A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
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SKYE, an island, in the Atlantic Ocean, forming part of the county of Inverness, and containing 23,082 inhabitants. This island, which is one of the larger of the Hebrides or Western Isles, derives its name, signifying in the Scandinavian language "Mist," from the vapours in which the summits of its mountains are frequently enveloped. Nearly three-fourths of the lands are the property of Lord Macdonald; and of the remainder, with the exception of Strathaird and part of the isle of Rasay, the whole belongs to the Mc Leods of Mc Leod. The island is bounded on the east by a channel that separates it from the main land of Inverness-shire; and on the west by the Minch, by which it is divided from the islands of North and South Uist. It is about fifty-four miles in extreme length, and varies from three to thirty-five miles in breadth; comprising an area of nearly 450,000 acres, of which about 37,500 are arable, and the remainder mountain pasture and waste. The surface is intersected by three distinct ranges of mountains. The central range, in which the most conspicuous elevations are Glamich and Ben-na-Cailich, varies from 2000 to 3000 feet in height; the northern range, including the heights of Cuchullin and Blaven is of still greater elevation; and the mountains of the southern range average nearly 2000 feet. Between these ranges are tracts of undulating and hilly moorland, varying from 500 to 1000 feet in height; and the only level portions of land are the plains of Kilmuir in the north, and Bracadale in the west. There are numerous small streams abounding with salmon and trout; also several inland lakes, which, however, with the exception of Lochs Coruisk, Creich, and Colmkill, are little more than pools. The coast is everywhere rocky, and in some parts lofty and precipitous, bounded by ranges of cliffs varying from 300 to 600 feet in height, and some of which present beautiful specimens of columnar formation. Of the inlets of the sea, with which the coast is deeply indented, the principal are, Loch Slapin, Loch Scavaig and Loch Eishart, on the south; Lochs Bracadale, Dunvegan, and Snizort, on the north-west; and Broadford bay on the east. The chief islands off the coast are Rona, Rasay, and Scalpa, separated from the main land by the several sounds to which they respectively give name. The arable lands are in a state of profitable cultivation, and in the mountain pastures large numbers of sheep, black-cattle, and horses of small size are reared; the district is also celebrated for a breed of small dogs called Skye terriers. The island constitutes a presbytery in the synod of Glenelg, and contains the parishes of Bracadale, Duirinish, Kilmuir, Portree, Sleat, Snizort, and Strath, all of which are separately described.
Slains and Forvie
SLAINS and FORVIE, a parish, in the county of Aberdeen, 5 miles (E. by S.) from Ellon; containing, with the villages of Collieston and Oldcastle, 1211 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the shore of the German Ocean, received an augmentation, but at what period is uncertain, by the annexation of part of the adjoining parish of Forvie; the rest of which had been overwhelmed by the changing and drifting sands upon the coast. It is of triangular form, measuring upwards of six miles in extreme length, and is bounded on the south-west by the river Ythan, by which it is separated from the parish of Foveran, and on the north-west by the Forvie burn, separating it from Logie-Buchan. It comprises about 9000 acres, all under cultivation with the exception of some peat-moss, of fifteen acres of wood, and of 1900 acres of sand-hillocks, partly covered with short coarse grass here called bent, and anciently belonging to the parish of Forvie. The line of coast measures about six miles; it is formed in most places of bold, craggy, and precipitous rocks, rising frequently 200 feet high, and is deeply indented with many fissures, bays, and caves, some of the last of which are celebrated for their interesting petrifactions, especially the Dropping cave, or White cave of Slains, exhibiting beautiful white stalactical incrustations. These breaks and excavations were long the haunts of smugglers, and the receptacles of large deposits of contraband goods, being found well adapted for concealment and security. One of them, called Hell-lum, is more than 200 feet in length, with an arch in some parts thirty feet high; while another, called the Needle's-eye, is ninety feet long, four feet wide, and from twenty to thirty feet high, and forms a massive body of rock, exhibiting in stormy weather a grand and imposing scene, from the impetuosity of the waves.
The surface of the Inland portion of the district is undulated, and strongly marked by drifting sands, or links, extending from the shore, and, as already stated, covering 1900 acres. These were formerly under profitable tillage, but now appear an irrecoverable desert, and continually, though very slowly, make further encroachments on the good land. The locality is particularly bleak and stormy, and entirely bare of wood, excepting a few acres of plantation on the estate of Leask; the dampness and severity of the climate prevent the growth of trees, and wholly forbid the hope of bringing to maturity garden fruit. Copious springs of excellent water pour forth from numerous rocks on the coast; and there are three lochs, two of which, called Cot-hill and Sand loch, are each about fifteen acres in extent, and are supposed to have been formed by the drifting of the sand. The other, called the Muckle Loch of Slains, is by far the largest and most beautiful, covering about seventy acres, and being nearly surrounded by the Kippet hills, rising gradually to the height of fifty or sixty feet, and forming a ridge of gravel mixed with smooth pieces of limestone weighing from one to sixteen pounds: this limestone was formerly burnt and applied to agricultural use, but has now been superseded by the importation of English lime. The grassy covering of the acclivities greatly improves the scenery of this sheet of water, which in some places reaches the depth of more than fifty feet, and which renders the district where it is situated strikingly interesting. The soil runs through almost every variety, but its prevailing character is clayey; and oats, bear, and turnips are raised of good quality, especially the last, to the improvement of which very great attention has been paid by the careful selection of the seed and the plentiful application of bone-manure. The only permanent pasture is a small tract lying along the seacoast; but a portion of fine rich land with a loamy soil, occasionally in grass, stretches nearly across the district, belonging to the estate of Cluny Castle, and grazed by large flocks of sheep. The rotation system is followed; and the reclaiming of waste land, draining, the building of new farm-houses, and the improvement of the breed of cattle, have all been carried on with great spirit, agricultural enterprise having received a powerful impulse by the facilities of steam navigation. The rocks on the coast consist of gneiss and mica-slate, occasionally intermixed with quartz; and blocks of granite are sometimes found. Sand is also obtained in large quantities, of a calcareous nature, and greyish hue; it is used advantageously as manure on damp or wet soils, but, on account of its hot nature, has been found highly injurious on matured grounds. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5157.
The only mansion is the house of Leask, a substantial and elegant residence, built about twenty years since. The parish contains the two villages of Oldcastle and Collieston, which are principally inhabited by fishermen engaged in the white-fishery, comprising ling, mackerel, turbot, whiting, halibut, skate, soles, flounders, haddock, and cod; the two last kinds are taken in very large quantities, and form the chief articles of traffic. In addition to this, five boats have gone for the last few years, with success, to take herrings at Peterhead. The river Ythan, which is frequented by swarms of almost every description of wild-fowl, and well stocked with salmon, grilse, various sorts of trout, eels, and other fish, is found especially serviceable for its abundant supply of muscles, which furnish bait not only to the fishermen here, but also to those of many other villages on the east coast, and the right of taking which is rented at £300 per annum. The cod-fishing commences in October and ends in February, and the fish caught, amounting in the season to nearly 300 barrels, are contracted for by a dealer who sends them pickled to the London market; the haddocks are cured for sale at Leith and Glasgow, and large quantities of the muscles are sent to Aberdeen. The Ythan, which is navigable for a short distance from the sea, is an important means of communication, by which vessels come to the parish with bone-manure and lime, and return laden with grain: they also bring coal, though a considerable portion of the fuel in use is peat, obtained from a moss covering 245 acres. The post communication is with Ellon; but the produce of the soil is sent for sale chiefly to Newburgh, and sometimes to Aberdeen and Peterhead. The parish is in the presbytery of Ellon, synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of Colonel John Gordon, of Cluny: the minister's stipend is £217, with a manse, and a glebe worth £9 per annum. The church, standing within 300 yards of the shore, was built at the beginning of the present century, and accommodates 654 persons with sittings. The parochial school, for which handsome premises were erected in 1838, affords instruction in Latin, mathematics, and navigation, in addition to the elementary branches; the master has a salary of £30, with a house, and £14 fees. The chief antiquity is the ruin of the ancient castle of Slains, the former residence of the Hay family, and which, by order of King James VI., was demolished in consequence of the Earl of Errol having joined in the Earl of Huntly's rebellion; it must have been very secure against approaches and attacks, being on a peninsular rock more than 100 feet high, with communication merely by a narrow defile on the north. The foundation of the old church of Forvie is still visible on the sands, and is the only relic of the lost parish; and on the grounds of Leask stand the ruins of the chapel of St. Adamannan, a disciple of the eminent St. Columba, consisting of a gable and a Gothic window overspread with ivy. The edifice was erected, as is generally supposed, about the close of the 6th century.
SLAMANNAN, or Slamanan, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 6 miles (S. S. W.) from Falkirk; containing 1179 inhabitants. This place, in the sessional records and crown presentations, is called "Slamanan, otherwise St. Lawrence," from which circumstance it is concluded that the latter name was, on account of the dedication of the church to that saint, occasionally or perhaps invariably applied to the parish till the former, the derivation of which is totally uncertain, became the ordinary appellation. In the year 1470 the chief lands were conveyed under the great seal to Lord Livingstone; and the superiority, with the patronage of the church, remained in the Callendar family, successors to the Livingstones, till 1715, when they were forfeited to the crown. From certain existing records, however, it appears that the earls of Callendar were not the sole proprietors, but that some estates were feued from the lords Torphichen. This locality, from its proximity to the ancient Caledonian forest, the remains of castles, trenches, and other military works, and the names of several places in the vicinity, is conjectured to have been the scene of many warlike conflicts; but nothing is known with certainty on this point. The parish was formerly of much less extent than at present, measuring originally only five miles in length and three in breadth; but in 1730, upon the division of the parish of Falkirk, when the whole of that of Polmont was taken from it, a part also was annexed to Slamannan, increasing its limits to six miles in length and upwards of four in breadth. At this period, the inhabitants of the annexed district were permitted to build an aisle upon the north side of the church for their own accommodation, and certain pecuniary engagements were entered into by the respective heritors, with respect to ecclesiastical matters. The surface is broken by ridges, running from east to west, and much undulated, producing a great diversity in the scenery, soil, and crops; and as the ground, rising from the north, attains an elevation of more than 600 feet above the level of the sea, at its southern limit, the severity of early frosts, and wintry storms, often impede the labours of the husbandman. The stream of the Avon traverses the parish from west to east, and formed its northern boundary before the annexation of the Falkirk portion; it takes its rise in a moss in New Monkland, and though of small breadth, yet, when swollen after rain or snow, overflows its banks to a great extent, and frequently in the time of harvest entirely destroys the neighbouring crops. It contains good trout, but they are killed in great numbers every year when some stagnant waters used for steeping lint are emptied into the stream; and after floods, on account of the mossy nature of the water, cattle invariably refuse to eat the hay made from the meadows near it. The Great Black loch, situated here, affords the principal supply to the reservoir on the lands of Auchingray formed for feeding the Monkland canal; besides which there is a loch called the Little Black loch, stocked like the former with perch and eels.
The grounds on each side of the Avon are composed of a mixt alluvial soil, which is light and fertile, and produces good crops when not flooded; in other parts it is clayey and heavy, and to a considerable extent cold wet moss, especially between the ridges, and in the western district, where the crops only come to maturity in very fine seasons. Oats and barley are raised, and a little wheat, with large quantities of potatoes, turnips, and cabbages, and some lint. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4373. The nature of the strata was unknown, and the mineral contents of the place unexplored, till the recent construction of the Slamannan railway, the cuttings for which partially laid open the rock, and caused bores to be made by way of experiment; fine freestone has been found in abundance, and good coal, then discovered, is now wrought by the assistance of steam-engines lately erected at a pit where numerous workmen are employed, and whence nearly 200 tons are sent daily for sale, by the railway. Ironstone, also, as well as coal of various kinds, is spread over the parish; and as a decided impulse has been given, by the facilities of conveyance supplied by the new method of transit, to agricultural efforts, so it is expected that mining operations, now comparatively in their infancy, will derive equal advantages. The only hamlets are two or three clusters of houses scarcely deserving the name, one of which, in the eastern quarter, is called Cross-Roads, on account of two roads intersecting each other. The railway, for the construction of which an act was obtained in 1835, diverges from the Glasgow line at Airdrie, and reaches to the Union canal at Causeway-End, three miles west of Linlithgow, constituting a line of more than thirteen miles. It enters this parish at the south-western extremity, where the counties of Stirling and Lanark meet, and, crossing it about the centre, advances easterly to Bankhead, crossing the Avon by a handsome bridge, and entering the parish of Muiravonside. The capital of the company, originally £86,000, was increased in 1839 to £140,000; and an act for making a railway to connect this line with the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway was passed in 1844. Coal and peat are the fuel of the inhabitants, who now obtain both from their own district, from which, also, the large whinstone blocks used in the construction of the railroad, which runs for more than three and a half miles through the parish, were quarried. The marketable produce is disposed of at Falkirk and Airdrie. The parish is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £257, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £28 per annum. The church, rebuilt about 1816, is a plain edifice, nearly square, and contains upwards of 600 sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in Greek, Latin, mensuration, and all the ordinary branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with a house, and £20 fees. There is another school, and about a hundred children receive instruction in the parish.
SLATEFORD, a village, in the parish of Colinton, county of Edinburgh, 3 miles (S. W.) from Edinburgh; containing 221 inhabitants. This village is situated on the Water of Leith, nearly below the magnificent aqueduct of the Union canal over that stream. The district around is a scene of considerable activity and industry; numerous mills are driven by the river, and at InglisGreen, immediately below Slateford, is an excellent bleachfield under the direction of Mr. M'Whirter. In the village is a post-office. There is also a chapel, built in 1784, of which the minister has a salary of £130, with a dwelling-house and garden.
SLATEFORD, a village, in the parish of Edzell, county of Forfar, 6 miles (N. by W.) from Brechin; containing 290 inhabitants. This village is situated near the western bank of the North Esk river, in the south-eastern quarter of the parish.—See the article on Edzell.
Sleat, or Slate
SLEAT, or SLATE, a parish, in the island of Skye, county of Inverness, 16 miles (S. by W.) from Broadford; containing 2706 inhabitants. This parish, the name of which is supposed to be of Danish origin, is situated in the south-eastern part of the island, and is twenty-five miles in length and five in average breadth, comprising 24,056 acres; 1335 are arable, 3956 green pasture, 18,265 hill pasture, and 500 wood. It is chiefly a peninsula. The northern part, reaching to Kyle-Rhea, a ferry separating Skye from the main land of Glenelg, comprehends but a small proportion compared to the southern or peninsular district, which is separated from it by a narrow isthmus formed by the approximation of an arm of the sea on the east, called Loch-in-daal, and another on the west, called Loch Eishart. The whole of the eastern boundary is washed by the channel which runs between Skye and the counties of Ross and Inverness; and though the shore is not so deeply indented as that in many other parts of the island, it is yet very irregular in its outline, particularly in the southern portion. The interior displays considerable variety of scenery; and the eastern side, where most of the cultivated ground is situated, is ornamented with the thriving plantations of Armadale Castle, and exhibits specimens of superior husbandry in its arable and pasture lands. Westward are tracts of low bleak moorland, forming a contrast to the bold elevations of Strath, and especially to the lofty and pinnacled range of Cuillin beyond. The lochs are of small extent, and principally in the moorlands; they only contain trout, which are sometimes taken by anglers; but the paucity of fish in these waters is compensated by the supply of various kinds in the neighbouring seas, comprehending herrings, cod, ling, skate, mackerel, salmon, flounders, and many others.
The soil is mossy towards the middle of the parish, furnishing the inhabitants with plenty of good peat for fuel; in the portion under tillage it is clayey, but on account of the humidity of the climate and the wetness of the ground, the crops are late. The farmers consist partly of a superior order here called tacksmen, who hold their lands by lease, generally for fifteen years, and partly of crofters or small tenants, who hold at will, and cultivate mere allotments of ground; and these two classes are so entirely different in circumstances, and in the results of their agricultural labour, that they form a perfect contrast to each other. The tacksmen pursue a regular system of husbandry, including a rotation of crops; pay much attention to the rearing of sheep and cattle; and have convenient and comfortable farm-buildings. The crofters, on the contrary, are chiefly anxious to raise potatoes, which having planted in the spring, and manured with sea-ware, they leave home, and proceed to the south in search of employment, there being but little demand for labour in the parish: at the end of harvest they return; appropriating their summer earnings to the payment of their rent, and the relief of those who are sick or infirm; and remaining throughout the winter entirely unoccupied. Most of this class have cattle and sheep grazing on the hills; but their numbers being far too great for the quantity of pasture, they are lean and stunted, and contribute only in a small degree to the means of subsistence. The crofters are thus extremely poor; they are all clad in home-made apparel, rarely taste butchers' meat, and consider oatmeal a luxury; a depressed state arising from over-population, and the consolidation of several tracts, and their conversion into sheep-farms. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2097.
The substrata consist of gneiss, intersected with trap dykes: the stone used in building the castle of Armadale, the property of Lord Macdonald, proprietor of the parish, was brought from quarries in the adjoining parish of Strath, freestone being used for the more massive, and granite for the ornamental portions. This structure, built about thirty years since, is particularly admired for its hall and staircase, which are beautifully finished, and the latter ornamented with a window of stained glass by Egginton, of Birmingham, containing a fine portrait of Somerled, Lord of the Isles, who was the founder of the family, represented in full Highland costume. The rooms are all commodious and well proportioned, and some exceedingly handsome. There are several good roads connecting different parts of the parish; and a parliamentary road runs through it, communicating between Armadale and Broadford. Steam-boats plying between Glasgow and Portree touch here every day in summer, and once every fortnight in winter. The chief produce exported consists of herrings and cod sent to the district of the Clyde, of sheep sent to the Falkirk trysts, and of black-cattle conveyed to Broadford, to which places purchasers come from the south of Scotland. A post-office is established under Broadford. The parish is in the presbytery of Skye, synod of Glenelg, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £158, of which £96 are paid by the exchequer; with a manse, built about forty years since, and a glebe valued at £6 per annum. The church, situated at Kilmore, near the centre of the parish, is a plain structure bearing the date of 1631; it has lately been repaired, and contains sittings for about 500 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £30, with a house, and £3 fees. There is also an Assembly's school at Tormore; another is supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and a school has been established by the Gaelic School Society, at the the ferry of Kyle-Rhea. An ancient building called Dun-scaich, situated on the west side of the parish, and another, called the Castle of Knock, on the east, are supposed to have been at a very remote period residences of the barons of Sleat. Sir John Macpherson, who held a high appointment in India, was born here. The place confers on the Macdonald family the title of barons of Sleat.
SLOHABERT, a hamlet, in the parish of Kirkinner, county of Wigton, 1½ mile (W. S. W.) from Kirkinner village; containing 54 inhabitants. This is a very small place, lying in the southern quarter of the parish, a short distance from the estate of Barnbarroch.
SMAILHOLM, a parish, in the county of Roxburgh, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Kelso; containing 592 inhabitants, of whom 304 are in the village. This place, of which the name is variously written Smalham, Smalholm, and Smailholm, is chiefly distinguished for its tower, a spacious square building supposed to have been a border fortress, and the remains of which still exist on the farm of Sandyknow, in the south-west portion of the parish, now the property of Lord Polwarth, and formerly tenanted by the grandfather of Sir Walter Scott. Sir Walter has celebrated this resort of his childhood in his border tale The Eve of St. John, in which he describes the tower of Smailholm and its surrounding rocks; and in his Marmion he alludes to his early residence here, as having exerted a peculiar influence in predisposing his mind to that style of poetry in which he so much excelled. The parish, which is bounded on the east by the river Eden, is situated at the north-eastern extremity of the county, and extends for nearly four miles in length, varying in breadth, which in the widest part is rather more than three miles; it comprises 4057 acres, of which 3450 are arable, 450 meadow and pasture, and about sixty woodland and plantations. The surface, which is of very irregular form, is diversified with flat and rising grounds, the latter in some parts having an elevation of more than 500 feet above the level of the sea; and the scenery, which in many places is picturesque, is pleasingly embellished with plantations. The soil is in general good, and the system of agriculture advanced: the plantations, which are managed with great care, consist of firs and various kinds of hard-wood, and are in a thriving and healthy condition. The land has been much improved by draining and by the introduction of lime as manure; the crops are now usually favourable, the farm-buildings substantial and well arranged, the lands inclosed, and the fences, which are chiefly of thorn, neatly kept. Limestone is found in the parish, but, from the scarcity of coal, it is not worked; coal brought from Lothian and Northumberland is the principal fuel, and the thinnings of the plantations afford also a partial supply. The substratum is principally whinstone rock of a very hard quality, which abounds in the southern parts, and is procured for making and repairing the roads; there is also a considerable quantity of rotten-rock, used for the farm-roads. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3092. The village consists of three divisions, called respectively the East Third, the West Third, and Overtown: in the first, through which passes the turnpike-road from Lauder, are situated the parish church, the manse, and the parochial school. A savings' bank was established some time ago, but it has been discontinued since the year 1830. The parish is in the presbytery of Lauder, synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of George Baillie, Esq.: the minister's stipend is £205. 12. 9., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £17. 5. per annum. The church, which is conveniently situated, appears to have been erected about the year 1632, as a stone removed from the building while undergoing repairs bore that date, with the inscription Soli. Deo. Gloria; it has accommodation for 300 persons. The parochial school affords a liberal education; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £30 fees, and a house and garden. There was once also a school at Sandyknow, the master of which was supplied with board and lodging by the tenant of the farm in consideration of his teaching his children, and by school fees of other pupils.
SMALLHOLM, a hamlet, in the parish of Lochmaben, county of Dumfries, 3½ miles (S. S. E.) from the town of Lochmaben; containing 82 inhabitants. It is situated on the west bank of the Annan, in the south-east quarter of the parish, and on the high road from Lochmaben to Annan. This is one of the four villages forming the ancient barony of Fourtowns, the tract comprising which is of remarkable fertility. The tenants of the lands around the villages were formerly called the "King's tenants," and the "Crown's rentallers," the property having constituted part of the original royal domains, or proper patrimony of the crown. It was incumbent on the tenants to furnish provisions and other necessaries for the use of the royal fortress of Lochmaben, and it is probable that the tenants themselves composed the garrison of the castle, which existed as a border defence till the union of the crowns. The population of the village of Smallholm is exclusively agricultural.
SMALL ISLES, a parish, partly in the county of Inverness, but chiefly in the district of Mull, county of Argyll; containing the island of Eigg in the former, and the islands of Canna, Muck, and Rum in the latter, county; and having 993 inhabitants. This place anciently formed part of the parish of Sleat, from which it was severed in 1726, by act of the General Assembly, and erected into a distinct parish. The parish, on its separation, took the name of Eigg, from the island of Eigg, where its minister had his principal residence, but subsequently received its present name, by which it is more generally known, from the several islands of which it consists, and of each of which a minute description is given under its own head. The surface and the soil, with the various other features of the parish, vary greatly in the different islands, where of some are more or less adapted for tillage, and others for pasture; some contain considerable tracts of low and level lands, and others are rather hilly and mountainous. The principal employment of the inhabitants is the rearing of sheep and black-cattle, and the making of a small quantity of kelp from the abundance of sea-weed which is found on the coasts, and which is also used as manure. Cod, ling, and other kinds of white-fish, are taken off the coasts; and during the season, several of the inhabitants are engaged in the herring-fishery, which is, however, carried on only to a small extent, scarcely exceeding what is requisite for their own consumption. The mansion-houses are those of Mr. Macneil in the island of Canna, and Dr. Maclean in the island of Rum; the lands attached have been greatly improved and embellished with plantations, which are well managed and in a thriving state.
There are no villages, neither are there any important manufactures carried on: a few of the inhabitants, however, are employed in the building and repairing of boats, and in some of the usual handicraft trades connected with the fisheries, and necessary for the supply of their immediate wants. The means of communication with the post-office on the main land, and with the several adjacent islands, is by small boats, of which each family has at least one for its own use. The rateable annual value of the parish is £664. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £158. 6. 8., including communion elements, of which sum £64. 16. 4. are paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum: patron, the Crown. There is no church; the parishioners assemble in the schoolroom at Eigg, which is capable of accommodating a congregation of eighty persons. Nearly one half of the people are of the Roman Catholic persuasion, and meet for public worship in the house of the priest; and those who are of the Free Church have also a place of worship. The parochial school, for which an appropriate building in the island of Eigg was erected in 1829, is attended by about thirty scholars; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees average £10 per annum. There is also a Gaelic school in Muck, supported by a society. Some remains of ancient fortresses exist on the islands of Canna and Muck, but in a very dilapidated state; and on the island of Rum are still left vestiges of dykes formerly used for ensnaring the deer.
Smithtown of Culloden
SMITHYHAUGH, a village, in the parish of Auchterarder, county of Perth, 2½ miles (E.) from the town of Auchterarder; containing 391 inhabitants. This village, which within the last few years has rapidly increased in extent and population, is beautifully situated on the banks of the river Ruthven, and in that part of the parish which was anciently the parish of Aberuthven, now annexed to Auchterarder. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in hand-loom weaving for the manufacturers of Glasgow, and in the woollen-manufacture, for which there is a small factory on the river for shawls, blankets, and similar articles. On the same stream are numerous mills, as noticed in the account of the parish, from which circumstance the village probably derived its previous appellation of Miltown.
SNIZORT, a parish, in the island of Skye, county of Inverness, 7 miles (N. N. W.) from Portree; containing 3220 inhabitants, of whom 87 are in that part of the late quoad sacra parish of Steinscholl which was within Snizort. This parish is bounded on the east by the sound of Rasay, and on the west by Loch Snizort; it is about twelve miles in extreme length and nearly six miles in breadth, comprising an area of 37,000 acres, of which the far greater part is hill and moorland pasture. The surface is marked with flat hills of moderate elevation, partly covered with green pasture, and partly with heath: in the south-east is a mountainous ridge called the Storr, whose isolated peak, rising to a great height above the adjacent hills, and broken into irregular forms, has a strikingly romantic appearance. Between the hills are some small valleys, the principal of which, Glenhaltin, Glenhinistil, and Glen-Uigg, not only afford luxuriant pasturage, but contain also large tracts of rich arable land. There are numerous springs of excellent water; and of the several rivers, which, when swollen with rains, flow with an impetuous course, the principal falls into the bay of Snizort. The coast is indented with small bays; the most important are, that of Snizort, which intersects the parish for nearly five miles, and the bay of Uigg, forming a semicircular basin a mile and a half in circumference, on the west. The shore is bold and rocky, except at the heads of the bays, where it is generally low and sandy; and on the east side of the coast is a beautiful cascade, where the water has a fall of ninety feet from the projecting rock into the sea, and under which is a naturally formed foot-path in the cliff, whence it may be seen with singular effect. The system of husbandry is generally in a very imperfect state, and a large proportion of the improveable land is still a barren waste. The larger farms are under tolerably good management, and on these, improved implements of agriculture are in use; but in all the smaller allotments the old and inefficient modes are yet practised. The chief dependence of the inhabitants is on the rearing of black-cattle, sheep, and horses. At the head of Loch Snizort is a fishing-station, where salmon are taken; and cod and ling are found off the coast, many tons of which are sent annually to Glasgow and Liverpool. Herrings were formerly caught in abundance; but very few of late have visited this part of the coast. At the bay of Uigg is a receiving-house for letters, and the packet from Harris arrives there weekly, to convey the mails thence to their destination; facility of communication is also afforded by a good road which passes through the whole length of the parish to Portree. The rateable annual value of Snizort is £2958.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £158.2. 11., of which more than one half is paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum: patron, the Crown. The church, situated at the head of Loch Snizort, built about the year 1800, and originally containing only 450 sittings, has been recently enlarged, and now contains 750 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church; also a preaching-station on the south side of the bay of Snizort, in which are 400 sittings; and at Uigg is a place of worship for Baptists. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £30, with a house, and an allowance of £2 in lieu of garden, and the fees average about £3 annually. There are likewise schools supported by the General Assembly and societies for the education of the poor, of which the masters have salaries of £20 each; and in the district of Borvie is a school endowed by the late Donald Mc Dermid, Esq., with £1000, from which the master receives a salary of £35: he also possesses a house and garden. On a small island formed by the river Snizort near its influx into the sea, are the ruins of the ancient church, supposed to have been originally the cathedral of the Island of Skye, but now appropriated as a place of sepulture. Among the other relics of antiquity are numerous cairns, in some of which have been found the coffins of the chieftains over whose remains they were raised: in the cairn of Ina was discovered, on the lid of a stone coffin, the handle of a military weapon resembling a sword; and within the coffin was an urn of burnt clay, elaborately carved, but without any inscription. While digging peat on the farm of Sheader, was discovered, in the moss, a small box of ancient weapons, on one of which, when cleared from rust, appeared the name of "Bocchus," supposed to have been sheriff of Ross, which included the Isle of Skye while the Macdonalds were earls of Ross. This weapon was probably the sword of state usually placed before him while holding his courts. There are also remains of Druidical circles, and several circular forts. Among the rocks on the eastern coast is a large perpendicular mass of stone, 360 feet in circumference at the base, and about 300 feet high, tapering gradually toward the summit, and forming a natural obelisk of strikingly romantic appearance.
SOAY, an island, in the parish of Bracadale, Isle of Skye, county of Inverness; containing 113 inhabitants. It is situated about south-east-by-east of the point of Rhuandunan, opposite to Loch Skavaig, and is separated from the Isle of Skye by the sound of its own name. On the north-west is a deeply-indented harbour which nearly divides the island into two parts.
SOAY, an isle, in the parish of Assynt, county of Sutherland. This is a small isle, on the western coast of the county, at the entrance of Loch Inver; and is about half a mile in length, very narrow, and rather flat, though not wholly so. There is much heather, but a portion of the island affords good pasturage.
SORBIE, a parish, in the district of Machers, county of Wigton, 6 miles (S.) from Wigton; containing, with the villages of Garliestown and Sorbie, 1700 inhabitants, of whom 809 are in the rural districts, and 235 in the village of Sorbie. This place comprehends the three ancient parishes of Sorbie, Kirkmadrine, and Cruggleton, which were united about the middle of the 17th century. It is supposed to have derived its name, originally Sourby, signifying in the Saxon language "a gloomy habitation," from the situation of its castle on the confines of a cold and dreary marsh that has been since drained and brought under cultivation. The castle of Sorbie, of which there are now but very inconsiderable remains, belonged, together with the lands attached to it, to the family of the Hannays in the reign of James IV., and continued in their possession till about the commencement of the present century: the Earl of Galloway is now the principal landed proprietor. The castle of Cruggleton, from which that parish took its name, and of which only some of the foundations of the walls, and part of an arch, are at present left, was seated on the summit of a bold promontory near the mouth of Wigton bay; and is said to have been the baronial residence of John Cumyn, Earl of Buchan, in the 13th century, as one of the coheirs of the ancient lords of Galloway. In 1292, the earl obtained from Edward I. of England licence to procure lead in the Calf of Man, for the roofing of his castle of Cruggleton, which, after his subsequent defeat by Robert Bruce, was, with the neighbouring lands, forfeited to the crown. Of its subsequent history little is known; it became a ruin towards the close of the 17th century, and the estate is now the property of Sir Andrew Agnew, of Lochnaw, Bart.
The parish is bounded on the east by Wigton bay, and is about six miles in extreme length, varying from three miles and a half to nearly six miles in breadth, and comprising 9000 acres, of which 7700 are arable with a moderate proportion of meadow and pasture, 400 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. The surface is diversified with hills of moderate elevation, interspersed with fertile valleys, and commanding from their summits fine views of the bay of Wigton, Solway Frith, the Cumberland mountains, and the Isle of Man. The prevailing scenery, enlivened with flourishing plantations, is agreeably varied, and in some parts picturesque. There are no rivers of any importance; but on the north-western boundary is Loch Dowalton, so called from the former proprietor of the lands, a fine sheet of water more than three miles in circumference, and varying from six to twenty feet in depth. From this lake, which abounds with pike, perch, and eels, issues a small stream which intersects the parish from west to east, and flows into Garliestown bay; and in various parts of the parish are perennial springs, affording an ample supply of excellent water. The coast, including its several windings, is about twelve miles in extent; and is indented with numerous bays, of which the principal are those of Garliestown and Rigg, whereof the latter, in compliment to Capt. Hunter, of the royal navy, who brought his ship to anchor there, has since been sometimes called Hunter's bay: on the north is Orchardton bay, which is dry at low water. The bay of Garliestown is well adapted for the construction of a spacious harbour, which would greatly facilitate the trade between the western coast of England and this country. The smaller bays are, Innerwell, Allan, and Whapple; and the principal headlands, Eagerness, Innerwell, and Cruggleton Points, of which Eagerness Point is the most prominent. The shore on the north, and at Garliestown and Rigg, is flat and sandy; at Eagerness it is rocky, but not precipitous; while from the south-east of Rigg bay to Whithorn it is bold and precipitous, rising in some places abruptly to a height of 200 feet above the level of the sea. The rocks on this part of the coast are perforated with two nearly contiguous caves, each about 120 feet in depth, and both having arched roofs of great beauty, naturally formed in the solid rock; the one is 100 feet in height and thirty-six feet in width, and the other forty feet high and fifteen feet wide. A salmon-fishery is carried on at Port-Innerwell, which produces an annual rental of £200 to the proprietors; and herrings, mackerel, cod, and various other kinds of fish, are also taken here in abundance. Herrings were likewise found some few years since off Garliestown, and many of the inhabitants engaged in the fishery; but from recent want of success, it has been almost discontinued.
The soil is generally light, but fertile, and in a high state of cultivation; the crops are, oats, barley, a little wheat, some potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry has been much improved of late, and bone-dust has been introduced with success. The farm houses and offices are mostly substantial and conveniently arranged, the lands inclosed, and the fences kept in good repair; the greatest encouragement is given to the tenantry by the proprietors, and the liberal terms on which the leases are granted afford a powerful stimulus to improvement. Great attention is paid to the management of live-stock. The sheep are of the common native breed, with a mixture of others; many of them are bought in at the Falkirk trysts, and, when fattened on turnips, sent to the Liverpool markets by steam-boats, for which the parish has every facility. The cattle are all of the Galloway breed; they are mostly of a black colour, without horns, and are usually sold when two or three years old to dealers who send them to Dumfries, where they are purchased for the supply of the English markets. The plantations comprise oak, ash, beech, birch, alder, plane, larch, and the various kinds of firs, for all of which the soil appears to be well adapted; they are regularly thinned, and in a thriving state. In the grounds of Galloway House are some remarkably fine specimens of laurel, evergreen, Turkey oak, and horse-chesnut. The rocks are generally of the transition series; and the substrata, whinstone and gravel, with a few boulders of granite, which lie on the surface, and seldom exceed three feet in length. Neither ores nor minerals of any kind have been discovered, nor are there any quarries in operation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8646. Galloway House, the seat of the Earl of Galloway, is a stately mansion erected about the middle of the 18th century, and beautifully situated on the coast, between the bays of Garliestown and Rigg, over both of which it commands an interesting view, with the Cumberland mountains and the Isle of Man in the distance. The house contains many spacious and elegant apartments tastefully embellished, and a library of many thousand volumes in the various departments of literature; the grounds are richly embellished with ancient timber and thriving plantations.
The village of Garliestown is described under its own head. That of Sorbie was commenced towards the close of the last century, under the auspices of the Earl of Galloway: it is situated nearly in the centre of the parish; the houses are neatly built, and the environs abound with much pleasing scenery. The manufacture of damask was established here about fifty years since, and was brought to very great perfection, both for fineness of texture, and beauty and variety of patterns; the damask was made from the best Dutch flax spun by hand, and the articles produced were in high repute throughout Scotland and England. Some damask manufactured here in 1800 was sent to Edinburgh, and submitted for competition at the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, where it obtained the highest premium; and complete suits of table-linen have been prepared at this place for most of the noble families in the kingdom. The manufactory afforded employment to about 100 persons, including both weavers and spinners. There are still rope and sail works at Garliestown, and some shops in the village of Sorbie for the supply of the inhabitants. Letters are delivered daily from the post-office of Wigton; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, which intersect the parish in various directions, and by steam-boats and other vessels, which frequent the harbour of Garliestown. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Wigton and synod of Galloway: the minister's stipend is £244. 13. 7., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, situated in the village, was rebuilt in 1750, and repaired in 1826; it is a neat substantial structure containing 500 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there is a place of worship at Garliestown for Independents. The parochial school is well conducted, and attended by about sixty children; the master has a salary of £33. 3., with a house and garden, and the fees average £20 annually. There are several other schools, of which two, at Garliestown, are endowed by the Earl and Countess of Galloway. Some remains exist of the ancient church of Kirkmadrine, which appears to have been a very small structure; the old churchyard is still used as a burying-ground by some families. Patrick Hannay, a poet of some eminence, was a native of this parish: a volume of his poems, published in 1662, was recently sold in London for the sum of £42. 10. 6.
SORN, a parish, in the district of Kyle, county of Ayr, 3½ miles (E.) from Mauchline; containing, with the late quoad sacra district of Catrine, 4054 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Dalgain, derived that appellation from the nature of the soil, and its present name, which is also of Celtic origin, from the situation of its castle on a bold promontory projecting into the river Ayr. The time of the erection of this castle, and the name of its original founder, are not recorded; but it is generally thought to be of great antiquity. In the early part of the 15th century the fortress, and the lands pertaining to it, became the property of the ancestor of the family of Hamilton, one of whose descendants, Sir William Hamilton, was lord treasurer of Scotland in the reign of James V., who paid a visit to Sir William on the marriage of his daughter to Lord Seaton, and remained for some time at the castle. The estate, by this marriage, descended to the earls of Wintoun, by whom the castle and lands were sold to the Loudoun family; and after passing to various other proprietors, they were purchased about fifty years since by the family of the present owner. The parish is about six and a half miles in length and of nearly equal breadth, and comprises 23,950 acres, of which 12,600 are arable, 780 woodland and plantations, and the remainder hill pasture and moss. The surface is pleasingly varied with plains and with hills of various elevation, the highest of which, on the north-east boundary of the parish, is nearly 1600 feet above the level of the sea. The river Ayr intersects the parish from east to west, and in its course receives numerous streams, of which several have their rise in the higher grounds here: of these the Cleugh, a picturesque burn, flows through a deep and richly-wooded dell abounding with beautiful scenery, into the Ayr, near the castle, thus forming a strikingly romantic feature in the landscape of the parish, which is also embellished with stately woods and flourishing plantations. The soil on the banks of the Ayr is gravelly, on the higher grounds a reddish clay, and on the hills a kind of peat-moss resting on a substratum of clay: the crops are, oats, potatoes, and hay, with a few acres of wheat and barley, beans, turnips, and carrots. The system of agriculture is improved, and the rotation of crops generally adopted; furrow-draining is extensively practised, and much indifferent land by that means has been rendered productive. Lime is found in abundance, and forms the principal manure. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and on many of the farms are threshing-mills, mostly driven by horses. The breeds of live-stock are not much attended to; the cattle are chiefly of the Cunninghame, and the sheep of the black-faced, breed. Few horses are reared except for husbandry, and these are of an inferior kind. The woods consist of various sorts of forest-timber; and the plantations, of Scotch fir and larch, with some oak, ash, elm, and birch. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9970.
The substrata are, limestone, ironstone, slate-clay, sandstone, and coal. The limestone, which is of excellent quality, is extensively wrought for manure and for other uses; and the ironstone, though never smelted here, was formerly sent in great quantities to the works of the Muirkirk Iron Company, and was found to contain a large proportion of iron. The coal was once wrought near the village of Sorn, producing an abundant supply at a moderate expense, and it is in contemplation to commence operations for that purpose in other parts of the parish: coal is brought at present from the collieries at Auchinleck, four miles distant. There are in the parish a mill for grain, to which is attached a saw-mill, a carding-mill, a public brewery, and two licensed private breweries. The principal seats are, Sorn Castle, Gilmillscroft, Auchmannoch, Glenlogan, Catrine Bank, and Kingswell. The village of Sorn is pleasantly situated on the road from Ayr to Muirkirk, in a vale of considerable extent watered by the river Ayr, and is chiefly inhabited by agricultural labourers; a few of the inhabitants, however, are employed in handloom weaving. A penny-post office has been established here; and facility of communication is afforded with the neighbouring places by good roads which pass through the parish, and by a stone bridge over the Ayr. Fairs are held on the second Tuesday in March, O. S., and the first Monday in November; they are both for the sale of cattle and agricultural produce, and are well attended. A race is held on the fair days. The village of Catrine, situated on the north bank of the river, is described under its own head. The parish was separated from that of Mauchline in 1692, when the chapel of ease of Sorn, which had been erected nearly forty years, became the church; it is in the presbytery of Ayr, synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and patronage of Mrs. Agnes Somervell. The minister's stipend is £195. 11., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £15 per annum. The church, built in 1658 was thoroughly repaired in 1826, and is adapted for a congregation of 611 persons. The parochial school, near the village of Sorn, is well attended; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with £15 fees, and a house and garden. There is also a school at Catrine. A friendly society was established in 1832, which has a fund of more than £250, and contributes to diminish the number of applications for parochial relief. Dr. Matthew Stewart, professor of mathematics in the university of Edinburgh, and father of Professor Dugald Stewart, was occasionally a resident of this parish; and the house in which he lived is still remaining. On his decease, his son became heritor of the estate, and spent much of the earlier period of his life here. Mr. Stewart died in 1828, and was succeeded by his son, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Stewart, who has erected a handsome dwelling-house on a commanding spot near the site of the former: this house, from the circumstance of James V. having, while on his way to Sorn Castle, reposed himself by the side of a well near the place, has obtained the name of Kingswell.
SORNHILL, a village, in the parish of Riccarton, district of Kyle, county of Ayr, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from Kilmarnock; containing 95 inhabitants. This village is situated near the eastern extremity of the parish, and till within the last few years was supposed to form part of the adjacent parish of Galston, with which its population had been invariably returned. It is small, and irregularly built, consisting chiefly of a few cottages inhabited by persons employed in the neighbouring collieries, and in the making of bricks and tiles, for which some extensive works have been recently established in the immediate vicinity.
SOUL-SKERRY, an isle, in the parish of Stromness, county of Orkney. It lies about ten leagues distant, west-north-west, from the village of Stromness, and is a great resort of seals; but the surge is so considerable round the isle, the fishermen have frequently been unable to effect a landing. A fatal accident happened in November 1786, in prosecuting this perilous fishing.
SOUTHDEAN, a parish, in the district of Jedburgh, county of Roxburgh, 10 miles (S. by W.) from Jedburgh; containing, with the village of Chesters, 868 inhabitants. This place, which is also called Chesters, derives the name of Southdean, peculiarly appropriated to the upper part, from its having formed the south valley in the ancient forest of Jed, which was, with very trifling exceptions, wholly cut down during the last century. The parish is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Jed, is nearly thirteen miles in length and seven in breadth, and comprises about 25,000 acres, of which little more than 3000 are arable and in cultivation, 500 woodland and plantation, and the remainder sheep-walks and rough pasture. The soil in the lower parts is generally a light black earth, with gravel, but in some places a strong clay; along the banks of the river, gravel inclining to heath is predominant; and in the upper parts is a light and friable soil, with moss and stiff clay. The system of agriculture is much improved, and an additional quantity of arable land has been recently brought into cultivation. Considerable improvements have been also made in plantations, and in draining the sheep pastures, which have greatly benefited the lands, and increased the healthiness of the parish. About 15,000 sheep, principally of the Cheviot breed, are pastured; and there are about 1600 long-woolled sheep, of which kind a few were introduced about thirty years since. Black-cattle are also reared in considerable numbers, and the breed has lately been improved by the introduction of the short-horned bull from the south. The wool produced here was formerly sent into Yorkshire for sale, but is now uniformly bought by the manufacturers of Hawick, Galashiels, and Jedburgh; it is of excellent quality, and greatly esteemed.
There are several quarries of red and white sandstone, the latter well adapted for ornamental buildings; and coal is supposed to exist, though some attempts lately made to procure it were abandoned on account of the expense. A vein of antimony was some years since discovered on the lands of Abbotrule, but it has not been worked with success. Abbotrule is an ancient mansion pleasantly situated; Wolflee is a handsome mansion of modern erection, in the early English style of domestic architecture. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6172. Southdean is in the presbytery of Jedburgh and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown and Lord Douglas, the latter having two turns to one of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £234. 9. 3., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £40 per annum. The church, built in 1690, and in excellent repair, is conveniently situated. The parochial school affords education to about ninety scholars; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £20 fees, and a house and garden, Tumuli were formerly very numerous, but they have now almost disappeared in the progress of cultivation: there are still, however, several remains of ancient fortifications, or peels, which were of frequent occurrence in places situated near the border; and also various sites of camps, some of circular form. Among some of the strongholds at the extremity of the parish, admirably adapted for concealment, the Rev. Mr. Veitch and Mr. Bryson, who, according to Dr. Mc Crie, suffered during the persecution of the Scottish Church, found shelter and a secure asylum. The scene of the Raid of the Red Swire, the last of the border conflicts, is within the limits of the parish. Thomson, the poet, whose father was incumbent of Southdean, to which he was translated from Ednam about two years after the poet's birth, spent his childhood and part of his youth in this parish; and there is still, in a garden, a hawthorn of unusual size which is regarded with veneration, from its association in the minds of the inhabitants with the memory of the author of The Seasons.
SOUTHEND, a parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll, 7½ miles (S. by W.) from Campbelltown; containing, with the island of Sanda, 1594 inhabitants. This place takes its present name, which it has had only since the Reformation, from its position at the southern extremity of the peninsula of Cantyre. It consists of the ancient parishes of Kilcolmkill and Kilblaan, the former name signifying "the cell or church of St. Columba, the founder of churches," and the latter "the church of St. Blaan." On the east and south it is bounded by the Frith of Clyde and the North Channel, on the west by the Atlantic, and on the north by the parish, town, and harbour of Campbelltown; and it comprehends, besides the main land portion, the small island of Sanda, at a short distance on the south-east, and the much smaller ones of Glunamore and Sheep isle, both close to the former. The parish extends eleven miles in extreme length, measures about five miles at its greatest breadth, and comprises 32,318 acres, of which one-fourth are computed to be under cultivation as arable and pasture, the proportion of the arable to the pasture being about one to five: the wood, natural and planted, comprehends only from 100 to 150 acres.
The line of coast is about nineteen miles in extent; and though sandy towards the east, on the side opposite the Atlantic it is bold, rocky, and commanding in its aspect: it contains numerous caves, some headlands, and several bays girt with coral rocks, of which those affording the best anchorage are Dunaverty, Carskey, and Machririoch. The Mull of Cantyre, the Epidium Promontorium of the Romans, is the chief headland, and the nearest point of land in Britain to Ireland, the distance being only eleven and a half miles from the promontory to Tor Point, in the county of Antrim. This rocky projection, as is well known, is lofty and imposing in its appearance, and exhibits an assemblage of massive pillars overhanging the ocean in dreary solitude, of a singular variety of forms, and of magnificent grandeur, bidding defiance with unbroken front to the most furious storms. Adjoining is the mountain of Knockmoy, the highest in the district, rising 2036 feet above the level of the sea, and forming a noted mark to all vessels coming from the west. The summit commands one of the most striking, diversified, and beautiful views in the upper districts of Scotland, embracing, in the midst of the fine clear swell of the adjacent deep, the islands of Islay, Rathlin, Jura, and Gigha, and, in the distance, the mountains of Mull. Towards the east, the Frith of Clyde appears stretched out with great effect, together with the towering hills of Arran, the Ayrshire coast, and the mountains of Carrick and Galloway, the horizon being bounded by the picturesque isle of Ailsa. The island of Sanda, separated from the main land by a channel three miles across, is of irregular form, about four miles in circumference, and being covered with good pasture, serves the purpose of a large sheep-farm. It has passed, at different times, under different names, though its present appellation is considered the most ancient, on the authority of Adomnan, Abbot of Iona, who wrote the life of St. Columba in the year 680. During the visits of the Scandinavians to these coasts, and their attacks upon the district for the possession of Cantyre and the adjacent islands, Sanda, according to the historian Buchanan, was an important station for their fleets; when the Danish fleet assembled here the isle was called Avona Porticosa, and by the natives it is still termed Aven. The sound is much frequented for its anchorage by small vessels sailing up the Frith of Clyde, which has about twelve fathoms of water at three miles from the shore.
The navigation on this coast requires great experience and caution, on account of some remarkable eddies and dangerous sunken rocks. One of the former, a rapid current resembling a whirlpool, runs about a mile and a half from the Mull, and often drives vessels on shore by taking a strong course to the eastward when the tide flows to the westward. A very dangerous rock, also, called Paterson's rock, nearly 300 yards long, lying E. S. E. of Sanda, and always covered at highwater, has been the occasion, partly through the force of the current, of many shipwrecks at different times. A lighthouse, called the Mull of Cantyre lighthouse, was commenced in 1786, and finished two years afterwards: the light, which was first exhibited on the night of the 1st of December, 1788, is known to mariners as a stationary light, and appears as a star of the first magnitude at the distance of six or seven leagues. This beacon, so important for the security of the navigation of the channel between Scotland and Ireland, is one of the series built by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, who were appointed by act of parliament in the year 1786, with a jurisdiction extending along the entire coast of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The structure stands on a cliff 280 feet above the level of the sea, and near the rocks usually known by the name of "the Merchants." It is bound by a shore composed of gigantic masses of mica-slate and quartz-rocks, continually lashed by the tremendous waves almost always in action in this quarter; while inland nothing is to be seen but mountains and morasses, the nearest habitation being five miles distant. A new road was formed to it through the mountains, in 1828, to increase the facilities of communication required in the transmission of the necessary articles.
The surface of the interior is in some parts pleasingly diversified with rising grounds, and with valleys traversed by their respective streams, the chief of which are Coniglen and Glenbreckry, lying nearly parallel with each other. The stream Breckry, which runs through the latter, issues from Knockmoy, and loses itself in the sea at Carskey bay; while the Coniglen, the larger of the two, and which is often suddenly swollen, after travelling for some distance in a south-eastern course joins the Frith of Clyde at Dunaverty bay. The general scenery is wild and dreary; and the extensive ranges of rocky mountains contain large and cheerless peat-bogs, the depositories of immense trunks of trees, constituting the remains of the forests with which the locality appears to have been anciently covered. The more cultivated portions of the parish, however, are frequently picturesque, though the great scarcity of wood deprives the surface of an important feature of a fine landscape. The soil varies considerably. The slopes generally exhibit a light gravelly earth, on a tilly subsoil; while moss, clay, loam, and other varieties are also seen in different places, with their usual mixtures and modifications. Towards the sea, on the eastern coast, that which prevails is of a light sandy nature; and alluvial deposits of some depth are found along the valleys, in which spots the cultivation is of course most ancient, and has been continued with least intermission. The crops are bear, oats, beans, potatoes, and turnips; the soil, especially in the eastern district, being considered too light for wheat and barley; though in some places, favoured with a deep loamy earth, it is thought that these kinds of grain might, with the security of good inclosures, be advantageously raised. The land generally requires much draining, and by great efforts of this description nearly one-third has been added to the arable ground within the last few years; the Duke of Argyll has also straightened and embanked the water of Coniglen, at a cost of £1600, to the benefit of the surrounding property. Neither the sheep nor the cattle are remarkable for appearance or quality. The former, with the exception of a few Leicesters lately introduced upon the low lands, are an inferior variety of the native black-faced, with a mixture of Lintons; and the cattle are a cross between the Irish and West Highland, and not to be compared with those of the original breed in the upper country. The stock is perhaps deteriorated partly by the nature of the pasture, which, though sweet and nutritious where the soil is dry and genial, is often the reverse on account of a spongy, crude, and marshy subsoil. The husbandry of the parish is on the whole well conducted, and the farm-houses of the superior tenants are comfortable dwellings, though some of them are roofed only with straw; those, however, occupied by the cottar class are in many cases constructed of clay and turf, and are confined, damp, and cold. There are two mills on the property of the Duke of Argyll.
The strata comprehend almost every kind of rock, in various combinations, and in some places imbedded with minerals, among which are fluor-spar and rock-crystal. The prevailing rocks, however, are sandstone, slate, quartz, and limestone; the first of these predominate, and of the last, as well as of whinstone, good quarries are in operation. The island of Sanda consists chiefly of sandstone of a reddish and a grey colour, veined with slaty clay of different hues; it supplied a large proportion of the material employed in the building of the parish church, and has been used for several of the principal mansions in the county. The rocks have an ornamental appearance on some parts of the coast, where, broken into different shapes, the cliffs loftily overhang the sea, and form, in some places, natural arches of considerable dimensions. Belts and clumps of plantations surround some of the chief mansions, and, being very uncommon in this quarter, attract the eye with great effect. The estate of Keil, a few years since a rude and uncultivated tract, has, by the plantation of some thousands of larch, poplar, and other trees, with the addition of good shrubberies, assumed a very beautiful appearance; and the mansion of Ballyshear, a handsome modern residence, has also received the improvement, in the adjacent grounds, of some well laid out plantations of considerable extent. Besides the above-named mansion, the parish contains those of Keilcolm-Keil, Carskey, and Levenstrath, the last surrounded by grounds ornamented with several choice clumps of thriving trees. The produce of the parish is usually sent for sale to Campbelltown, where several annual fairs are held, and also a weekly market for grain; and from near the same place, coal of an inferior kind is brought for fuel. The roads are well kept, and several good bridges have been built. The rateable annual value of Southend is £8763.
The parish is in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll. The minister's stipend is £158, of which £91. 10. are paid by the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of nearly eleven acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church, accommodating 500 persons, was built in 1774, and is in good repair; it is pleasantly situated on a rising ground, skirted by the stream of Coniglen on the southeast. There is also a place of worship for the Relief persuasion. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with the legal accommodations, and £27. 5. fees. A new school-house has been erected recently. A second school is supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and there is another, partly dependent on an annual gratuity from the Duke of Argyll. The ruins of a religious edifice dedicated to St. Columba are still in good preservation, near the shore of Keil, at which spot, according to tradition, the saint landed on his way from Ireland to this country. The ruins, also, of a religious house dedicated to St. Coivin are to be seen; and also those of St. Catherine's chapel, on the bank of a stream in the retired vale of Glenadle, and adjacent to a cemetery and a holy well frequented, till lately, by sick persons. Obelisks and urns are to be found in various parts; and there are also the remains of several Danish forts, the principal one being near the Mull, on the summit of a precipitous rock 180 feet high, and surrounded by three walls.
SPEYMOUTH, a parish, in the county of Elgin, ¼ mile (N. by W.) from Fochabers; containing, with the villages of Garmouth, Kingston-Port, and Mosstodlach, 1774 inhabitants, of whom 681 are in the rural districts. This place, consisting of the ancient parishes of Dipple and Essil, united by act of the General Assembly in 1731, derives its name from its situation near the mouth of the river Spey, which here falls into the Moray Frith. It appears to have been at a very early period the scene of various conflicts between the Scottish kings and their rebellious subjects. In 1078 the confederate insurgents of Caithness, Moray, and Ross, after an ineffectual attempt to intercept the passage of Malcolm III. with his army over the Spey, to attack their main body on the opposite shore, laid down their arms, and submitted to his authority. In 1110, another and a more formidable party of rebels assembled at this place, to oppose the progress of Alexander I. and his army, when a sanguinary battle occurred, which terminated in the total defeat of the insurgent forces, of whom great numbers were left dead on the field. During the reign of Malcolm IV., also, a severe battle was fought on the moors between Speymouth and Urquhart, the adjoining parish, in which the rebels of Moray, who had mustered here in great force, were routed with much slaughter; all the chief families of the province who had favoured the rising were dispersed into distant parts of the kingdom, and their lands transferred to less turbulent proprietors. In 1650 Charles II. landed at this place from Holland, where he had taken refuge during the usurpation of Cromwell; he was warmly received by the Laird of Innes and other loyal persons, and was entertained by the steward of Lord Dunfermline at his house at Garmouth, in which, indeed, he is said to have signed the Covenant. The remains of this house have been taken down, but the site is still pointed out. The last transaction of historical importance connected with the parish occurred in 1746, when the forces of the Young Pretender, on their retreat from the south, assembled here in great numbers, being resolved to make a desperate stand against the royal army under the Duke of Cumberland. On this occasion, the chieftains took up their head-quarters in the manse, while the troops were encamped along the banks of the Spey; but from want of concert among the leaders, and from the insubordination of the men, the rebels abandoned their design, and fled with the greatest precipitation on the approach of the royal army. The Duke with his forces crossed the Spey on the 12th of April, and encamped on the plain between the river and the church; after sleeping in the manse for that night, he advanced towards Inverness, and on the 16th gained the battle of Culloden, which put an end to the rebellion.
The parish is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith and on the east by the Spey, and is nearly seven miles in length from north to south, and about two miles in mean breadth; comprising almost 7000 acres, of which about 2500 are arable, 500 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, moorland, moss, and waste. The surface along the shore of the Frith is tolerably flat, but, about half a mile to the south, rises abruptly into a small hill of moderate elevation, beyond which is a large tract of table-land, not many yards above the level of the river: further towards the south, the ground rises by a gradual ascent till it terminates in a high hill on the southern boundary of the parish. The Spey is the only river of any importance; it abounds with salmon, grilse, and trout of excellent quality. The salmon-fishery, which is rented by a company under the Duke of Richmond, employs twelve boats, having each a crew of seven men and a boy; and very considerable numbers of fish are taken, of which some are packed in ice, and sent to the London market. The soil, though generally light, is not unfertile; in some parts there is a black loam of greater depth, resting on a gravelly subsoil, and the soil of the arable lands near the river is luxuriantly productive. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The farms are mostly of moderate size, varying from thirty to 200 acres in extent; the system of husbandry is improved, and a due rotation of crops is carefully observed. Lime is generally used for manure, but bone-dust has been introduced upon the turnip lands, and with complete success. The cattle are of a cross between the Aberdeenshire and the Highland black-breed: with the exception of what are fattened for the butcher, they are sold when two or three years old to the graziers in Aberdeenshire and other counties to the south. The sheep, of which a few flocks are kept, are a cross between the Cheviot and the small brown-faced Morayshire breed; and the horses, of which as many are reared as are requisite for the purposes of agriculture, are strong and hardy, though small in stature. The rateable annual value of Speymouth is £8589.
The plantations, which have been this century much extended, especially in the northern portion of the parish, are principally fir, interspersed with various kinds of forest-trees; they are under careful management. The substrata are mostly sandstone of a reddish colour, which increases in the durability of its texture, in proportion to its depth: in the upper part of the parish, moorstone is quarried for building. The villages of Garmouth and Kingston-Port, in which a very extensive trade in the exportation of corn and fish and importation of coal, and in the building and repairing of ships, and boats for the fishery, is carried on, are both described under their respective heads. Letters are delivered daily from the post-office at Fochabers; and facility of communication is maintained by the turnpike-road from Aberdeen to Inverness, which passes through the parish, and by a bridge over the Spey, which, having been greatly damaged by the flood in 1829, was repaired in 1832. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Elgin and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend, including a vicarial tithe on salmon, is about £150, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patrons, alternately, the Earl of Moray and Sir W. G. G. Cumming. The church, erected in 1732, and repaired and enlarged in 1799, is a neat substantial structure affording ample accommodation for the parishioners. The parochial school, which is situated at Garmouth, is attended by about fifty children: the master has a salary of £29. 18. 9., with a house and garden, and the fees average £20 annually; he also receives the interest of a bequest of 2000 merks Scotch by Mr. Gordon, of Edinburgh. A school is supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, who allow the master a salary of £60; and a Sabbath school, to which is attached a library, is maintained by subscription. A subscription library, now containing nearly 300 volumes of standard works, was established in 1823; and a mechanics' library, of nearly equal extent, in 1825. This parish was anciently the burial-place of the family of Braco, ancestors of the Earl of Fife. Jane, daughter of James Innes, Esq., of Redhall, a place not far from the church, was wife of Governor Pitt, and great-grandmother of the late illustrious William Pitt.
SPITTALFIELD, a village, in the parish of Caputh, county of Perth, 4½ miles (E. by S.) from Dunkeld; containing 238 inhabitants. This is a neat village, inhabited chiefly by weavers; whence the name. It lies on the borders of Cluny parish, upwards of a mile eastward of the parochial church, and contains the school; it is the sole property of Sir John Muir Mackenzie, of Delvine, Bart., the principal heritor in the parish. In 1775, a stamp-office for linens was established here.
SPOTT, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 2 miles (S.) from Dunbar; containing 603 inhabitants, of whom 161 are in the village. This place, of which the name appears to be descriptive of its retired situation, is chiefly distinguished for its proximity to the scene of the memorable battle fought in 1650 between the Scots under General Leslie and the English under Cromwell. The former, strongly encamped on the summit of Doon hill, and superior in numbers, were induced to descend into the plain at the moment when Cromwell, despairing of success, and weakened by want of provisions, was about to re-embark his troops at Dunbar. Observing this movement from an eminence on which he stood, Cromwell ordered an immediate attack; and the Scots were put to the route, and pursued with great slaughter. The remains of Leslie's camp are to be distinctly traced; and numerous warlike implements, and bones of the slain, are still found in the vicinity. The parish is about ten miles in length and five in breadth, and comprises nearly 4000 acres, of which 2800 are arable, 100 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. A wide tract of land intersecting the parish was formerly an open common, and supposed to belong to the parish of Dunbar; but it is now inclosed and brought into cultivation, and in all probability will eventually be annexed, in portions, to the several parishes to which its divisions are contiguous. The surface of Spott is pleasingly undulated, presenting a striking combination of hills and dales. The eminences generally increase in elevation as they approach the Lammermoor hills, where they attain a height of 700 feet above the level of the sea; and Doon hill, the site of General Leslie's camp, and within a mile of the village, rises to 550 feet. The principal stream is the Spott water, which abounds with trout, and which, after winding through the vale where the village is situated, is joined by a smaller burn from the grounds of Spott House; it is then called the river Broxburn, and falls into the sea at Broxmouth. Another stream, called Bothwell water, after skirting the parish on the south falls into the Whiteadder near the parish of Cranshaws. In the vicinity of the village is St. John's Well, from which the town of Dunbar is supplied with water.
The soil is generally light and sandy, but in some parts clayey: the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips, for which last the lighter soils are well adapted, and of which great quantities are raised. The system of agriculture is in a very forward state, and bone-dust and rape manures have been extensively introduced; the farm houses and offices are substantial and well arranged, the lands inclosed, and the fences kept in good repair. Great attention is paid to the improvement of live-stock, and considerable numbers of sheep and cattle are pastured; the sheep are principally of the Cheviot, Leicestershire, and black-faced breeds, and the cattle of the short-horned and black Highland breeds. The substrata are red sandstone and conglomerate rock; the hills are chiefly of greywacke and secondary trap. The sandstone is quarried for building and for other purposes. Spott House is beautifully situated at the foot of Doon hill, in a demesne embellished with natural wood and with thriving plantations; it is a handsome mansion, and has been greatly enlarged and improved. Bowerhouse is a modern mansion, pleasantly situated near the northern boundary of the parish, and commanding extensive and richly-diversified prospects. The village is delightfully seated in the small valley watered by the Spott rivulet; it is neatly built and well inhabited, and, when seen in combination with the church nearly adjoining it, forms an interesting feature in the landscape. A manufactory of potato starch and flour, which employs about six persons, is carried on upon the farm of Easter Broomhouse; the only trades in the parish are such as are requisite for the supply of the inhabitants. Facility of communication with Dunbar, the nearest market-town, and with other places in the vicinity, is afforded by good roads. The rateable annual value of Spott is £6445. It is in the presbytery of Dunbar, synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and patronage of James Sprot, Esq.: the minister's stipend is £272. 7. 8., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at about £30 per annum. The church is conveniently situated. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with £18 fees, £3. 6. 8. the proceeds of an ancient bequest, and a house and garden. There was formerly also a school maintained by subscription.
SPRINGFIELD, a village, in the parish of Graitney, county of Dumfries, 4 miles (W.) from Longtown, in England; containing 453 inhabitants. This is a neat and well-built village, situated on a dry and healthy soil, on the west bank of the Sark. It was commenced in 1791, upon the estate of Sir William Maxwell, of Springkell, on building leases for ninety-nine years; in 1793 it already consisted of about forty houses, and since that time it has considerably increased, owing to the many advantages it possesses with respect to situation. The river is well adapted for machinery; the small sea-port of Sarkfoot is not above a mile distant; and the two great roads from England to the west of Scotland pass through it. About a fourth of a mile south of the village is Graitney, or Gretna, green, so celebrated for the matrimonial trade that has been carried on there for a number of years.—See Graitney.
SPRINGFIELD, a village, in the parish and district of Cupar, county of Fife, ½ a mile (N.) from the town of Cupar; containing 480 inhabitants. It is situated in the western portion of the parish, on the high road from Cupar to Rathillet, and is chiefly inhabited by persons connected with the trade of the town of Cupar and the several manufactures carried on in the parish: the houses are neatly built, and the village is rapidly increasing in extent and population.
SPRING-GARDEN, lately a quoad sacra district, in the West parish of the city, district and county of Aberdeen; containing 1887 inhabitants. This was wholly a town district, and was separated from the parish of West Kirk by an act of the General Assembly in 1834, and annexed to a Gaelic church. The ecclesiastical affairs were directed by the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; the stipend of the minister amounted to £140 arising from seat-rents and collections, and £10 from the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. The church, built in 1795, by subscription and loan, contains 700 sittings, of which thirty-eight are free.
SPRINGHOLM, a village, in the parish of Urr, stewartry of Kirkcudbright; containing 262 inhabitants. This is a small village, of which a large part of the population is extremely poor, owing to the want of employment, the neighbourhood not supplying it with sufficient means of industry.
SPROUSTON, a parish, in the district of Kelso, county of Roxburgh; containing, with the village of Lempitlaw, 1439 inhabitants, of whom 420 are in the village of Sprouston, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Kelso. This place, of which the name is of uncertain derivation, is of considerable antiquity, and appears to have formed part of the endowment of the Abbey of Kelso in the year 1128. From its situation near the border, it participated in the hostilities of the border warfare, and was destroyed about the year 1540 by the invading army under the Duke of Norfolk, which laid waste many towns and villages on the river Tweed. The village seems to have been anciently of much greater extent than at present, and foundations of old houses are said to have been discovered by the plough in the lands above the Scurry rock, to which place it originally extended in that direction. The parish is bounded on the north by the Tweed, and on the east by the county of Northumberland; it is about four miles in length and nearly of equal breadth, and comprises 8207 acres, of which 7130 are arable, 130 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is broken by the heights of Haddenrig, which traverse the parish nearly in the centre, in a direction from north-east to south-west, and by those of Lempit-Law, which extend along the southern extremity; both ridges are of gradual ascent, and between them is an extensive valley, which, though generally fertile, contains some portion of marshy land. The soil on the banks of the river, a rich black loam, is luxuriantly fertile, and in a very good state of cultivation; in the higher parts of the parish it is generally of a clayey nature, but on some portions of Haddenrig poor and unproductive. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is highly improved; the lands have been well drained, and inclosed; the farm-buildings are mostly substantial and commodious, and many of them of very superior order; and the more recent improvements in the construction of implements have been adopted. The plantations are chiefly of fir, and are judiciously managed and in a thriving state. The sheep fed in the parish are usually of the Leicestershire breed, and great attention is paid to the management of livestock generally.
Freestone of excellent quality was formerly abundant, and about half a mile from the village a quarry was extensively worked; the stone was much esteemed for building, and was used in the erection of Kelso bridge, and of Abbotsford. On its being exhausted, a new quarry was opened, of which the stone is of inferior quality, and is not extensively worked. Upon the river is a salmon-fishery, the rent of which, including also a ferry, produces a little more than £70 per annum to the proprietors. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,561. The village of Sprouston is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Tweed, and contains about one hundred cottages, inhabited chiefly by persons employed in agriculture and in the several trades which are carried on for the supply of the inhabitants of the parish. It possesses facility of communication with Kelso, the nearest market-town, and with other places in the district, by good roads kept in order by statute labour, and by the turnpike roads from Carham to Cornhill and to Wooler. The parish is in the presbytery of Kelso, synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Duke of Roxburghe: the minister's stipend is £243. 3. 8., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £25 per annum. The church, erected in 1781, and repaired in 1845, is a plain, neat, and substantial edifice situated on an eminence nearly in the centre of the village, and is adapted for a congregation of 500 persons. The members of the Free Church have no place of worship. The parochial school affords a liberal education to the children of the parish; the master has a salary of £30, with £40 fees, a house, and garden. There is a school at Hadden, which has a small endowment given by Lady Ker, and an allowance of £10 a year from the heritors; the master has the remainder of his income from the fees. There is also a school at Lempitlaw, partly supported by the heritors. Hadden-Stank and Redden-burn are frequently noticed in the histories of the border warfare, as places for the frequent meetings of the commissioners on both sides appointed for adjusting the boundaries of the two kingdoms, and for the settlement of the various disputes which arose during those unsettled times. Haddenrig is distinguished as the site of a sanguinary conflict between the Scottish forces and a body of English cavalry consisting of 3000 troops, in which the latter were defeated. Part of the ancient church of Lempitlaw, which was originally a separate parish, was till within the last few years remaining; but the ruins have been totally removed at different times, to furnish materials for building and for other uses. The churchyard, however, is still used as a burying-place by the inhabitants of that district of the parish.
SPYNIE, NEW, a parish, in the county of Elgin, 2½ miles (W. by N.) from Elgin; containing, with the village of Bishopmill, 1164 inhabitants, of whom 409 are in the rural districts. This place derived its name from Loch Spynie, originally an arm of the sea three miles in length and one mile in breadth, but which, by the receding of the waters, has become inclosed. Its distinguishing adjunct, New, arose from the desertion of its ancient church, which was situated at the eastern extremity of the parish, and the erection of the present structure, in 1736, on a more centrical and commodious site. On the foundation of the see of Moray by Malcolm Canmore, in 1057, the cathedral of that diocese was established at this place; and the castle of Spynie, of which the original date is not precisely known, became the chief residence of its bishops, and so continued till the removal of the see to Elgin, by Alexander II., in 1244. The palace, after this transfer of the seat of the diocese, was only the occasional abode of the bishops: the last of those prelates who resided here was Colin Falconer, who died in 1680, universally respected and regretted. The remains of the palace, which are in a very dilapidated condition, are situated at the eastern extremity of the parish, on the border of the ancient lake; and the precincts occupy a site of nearly ten acres. This once magnificent structure, with its various buildings, inclosed a quadrangular area 120 feet long and nearly of equal width, surrounded by a strong embattled wall, defended at the angles with lofty square towers of unusual strength, of which one, still remaining, is sixty feet in height: on the eastern side was an entrance under an embattled gateway tower protected by a portcullis and drawbridge. A few of the apartments are in a tolerable state of preservation; and on the walls of some of them, may be distinctly traced the outlines of paintings with which they were once embellished, chiefly representations of scriptural subjects. The whole of the precincts were till lately the property of the crown, of whom they were held under lease by the Earl of Fife; and within the last twenty years, the barons of the exchequer laid out a considerable sum for the preservation of the ruins, and erected a cottage for a keeper.
The parish is bounded on the south by the river Lossie, and is about four miles in length and two in breadth, comprising 5000 acres, of which 3000 are arable, 1500 in natural wood and in plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is varied: for about a mile from the eastern extremity it is tolerably level, but it is thence intersected by a ridge which gradually increases in height till it terminates at the western extremity in a hill of considerable elevation. The loch was drained in the year 1807, at a cost of nearly £11,000, in the expectation of bringing a large tract of land into profitable cultivation; but after it had been completely drained, the bottom was found impracticable for any agricultural purpose. The chief benefit derived from the undertaking is the preservation of the rich grounds around its margin from the inundations to which they were previously exposed. The land recovered affords only very coarse pasture, which is neither nutritious nor wholesome; and the black-cattle that are turned into it to graze, in a very short time lose their original colour, which changes into grey. The Lossie has its source in Loch Lossie, in the parish of Edenkillie, and, flowing in a north-eastern direction, passes the city of Elgin, and falls into the Moray Frith at Lossiemouth; it abounds with trout, and affords good sport to the angler. The soil on the banks of the Lossie, and on the lowlands on each side of the ridge, is richly fertile, though including almost every variety from the lightest sand to the most tenacious clay; the crops are, grain of all kinds, beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry is in an advanced state, and much waste land has been reclaimed by trenching, draining, and embankments: in several of the farms great efforts have been made by the tenants, under the inducement of premiums of £5 allowed by the landlord for every acre of waste brought into cultivation. The farms are generally of moderate extent, and the farm houses and buildings substantial and commodiously arranged; the lands have been well inclosed with hedges of thorn; and all the more recent improvements in the construction of implements are adopted. The number of sheep reared has been greatly diminished since the plantations have been so much extended, and is now very inconsiderable; the cattle are usually of the most approved breeds, and due attention is paid to their improvement. The agricultural produce is chiefly sent to Elgin, but considerable quantities of grain are shipped at the adjacent sea-ports for the southern markets.
There are very large tracts of natural wood: on the south side of the hill at the western extremity of the parish, is a beautiful forest of oak belonging to the Earl of Fife. The plantations, which extend along the whole of the moorland ridge, consist of firs interspersed with various kinds of forest-trees, and are in a thriving state, adding greatly to the beauty of the scenery. The substrata are chiefly sandstone and clay-slate. The sandstone, which is of excellent quality for building, is of a yellowish hue, and susceptible of a fine polish; the principal quarries are at the base of Quarrywood hill, and from them was taken the stone for the erection of Dr. Gray's hospital at Elgin. There are also freestone quarries on the lands of Seafield and Findrassie, from the former of which the materials were obtained for building the village of Bishopmill; the latter quarry affords stone of good quality for dykes. Near the summit of Quarrywood hill is a quarry of hard and durable gritstone, from which are produced millstones for the supply of the surrounding country to a wide extent. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4295. The only gentleman's seat is Findrassie House, a handsome modern mansion situated about a mile to the west of the ancient palace, in a tastefully embellished and richly-planted demesne. On the north bank of the Lossie, near Bishopmill, is a bleachfield for linens and yarn; but no manufacture is carried on in the parish, the population being chiefly employed in agriculture. The village of Bishopmill is connected by a handsome iron bridge with the city of Elgin, of which it forms a suburb, and within the parliamentary boundaries of which it is included. Letters are delivered regularly from the post-office of Elgin; and facility of communication is maintained by the great north road from Aberdeen to Inverness, which intersects the south-western portion of the parish, and the turnpike-road from Elgin to the seaport of Lossiemouth, which passes through its eastern extremity. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Elgin and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is £185. 4. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £14 per annum; patron, W. F. L. Carnegie, Esq. The church, situated on the hill of Quarrywood, was erected in 1736, and is a neat substantial structure containing 400 sittings, all of which are free. The parochial school is near the church, and is well attended: the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house, an allowance of £2. 2. in lieu of garden, and the school fees, averaging about £15 annually; also a portion of the Dick bequest. A parochial library has been established at Bishopmill, and is supported by subscription. The only remains of antiquity beyond what have been previously noticed, are some vestiges of a Danish encampment on Quarrywood hill, now almost concealed among the plantations. This parish formerly gave the title of baron to a son of the Earl of Crawfurd, who in 1590 was created Lord Spynie.
SQUARETOWN, a hamlet, in the parish of Newton, county of Edinburgh, 1 mile (N. E. by E.) from the village of Newton; containing 77 inhabitants. It lies in the north-eastern part of the parish, on the road from Newton to Inveresk.
STAFFA, an island, in the parish of Kilninian, district of Mull, county of Argyll. This small island, which is one of the Hebrides or Western Isles, derives its name, of Scandinavian origin, from the columnar formation of the rocks upon its coast, and which prevails also throughout nearly the whole of its interior arrangement. It is separated from the western shore of the Isle of Mull by Loch-na-Keal, and is about one mile in length and half a mile in breadth; of irregularly elliptic form; and most easily accessible on the western side, where the coast is of less precipitous height. The surface is elevated, rising in some parts to more than 200 feet above the level of the sea at ordinary tides; but, though interspersed with rugged and barren rocks, it is generally clothed with luxuriant grass, affording excellent pasture for black-cattle. Nearly in the centre of the island was formerly a rude hut, built with fragments of basaltic columns, and which, during the summer months, afforded shelter to the family of the herdsman, who had the care of the cattle, and who were its only inhabitants. When seen from a distance, the island appears like a shapeless mass of rock rising from the sea; it is only when the spectator has approached within less than a quarter of a mile of its shores, that it displays those features of romantic grandeur which have rendered it the great object of attraction to all who visit this part of the country. To the south of Staffa, from which it is separated by a channel little more than twenty yards in width, is the small island of Buachaille, of somewhat pyramidal form, and consisting of an entire mass of basaltic pillars inclining in every possible direction, though generally tending to the summit; a few have a horizontal position. Along the western coast of Staffa the basaltic columns are very irregularly arranged; in some parts extending little more than half way down the rock; in others ascending immediately from the sea, and abruptly broken or terminated before they reach the summit. Towards the south-east they rise with majestic symmetry in a lofty and magnificent range, above which the higher surface of the island towers like the massive dome of a stupendous cathedral. In many parts the columns form segments of circles; some take an obliquely vertical direction; some are perfectly horizontal, and others exhibit different degrees of curvature. All display a rich diversity of colours, some varying from a dark purple to a black, others being tinged with hues of green, orange, and yellow. On the eastern coast is the principal colonnade, called the Great Face of Staffa, which can only be seen to perfection during the morning sun, and of which the loftiest point has an elevation of 112 feet above high-water mark; it consists of three several ranges of rock, of unequal thickness, and having an inclination of nine degrees towards the east. of these, the lowest is a mass of trap-tuffa, about fifty feet thick; the middle range is of columnar formation, rising vertically from the plane of the bed on which it lies to a height of fifty-four feet above the surface of the water; and the uppermost range is an irregular mixture of small pillars and shapeless masses of basaltic rock. In front of the central range is the well-known causeway, formed of broken portions of columns which were once continuous to the height of the cliffs, presenting a great breadth of surface similar to mosaic pavement, and terminating in a point near the Cave of Fingal. Though less regular in its formation, this greatly exceeds the Giant's Causeway, Ireland, both in its dimensions and in picturesque variety. On the north coast of the island is a cavity in the rocks resembling an immense mortar, from which the waves that nearly fill it during storms are expelled by the expansion of the condensed air within, producing at intervals of nearly half a minute a report like that of a vessel firing signals of distress, and which is distinctly heard at a distance of several miles.
The coast is indented with numerous romantic caverns, of which the most interesting are, the Cave of Fingal, the Cormorant's or Mackinnon's Cave, the Boat Cave, and the Scallop or Clamshell Cave: all of these are marked with features of picturesque beauty and impressive grandeur. The Cave of Fingal is 227 feet in length, and forty-two feet wide at the entrance, lessening gradually to a breadth of twenty feet at its furthest extremity. The entrance is by a lofty arch, 117½ feet high, from which the height of the cave by degrees diminishes to sixty feet at the opposite end; and, from the free admission of light, the whole of the interior, which resembles the inside of a vast and magnificent cathedral, is seen in all the beauty of a regular artificial structure. On each side is a lofty range of basaltic columns, supporting a massive roof partly consisting of the upper portions of pillars whose shafts have been apparently destroyed by the violence of the waves. The sea flows into the cavern to a height, at the entrance, of eighteen feet, which at the further extremity diminishes to nine feet; and during very calm weather the interior may be fully explored by a boat, which, however, the slightest agitation of the waters would destroy, by dashing it violently against the sides of the cave. In stormy weather the only means of exploring the interior is by a narrow causeway, about two feet wide, and consisting chiefly of the bases of the broken columns of which the upper portions form the roof. From this causeway, which, being constantly wet with spray, is slippery and very dangerous, is obtained a most magnificent view of the interior of this singularly picturesque and romantic cavern, of which it is scarcely possible to convey in words an adequate description. The Cormorant's or Mackinnon's Cave, though little visited, is easy of access. It is 224 feet in length, and forty-eight feet in breadth throughout its whole extent; the entrance is nearly fifty feet in height, and is crowned with a complicated arrangement of columns worn into a concave recess, which overhangs the opening. The interior of this cave, from its being formed in the lower stratum of the rock, is destitute of that columnar arrangement which adds so much beauty to the Cave of Fingal; and it has little other ornament than what it derives from the regularity and simplicity of its form. It opens on a gravelly beach on which a boat may be drawn up with perfect security.
The Boat Cave is accessible only by sea, and is also formed in the lower stratum of the rock; it is 150 feet in length, twelve feet wide, and sixteen feet in height. The entrance is overhung by broken columns, depending from the higher stratum, and arranged in a graceful curve receding from the sides of the opening to the centre. Above this columnar arrangement the rock projects boldly towards the sea, casting over the entrance a depth of shadow which adds greatly to the impressive beauty of its appearance, by a regular succession of shades gradually softening from the darkest gloom into a cheerful light. The Scallop or Clamshell Cave, though less picturesque in its internal appearance, is of very singular formation; it is 130 feet in length, thirty feet in height, and eighteen feet wide at the entrance, and gradually diminishes in breadth towards its extremity. The interior, on one side, is a continued series of bent columns, verging towards the centre of the roof, and resembling the timbers of a ship; the opposite side is formed by the ends of broken columns, the intervals between which are filled in some places with calcareous matter resembling a honeycomb, and in others with masses of rugged rock. There are numerous other caves in different parts of the island, all possessing a higher or lower degree of interest. The columns of these caves display great variety both in form and in dimensions, varying in the number of their sides from three to nine, and in diameter from one foot to four feet and a half, though the most prevalent are pentagonal and hexagonal in shape, and about two feet in diameter. Several clusters of columns have an appearance of being quite straight and parallel, yet upon minute examination few are found to be perfectly so; and in different parts of the isle they vary greatly in their altitude, increasing on the western coast from thirty-six to fifty-four feet in height, and on the eastern, from a very inconsiderable height to an elevation of eighteen feet. Facilities of communication are afforded by steamers which ply from Oban twice a week; but they remain only for one hour, and as that time is very insufficient for a due inspection of the beauties of Staffa, visiters sometimes stay till evening, and return in one of the small Ulva boats to the Ulva inn, where tolerable accommodation is provided.
STAIR, a parish, in the district of Kyle, county of Ayr, 4½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Mauchline; containing 823 inhabitants. This place was erected into a parish in the year 1673, for the accommodation of the family of Dalrymple, of Stair, who resided at a great distance from their parish church of Ochiltree. The half of the minister's stipend, however, which this family agreed to pay, having been improperly allocated, and there being other differences between the parties, the faults of the erection were amended by a new process in 1709, when several lands were disjoined from, and others united to, the parish constituted in 1673. Stair lies between the rivers Ayr and Kyle or Kill, the former separating it from Tarbolton on the north and Mauchline on the east, and the latter from Coylton on the west throughout the greater part of its boundary in that direction. It measures about six miles in extreme length and two in extreme breadth, but at one place is entirely crossed by a part of the parish of Ochiltree; it comprises 4040 acres, of which almost 640 are under wood, and nearly all the remainder arable. The surface is diversified by undulations, and the general scenery is agreeably enlivened by the two rivers; which are considered excellent trouting streams. The Ayr afforded also a large supply of good salmon till within the last twenty years; but this fish has since been taken only to a very limited extent, in consequence of the obstruction offered at the mouth of the river by the formation of a dam. The soil, with the exception of that near the rivers, is mostly a stiff clay on a retentive subsoil; and the land, portioned into thirty-six farms, is cultivated under the rotation system, and produces chiefly oats, peas, and barley, with small crops occasionally of potatoes and turnips, the last, however, only for domestic purposes. Wheat was formerly raised on some of the lands; but its culture was discontinued, having been found prejudicial to the pasture. The farm buildings are generally good, and the inclosures, which are mostly thorn hedges, receive much attention; but draining is still in a backward state, though it has latterly excited some interest. Arable land lets on the average at about £1 per acre, and the leases run nineteen years. The sheep are of the native breed, with some mixtures, and, as well as the cattle, are comparatively few; but milchcows are kept to the number of nearly 500, and about 6000 stone of cheese are annually made.
The district is distinguished for its valuable minerals, comprising coal, sandstone, clay-slate, plumbago, copper and antimony, and limestone; the copper and antimony, however, have not been wrought, and the limestone, on account of its peculiar situation, and its great depth in a coal-shaft, is of little use. The banks of the Ayr consist almost entirely of red sandstone; and a yellowish and a grey-coloured freestone are found, the latter of which is extensively quarried, supplying most of the building-stone used in the neighbourhood. There is also a quarry of fine white freestone in full operation; and on the banks of the Ayr is a species of whetstone lying forty feet deep, known by the name of the "Water-of-Ayr stone," which has long been regularly worked, and prepared to a considerable extent for sale in the home market and for exportation. The coal is abundant, and has been wrought on the estates of Drongan and Drumdow in large quantities; the works at the former place, which have been open for 150 years, are still in full operation, but the Drumdow works, which are only of about fifteen years' standing, have been recently suspended. A flourishing pottery of earthenware has been long carried on, upon the Drongan estate, for the making of various black and brown vessels for domestic and dairy purposes, as well as flower-pots, chimney-pots, &c. This ware is not only in great demand throughout the county of Ayr, but also in Dumfries-shire, Galloway, and other parts; and large quantities of it are sent to America, the Highlands, and to Glasgow. There are numerous grain-mills turned by horses; a saw-mill, also, has lately been erected on the property of Dalmore; and one of the grain-mills has a threshing-mill attached, driven by water-power. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4951. The plantations on the estate of Barskimming, the largest in the locality, cover about 450 acres, and consist of hard-wood trees, Scotch fir, and belts and clumps of larches; a large proportion is of mature growth, and supplies regular fellings. A young and thriving plantation of 150 acres ornaments the estate of Drongan; and there are thirty-eight acres on the property of Stair, where, also, numerous clumps said to have been disposed according to the manner in which the British troops were drawn up at the battle of Dettingen, have been lately cut down. A solitary tree, yet standing on an adjacent eminence, is still called the general.
In a holm near the river is Stair House, the ancient residence of the illustrious family from which it takes its name: after having passed, with an estate containing 168 acres, through many hands since it was disposed of by the original proprietors, it was re-purchased by the seventh Earl of Stair about fifteen years since. The mansion, now inhabited by a tenant, is partly ancient and partly modern, and is much dilapidated, especially the older portion. In the vicinity are a very fine willow, and a Lombardy poplar of ample stature and beautiful appearance, with several full-grown beeches, the remains of the sylvan treasures that once so profusely ornamented this locality. Barskimming House, situated on the bank of the Ayr, is a spacious and elegant mansion, with two wings which were built about the year 1816, when, also, many improvements were made in the interior. The eastern wing contains an apartment more than sixty feet long, with three divisions, appropriated to the reception of a library of about 18,000 volumes, comprising the finest editions of the Greek and Roman classics, and the choicest works in every other department of literature and science, collected by the present proprietor. A lawn spreads itself out before the mansion, ornamented with many trees, especially Scotch firs, of great stature and beauty; and at a short distance further up the river, is a secluded spot encompassed with stately beeches, in which Burns composed the poem entitled Man is made to Mourn. Another mansion is that of Drongan, now in a dilapidated state in consequence of the death of the proprietor several years since at Calcutta; he resided there as a merchant and banker, and at the time of his decease was about to return to his native country to settle on his property. The agricultural produce is generally sent for sale to Ayr and Kilmarnock: to the former place a road runs from Dumfries, by way of Cumnock, through the parish; and Stair is intersected also by a public road leading from the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright to Glasgow; besides which there are three bridges over the Ayr, supplying facilities of communication with different parts. The parish is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Earl of Stair: the minister's stipend is £215, with a manse, and a glebe of thirty acres, valued at £25 per annum. The church is an ancient, plain edifice, beautifully situated near the bank of the river. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches; the master has a salary of £30, with a house, and £20 fees. Of nearly 200 children that receive instruction in the parish, more than 160 attend this school.
STANE, a village, in the parish of Cambusnethan, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, ½ a mile (S. E.) from Shotts Iron-Works; containing 570 inhabitants. This village is situated in the north-eastern part of the parish, and on the south side of the South Calder water, by which it is separated from the parish of Shotts. The neighbourhood is the seat of the principal coal-field of the iron-works at Shotts, and the population has consequently considerably increased, since their establishment, in this quarter of the parish. One of two endowed schools of the parish is in the village.
STANLEY, a manufacturing village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of Redgorton, but chiefly in that of Auchtergaven, county of Perth, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from the village of Auchtergaven; containing 1945 inhabitants. This place, which takes its name from an ancient mansion, once the family seat of the Nairnes, and now the residence of George Buchanan, Esq., is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Tay, and owes its origin entirely to the establishment of the cotton-works in its immediate neighbourhood. Previously to the establishment of these works in 1785, the place consisted only of one solitary dwelling, called the Gate House from its having been the lodge of Stanley House; but since the introduction of the manufacture, the village has progressively increased in population and extent, and is become a flourishing town. The houses are neatly built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. A subscription library has been established, which has a well-selected collection of nearly 600 volumes of useful works on general literature. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and in many parts enriched with stately timber and thriving plantations of more recent growth. The inhabitants are, of course, chiefly employed in the cotton-works adjoining; and with a view to encourage habits of frugality, and prudent provision for old age, a savings' bank was opened here by a few persons connected with the works: this at first met with comparatively little encouragement, but the amount of deposits is now very considerable. The mills are situated at a short distance from the village, and were erected in 1785, by Messrs. Dempster and Company, who in 1800 sold the concern to Messrs. Craig and Co., by whom the mills were carried on till the year 1814, when they were discontinued. They were subsequently purchased by Messrs. Buchanan and Company, the present proprietors, under whose superintendence they have been so greatly increased and improved that they are at present among the most extensive of the kind in the country. The machinery is propelled by water, brought from the Tay by an aqueduct 800 feet in length, ten feet high, and eight feet in breadth, carried through a hill 150 feet high, of which the superincumbent stratum is supported on arches. The water has a fall of twenty-two feet, and gives motion to seven wheels of large diameter, whose aggregate power is equal to 200 horses. The works contain 40,000 spindles and 212 power-looms, and afford employment to 900 persons; they are carried on with liberality, and confer great benefit on the population of the district in which they are situated. There is a ferry across the Tay at this place, and the village has every facility of communication with the neighbouring towns by means of the high road from Edinburgh, and with the other portions of the parish by good roads kept in repair by statute labour.
The proprietors of the mills have erected a handsome chapel of ease at an expense of upwards of £3000, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the village and the district around; it stands on the verge of the parish, and is a spacious and elegant structure with a tower, and adapted for a congregation of 1150 persons. The minister has a stipend of £150 per annum, with a house and garden provided for him rent-free by the proprietors. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The company have also erected a spacious school for the instruction of the children employed in their works, whose hours of labour are so regulated as to afford them the full benefit of the institution; the master has a salary of £20, paid by the company, and about 100 children on an average attend. A benevolent society has been established for the assistance of the poor, and is supported by voluntary subscription; the annual distribution averages £60. A funeral society has been also established, besides an educational society for assisting poor people to the school fees necessary for the education of their children. Stanley House, for many ages the seat of the Nairne family, has apparently been built at different periods; its present name is of comparatively modern date, having been given to it towards the close of the 17th century, after the union of the families of Atholl and Nairne, in honour of a marchioness of Atholl who was the daughter of James Stanley, Earl of Derby. It has been modernised and improved, and is now a spacious and elegant mansion, beautifully situated on the margin of the river Tay, in a demesne in which are some stately trees; upon the lawn near the house are two remarkably fine yews, and some beech trees of luxuriant growth. On the banks of the Tay, near the village, are the ruins of a religious house which was connected with the celebrated abbey of Dunfermline.
STARR, a village, chiefly in the parish of Kennoway, but partly in that of Markinch, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 4 miles (N. E.) from the village of Markinch; containing 476 inhabitants, of whom 185 are in the parish of Markinch. This village, which is situated on the eastern boundary of Markinch, is neatly built, and has a pleasingly rural aspect; the inhabitants are chiefly occupied in agriculture, but some are employed at their own houses in hand-loom weaving, and others in various works in the vicinity.
STAXIGO, a village, in the parish of Wick, county of Caithness, 1 mile (N. E.) from the town of Wick; containing 230 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity; and there are still remaining, in good preservation, two large storehouses built nearly three centuries since by the earls of Caithness for the reception of their rents, at that time paid in kind: each is capable of containing 4000 bolls of grain. The village is situated at the head of the natural harbour from which it takes its name, and is inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the fishery, for whose boats the harbour affords every requisite accommodation.
STEIN, a hamlet, in that part of the parish of Duirinish which constituted the late quoad sacra parish of Waternish, county of Inverness, 6 miles (N.) from Dunvegan; containing 38 inhabitants. It lies in Loch bay, on the north-west coast of the Isle of Skye, and was established some years since by the British Fishery Society. Under the auspices of the parliamentary commissioners, an excellent road has been made to this village from the head of Loch Sligichan, by Loch Bracadale and Dunvegan, a distance of about thirty-one miles.
STEINSCHOLL, a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of Snizort, but chiefly in that of Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, county of Inverness, 16½ miles (N. by W.) from Portree; containing 1542 inhabitants, of whom 1455 are in Kilmuir. This parish, which was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from the parishes of Kilmuir and Snizort by act of parliament passed in 1844, is about fourteen miles in extreme length and nearly four miles in breadth, comprising an area of 18,900 acres. The surface is diversified with hills, and watered by numerous springs, of which some are supposed to possess chalybeate properties. Within the last few years, a spring has been discovered of which the water, on analysis, was found to contain muriates of lime and potash, sulphates of soda, lime, and magnesia, and peroxide of iron. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg: the minister's stipend is £120 per annum, paid from the government exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe: patron, the Crown. The church, erected at the expense of government in 1828, is a neat structure containing 350 sittings, all of which are free. Divine service is generally performed in the Gaelic, but occasionally in the English, language. An itinerating Gaelic school, for which a house has been built by the inhabitants, is supported by the Gaelic School Society; and a school for which a building has been erected by the heritor, at a cost of £200, was at first supported by the General Assembly, but is now maintained by the government as a parochial school.
STENHOUSE-MUIR, a village, in the parish of Larbert, county of Stirling, 2½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Falkirk; containing 1206 inhabitants. This village, of which part is the property of William Forbes, Esq., of Callendar, and part held by the Carron Company on lease, is chiefly remarkable for the remains of the ancient manor-house, originally built in 1622, and consisting of two sides of a quadrangle, with a turret at the point of junction, under which is a well staircase, and four turrets at the extreme angles of the building. The inhabitants are employed in the collieries and foundries belonging to the company, and are supplied with provisions from the market of Falkirk, on the opposite bank of the Carron.
STENNESS, an isle, in the parish of Northmavine, county of Shetland. It is a small isle on the north coast of the Mainland, covering a small bay in the parish, where is a good fishing-station, with drying-houses and other conveniences.
STENTON, a parish, in the county of Haddington; containing, with the villages of Beil-Grange and Pitcox, 686 inhabitants, of whom 236 are in the village of Stenton, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Prestonkirk. This place derived its name, either from the lands abounding with stones, or from its proximity to a valuable quarry of freestone, whence materials were taken for the buildings in the vicinity. The low part of the parish is three miles and a half in length from north to south, and about three miles in breadth from east to west, and comprises 3000 acres, of which 2000 are arable, 500 meadow and pasture, 400 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor. The surface is elevated, attaining generally to a height of 280 feet above the level of the sea, and is pleasingly undulated, in some parts rising into hills. The scenery is beautifully varied; and though there is no river intersecting the lands, they are enriched by a lake of artificial formation, more than two miles in circumference, the shores of which abound with picturesque objects in richest combination. Springs of excellent water are also found in several parts, from one of which, issuing from the base of a lofty hill into a deep dell inclosed by embankments at the extremities, is formed the lake alluded to, which abounds with trout brought from Loch Leven, and with carp and tench of superior quality. The hills that encompass the lake are well wooded, and the scenery renders it a place of frequent resort to parties of pleasure. Near the village is another copious spring, called Rudewell, over which has been erected a circular building of stone, surmounted by a sculptured cardinal's cap, upon the preservation of which is said to depend the tenure of the lands around. The soil is generally clay, of various qualities, in some parts tenacious, and in others softening into fertile loam; there is also a considerable portion of land of lighter quality, which abounds with pebbles, but which is well adapted for turnips. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is highly improved; the lands are well drained; the introduction of bone and rape-dust manures has been productive of much benefit to the soil; and all the more recent improvements in implements of husbandry have been adopted by the tenantry. Considerable attention is paid to live-stock; cattle at two years old are now in as great perfection as formerly at three years. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6368.
Beil, once the seat of the Belhaven family, and now possessed by Mrs. H. N. Ferguson, of Dirleton, is an old mansion much improved: the estate, by intermarriage, is now united with that of Dirleton. The late Mr. Nisbet made great additions to the mansion, at an expense of more than £40,000; it is seated on an eminence, sloping gently, and formed into a succession of terraces in front of the house, which has been extended to a length of nearly 500 feet. The new building is in strict harmony with the style of the ancient mansion, and the whole constitutes one of the most splendid seats in the country; the apartments are stately, and elegantly fitted up, and contain a rich variety of marbles, and a well assorted collection of paintings by the first masters. The terraces, embellished with the choicest flowers, and kept in great order, give a peculiar character to the appearance of the mansion, which is further heightened by a stream that flows at the base of the eminence. In the grounds, which are laid out with much taste, is one of the finest cedars in the country, conveyed from London by Lord Belhaven in a pot, and planted about the beginning of the last century; it is fourteen feet in girth and sixty feet high, and its branches spread over an area 200 feet in circumference. The village is neatly built, and inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in the trades requisite for the supply of the inhabitants of the parish: a very small number are employed in weaving, which was formerly carried on to a greater extent. The nearest market-town is Dunbar, with which, and with places in the more immediate vicinity, communication is afforded by good roads kept in repair by statute labour. The parish is in the presbytery of Dunbar, synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and patronage of Mrs. H. N. Ferguson: the minister's stipend is £295. 10. 1., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £21 per annum. The church is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower, the whole built in 1829 at an expense of more than £2000, towards which the heritors contributed £900; the remainder was given by Mrs. Ferguson, by whom the erection was proposed, to remedy the deficiency of the old church, which was ill adapted and inconveniently situated. The present edifice is adapted for a congregation of 400 persons, and was opened for divine service by Dr. Chalmers. The parochial school affords a useful education to the children of the parish; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with £40 fees, and a house and garden. A library is supported, and there are also two itinerating libraries.
STEVENSTON, a market-town and parish, in the district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Irvine, and 14 (N. N. W.) from Ayr; containing 3791 inhabitants, of whom 1432 are in that portion of the town of Saltcoats which is within the parish. This place derived its name from Stephen Lockhart, who fixed his residence in this parish, of which, together with other lands, constituting the barony of Stevenston, his father had in the year 1170 obtained a grant from Richard Morville, Lord of Cunninghame, and Constable of Scotland. From the Lockharts the barony soon afterwards passed to the Loudoun family, with whom it remained nearly till the time of the Reformation, when it became part of the possessions of the Earl of Glencairn. After passing through other families, among whom were the Boyds, the Cunninghames, and the Hamiltons, the estate was divided; and it is now in the possession of various proprietors. The town is principally inhabited by persons engaged in the works carried on in the neighbourhood, and in the mines and quarries of the parish; and from its immediate proximity to Saltcoats, its trade is intimately identified with the trade of that place, which is described minutely under its own head. It is neatly built, and well supplied with water; a public library is supported by subscription, and a post-office has been established. Many of the inhabitants are employed in weaving for the manufacturers of Glasgow and Paisley, and a considerable number of the female population in flowering muslins, and in various kinds of needlework, which is in great repute, the Ayrshire needlework claiming a decided preference in the markets. The market of Stevenston, which is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds, is on Saturday; and a fair is held on the 30th of October, which is chiefly a pleasure-fair, and a mart for hiring servants. Facility of communication with distant ports is afforded by the harbours of Saltcoats and Ardrossan, whence steamers ply to Ayr, Arran, Greenock, Glasgow, and other places: the Ardrossan railway, connected with the Glasgow and Ayr, passes through the parish; and intercourse is also maintained with the neighbouring towns by excellent roads kept in good repair.
The parish is about five miles in length, extending from the harbour of Saltcoats to the bar of Irvine. It is about three miles in extreme breadth, and is bounded on the east by the river Garnock, which for nearly three miles forms a boundary between it and the parish of Irvine; on the south by the Frith of Clyde; and on the south-east by the confluence of the rivers Garnock and Irvine: it comprises about 4000 acres, of which 2000 are arable. The surface, though undulated and acclivous, in no part attains an elevation of more than 300 feet above the level of the sea. Near the eastern boundary are two richly planted eminences of great beauty, commanding some extensive and varied views, and forming interesting features in the appearance of the parish, as seen from different points of view. The scenery is enlivened with some well-grown wood, and flourishing plantations on the lands of the resident heritors; on the grounds of Ardeer, Sea-Bank, and Kerilaw, they are particularly extensive and highly ornamental. The soil, though in some of the low lands tolerably fertile and of a loamy quality, is generally unproductive; in the upper part of the parish it is a stiff clay, and the lands near the Frith are thickly interspersed with sand-hills. The crops are, oats, wheat, potatoes, beans, turnips, barley, and carrots. The system of agriculture is improved, though there is still a large portion of unprofitable land; there are some dairy-farms which are well managed, and a considerable number of cattle are grazed on the different lands. The farm-houses are mostly in good condition and well arranged, and the lands are all inclosed with hedges of thorn, kept in good repair: there is an extensive mill for grain, of very great antiquity. The sand-hills abound with rabbits, about 100 having been brought from the island of Little Cumbray: nearly 6000 are annually killed. The rocks in the parish are chiefly of greenstone, limestone, and sandstone; and coal is found in some places. The greenstone, which is exceedingly compact, is quarried principally for mending the roads; the limestone is quarried for the supply of the lands on which it is found, and the sandstone is wrought extensively. There is a remarkably fine vein of white freestone at Ardeer, which has obtained the appellation of Stevenston stone. Great quantities of it are raised, not only for the use of the neighbourhood, but for that of Dublin and Belfast, where it is in much demand; it admits of a very fine polish, and is esteemed for mantelpieces and ornamental works. There are about forty men constantly employed in this quarry, of which the produce is conveyed by a railroad to the port of Ardrossan, whence it is shipped. A superior kind of firestone, also, called Osmond stone, is raised from a quarry at Parkend, and is in great request for building ovens and furnaces. Coal is very extensively wrought in the parish: the quantity raised annually averages nearly 40,000 tons, of which about two-thirds are shipped for Ireland, and a third consumed in the neighbouring districts; the number of persons employed in the collieries is 200, of whom fifty are boys. The rateable annual value of Stevenston is £6313. The Ardrossan railway, already noticed, which forms a branch of the Ayrshire railway, joining the latter line at Kilwinning, passes through the parish in an east-by-north direction, after proceeding close by the sea-coast for a short distance. There are several handsome mansions in the parish, beautifully situated in tastefully ornamented and richly planted demesnes: of these, Kerilaw, Ardeer, Sea-Bank, Hullerhirst, and Hayocks, are the principal.
Stevenston is in the presbytery of Irvine and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of Gavin Fullerton and Robert Cunningham, Esqrs.: the stipend of the minister is £250. 9., including £4. 3. 4. arising from the interest of a bequest; with a manse, and a glebe of the annual value of £20. The church is a handsome and substantial edifice, erected in 1832–3, on the site of the ancient church of St. Monoch, and is well situated, and adapted for a congregation of 1175 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there are places of worship in the Stevenston part of the town of Saltcoats for the United Secession and Relief. The parochial school affords a liberal education: the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden valued at £6, and about £30 fees; he has also an allowance of £2. 2. 9. for additional garden-ground, and the interest of a small bequest. There is likewise a school of which the teacher has a good school-house from Mr. Cunningham, in addition to the fees. The interest of a bequest of £180 is applied to the support of a Sabbath-evening school. There are some interesting remains of the turreted castle of Kerilaw, the baronial residence of the earls of Glencairn. In 1832 some workmen, when levelling a field at Dubbs, in the parish, on removing the sand discovered, at about five feet below the surface, a pavement six yards in length and two feet in breadth, at one end of which was a stone coffin containing an urn of black, and another of grey, pottery, with some fibulæ of jet, finely polished.
STEWARTON, a parish, in the district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 9 miles (N. E.) from Irvine; containing, with the late quoad sacra parish of New Church, and the burgh of Stewarton, 4656 inhabitants, of whom 1396 were included in the quoad sacra parish. This place derived its name from its ancient proprietor, James, High Steward of Scotland in the 13th century, and is supposed to have been subsequently the residence of some of the kings of the Stuart line. Among the charters granted to the proprietors of the lands is one by Robert III. to John Stuart, Earl of Buchan, son of the Regent, conferring upon him the lands of Stewarton, and others in Cunninghame, on the resignation of the Earl of Douglas. The lands afterwards became the property of the earls of Glasgow, who take their title of lords Boyle of Stewarton from this place, and of three members of the Cunninghame family, who were respectively baronets of Corsehill, Robertland, and Auchenharvie. They are now divided among numerous proprietors, of whom William Cunninghame, of Lainshaw, Esq., Alexander Kerr, Esq., of Robertland, Sir A. D. M. Cunninghame, of Corsehill, Bart., James S. Burns, Esq., and Col. Macalister, are the principal. Few events of any historical importance are recorded in connexion with the place. The castle of Robertland, the stronghold of the Cunninghames, was burnt by the Montgomeries, of Eglinton, in a feud between them and the Cunninghames, in 1586, in revenge of which, Hugh, the fourth earl of Eglinton, was afterwards waylaid and shot at the ford of Annock.
The parish, which is situated on the confines of Renfrewshire, is nearly ten miles in extreme length, and from three to four in extreme breadth; comprising about 13,000 acres, of which 2500 are arable, almost 7000 meadow and pasture, 200 woodland and plantations, and the remainder hill pasture, moss, and waste. The surface is beautifully diversified, rising by gentle acclivities from the south-west towards the north-east (where it terminates on the border of Renfrewshire) in hills of various elevation, commanding from their summits extensive and finely-varied prospects over the surrounding country. On the west are seen the isles of Jura, Arran, and Ailsa, with the coast of Ireland faintly in the distance; on the north, the mountain of BenLomond; and on the south, the hills of Kirkcudbright and Dumfries-shire. The principal river is the Annock, which has its source in a lake in the parish of Mearns, and, taking a south-western direction, flows in a beautifully winding course through this parish, and falls into the Irvine. There are several small streams tributary to the Annock, which intersect the lands in various directions: of these, the Swinsey, and the Corsehill and East burns, flowing into the Annock at the town of Stewarton; and the Glazart, which joins it about four miles to the south, are the chief. At the hamlet of Bloak is a mineral well, of which the properties are not perfectly known; it was discovered in 1810, and a small but handsome building has been erected over it by the proprietor of Lainshaw, who has appointed a person to take care of it. The soil is generally fertile; in some parts light and friable, and well adapted for green crops; in others, of deeper and stronger quality, producing wheat and other grain. The arable lands are under good cultivation; but the greater portion of the parish is in pasture. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips; the system of husbandry is in a highly improved state; the farm buildings and offices are substantial and well arranged, and the lands have been drained, and inclosed chiefly with hedges of thorn, kept in excellent order. Great attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, on all of which the cows are of the Ayrshire breed; and the produce, which is abundant and of fine quality, is sent chiefly to Glasgow, Paisley, and Kilmarnock, where it obtains a ready sale. The cattle are all of the Ayrshire breed, and about 3000 are annually reared in the pastures, which are luxuriantly rich; about 300 horses, principally for husbandry, are bred in the parish; and 700 sheep and 500 swine are fed, and sent to the markets.
There are few remains of the ancient woods. The plantations, which are chiefly on the lower lands, are comparatively of recent date, and consist of the various kinds of fir interspersed with forest-trees, for both of which the soil is well adapted, and which are under careful management and in a thriving condition. The principal substrata are, whinstone, freestone, and limestone. The freestone is of good quality for building, for which purpose it is occasionally quarried; the limestone, which lies near the surface, and is easily wrought, is burnt into lime on several of the lands. Coal is found in some places, and, being readily obtained, is used on the spot for burning lime; but no seams sufficiently thick to encourage the sinking of a pit have yet been discovered, though some attempts have been made to find them, at a considerable expense. The rateable annual value of the parish is £17,023. Lainshaw House, the seat of Mr. Cunninghame, is a spacious and handsome mansion, erected in 1828, and pleasantly situated on the banks of the Annock, in a demesne embellished with some ancient timber and with thriving plantations. Lochridge, built in 1637; Kennox, an ancient mansion with recent additions; Girgenti, a modern residence; Robertland, also a modern structure; and Williamshaw, partly ancient and partly modern, are all finely situated; and in the immediate vicinity of the town are several other substantial residences, of which some are in the cottage style.
The town of Stewarton is situated on the banks of the river Annock, nearly in the centre of the parish; and, since the establishment of its manufactures, has greatly increased in population and extent, now containing nearly 3000 inhabitants. It is more than three quarters of a mile in length, consisting of several well-formed streets intersecting each other at right angles; the houses are well built, and to each of them is attached a portion of ground for the cultivation of fruit, vegetables, and flowers, which gives to the town the appearance of a pleasing rural village. The streets are lighted with gas from works established in 1832, at a cost of £1200; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. A public library, which was founded in 1810, and has a large collection of volumes in the various departments of literature, is supported by subscription; and there is a public news-room, well supplied with journals and periodical publications. A horticultural and florists' society, also, has been recently formed. The environs of the town, which are pleasant, and abound with picturesque scenery, are studded, as already observed, with handsome houses and villas occupied by the proprietors of the several manufacturing establishments. The manufacture of regimental bonnets and caps for the army and navy, and also of bonnets for the country people in general, has long been established here, and affords constant employment to 500 persons; and in the cotton and silk manufacture, of more recent introduction, about 300 persons are employed. Mills for carding and spinning cotton and woollen yarn and tow, and fulling-mills, have been erected on a large scale; the articles are, shirtings, sheetings, towelling, table-linen, blankets, druggets, and other fabrics. There are also two carpet-manufactories, in one of which 150, and in the other about forty, persons are employed. The making of steel clock-work is peculiar to this place, and the produce is in great demand both at home and for the American market. A very extensive manufacture of bricks, and of tiles for roofing and for draining, is carried on in the vicinity of the town; the quantity of tiles alone produced annually is estimated at 500,000. All the handicraft trades necessary for the repair of the machinery in the several factories, and for the wants of the neighbourhood, are pursued extensively; and there are numerous shops in the town, amply stored with various kinds of merchandise. Branches of the Union Bank of Glasgow, and that of Messrs. Hunter at Ayr, have been opened here, and also a savings' bank; the post-office has a tolerable delivery, and there are numerous good inns. The market is weekly, on Thursday; and fairs for horses, cattle, and dairy-stock, are held on the first Monday in May, the last Thursdays in June and December, and the first Friday in November. The May and June fairs are also for hiring servants. Facility of communication is maintained by the turnpike-roads to Glasgow, Paisley, and Kilmarnock, which pass through the town; by other roads kept in good repair by statute labour, which intersect the parish in various directions; and by bridges over the several streams. The burgh is governed by a baron-bailie appointed by the superior of the barony, Mr. Cunninghame, of Lainshaw, but whose jurisdiction extends only over the markets and fairs; there are no incorporate trades; and the police is wholly under the superintendence of the magistrates of the county, who hold justice-of-peace courts for petty offences. A commodious court-house for the trial of prisoners, and a lock-up house for their temporary confinement, have been erected in the town, and are both the property of Mr. Cunninghame. The suburbs are chiefly on the lands of Sir A. D. M. Cunninghame, of Corsehill.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Irvine and synod of Glasgow and Ayr: the minister's stipend is £280. 19. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum; patron, Mr. Cunninghame. The church, originally built in 1696, and repaired and enlarged in 1825, is a handsome edifice centrically situated, and containing 1400 sittings. A second church in connexion with the Establishment was erected in 1828, and a quoad sacra district was till lately annexed to it; it is a neat structure with a spire eighty feet high, and contains 800 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, and the Congregational Union. The parochial school is attended by about thirty children: the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house, an allowance of £2. 2. in lieu of garden, and the school fees, averaging £30; he also receives £5 per annum, from a bequest by Mr. Smith for the gratuitous instruction of poor children. There are some remains of the ancient castles of Corsehill and Auchenharvie. On the braes of Carnduff, the property of Mr. Deans, of Peacock Bank, have been found three urns containing human bones. About a mile from the town, on the farm of Chapelton, were recently dug up the foundations of an ancient chapel, of which, however, no authentic records have been preserved. Among the most eminent persons connected with this place was Dr. Robert Watt, compiler of the Bibliotheca Britannica, a work of celebrity; he was born on the farm now called Girgenti, in the year 1774, and died in 1819.
Stewarton and Wishawton
STEWARTON and WISHAWTON, a village, in the parish of Cambusnethan, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 3½ miles (E. by S.) from Hamilton; containing 2149 inhabitants. These places adjoin each other, and form a considerable village, situated in the western part of the parish, on the high road from Carluke to Hamilton, on both sides of which the houses are, for the most part, built. The population is principally engaged in manufactures and in the collieries of the neighbourhood; and a large distillery has lately been erected at the west end of the village by Lord Belhaven, with extensive sheds for feeding cattle, and other buildings, the whole of the best masonry, and in complete uniformity, and presenting a handsome range. On the estate of Wishaw a tile-work, also, is in operation: and the vicinity is altogether important as a mineral district. The Wishaw and Coltness railway, for which an act was obtained in 1829, extends from the termination, in the parish of Old Monkland, of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch railway, southward to the estates of Wishaw, Coltness, and Allanton, all in this parish. The original capital of £60,000 was subsequently increased to £120,000; and by an act passed in May 1841, the company are empowered to extend it to £240,000. Wishaw House, the seat of Lord Belhaven, stands on the river Calder, about a mile from the village, and is a fine mansion, recently beautified and enlarged; it is in the castellated style, and the outline is much varied by the different heights and projections of the towers and embattled walls. The apartments are suitable to the extent of the building; and several of them, remarkable for their elegance, contain numerous family and other portraits. Around the house are extensive orchard-grounds and gardens. A school in the village is well attended.