feet above the sea. Between the two ridges is the beautiful and fertile valley of Strathmore, called here the Howe of Angus, extending for nearly thirty-three miles in length, and varying from six to eight miles in breadth, diversified with gentle eminences, fruitful fields, pleasing villages, and handsome seats, surrounded with flourishing plantations. The district between the Sidlaw hills and the coast is a level tract of great fertility, from three to eight miles in breadth, and in the highest state of cultivation. The principal valleys are, Glenisla, Glenprosen, Glenesk, Lethnot, and Clova, all of which are watered by streams descending from the mountains. The chief rivers are the North and South Esk, which have their sources on the northern confines of the county. The former, issuing from Lochlee, receives the waters of the Unich, which in its course forms numerous picturesque cascades; it then flows through the vale of Glenesk, between banks crowned with trees of birch, into the county of Kincardine, and falls into the sea about three miles to the north of Montrose: its tributaries are, the Luther, the Cruick, the West Water, the Tarf, and the Mark. The South Esk has its rise near that of the North Esk, and, running through the centre of the county, receives the Noran, the Lemno, the Carity, and the Prosen, and joins the sea at Montrose. The river Isla rises to the west of the sources of the Esks, and, after being fed by the waters of the Meigle, the Dean, the Carbet, and the burn of Glammis, flows westward into the Tay at Kinclaven. The Dighty and Lunan are of inferior character, the former issues from some small lakes in the parish of Lundie, and runs into the river Tay to the east of Broughty-Ferry; and the latter, having its source in the lakes of Rescobie and Balgives, flows into the sea at Lunan bay. Most of the rivers abound with trout and salmon, and the Lunan with eels. There are also numerous lakes in the county, but few of them are more than a mile in circumference; the principal are, Lochlee, Loch Brandy, Loch Forfar, and the Lochs Rescobie and Balgives.
About three-fifths of the land are under cultivation; 20,000 acres are woodland and plantations, and the remainder mountain pasture and waste; the soil on the hills is heathy moor, but in the valleys rich and fertile. The lands have been greatly benefited by draining, and abundant crops of every kind are raised: wheat, which formerly was very little cultivated, is now grown in large quantities, and of excellent quality; the various improvements in husbandry have been generally adopted, and the system of agriculture is in a very advanced state. Considerable attention is paid to live stock; numbers of sheep of various breeds are pastured on the Grampian and Sidlaw hills, and on the former is reared a small breed of horses called Garrons. The plantations consist of oak, beech, birch, and other trees, which have nearly superseded the larch; and the improvement of the soil has adapted it to the growth of timber of all kinds. The principal substrata are, limestone, freestone, and sandstone of good quality for flags; the limestone is extensively wrought in several places, but its use for manure has in some degree been diminished by the introduction of bone-dust, of which great quantities are prepared at Arbroath and Dundee, and shell-marl is found in the lakes, for the procuring of which some of them have been drained. Lead-ore was formerly obtained in the upper part of the parish of Lochlee, and copper-ore has been found in the Sidlaw range. The rateable annual value of Forfarshire is £479,268. The seats are, Glammis Castle, Cortachie and Airlie Castles, Camperdown House, Lindertis, Isla Bank, Gray, Careston, Balnamoon, Brechin Castle, Panmure House, Kinnaird, Dun, Rossie, Ethie, Guthrie, Dunnichen, Isla, Craigo, Langley Park, and various others. The principal manufactures are, the weaving of linen and the coarser fabrics, as huckaback, canvass, dowlas, sheeting, and sacking, of which great quantities are exported; the manufacture of fine coloured thread; and the bleaching of linen, for which there are extensive grounds on the banks of the several streams. Numerous mills for the spinning of flax are in operation, driven by water and steam: there are large tanneries, breweries, distilleries, and other works; and ship-building is pursued at the ports of Dundee, Arbroath, and Montrose. There are valuable fisheries along the coast, and salmon-fisheries in the Frith of Tay. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads in various directions, and by railways, of which the Arbroath and Forfar railway was opened in 1839, and the Dundee and Arbroath railway, nearly one continued level along the coast, in 1840. There are some remains of the cathedral of Brechin, and near them a round tower supposed to be of Pictish origin; the county also contains the ruins of numerous ancient castles, of the abbey of Arbroath and similar religious establishments, tumuli, cairns, Druidical altars, and various other remains of antiquity, which are described in the articles on the parishes.