A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
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UDDINGSTON, a village, in the parish of Bothwell, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 1 mile (N. W. by N.) from the village of Bothwell; containing 703 inhabitants. It is situated in the western part of the parish, on the eastern bank of the Clyde, and on the high road from Carlisle to Glasgow, from which latter place it is distant east-south-eastward about seven miles. The population consists of weavers and agriculturalists, and a few persons engaged in handicraft trades: several of the villagers are employed on the estate and grounds of Lord Douglas, in the vicinity. Uddingston has considerable repute for the manufacture of Wilkie's plough, now used in the best cultivated districts of Scotland, and in many parts of England, on account of its lightness, acute angle, and manageable form; it is wholly constructed of iron, and many thousands are exported, some, among other places, to the West Indies.
UDDINGTON, a village, in the parish of Douglas, Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 2 miles (N. E.) from the town of Douglas; containing 97 inhabitants. This village lies in the north-eastern part of the parish, on the high road from Douglas to Carstairs, and a short distance east of the Douglas water. Its population is chiefly agricultural.
UDNY, a parish, in the district of Ellon, county of Aberdeen, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Old Meldrum; containing 1450 inhabitants. This place derived its name from the ancient family of Udny, who have held possession of the barony for more than 800 years, and whose descendant, Colonel Udny, is the present proprietor. The barony, and several portions of land in the parishes of Ellon, Tarves, Logie-Buchan, and Foveran, were erected into the present parish of Udny, by authority of an act of parliament passed for that purpose, in 1597. The parish is nearly circular in form, and comprises about 12,000 acres; 8500 are arable, 400 woodland and plantations, and the remainder, of which a large portion might be reclaimed, moorland pasture and waste. The surface is gently undulating, and diversified with hills of moderate elevation: the prevailing scenery is of pleasing character. Three small streams, of which one bounds Udny on the north, and another on the south, flow in a direction from west to east, and after leaving the parish, fall into the river Ythan, about six miles distant. The soil is principally a rich loam resting on a bed of granite, alternated with portions of inferior quality on a substratum of clay: the chief crops are, oats, bear, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses; and vegetables and fruit of every kind are also raised in perfection. The system of husbandry has been greatly improved, and a due rotation of crops is generally observed. The lands have been drained, though from the insufficient depth of the drains, the full benefit of that process has not been yet produced; much of the waste has been brought into cultivation; and from the liberal encouragement given by the proprietors to their tenants, improvements are still rapidly advancing. The farm houses and offices are substantial and commodiously arranged. On all the farms exceeding fifty acres in extent threshing-mills have been erected; the inclosures are kept in good order, and all the more recent improvements in the construction of agricultural implements have been adopted. Great care is bestowed on the management of the dairy-farms, and large quantities of butter and cheese of excellent quality are sent for the supply of the Aberdeen market; much attention is also paid to live-stock. The cattle are generally of the Aberdeenshire breed, chiefly black, and without horns, which are found to thrive well; but on some of the larger farms, cattle have been imported from Durham, with a view of improving the breed. Few sheep are reared in the parish.
The plantations, nearly 300 acres of which are firs of various kinds, interspersed with forest-trees, are generally in a thriving state; and around the mansions of the principal proprietors are many fine specimens of well-grown timber. The Mains of Udny, towards the end of the last century, was tastefully laid out in inclosures of about sixteen acres each, separated from each other by double rows of beech and elm. The inner rows were cut down about twenty years afterwards; but the outer rows, which have attained a maturity of growth, still add greatly to the beauty of the landscape. The principal substrata are granite and limestone, with alternations of grey-slate; the limestone has been wrought at different times, but never to any very considerable extent, the works being discontinued from the irruption of water into the quarries. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7431. The castle of Udny, the ancient baronial residence of the family, appears to have been erected about the close of the 15th century; it is a building of four stories, and the walls are of great thickness. The two lower stories, of which the upper contains a spacious hall comprising the whole length and breadth of the building, have groined ceilings of elegant design; and the floors are neatly paved with hexagonal slabs of granite. The proprietor began to modernise the castle in 1801; but the design was not completed, and the mansion is at present uninhabited. Pittrichie, the property of Alexander Milne, Esq., is a handsome house of granite, built by the late proprietor in 1819; and another seat in the parish is Tillygreig, the property of Arthur Harvey, Esq., a small mansion recently enlarged. At Pitmedden, the property of Sir W. C. Seton, Bart., are the ruins of two ancient mansions, and also an extensive garden, planted about the middle of the 17th century with the choicest fruit-trees of every kind, and tastefully laid out at a great expense; the garden is still in a very flourishing condition, and the apples produced are said to be superior to any in the north of Scotland.
There is no village: the various handicraft trades are carried on in different parts, and the several shops for the sale of groceries and other articles for the supply of the inhabitants are distributed throughout the parish. A post-office, which has a daily delivery, has been established under that of Aberdeen; and there are several good inns. Fairs, chiefly for black-cattle, are held annually at the Green of Udny, on the Tuesdays after the 25th of March and May, and the Tuesday after the 21st of November. Facility of communication is maintained by the turnpike-roads from Aberdeen and Newburgh, which intersect each other nearly in the centre of the parish; and by one from Aberdeen to Meldrum, which passes through the western portion: by parish roads kept in repair by statute labour; and by good bridges over the streams. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Ellon and synod of Aberdeen. The minister's stipend is £217. 7. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum; patron, Colonel Udny. The church, erected in 1821, is a neat and substantial structure with a low spire, and contains 750 sittings, all of which are free. The parochial school is attended by about thirty children; the master has a salary of £32, with a house and garden, and the school-fees may be said to average £20 annually.
UIG, a parish, in the Island of Lewis, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing, with the islands of Great and Little Bernera, Pabbay, and Vuiavore, 3316 inhabitants. This place seems to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a solitary spot," from its situation on the western coast of the island of Lewis, at a remote distance from the parishes of Stornoway and Lochs, from which it is separated by a tract of swampy moorland extending nearly twelve miles in length. With the exception of occasional incursions of the Danes, and hostilities between the rival clans of the Macaulays and the Morrisons, who were continually at war, the place does not appear to have been distinguished by any events of historical importance. The parish is bounded on the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, and, including the frith of Loch Roag, which penetrates for several miles into the interior, is about twenty-four miles in length and ten miles in average breadth; comprising not much less than 124,000 acres. Scarcely 300 acres are arable and in cultivation; about 1800 are meadow and pasture, and the large remainder moorland, moss, and waste. The surface is diversified with hills of moderate elevation, which prevail throughout nearly the whole of the interior; but towards the shore the ground is nearly level. The hills are intersected by extensive tracts of moorland, and numerous fresh-water lakes; and the lowlands are watered by several rivulets, whereof the principal are, the Grimsta and Cean loch, which flow into Loch Roag; the Resort, which falls into the bay of that name; and the Red River, which joins the bay of Uig. Of the fresh-water lakes, the only one of any considerable extent is Loch Langavat, on the south-western boundary of the parish, which is more than nine miles in length and nearly two miles in extreme breadth: of the others, the largest does not exceed two miles in length and one mile in breadth. They all abound with trout of small size, and salmon are found in moderate quantity in the rivers. There are several perennial springs of excellent water; but they are generally small, and afford only a scanty supply.
The coast, including its windings, is about forty miles in extent, and is indented with many friths and bays. The principal is Loch Roag, on the north-west, intersecting the parish for twelve miles to the southeast; its entrance is about eight miles in breadth, and is divided by islands, which also abound throughout its whole length, the most considerable being the greater island of Bernera. This frith, in which an extensive herring-fishery was formerly carried on, contains several roadsteads, of sufficient capacity for the safe anchorage of the whole of the British navy. Loch Resort, on the western coast, penetrates for nearly eight miles into the land, forming a boundary between the islands of Lewis and Harris; it is a little more than two miles in breadth at the entrance, from which it gradually diminishes to a point. The bay of Uig, also on the western coast, is likewise about two miles in breadth at the entrance, which is exposed to all the fury of the Atlantic Ocean. It is protected on the north by the promontory of Gallan Head, and on the south by a headland of inferior height, constituting the western extremity of the island of Lewis; it penetrates into the land for three miles and a half, preserving a mean breadth of about one mile, and branches out into several well sheltered creeks. Since the failure of the herring-fishery at Loch Roag, the inhabitants have been engaged in fisheries of cod and ling, which are found in abundance off the coast, and in taking which about eighty open boats and one decked vessel are employed; the fish are cured in dryinghouses on the shore, and about thirty tons are annually prepared for the London market. Shell-fish of every kind are also abundant on the shores of Loch Roag, and the oysters and lobsters taken here are of very superior quality: indeed vessels from England frequently stay here for several months to fish for lobsters, of which not less than 100,000 are on an average sent to London annually. Of the numerous islands within the parish, the Flannan islands, seven in number, are about thirty miles distant from the main land; they are supposed to have been the residence of the Druids, and contain many interesting relics. Of the others, four are inhabited, and the remainder afford good pasturage for cattle and sheep; the larger islands, Bernera and others, are described under their respective heads.
The soil along the coast is generally light and sandy; in the interior, partly clay, but chiefly mossy; and, with the help of sea-weed as manure, every where capable of being rendered tolerably fertile. The crops are oats and barley, with a few potatoes, which have been gradually growing more into use as an article of food; but the quantity of land under cultivation is far from being sufficient to supply the wants of the inhabitants, and the system of husbandry is still in a very unimproved state. The moorlands afford tolerably good pasture for black-cattle and sheep, upon the rearing of which the people place their chief reliance, and to the improvement of which, within the last few years, they have paid a considerable degree of attention. The cattle, sheep, and horses, are mostly of the small Highland breeds, which from time immemorial have been reared in the parish; and large numbers are sent to Stornoway, for the supply of the southern markets. Recently, however, sheep of the Cheviot and blackfaced breeds have been introduced, and they appear to thrive well. There are no villages of any importance; but in various parts are rural hamlets, or clusters of houses, containing each from forty to fifty families, who are employed in agricultural and pastoral pursuits. The manufacture of kelp is carried on to a considerable extent, and about 225 tons are annually sent to market; the people also weave woollen and other cloths for their own use. There is a post-office at Stornoway, the only market-town in the island of Lewis; but there is little facility of communication, from the want of roads, which circumstance tends greatly to impede the improvement of the district. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2542.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Lewis and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £158. 6. 7., of which one-third is paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £7 per annum: the patronage of the incumbency is exercised by the Crown. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, is a neat plain structure, erected in the year 1829, and containing 1000 sittings. A catechist is appointed and supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and the members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school is attended by about fifty children; the master has a salary of £28, with a house, and half an acre of land, and the fees average £5 per annum. Two schools are maintained by the society just named, three by the Edinburgh Gaelic School Society, and one by the education committee of the General Assembly: commodious schoolrooms, with dwelling-houses for the teachers, were built at Valtos and Calanish by Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Mc Kenzie. At Calanish, on the eastern shore of Loch Roag, are the remains of a Druidical temple in nearly entire preservation, consisting of a circle of thirteen upright stones, each six feet in height, in an undressed state as taken from the quarry, placed at a distance of six yards from each other, and inclosing an area almost thirty yards in diameter, in the centre of which is an upright stone of very large dimensions, thirteen feet in height. Leading towards the entrance of the circle is an avenue of two parallel ranges of six upright stones, each six feet high; and on the east and west of the circle are single ranges of three similar stones, and on the south a range of two. At Carloway are the remains of a Danish fort, one of the most entire in the country; the circular inclosure is surrounded by two concentric walls of stone, about thirty feet in height, of great thickness at the base, but gradually tapering towards the summit. At Melista are the remains of a nunnery, near which were found by a peasant, while digging in the sand, in 1840, a great number of pieces of bone or ivory, beautifully carved in various devices, and evidently intended as figures for the game of chess.
UIST, NORTH, an island and parish, in the county of Inverness; containing, with the islands of Balishear, Boreray, Grimsay, Heisker, Illary, Kirkibbost, Vorgay, Orinsay, Ronay, and Vallay, 4428 inhabitants, of whom 3788 are in the island of North Uist. This place, which is included in the Hebrides, or Western Islands, is supposed to have derived its name from its situation to the west of the Isle of Skye. Originally it formed part of the territories of Somerled, King of the Isles, whose descendant, Donald Macdonald, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in the year 1625; and the present Lord Macdonald is now the sole proprietor. The island, which is about thirty miles in length and from eight to fourteen miles in breadth, is bounded on the north-east by the sound of Harris; on the southeast by the Minch; on the north-west by the Atlantic; and on the south-west by the sands which, at low water, connect it with the island of Benbecula. From the extreme irregularity of its surface, however, its numerous indentations by arms of the sea, and the great number of its inland lakes, it has not been accurately surveyed; nor has even the number of square miles it contains been computed with any degree of exactness. The surface in the eastern portion is diversified with ranges of hills, increasing gradually in height from north to south, and varying from 300 to 700 feet in elevation above the level of the sea. Towards the west, the surface is chiefly a tract of level sands, with a wide extent of moorland intersected by fresh-water lakes of large size, and in some parts diversified with low ranges of hills, covered with heath, and affording only coarse pasture for cattle. In this part of the island are most of the cultivated grounds, rendered fertile by the drifting of shell-sand from the shores of the Atlantic, and in favourable seasons producing good crops of grain; also some extensive tracts of luxuriant meadow yielding fine crops of red and white clover.
The coast on the west, with the exception of a few rocky headlands, is low and sandy, affording little security for vessels of any kind; but on the south-east, bold and elevated, bounded by ranges of high hills, and indented with numerous bays forming excellent harbours. The principal harbour on the north is Cheese bay, which is easy of access from the south-east, and has safe anchorage for vessels of any burthen at all times. Loch Maddy, on the south-east, and in front of whose entrance are three bold rocks from which it takes its name, is a capacious and secure harbour, readily entered, and affording anchorage to vessels of any burthen, which may ride in perfect safety, protected from all winds by the high grounds that inclose it on either side. To the south of Loch Maddy is Loch Efort, extending for six miles inland, though narrow at the entrance; it possesses secure anchorage-ground, but, from its proximity to Loch Maddy, is not much frequented. Still farther to the south is the harbour of Rhueva, which, though affording good anchorage, is difficult of access, from the narrowness of its entrance. About three miles to the south of Rhueva is the harbour of Keallin, between the islands of Grimsay and Ronay, having safe accommodation for vessels of moderate size: near this harbour is a fishing station.
Connected with the parish are numerous islands, some of them inhabited and under cultivation, and others affording only scanty pasturage for a few sheep, or frequented merely for the sea-weed found on them, which is collected for the manufacture of kelp. Boreray, in the sound of Harris, and about two miles to the north, is a very fertile island, about a mile and a half in length and half a mile in breadth, and inhabited by about thirty families engaged in agriculture. The island of Orinsay, to the south of Boreray, and near the main land of North Uist, is about half a mile in length, and insulated only at high-water. To the west is the island of Vallay, separated from the main land by a strand dry at low-water; this island is two miles in length and a quarter of a mile in breadth, affording good pasture, and in favourable seasons fair crops of grain. The island of Heisker, about six miles to the west of the main land, is two miles in length, but of very inconsiderable breadth; the soil is sandy, bearing a little grass and a small quantity of grain, but the isle is chiefly valuable for its kelp-shores. The islands of Kirkibbost and Illary, which are insulated only at high-water, are also situated on the western coast. Kirkibbost is now barely a mile in length, and very narrow: consisting of very fine sand exposed to the violence of the western gales, it was, with the exception of what remains, blown away by the winds, before the use of bent-grass, and other modes of fixing the sands, were discovered. The island of Illary is about four miles in length, and nearly two miles in breadth; the soil is partly sandy and partly a rich black loam, yielding tolerable crops of barley, and affording good pasturage for cattle. Grimsay, situated on the strand, between the main land and Benbecula, and insulated only at high-water, is two miles in length and a mile in extreme breadth; it is fertile and in cultivation, and inhabited by about forty families. The island of Ronay, of much smaller extent, though formerly unprofitable, has been much improved, and is now a valuable pasture.
The numerous inland lakes are thickly studded with small islands, the resort of various aquatic fowl, and abound in trout of different kinds and of good quality: in some of them, which in high tides communicate with the sea, salmon are also occasionally found. There are no streams that at all approach to the character of rivers; but many of the inlets from the sea penetrate with rapid currents far into the land. The fish commonly obtained off the coasts are, cod, ling, sythe, and flounders of large size, little inferior in quality to turbot; and herrings sometimes frequent the shores during the season, though no regular fisheries have been established. Shell-fish of various sorts are found upon the sands, including lobsters and crabs; but the most abundant are cockles, in the collection of which on the ebbing of the tide, hundreds of people are employed, as they form a nutritious kind of food, and also for the sake of the shells, which, when burnt, are used in preference to lime in the making of kelp into soda. The moorlands and hills abound with grouse, snipes, and woodcocks, and are much frequented by sportsmen; plover and curlews are also found in large numbers; and on the shores, and in the several islands of the inland lakes, are numerous herds of red deer.
The quantity of land in the parish which is arable is about 14,000 acres; there are 53,000 of meadow and good pasture, and a large extent is sand and waste. The chief crops are, oats, barley, and potatoes, of which last great quantities are raised, forming the principal food of the poorer inhabitants. The system of husbandry has been greatly improved; much waste land has been reclaimed and brought into profitable cultivation, and great attention is paid to the management of livestock. The sheep were formerly all of the small native breed, the flesh of exquisite flavour, and the wool of extraordinary fineness; but though great numbers were reared, they did not thrive so as to enable the farmers to export; and they are now almost entirely superseded by the Cheviot and black-faced. The cattle are of the Highland black-breed, and, from the care bestowed on their improvement, the majority are inferior to none in weight and symmetry. Even those of the smaller tenants are superior to most in the Hebrides in size and quality, and are still rapidly improving under the encouragement of the proprietor, who gives premiums for the finest specimens. A great number of horses are reared for the purposes of husbandry; they are hardy and strong, though in general of but moderate stature; and those bred by the principal tenants are equal, both in size and value, to those kept for agricultural use in the south of Scotland. There are scarcely any plantations, though, from the discovery of trunks and roots of trees in the mosses, at a great depth from the surface, it would appear that the island of North Uist anciently abounded with timber. Trees have been planted in some few sheltered spots, and continue to thrive; but from the general want of shelter, little progress has been made. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4080. There is no village properly so called; and the only manufacture is that of kelp, in which the tenants are employed during intervals of leisure from agricultural pursuits, in the months of June, July, and August, by the proprietor of the island. About 900 tons are annually made, and sent to the southern markets on his account; 400 persons are thus employed, and the average earnings of each family are £4 for the season. The handicraft trades requisite for the wants of the parish are carried on in different places, and there are also several shops for the sale of various wares. At Loch Maddy, which is a packet-station, about eleven vessels varying from twenty to sixty tons' burthen each, and of which several were built in the parish, are employed in the coasting-trade; a post-office has been established at the same place, which has three deliveries weekly; and there is a good inn. Fairs for black-cattle, sheep, and horses, are held in the neighbourhood of Loch Maddy, in July and September; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, which have been lately much extended, and by the packet that sails three times in the week to the Isle of Skye.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Uist and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £158. 6. 8., of which more than one-half is paid from the exchequer; with an allowance in lieu of manse, and a glebe valued at £40 per annum: patron, the Crown. The church, erected in 1764, is a plain structure containing 400 sittings. A church was erected by government, in 1828, at Trumisgarry (which see); and at Carinish is a missionary station, of which the minister is supported by the Royal Bounty, and officiates in a building containing 396 sittings. The parochial school affords instruction to about sixty children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., and the fees average £16 annually. Two schools are supported by the education committee of the General Assembly, who pay the masters a salary of £25 each; and various other schools are supported by the Glasgow Auxiliary Gaelic Society, and the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Nearly in the centre of the parish are two hills, on the summits of which immense cairns of loose stones have been raised. As there are no stones within a great distance of the site, it is difficult to imagine how these stones, some of which are of enormous weight, can have been conveyed to their present situation. They are supposed to have been raised over the remains of some distinguished leaders who were slain in a battle that took place near the spot; but no particulars of any such event have been recorded. On the islands in some of the inland lakes, and on the high grounds in different parts of the parish, are vestiges of Danish forts, within view of each other, and apparently intended as a chain of signal stations, to give notice of the approach of an enemy. At Carinish, in the south, are the remains of an ancient church called Teampul-na-Trianade, or "the Temple of the Trinity," which is supposed to have been the first Christian church erected in the Highlands. There are also some Druidical remains, and the ruins of various chapels, in the burial-grounds of which are crosses rudely sculptured, and in two of them obelisks of stone, of considerable height.
UIST, SOUTH, an island and parish, in the county of Inverness: containing, with the islands of Benbecula, Eriskay, and Flodda, 7333 inhabitants, of whom 5093 are in the island of South Uist. This place, of which the name is supposed to be of Danish origin, is not distinguished by any events of historical importance. The parish is bounded on the north by a sound two miles in breadth, which separates it from the island of North Uist; on the east, by the channel of the Minch, which divides it from the Isle of Skye; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Including the islands of Benbecula and Eriskay, it is about thirty-eight miles in length, varying from six to eight miles in breadth, and comprising an area of 80,500 acres, of which 19,000 are arable and in cultivation, and the remainder mountain, moorland, and waste. The island of South Uist is twenty-seven miles in length and seven miles in average breadth; the island of Benbecula, about eight miles long and eight miles in breadth; and the island of Eriskay, which is separated from South Uist by a channel two miles in width, three miles and a half in length and a mile and a half broad.
The surface on the west side of the parish is low and flat, but on the east side hilly and mountainous. The highest of the mountains is Heacle, or Hecla, in the island of South Uist, which has an elevation of 2500 feet above the level of the sea; it consists of three distinct summits, of which the central is the lowest, the whole rising from a continued range of several miles in length, and affording good pasturage for sheep. The ranges of hills to the north and south of Hecla vary from 1200 to 1300 feet in height, and, during the summer, are clothed with tender grass, forming excellent pasture for black-cattle, sheep, and horses. From the bases of the mountains and hills extend large tracts of peat-moss, providing abundance of fuel, which, when dried and stacked, becomes impervious to the rain without any covering. There are numerous inland lakes, from several of which issue small rivulets that flow through some parts of the parish; but there are no rivers properly so called. The largest of these lakes is Loch Bee, about three miles in length and one mile in breadth, into which the sea flows at spring-tides, and which consequently abounds with trout, flounders, and mullet. Loch Druidibeg, to the north of Hecla, is little inferior to Loch Bee in dimensions, and contains many islets, frequented by gulls and other aquatic fowl, and formerly well stocked with deer. Of the smaller lakes, those on the moors abound with black trout, though of very inferior quality; and in two of the streams that issue from the lochs into the sea, salmon are found, but not in any great quantity.
The coast is indented on the east side with numerous sea lochs, forming commodious bays. The principal are, Loch Skiport on the north, Loch Eynort in the centre, and Loch Boisdale in the south; the two first penetrate nearly to the western boundary of the parish, and the last for more than four miles into the interior. All these bays constitute excellent harbours; and on their rocky shores are accumulated vast quantities of sea-weed, used for manure, and for the manufacture of kelp, of which, previously to the reduction of the price, about 1100 tons were annually produced. There are many caves, excavated in the rocks by the action of the waves. The most remarkable is at Corodale, on the eastern coast, between Loch Skiport and Loch Eynort: this is called the Prince's Cave, from its having afforded concealment to Prince Charles Edward from the pursuit of his enemies, in 1746. Among the headlands are, Oronsay, opposite to the small island of that name; Ard-Vula; Ard-Michael; and Ard-Ivachar: the only headland on the eastern coast is Ushinish, which projects for nearly a mile and a half into the channel of the Minch. The several harbours are under the jurisdiction of the port of Stornoway. The larger of them are frequented by vessels carrying cattle and agricultural produce to the Isle of Skye and the main land; and the smaller, of which the principal are Lochs Charnan, Shelliva, and Uisgava, by fishing-boats. Vast shoals of herrings are found off the western coast; and on the eastern, cod, ling, and other white-fish are plentiful; but except at Boisdale, few persons are engaged in the fisheries, which, since the withdrawal of the government bounty, have greatly decreased. Cockles are taken in great quantities on the sands between the island of Benbecula and North and South Uist; and limpets, muscles, periwinkles, lobsters, and crabs are also abundant. Oysters are taken only on the shores of Loch Skiport.
The soil is generally light and sandy, but in some places a black loam, and in others moss: on the western coast the lands are subject to drifts of sand, which have been remedied by the sowing of bent-grass. The crops are, barley, bear, oats, rye, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry has been of late gradually improving, and considerable portions of moss have been brought into cultivation: but very little progress has been made in inclosing the lands. The cattle, of which about 5000 are annually reared in the parish, are of the Highland black-breed; and the sheep, of which 7000 are fed, chiefly of the small native breed. Some few, however, of the Cheviot and black-faced have been introduced on the larger farms. About 2100 horses are also bred yearly, of diminutive stature, but of great strength and symmetry, and capable of enduring much fatigue. Though formerly abounding with wood, as appears from the number of trunks and branches of trees discovered under the mosses while digging for peat, there are at present no plantations in the parish, and scarcely a tree of any kind is to be seen. The prevailing rocks are of the primitive formation; there are also rocks of gneiss, coarse granite, and hornblende, and some mica-slate in a few places. There are neither villages nor hamlets deserving of notice. The rateable annual value of South Uist is £5863; and the principal landed proprietor is Colonel Gordon, of Cluny, who possesses four-fifths of the parish, by recent purchase from Macdonald of Clanranald.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Uist and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £281, with an allowance of £50 in lieu of manse and glebe; patron, the Crown. The old church has been in ruins from the time of the Reformation; and a private house, fitted up with 200 sittings, was for many years appropriated to the performance of divine service, till the erection of the present church, a neat structure containing about 500 sittings. There are two missionary stations in connexion with the Established Church; one at Benbecula, where is a chapel containing 270, and one at Boisdale, where is a chapel containing 230, sittings. The minister of Benbecula has a stipend of £80, and the minister of Boisdale a stipend of £70; of each of which sums, £60 are paid from the Royal Bounty, and the remainder by the heritors. There are also three chapels under the superintendence of a Roman Catholic bishop, who resides in Glasgow. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £26. 8. 8., with an allowance of £8 in lieu of house and garden, and the fees average £5 per annum. On the island of Benbecula are some remains of the castle of Borve, the ancient residence of the lords of Benbecula. There was also a nunnery, of which the remains were removed, and the stones used in the erection of the mansion of Clanranald; and on a small islet in a lake are still some remains of an old monastery. In Loch Druidibeg is a rocky islet, on which are the ruins of an ancient fortress, apparently erected as a place of refuge in times of danger; and on an island in a lake almost in the centre of the parish is, still nearly entire, a square tower to which the lords of Clanranald with their families retired when apprehensive of invasion.
ULINISH, an isle, in the parish of Kilmuir, county of Inverness. This is a small isle, in which are the remains of a Danish fort; and also those of a place of refuge, built in the time of James VI. by Hugh Macdonald, who was next heir to the dignity and fortune of his chief, and who suffered for engaging in a plot against the laird's life. There is also an extensive cavern on the coast of the isle.
ULLAPOOL, a fishing-village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Lochbroom, county of Ross and Cromarty, 45 miles (N. W. by W.) from Dingwall; containing, with the isles of Martin, Ristol, and Tanara, 2769 inhabitants, of whom 790 are in the village of Ullapool. This place owes its origin to the British Fisheries' Society, who in 1788 established here one of their stations; and since that time it has been gradually increasing. The village is finely situated on the north-eastern shore of Loch Broom, and at the mouth of a small river which issues from Loch Achall, and flowing westward, falls into the bay of Ullapool, in Loch Broom. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the fisheries, and an agent of the company is stationed here for the promotion of the trade. The herring-fishery, since its first establishment, has experienced considerable fluctuation; but it has recently improved, and during the season vast numbers of boats from various places are actively employed. The harbour is spacious, and easily accessible to vessels of large burthen, which can approach the quay. Many coasting-vessels touch at the port; and belonging to the place are three sloops that sail to Greenock, Liverpool, and Ireland, with which a moderate coasting-trade is carried on. A post-office under that of Dingwall has been established here, and letters are conveyed by a messenger thrice in the week: the road to Dingwall was originally in excellent condition, but has lately been much neglected. The parish, including a district of about sixty square miles, was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from Lochbroom by act of the General Assembly in 1833. The church, which accommodates 600 persons, was erected by parliamentary grant in 1829; the minister has a stipend of £120, with a manse, and grass for two cows: patron, the Crown. A school formerly supported by the General Assembly has been converted into a parochial school, and the master now has a salary of £32 paid by government.
ULSTON, a village, in the parish and district of Jedburgh, county of Roxburgh, 1½ mile (N. E. by E.) from the town of Jedburgh; containing 97 inhabitants. This village lies in the northern part of the parish, eastward of the river Jed, and a short distance from the old Roman road, which here intersects the parish.
ULVA, an island and quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kilninian and Kilmore, district of Mull, and county of Argyll, 12 miles (W. S. W.) from Aros; containing, with the islands of Little Colonsay, Gometray, and Staffa, and a portion of the main land of Mull, 859 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name, of Scandinavian origin, from the number of wolves by which the island was formerly infested. Till within a very recent period, it formed part of the possessions of the descendants of its ancient chieftains, the Macquaries, of whose baronial residence there are still some vestiges remaining. The feudal custom of exacting from their vassals a fine on the marriage of a virgin, and which was called "Mercheta Mulierum," appears to have been exercised by the Macquaries in the island until nearly the close of the 18th century. This fine, which was originally paid in the produce of the land, was for a long time fixed at one sheep, but was ultimately commuted for the payment of a crown in money. Including the islands of Little Colonsay, Gometray, and Staffa, which are all described under their respective heads, the parish comprises an area of about sixty square miles; the greater portion is either arable and in cultivation, or grazing land affording good pasturage for sheep and cattle. The island of Ulva is separated from the main land of Mull by a sound not more than 100 yards in width, and from the island of Gometray, on the west, by a still narrower strait; it is about four miles and a half in length and nearly two in breadth, and presents a great variety of surface. The coast is bold and rocky, in some parts rising by successive ledges to an elevation of nearly 1300 feet from the level of the sea, and in many places exhibiting beautiful ranges of basaltic columns, little inferior to those of Staffa. On a farm on the south side of the island, and within a quarter of a mile from the shore, is a natural arch of columnar basalt, in front of a rock rising perpendicularly to the height of 100 feet; it forms the entrance to a romantic cave, sixty feet in length and almost of equal breadth, of which the arched roof, thirty feet high, has every appearance of artificial groining. On the shore of Loch-na-Keal is the promontory of Ardnacallich, near the bay of that name, which affords shelter to vessels, and has good anchorage; while on the north of the island is the bay of Soriby, which is easy of access, and where ships of any burthen may ride in perfect safety. On the south of the island is the bay of Crakaig, between which and Little Colonsay are several small islets; and in the narrow strait that separates the island of Ulva from that of Gometray, is the bay of Glackindaline, in which is a commodious harbour. Large quantities of salmon have been found in the bay of Soriby, and off other parts of the northern coast; and skate, flounders, lythe, plaice, soles, turbot, seath, cod, ling, mackerel, and herrings are taken in abundance off the isle. Shell-fish of every kind are also plentiful; and if due attention were paid to the encouragement of the fisheries, this island might be made one of the most valuable stations in this part of the kingdom. Ulva is the resort of all the different sea-fowl that visit the western coast; and the hills and moorlands abound with grouse, plover, snipes, woodcocks, hares, rabbits, and almost every other sort of game.
The soil is various, but generally fertile; in some places a rich deep mould, in others alternated with sand and gravel: there are also some tracts of peat-moss supplying fuel. The hills in the district afford excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle; the shores furnish large quantities of shell-sand and sea-weed, which are used for manure, and tend much to the enrichment of the lands. Among the crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; and in 1837 an attempt to raise wheat and peas was made by Mr. Clarke, the principal landed proprietor, by way of experiment, and was attended with complete success. The system of husbandry has been improved; the lands are inclosed with dykes of stone, and the farm-buildings are mostly substantial and commodious. The arable lands are generally near the shore, the pastures more in the interior; and under the encouragement of liberal leases, the tenants are still doing much in the way of draining and otherwise improving the lands. Considerable attention is paid to the livestock, consisting principally of sheep and black-cattle, of which large numbers are sent to the Falkirk trysts, and to the markets of Doune and Dumbarton; great numbers of pigs are also fed, and sent to Glasgow. The manufacture of kelp is carried on in various parts by the inhabitants during their intervals of agricultural pursuits, and about 100 tons of it are annually made, which, from its superior strength and quality, obtains a decided preference in the market. Plantations have been for some time in progress, and already contribute to the beauty of the scenery; they are generally under good management, and in a thriving condition. There are no mines of any kind in operation. The principal fuel is peat from the mosses, with a little brushwood; and a small quantity of coal is occasionally brought from the Clyde for the use of a few families. The residence of the chief landed proprietor is a handsome modern mansion, at a small distance from the site of the ancient seat of the Macquaries, and situated in an extensive park embellished with thriving plantations; the house commands a beautiful view of Ben-More and the other mountains of Mull, and of the picturesque cataract of the Esse-forse. There is no village properly so called. The Ulva inn, which has been recently repaired and greatly improved, affords every accommodation to the numerous parties visiting Staffa, for which purpose boats are at all times in attendance. Near the inn are a smithy, one or two shops for the sale of merchandise, a house for the ferryman, and a few straggling cottages, the occupants of which are employed in the handicraft trades requisite for the wants of the neighbourhood. There is a post-office, which has a regular delivery; and facility of communication is chiefly maintained by sea, the roads being in a very imperfect state. Ulva was separated for quoad sacra purposes from the parish of Kilninian and Kilmore, and erected into a parish, by act of the General Assembly in 1833; its ecclesiastical concerns are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Mull and synod of Argyll. The church was erected in 1828, under an act of parliament of the 5th of George IV., and is a neat substantial structure containing 320 sittings, of which 100 are free; the minister has a stipend of £120, with a manse and a small glebe: patron, the Crown. There are two branches here of the Kilninian parochial school; the masters have respectively salaries of £15 and £9, with dwellinghouses, in addition to the fees, which, however, are very inconsiderable. There are also two schools supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, of which the masters have respectively £15 and £6, with a dwelling-house each.
UNST, a parish and island, in the county of Orkney and Shetland, 43 miles (N. by E.) from Lerwick; containing, with the island of Uya, 2831 inhabitants. The island of Unst, of which this parish mainly consists, is the most northern part of the Shetland Isles, and of the British dominions in Europe. It is bounded on the east and north by the German Ocean; on the west by the Atlantic; on the south by a channel four miles wide, separating it from the island of Fetlar; and on the south-west by Blumel sound, a frith about a mile across, through which the tides run with great rapidity and violence. It is nearly of an oblong form, measuring about twelve miles in length from north to south, and between three and four in average breadth from east to west; and is distributed into three portions, called respectively the north, midland, and southern districts. These comprise together 24,000 acres; about 2000 are under tillage, nearly the same number uncultivated meadow and pasture, and the remainder hilly and mountainous land mostly covered with deep peat-moss. The shore is encompassed by small islets, or holms, of which that of Ska, the most northern, is broken in every direction by creeks, bays, caverns, and headlands. The surface of Unst, though not marked by such lofty elevations as those of the other Shetland islands, is diversified with numerous ridges and hills, between which are level tracts of good fertile land, and some picturesque valleys, investing the general scenery with a pleasing character. One of the chief ranges of hills, named Valleyfield, 700 feet in height, stretches along the western coast; it forms a defence against the impetuosity of the sea in that quarter, and ends, in the northern extremity of the island, in the prominent headland of Hermanness, so called from an ancient warrior who is reported to have landed at the point. Parallel, and nearly co-extensive, with this elevation, on its eastern side, is a valley ornamented with a succession of lochs, some containing good-sized trout, and the largest measuring about three miles in length; they empty themselves into the sea at Uya sound, in the southern, and at Burrafirth, in the northern portion of the isle. To the south-eastward of this, in the direction of the loch of Cliff, which is three miles long, much of the land is stripped of its moss, and exhibits a rough, bare, and stony appearance, affording, however, in many places nutritious pasture for native horses and sheep. In the southeastern portion, also, are several lochs called "the Small waters," on account of their diminutive extent; and in every place throughout the island perennial springs of fresh water of excellent quality are abundant.
The headlands are in general lofty and precipitous, especially on the northern, north-eastern, and western shores; and some of the channels are so difficult to cross when the tide runs in, that boats are frequently lost in the perilous attempt. The bays comprehend Burra-firth on the north; Norwick, Haroldswick, and Sandwick, on the east; Watswick, Wick, and Woodwick, on the south-west and west; Balta sound, on the east coast, about the middle of the island; and Uya sound on the south. They afford no protection for vessels, and are all rather dangerous landing-places, with the exception of Balta sound and Uya sound; these are defended against the sea by the islands from which they respectively take their names, and form excellent and safe harbours with both north and south entrances. The islands of Huna and Haaf-Grunie, and the holms of Newgord, Burra-firth, Woodwick, Weatherholm, Ska, and Heogaland, are all adjacent to Unst, and belong to it, but are used only for the pasturage of black-cattle and sheep. Among the numerous caves along this rocky, elevated, and precipitous coast, the most striking is one under a high steep rock at the north-eastern base of Saxa-Vord, the resort of large numbers of aquatic birds; it consists of a majestic natural arch 300 feet in length, of considerable height, and of sufficient span, and having sufficient depth of water to allow a boat to be rowed through it.
The soil is in general tolerably good, in some parts very excellent; and the chief produce is oats, bear, and potatoes, the crops of all which are pretty heavy. Angus oats have been raised by some of the proprietors, as well as rye-grass, clover, and turnips, on grounds where more than ordinary attention has been paid to cultivation; and the crops are said to have equalled those in the best grounds in more southern latitudes. The trees, however, and evergreen plants and shrubs, are stunted in the extreme, the hurricane that frequently blows from the Atlantic throwing the spray entirely across the island, and destroying every kind of ornamental plantation. The farms, exclusively of a contiguous portion of meadow and grass to each, are barely six acres in extent, having, within these few years, been reduced in size to accommodate the tenants, who prefer fishing to agriculture, and who have neither time nor inclination to pursue the latter, except for the supply of their urgent necessities. The land is consequently all prepared with the spade. The out-field portion is generally sown with the black oats common to the district, and left, unmanured, to its own resources; the in-field portion, being adjacent to the dwellings, obtains the principal attention, employing, in spring, males and females of every age in its cultivation. The fences usually consist of turf, or turf and stones; and many have been constructed with considerable care during the last few years, the inhabitants being much more intent than formerly on inclosing their lands. The average rent of arable land is eighteen shillings per merk; and about 20,000 acres are computed to be still in common, 2000 of which, however, are capable of being brought under tillage. The sheep, black-cattle, and horses are all of the native kind, mixtures not having been attended with much success: the last are fast degenerating, on account of no attention being given to the best selections for breeding.
Limestone is wrought at Cliff, and near Balliasta, and a mine containing the chromate of iron found in veins of serpentine is in operation; but this ore, once so largely wrought and so profitable, has latterly been greatly deteriorated in value, and is now comparatively but little raised, on account of the discovery in Norway and other parts of the same mineral, and its free importation into this kingdom. The island also contains gneiss, chlorite, talc, and mica-slate, quartz, hornblende, and a few other rocks. Belmont, the mansion-house at Buness, and a lodge near Uya sound, are the only residences of a superior class. The dwellings of the inhabitants, who live chiefly in the northern and southern districts, are either insulated or in small clusters, forming no assemblage at all entitled to the name of a village: the vicinity of the harbour of Uya sound is, perhaps, the most populous, having a neat range of tenements lately built along the shore, shops for merchandise, some warehouses, and some work-buildings for a blacksmith, a cooper, and a few boat-carpenters. Each neighbourhood has a water-mill for grinding corn, which every farmer uses for himself. The parish is entirely destitute of roads, though open in every part to persons on horseback. The inhabitants send their cattle for sale to the market-town of Lerwick: after driving them with great difficulty over mountains, and through many swamps, they are obliged to transport them in boats across two dangerous sounds before they can reach the Mainland. The other disposable commodities they carry to Lerwick in their own boats, in which they bring back sundry articles for domestic use. The women are all employed in the manufacture of shawls, stockings, and gloves of various quality, some of which obtain very high prices; and coarse woollen cloth is also made, chiefly for the clothing of the inhabitants. Fishing forms the principal occupation of the men, who have within the last few years added to that of ling, cod, and tusk, which they have long been in the practice of salting and drying for the markets of Leith, Ireland, and Spain, an important fishery of herrings. These they take in large quantities; and in a recent year were cured 840 barrels, valued at £500, making, with the other kinds of fish exported, to the amount of £3230, and that kept for home consumption, valued at £2000, an aggregate obtained by fishing of £5730. A government post is established here, which communicates twice a week with the general post-office at Lerwick.
The parish is in the presbytery of Burravoe and synod of Shetland, and in the patronage of the Earl of Zetland: the minister's stipend is £249 per annum; almost wholly arising from a vicarage-tithe of certain quantities of ling-fish, oil, and butter; and he has a glebe of fourteen acres of land, valued at £9 per annum. The church, which is situated nearly in the centre of the island, was built in 1827, near the site of the old church of Balliasta, at the cost of about £2000; it is a handsome and substantial edifice containing 1224 sittings, of which twenty-four are free. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, a small one lately built for Independents, and another for Wesleyans. The parochial school, situated in the midland district, affords instruction in English reading, writing, arithmetic, bookkeeping, and navigation; the master has the maximum salary, with a house, and about £6 per annum in fees. A school in the northern part of the parish is supported by the General Assembly; the same branches are taught as in the parochial school, and the master receives a salary of £25, and about £10 fees. A school-house, also, has lately been built in the southern district, chiefly at the expense of the late William Mouat, Esq., of Garth: a teacher has been appointed, with a fixed salary, by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. The principal antiquities consist of a chain of round towers, open at the top, and built of massive stones, and which are continued round the island; they are called Pictish castles, or burghs, and are supposed to have been originally erected for signal stations, as information might be rapidly communicated from them in every direction, by means of fires. At Muness is a ruinous castle, the property of the late Mr. Mouat, which is said to have been built by Laurence Bruce, of the family of Cultsmalindie, in Perthshire, who fled hither to avoid the consequences of a fatal quarrel with a neighbour. This building, the main entrance of which bears the date of 1598, is an oblong square, twenty-four feet high, measuring sixty feet by eighteen within the walls, and having a tower at each angle. Two obelisks of ancient construction, the one near Greenwell, and the other in the vicinity of Uya sound, are thought to mark the scenes of some celebrated battles; and on Crucifield hill are several concentric circles of earth and stone, with the earth raised in the middle, used probably as pagan sanctuaries. There are also six old burying-places around the ruins of six ancient churches, and the remains of a large number of chapels, to one of which, called the Cross Kirk, or St. Cruz, near Haroldswick, pilgrimages were once occasionally made by some of the inhabitants, on account of its supposed sanctity.
UPHALL, a parish, in the county of Linlithgow; including the villages of Broxburn and Uphall, and containing 1267 inhabitants, of whom 500 are in the village of Broxburn, and 220 in the village of Uphall, the latter 12 miles (W. by S.) from Edinburgh. This place, originally called Strathbrock, signifying "the valley of brocks or badgers," appears to have derived its modern name from the erection of the present parish church at a spot designated Uphall. The manor of Strathbrock was once the property of the Sutherland family, from whom it went to the Douglases in the earlier part of the 15th century. After passing to various other families, it was purchased from the Oliphants by Sir Lewis Stewart, whose grand-daughter conveyed it by marriage to Henry, Lord Cardross, whose descendant, the Earl of Buchan, is the present proprietor. The parish is about four miles in length and three in breadth, comprising an area of 3920 acres, of which 3500 are arable and in cultivation, with a due proportion of meadow and pasture; 178 in plantations, and the remainder, one-half moorland, and one-half natural wood. The surface is diversified with hill and dale, though the hills attain no great elevation, the highest part not being more than 380 feet above the level of the sea. On the north-west, the grounds command a fine view towards the east, embracing Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat, and the Pentland hills, with North Berwick Law and the Lammermoor hills in the distance. The only stream that intersects the parish is the Broxburn rivulet, on which is situated the village of that name.
The soil consists generally of clay, alternated with clayey loam, and has been greatly benefited by the ample use of manure, of which large quantities are brought from Edinburgh by the Union Canal. The system of agriculture is advanced, and most of the lands are in a high state of cultivation: the rotation plan of husbandry is of course adopted. The crops are, oats, wheat, barley, and the usual green crops; and the pasturage is good: furrow-draining has made considerable progress, and the lands are well inclosed with ditches, and fences of thorn. Considerable attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, and to the improvement of live-stock. There are not many sheep, but some of the Leicester breed have been introduced, and thrive well; the cattle are chiefly the short-horned and Ayrshire, and the horses for agricultural uses are of the Clydesdale breed. The produce of the dairies is excellent, and large quantities of butter and milk are sent to the Edinburgh market. The substrata include coal, ironstone, and freestone. The coal has been wrought from a remote period, and there is still a mine in operation on the Houston estate, in which about twenty persons are employed. The freestone, which is of good quality, is extensively wrought; and since the formation of the Union Canal, much of it has been forwarded to Edinburgh, and used in the erection of buildings there. The ironstone has not yet been wrought. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6328.
Kirkhill, the ancient seat of the earls of Buchan; Amondell House, the seat of the present earl; Houston House, the residence of Norman Shairp, Esq., an ancient mansion; and Middleton Hall, a handsome modern mansion, the residence of Robert W. Maxwell, Esq., are the principal seats. The village of Broxburn is pleasantly situated; and both there, and in the village of Uphall, is a post-office connected with that of Edinburgh: a fair for cattle is held annually at the former village, on the Friday after the second Tuesday in September. Facility of communication is afforded by the Edinburgh and Glasgow road by Bathgate, which passes through the parish; by the Union Canal; and by the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, which runs near the east end of the parish, forming a curve of a mile and a half radius in its progress near the Almond valley, over which it is carried by a lofty viaduct. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The minister's stipend is £265, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum; patron, the Earl of Buchan. The church, part of which has the appearance of great antiquity, is a plain structure containing 500 sittings. The parochial school is situated in the village of Broxburn, and is usually attended by upwards of 100 children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £40 per annum. There is also a female school in the village of Uphall, attended by about eighty children, and supported almost exclusively by the fees. The poor have £40 per annum, arising from property vested in the Kirk Session. The late Honourable Henry Erskine, lord advocate of Scotland in 1782 and in 1806, and his brother, the lord chancellor, were both natives of this parish; and their remains are deposited in the family vault of the earls of Buchan, adjoining the church.
UPLAMUIR, a village, in the parish of Neilston, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 3 miles (W. S. W.) from the village of Neilston; containing 166 inhabitants. This is a small village, situated on the high road from Glasgow to Irvine, and chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the coal-mines and the quarries in the vicinity, which are worked to a very considerable extent, and of which the produce is estimated at £25,000 annually. The freestone at this place is of very excellent quality, and is in great request for building; and whinstone is also extensively quarried, affording a good material for the roads.
UPSETLINGTON, a village, in the parish of Ladykirk, county of Berwick, 1 mile (S. W. by W.) from Norham, in England; containing 99 inhabitants. This place, though at present only a small village, was the head of the parish of the same name, now the parish of Ladykirk, which latter appellation was acquired from the erection of a new church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, by James IV., at the commencement of the 15th century. It is pleasantly situated on the river Tweed, in the salmonfishery on which its inhabitants are partly employed. There are some vestiges of an ancient monastery, consisting, however, of little more than the site, still called Chapel Park, in which are three springs, the Nuns', Monks', and St. Mary's wells.
URQUHART, a parish, in the county of Elgin, 4½ miles (E. by S.) from Elgin; containing 1082 inhabitants, of whom 185 are in the village. This place derives its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "an extensive line of sea-coast," from its situation on the shore of the Moray Frith, along which it stretches from the mouth of the river Spey to that of the river Lossie. It appears to have been of some importance at a very early period: a priory was founded here in 1125, by David I., who endowed it with lands in this parish and in that of Fochabers, together with a portion of the fisheries in the Spey. This priory, which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was dependent on the abbey of Dunfermline until the year 1345, when it was separated from that establishment, and united to the priory of Pluscardine, with which it continued till the Reformation. In the year 1160, the inhabitants of Moray, who had taken up arms against Malcolm IV., were encountered in the moors of this place by a detachment of the king's army, and after an obstinate conflict, were defeated with great slaughter. All the families in Moray who had participated in this insurrection were immediately dispersed into different parts of the kingdom; such as were removed into the northern counties took the name of Sutherland, and those who were sent into the southern parts, the name of Murray. The parish is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, and on the west by the river Lossie. It is very nearly in the form of an equilateral triangle, each side being about five miles; and comprises 7500 acres, of which almost 4000 are arable and in cultivation, 3000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface on the north-west is a plain of considerable extent, but that in other parts undulating, and diversified with hills, of which, however, the highest scarcely attain an elevation of more than fifty feet above the level of the sea. The prevailing scenery is beautifully picturesque, and the district is richly embellished with flourishing plantations. The waters in the parish are unimportant: the small lake of Cotts has been drained; the only streams that flow through the lands are three rivulets, on one of which are mills for grinding corn and sawing timber; and the supply of water, even for domestic use, is very insufficient. The coast is low and sandy throughout its whole extent, with the exception of a small rock called Boar's Head, which is visible at low water; and there is neither bay nor creek capable of affording shelter even to the smallest vessel.
The soil generally is light and sandy, but fertile, and under good cultivation; the crops are, barley, oats, wheat, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry is in an improved state, and a regular rotation of crops is duly observed; the farms mostly vary from twenty to 100 acres in extent, but there are several small crofts rented by the villagers, containing only from two and a half to seven acres. Very little of the waste land appears to be capable of improvement with any hope of remuneration; and from the want of stone, and the expense of raising fences, the lands are but partially enclosed. The only agricultural produce exported is grain, of which a larger amount is grown than is required for the supply of the inhabitants; and wheat especially, to the cultivation of which a much greater degree of attention has been paid within the few last years, is sent to Elgin in considerable quantities. The woods, which are very extensive, and consist chiefly of Scotch fir, were partly planted by the late Earl of Fife, and are all in a very thriving state: about 30,000 foresttrees have on the average, of late, been planted annually, Innes House, the seat of the Earl of Fife, who is proprietor of four-fifths of the parish, is a stately mansion beautifully seated in grounds tastefully laid out, and adorned with plantations. Leuchars, the property of the same nobleman, is a modern mansion pleasantly situated. The village is neatly built, and consists of nearly forty houses, to almost all of which are attached crofts of land, in the cultivation whereof the inhabitants are partly employed; the various handicraft trades are carried on to a moderate extent, and there are several good shops stored with articles of merchandise for the supply of the neighbourhood. At Finfan, near the eastern boundary of the parish, is a mineral spring possessing properties resembling those of the Strathpeffer water, and which is frequented by a few invalids: a neat cottage was lately erected on the spot by the Earl of Fife, as a residence for a person whom his lordship appointed to take care of the well. Facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road to Elgin, which passes for nearly three miles through the parish; and by other roads that intersect it in various directions, and which are kept in good repair by statute labour. The rateable annual value of Urquhart is £3772.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Elgin and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is £233. 3. 8., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £5 per annum; patron, the Earl of Fife. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, is a modern structure containing sufficient accommodation for the parishioners. The parochial school is attended by about fifty children: the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house, an allowance of £2. 2. in lieu of garden, and the fees, averaging £8 annually; also twelve bolls of meal every year from a bequest by the Earl of Dunfermline. Of the ancient priory the only vestige remaining is the abbey well, which serves to indicate the site of that amply endowed establishment. About half a mile from the church, and near Innes House, are the remains of a Druidical circle, consisting of nine lofty stones, with two others of greater height near the entrance. In a barrow or hillock near the farm of Meft, have been found two rude urns containing ashes and half-burnt human bones; and in another, on a hillock called Kempston, was found within the last twenty years, a human skeleton in a reclining position, which on exposure to the air quickly crumbled into dust. In one of the moors now covered with wood, at a distance of a mile and a half from the church, are the remains of a Danish camp, on a rising ground almost entirely surrounded with a deep trench; and in a hollow near the site, called the Innocents' Howe, some women and children who had retired into it for safety on some invasion of the enemy, were discovered and cruelly slaughtered.
Urquhart and Glenmorriston
URQUHART and GLENMORRISTON, a parish, in the district of Mainland, county of Inverness, the former place 18 miles (N. E. by N.) and the latter 7 miles (N.) from Fort-Augustus; containing, with the villages of Invermorriston, and East and West Lewistown, 3104 inhabitants, of whom 2827 are in the rural districts. This parish comprises the ancient parish of Urquhart, of which name the etymology is given in the preceding article, and the ancient parish of Glenmorriston, the name of which, in the Gaelic language Glen-mor-essan, is derived from the falls of the rivers that flow through its picturesque valleys into Loch Ness. The castle of Urquhart, situated on a promontory overlooking the bay of Urquhart, in Loch Ness, was one of a chain of fortresses extending from Inverness to Inverlochy, most of which were erected by the earlier Scottish kings, for the protection of the country from invasion, and for the repression of the frequent internal commotions that disturbed their reigns. This castle was besieged in 1303 by a detachment of the English, sent by Edward I. from Kildrummie for the reduction of the adjacent country, and to whom, after a protracted defence, it surrendered, when the governor, Alexander de Bois, and the whole of the garrison, were put to the sword. The fortress was again assaulted in 1334, by the adherents of Baliol, against whom it was resolutely defended by Sir Robert Lauder, then governor; and subsequently, as a royal garrison, it was, together with the barony, granted by David II. to William, Earl of Sutherland. The remains of this fortress, which was capable of accommodating a garrison of more than 500 men, stand on a rock separated from the main land by a moat twenty-five feet broad and sixteen feet deep, and consist chiefly of the keep, a strong square tower three stories in height, with projecting turrets at the angles. The entrance was by an embattled gateway between two towers of massive strength, and was defended by a drawbridge and portcullis: the outer court was surrounded with walls of great height, inclosing a spacious area, and protected at the angles by platforms, on which were mounted batteries of cannon. The whole formed a structure of almost unrivalled strength, and in a style of architecture superior to that of the generality of Scottish strongholds. The lands attached to the castle, which had been for a time held by the ancient family of the Grants, of Grant, as chamberlains of the king, were, together with the barony of Glenmorriston, granted in recompence of his loyalty and important services, in 1509, by James IV., to John Grant of Freuchie, whose descendants are the present chief proprietors.
The parish is bounded on the east by Loch Ness, is about thirty miles in length, and varies from eight to twelve miles in breadth; the superficial extent has not been accurately ascertained, but the lands that are arable and in cultivation evidently bear but a comparatively small proportion to the whole. The surface is, perhaps, more strikingly diversified with hills and mountains, and presents more features of sublimity and grandeur, contrasted with those of picturesque and romantic beauty, than any other part of the Highlands. It is intersected by two extensive vales, in nearly parallel directions, at a distance of almost eight miles from each other. Of these, the vale of Glen-Urquhart, towards the north, is about nine miles in length, and first expands from the shore of Loch Ness into a beautiful semicircular plain enriched with woods; while the acclivities of the hills that inclose it on both sides are cultivated to a considerable height from their bases. The river Coiltie flows along the south side of this glen, between banks crowned in some parts with plantations of birch, and in others with heath; and the river Enneric, on the west, passes through a tract of level ground, laid out in some excellent farms, and studded with rural hamlets, to a rocky pass leading into the inland portion of the glen. Nearly in the centre of this inland division of the glen, which is of circular form, is Loch Meikly, a fine sheet of water about one mile in length and half a mile in breadth, on the borders of which are gently rising lawns and richly cultivated grounds terminating in a high ridge of heath, beyond which is the table-land of Corrymony, having an elevation of 900 feet above the level of the sea, but nevertheless in a state of profitable cultivation. Glen-Morriston, in the southern part of the parish, is about twelve miles in length, and at the entrance level, and inclosed by steep hills clothed with plantations of pine and birch: beyond the entrance it gradually expands into great width, and is partially covered with a forest of birch, which extends far up the precipitous acclivities of the mountains on both sides. Towards the interior, the hills are crowned with pine and Scotch fir. The river Morriston flows nearly through the centre of this romantic glen, between rocky banks, which frequently obstructing its winding course, give to it the impetuosity of a torrent; and within a short distance from its influx into Loch Ness it forms a magnificent cascade.
The interval between the two glens is occupied by a continued chain of lofty mountains, of which the highest, Mealfuarvonie, has an elevation of 3200 feet above the level of the sea. Its higher acclivity is nearly perpendicular on the north and south sides, and at the base is a small circular lake which, though long supposed to be of unfathomable depth, was some years since found by experiment to be comparatively shallow. From the western extremity of this lake issues a small stream forming a boundary between the districts of Urquhart and Glenmorriston. This rivulet, which is called the Aultsigh, or Resting burn, flows through a beautiful tract of rocky and woodland scenery, making in its course some romantic cascades, and falling from a stony channel, at the base of a cliff 1600 feet in height, into Loch Ness, within three miles of Invermorriston. The Divach, a stream tributary to the Coiltie, and enlivening a grove of birch-trees, also has a beautifully picturesque cascade, equal in every respect, except in the volume of water, to the celebrated fall of Foyers; and near the source of the Enneric, which flows from Corrymony into Loch Meikly, is the fall of Moral, of romantic character. The burn of Aberiachan, on the confines of Inverness, and that of Aultguish, or the Fir-tree burn, form a succession of cataracts. Of the numerous fresh-water lakes in the parish, the most considerable is that of Meikly, previously noticed; the others are of inferior dimensions, and not distinguished by any peculiarity of features. They all, however, abound with trout, perch, and pike; salmon are found in the Morriston, and in some of the other rivers, after floods: and in the burns and rivulets, trout are to be obtained in great plenty, and of good quality.
The soil of Urquhart is generally a rich loam, of little depth, but of great fertility; that of Glenmorriston is of interior quality, light and sandy, but, under good management, producing favourable crops. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry is in an improved state; and the lands have been rendered more fertile by a liberal use of lime, which, from the scarcity of coal, is brought from England at a cheaper rate than that at which it could be produced here. Nearly all the wheat raised in the parish, and a considerable quantity of the oats, are sent to the market of Inverness; and for some years past, a large quantity of potatoes has been exported for the supply of the London market. The cattle are mostly of the Highland black-breed, and great attention is paid to their improvement; the dairy-farms are well managed, and large quantities of butter and cheese are taken to Inverness and other places. Sheep of the native breed are kept on the Lowland farms, and more than 20,000 are reared in the Highland pastures; no horses are reared in Urquhart except what are necessary for the purpose of local husbandry, nor in Glenmorriston are any bred for sale. The plantations, which are very extensive, and in a thriving state, consist of oak, ash, mountain-ash, beech, elm, alder, poplar, sycamore, hazel, larch, pine, plane, firs, and walnut; and fruit-trees of every kind are to be seen in the gardens of the chief houses. The principal substrata are, old red sandstone and conglomerate, of which the rocks are mainly composed; porphyritic granite, in which are found crystals of felspar; limestone; and mica-slate. The sandstone was quarried for the works of the Caledonian canal, at Fort-Augustus, since which time the works have been occasionally opened to supply materials for paving the streets of Inverness. The mansion-houses are, Balmacaan, in the lower valley of Urquhart, the property and occasional residence of the Earl of Seafield; Invermorriston, the seat of James Grant, Esq., beautifully situated on the shore of Loch Ness; Lakefield, the residence of Patrick Grant, Esq.; Corrymony, the seat of Thomas Ogilvie, Esq.; Polmailly; Kilmore; and a few others. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6232.
The villages of East and West Lewistown, and Invermorriston, are described under their respective heads. In the vale of Urquhart are several rural hamlets, of which the principal, called Milntown, contains 150, and the others collectively about 115, inhabitants: a few persons are here employed in the handicraft trades requisite for the accommodation of the neighbourhood, and in the cultivation of crofts of land attached to their several houses. At Drumnadrochit and Invermorriston are two inns; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, formed under the superintendence of parliamentary commissioners for the construction of roads and bridges in the Highlands, and which are kept in tolerable repair. The ecclesiastical affairs of the parish, which originally formed part of the parish of Abertarff, are under the controul of the presbytery of Abertarff and synod of Glenelg. The minister's stipend is £249. 9. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £6 per annum; patron, the Earl of Seafield. The church, erected in 1837, is situated in the lower part of the vale of Urquhart; it is a neat plain structure containing 1100 sittings. A chapel in connexion with the church, and containing 250 sittings, has been built at Meikly in which the minister of the parish officiates every third Sabbath. There is also a missionary station at Invermorriston, where a missionary officiates alternately with another in the upper part of the glen; he receives a stipend of £60 from the Royal Bounty, and £20 from the proprietors of the lands within the district. The parochial school is subdivided into three, of which one is within half a mile of the church, and is endowed with half the salary of £34. 4. 4.; the other two are at Invermorriston and Meikly, and the masters receive each one-half of the remainder. The principal master has the dwelling-house, and the fees of all collectively average about £50 annually. There are also two schools supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge.
On a hill overlooking Loch Ness are the remains of a vitrified fort called Dunscriben, which communicated with other forts in the centre, and at the eastern extremity of the valley through which the Caledonian canal now passes. In Glen-Urquhart is the rocky eminence of Craigmoni, encircled round the summit with rude walls of stone, and which, according to tradition, was a place of execution, and also a signal station. A Norwegian prince named Moni is said to have landed in the district of Crinan, and to have been attacked and routed by the natives, from whose pursuit he retired to Craigmoni, and established himself for some time in the adjacent valley, called Dalmoni; but being still followed by the natives, he is reported to have perished at Corrymony, where his grave is still pointed out. On the east of the bay of Urquhart are some remains of a small establishment of Knights Templars, of whom some were probably governors of the adjoining castle; and there are several cemeteries in the parish formerly belonging to chapels, in one of which, called Kilmore, or "the great burying-ground," the present parish church was erected. There are also some cairns, and remains of Druidical circles, but in a very imperfect state; and the burn of Aultsigh is memorable as the site of a sanguinary conflict in the beginning of the 17th century, between the clans of the Macdonells of Glengarry and the Mackenzies of Ross-shire.
Urquhart and Logie Wester
URQUHART and LOGIE WESTER, a parish, partly in the county of Nairn, but chiefly in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 2 miles (S. E.) from Dingwall; containing, with the villages of Conanbridge and Newton, and the hamlet of Culbokie, 2997 inhabitants, of whom 2537 are in the rural districts. This place, which is not distinguished by any transaction of historical importance, comprehends the ancient parish of Urquhart, of which name the etymology has previously been given, and the ancient parish of Logie Wester, the name of which, in the Gaelic language signifying "a hollow," is descriptive of its appearance. At what time these parishes, of which the former occupies the eastern, and the latter the western, district of the present parish, were united, is not distinctly known; but from some records in which mention of them occurs as one parish, it would appear to have been prior to the year 1490. The parish is bounded on the north-west by the Frith of Cromarty and the river Conan, which latter separates it from the parish of Dingwall and part of the parish of Urray. It is nearly ten miles in length, and three and a half miles in breadth, comprising about 12,570 acres, of which 5300 are arable, 4500 meadow and pasture, 900 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. The surface rises by gentle undulations from the Conan towards the south-east, but though diversified with small eminences in several places, contains nothing that can be called a hill; towards the ridge of Muolbuie it attains a considerable degree of elevation, and from that point to the river it has the appearance of a gradually inclined plain. The scenery, though generally of pleasing character, and enlivened with plantations, is not marked with any features of peculiar interest; but the higher grounds command extensive and richly-varied prospects over a wide expanse of country, embracing the whole of the Cromarty Frith with its shipping, the town of Dingwall, and the surrounding district, in high cultivation, and thickly studded with villas and gentlemen's seats.
The Conan has its source in a small lake in the mountains, about thirty miles to the west of this parish, and, flowing eastward along the southern boundary of Dingwall, diverts its course to the north, and falls into the Frith of Cromarty. This river abounds with salmon, trout, grilse, and other fish; and is celebrated for its muscles, in which occasionally pearls of great beauty are found: the salmon taken in its stream are of remarkably rich flavour, and considerable quantities are sent to the London market. There are numerous copious springs of excellent water in the lower grounds, and also a few slightly impregnated with iron, and sometimes used medicinally; but the springs in the upper parts are of inferior quality, and in dry seasons yield but a very scanty supply. The Frith washes the shores of the parish for nearly six miles and a half, and towards its eastern extremity is about two miles in breadth, contracting at Dingwall to little more than a mile; its average depth in the centre is about three fathoms, but towards the shore it is comparatively shallow. The beach in some parts is a fine sand, and in others clay. A quay, which is accessible to vessels of small burthen, was erected some years since at Alcaig, where vessels land their cargoes of coal and lime, and other articles of merchandise, and take, in return, props for the coalpits, and timber for building and other purposes.
The soil is in some parts light and sharp, in others a rich clayey loam; but the most general is a deep black mould of great fertility, and the subsoil is dry, being either sand or gravel. The principal corn crops are oats and barley: wheat of good quality was formerly raised to a considerable extent, but being found to exhaust the land, its culture has been partly discontinued. Beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips are also extensively cultivated, especially the last, of which, since the introduction of bone-dust for manure, heavy crops have been grown, and eaten off the field by sheep, a practice that has tended greatly to the improvement of the lands. The system of husbandry is in a very advanced state. The farms vary generally from twenty to 150 acres in extent; but the practice of uniting several of moderate size into one large farm has been growing into use. Considerable encouragement is given by the landlords with a view to the reclaiming of waste land. A few of the farm houses and offices are substantially built and well arranged, and on many of the farms threshing-mills have been erected; the fences are in tolerable order, and all the more recent improvements in the construction of agricultural implements have been adopted. Much attention is paid to the management of live-stock; the cattle and sheep reared are of the various breeds common in this part of the country, and find a ready sale in the markets to which they are sent. There are considerable remains of natural wood, comprising oak, ash, mountain-ash, birch, and holly; and on the lands of Ferintosh and Conan, plantations have been formed, consisting of larch and firs, interspersed with different kinds of forest-trees, all of which are in a very thriving state. The principal substrata in the parish are of the old red-sandstone formation. There are some quarries of good freestone in extensive operation, from which materials are sent to Dingwall, and other places in the vicinity, for building, for which it is in high estimation. Iron-ore is supposed to exist in some places, but no attempts to explore it have been yet undertaken. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5619.
The seats are, Ferintosh, the property of Mr. Forbes, of Culloden, a neat mansion surrounded with a small but flourishing plantation of larch-trees; Findon, the property of Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie, Bart., an ancient mansion recently improved, beautifully situated between the Frith of Cromarty and an extensive wood of venerable oak; and Conan, the seat of Sir Francis Alexander Mackenzie, Bart., a handsome modern mansion, finely situated on the banks of the river, and embellished with thriving plantations. The barony of Ferintosh formerly had the privilege of distilling whisky from barley grown on the lands, free from the duties of excise, and numerous distilleries were consequently established, which for a long time were in very high repute; the privilege was abolished in 1786, on the payment of an equivalent to the superior, and there are at present no distilleries in operation, though the locality is extremely favourable. The villages of Conanbridge, Culbokie, and Newton are described under their respective heads. Fairs are held annually at Culbokie, for cattle and various wares, on the third Wednesday in April, the last Wednesdays in July and October, and the second Wednesday in December. Facility of communication is maintained by good turnpike-roads, of which one leads from Conanbridge to Kessock, whence a road branches off to Fortrose and the ferry of FortGeorge; by a substantial bridge over the Conan; and by various cross roads through the interior of the parish, kept in repair by statute-labour. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dingwall and synod of Ross. The minister's stipend is £220. 19. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, Mr. Forbes, of Culloden. The church, situated on the shore of the Frith, and nearly in the centre of the parish, is a very plain structure, erected in 1795, and containing 1500 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school is attended by about eighty children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £12 annually. Two schools are supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, who allow the masters a salary of £17 each, in addition to the fees, which, however, are very inconsiderable; and a school has been erected on his own lands by Sir F. A. Mackenzie, who provides the master with a house and garden, and pays him a salary. At the south-western extremity of the parish are several tumuli, in one of which were found three stone coffins.
URR, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Castle-Douglas; containing, with the villages of Dalbeattie, Hardgate, Haugh, and Springholm, and part of the village of Crocketford, 3096 inhabitants, of whom 996 are in the rural districts. This place, of which the name is of very obscure origin, claims a considerable degree of antiquity; and from the remains of some fortified camps, and the discovery of Roman coins and military weapons, it is supposed to have been visited by the Romans. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Urr, and is nearly sixteen miles in length, and rather more than two and a half in average breadth, comprising an area of 30,000 acres, of which 25,000 are arable, 1000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface, though for the greater part level, is diversified by a range of heights called the Larg hills, which have an elevation of 600 feet above the level of the sea; and the scenery, being enriched with wood, is generally of pleasing character. The only lakes of any importance are those of Milton and Achenreoch, of which the former is about three, and the latter two miles and a half in circumference; they are both situated near the northern boundary of the parish, and contain perch and pike. The river Urr has its source in Loch Urr, on the confines of Dumfries-shire, and flows southward into the Solway Frith, receiving in its course several small tributaries, whereof the chief is the burn of Kirkgunzeon, which is navigable for vessels of sixty tons from Dalbeattie to its influx. Several kinds of fresh-water fish are taken in the river, which formerly abounded also with salmon.
The soil, except in the upland parts of the parish, which are moorland, is generally, though light, of great fertility, and in a state of high cultivation: oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips are the chief crops. The system of husbandry has rapidly improved within the last half century, and large quantities of grain and other produce are exported to Liverpool and other English markets. Great attention is paid to the breeds of livestock; black-cattle, horses, sheep, and swine are reared in considerable numbers; and since the introduction of bone-dust as manure for turnips, many sheep have been fattened for the market, and sent by steamers to Liverpool. The plantations are extensive, and in a thriving state; they consist of oak, ash, elm, and Scotch fir, for which the soil seems very well adapted, and of which many trees have attained a luxuriant growth. The principal substrata are limestone and ironstone, the former of very hard and compact texture, and the latter also of good quality, and in great abundance; but from the want of coal, neither of them has been wrought. The hills to the south of the parish are of a light grey granite, and quarries have been opened, from which have been raised materials for building the houses in the village of Dalbeattie. The rateable annual value of the parish is £10,457. Spottes, the seat of William Young Herries, Esq., an ancient structure situated on the east bank of the Urr, is the principal mansion-house. The villages are described under their respective heads. Fairs, chiefly for hiring farm-servants, are held at Dalbeattie in April and October; and facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road from Carlisle to Portpatrick, which passes through the parish.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery and synod of Dumfries. The minister's stipend is £232. 19. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, erected in 1815, at an expense of £1000, is a neat plain structure containing 815 sittings. A chapel in connexion with the Established Church, of which the minister is appointed by the managers and male communicants, was recently erected in the village of Dalbeattie, where, also, are a Free church, a place of worship for the United Christian Congregation, and a Roman Catholic chapel. There are a place of worship for members of the United Secession at Hardgate, and one for Reformed Presbyterians at Springholm. Parochial schools are maintained at Urr, Dalbeattie, and Milton; the masters have respectively salaries of £22. 8. 9., £18, and £11, in addition to their fees, which average respectively £21, £23, and £15 per annum. There are several moats in the parish, of which that of Urr is supposed to be one of the most extensive in the kingdom; it is situated on the bank of the river, about half a mile from the church, and is surrounded with a fosse. At Edingham was found, some years since, a tripod of Roman workmanship, of a very hard metal, apparently a composition of tin and copper; and three small silver coins of Adrian, Tiberius, and Commodus, have been discovered about a mile from the moat. A Roman javelin, also, has been found in a peat-moss in the upper part of the parish. The Rev. Dr. Alexander Murray, an eminent professor of the Oriental languages, was for some time minister of this parish.
URRAY, a parish, partly in the county of Inverness, but chiefly in the Mainland district of the county of Ross and Cromarty, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Dingwall; containing, with portions of the two late quoad sacra parishes of Carnoch or Strathconon, and Kinloch-Luichart, 2716 inhabitants, of whom 23 are in the county of Inverness. This place, which consists of the ancient parishes of Urray and Kilchrist, derives its name from the river Orrin, on whose banks its church is situated, near the confluence of that water with the Conon, or Conan. The parish is partly bounded on the north by the Conon, and is about seven miles in length and from three to six miles in breadth. The surface is varied with rising grounds, in no part, however, attaining any considerable elevation; and the scenery, enriched with wood, and including some fine views of the Friths of Beauly and Dingwall, is pleasingly picturesque. The river Conon, after forming its boundary for some distance, intersects the parish; and the Orrin, a very rapid stream, which flows into the Conon near Brahan Castle, waters the south-western portion of the parish, which is also intersected by the Garve, the Meig, and the Luichart. The Conon abounds with salmon and pike, and sea-trout are also found in it during the months of July and August: on its bank is a sulphureous spring, powerfully impregnated, and resembling in its properties the water of Strathpeffer.
The soil in the lower lands is generally heathy and unproductive, but on the rising grounds fertile, and of good quality, producing favourable crops of oats, barley, and potatoes. The system of agriculture is improving; the rotation of crops is duly observed, and the lands have been mostly inclosed. The plantations, especially around the mansion-houses of the landed proprietors, are extensive and in a thriving condition, consisting of firs, oak, ash, and the other usual forest-trees; and on the banks of the several rivers are considerable remains of ancient timber, chiefly alder, ash, and willow, with a few oak and birch trees. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7012. The principal seats are, Brahan Castle, on the north bank of the Conon, pleasantly situated in a well-planted demesne; Highfield House, on the east bank; and Ord House, situated on an acclivity near the south bank of the Orrin. Fairburn Tower, on the opposite bank of the river, is now in ruins. There are no villages. A distillery of whisky has been recently established, which consumes a considerable quantity of the barley grown in the parish. Facility of communication is maintained by the great north road to Sutherland and Caithness, which passes through the parish; by the road leading to the Western Highlands; and by good cross roads, and bridges over the rivers. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dingwall and synod of Ross. The minister's stipend is £249. 9. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum; patrons, the Mc Kenzies, of Cromertie. The church is a spacious and handsome structure, well adapted for the accommodation of the parishioners. The members of the Free Church have very lately erected a place of worship. The parochial school is well managed: the master has a salary of £25. 15., with a house, and an allowance of £2. 2. in lieu of a garden; the fees average £20 per annum. In a barrow near Brahan Castle was found, some years since, an urn of burnt clay containing some fragments of human bones.
USAN, a village, in the parish of Craig, county of Forfar, 2 miles (S. S. E.) from Montrose; containing 167 inhabitants. This is a small fishing-village, on the eastern coast, north of Lunan bay, and often styled in old records Ulysses haven. The steamers from Aberdeen to Leith touch here in the summer months. A mansion belonging to the Keith family, to which are attached several hundred acres of land, was built in 1820. A quadrangular tower between twenty and thirty feet high serves as a landmark to the fishingboats.
UYA, an isle, in the parish of Northmavine, county of Shetland. It lies on the north-west coast of the parish, and covers a safe harbour of the same name on the Mainland. Though its circumference scarcely exceeds two miles, it is considered of much value on account of its good pasture land.
UYA, an isle, in the parish of Unst, county of Shetland; containing 23 inhabitants. This isle lies to the south of Unst island, and has an indentation called Uya Sound, forming a commodious harbour, well sheltered, and which is a great resort of vessels engaged in the deep-sea fishing. The isle is more than a mile in length and nearly a mile in breadth, and affords pasturage for cattle and sheep.