A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
ARTHURLEE, CROSS, a village, in the quoad sacra parish of Barrhead, parish of Neilston, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; containing 663 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to the establishment of a bleachfield in its vicinity, by a gentleman named Adair, about the year 1773; it was chosen by him as a most suitable situation for works of this nature, and his example having been followed by others, the neighbourhood has since become a considerable bleaching district. The village is situated in the north-eastern part of the parish, and not far distant from Barrhead.
ARTHURLEE, WEST, a village, in the parish of Neilston, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, ½ a mile (W.) from Barrhead; containing 441 inhabitants. This village, which is situated a little to the west of the road between Neilston and Barrhead, owes its origin to the introduction of the cotton manufacture, and is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the bleaching and printing establishments connected with that trade.
ASHKIRK, a parish, partly in the county of Selkirk, but chiefly in the district of Hawick; county of Roxburgh, 6 miles (S.) from Selkirk; containing 563 inhabitants. This place, of which the name is said to have been derived from the great number of ash-trees with which the neighbourhood abounded, and of which a considerable number is still remaining, was formerly part of the see of Glasgow, and the occasional residence of the bishops, who had a palace here, of which some vestiges might lately be traced in a field retaining the name of Palace Walls. The parish is about seven miles in length, and three miles and a half in breadth, and comprises about 3000 acres under cultivation, 400 in woods and plantations, and a considerable portion of waste. The surface is generally hilly, with portions of level land in the intervals between the hills and the narrow valley of the Ale. The Ale has its source in the lakes of Alemoor and Shaws, and, flowing through the parish, in a direction from west to east, divides it into two nearly equal portions; it abounds with trout of excellent quality, and a few sea-trout, and small salmon, are occasionally taken in it, after floods. There were formerly numerous lakes in the parish, but, from the practice of draining the lands, many of them have disappeared. The principal now remaining are, Essenside loch, covering about twenty acres of ground; and the Sheilswood loch, and Headshaw loch, both of which are of smaller dimensions. They all abound with perch, pike, and trout; and afford good sport to the angler. Synton Moss, once a very extensive lake, has been completely drained, for the sake of obtaining the marl and peat with which it abounded, and which have been successfully applied to the improvement of the lands. In this moss, many interesting organic remains are occasionally dug up.
The soil is generally light; in some places clay, mixed with gravel, and in others a rich loam; the chief crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is improved, and the farmhouses are in general substantial and comfortable; some few dairy-farms are managed with great attention, and the butter produced here is of excellent quality. Considerable attention is paid to the rearing of live stock, upon which the main dependence is placed; the sheep are almost exclusively of the Cheviot breed, with occasionally a mixture of the Cheviot and Leicestershire; and the cattle are of the short-horned breed, which are found to be the best adapted to the lands. A few Highland cattle are pastured here during the winter. There appears to have been formerly a great abundance of natural wood, but, at present, very little ancient timber remains: the plantations are, larch, and spruce and Scotch firs, intermixed with oak, ash, elm, and other forest trees; they are all of modern formation, and are in a thriving state. The rateable annual value of the Roxburgh portion of the parish is £3483, and of the Selkirk portion, £1510. The substratum is chiefly greywacke, of which the hills are mainly composed, and clay-slate. The parish is in the presbytery of Selkirk and synod of Merse and Teviotdale; the minister's stipend is £205. 12. 9., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £28 per annum; patron, the Earl of Minto. The church, erected in 1791, is a plain substantial edifice, and is adapted for about 200 persons. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. The parochial school is attended by about 80 children; the master's salary is £34, with £16 fees, and a house and garden. There are remains of two Danish encampments on the lands of Castleside, one of which is in good preservation, but the other is almost obliterated by the plough. On the lands of Salineside was formerly a very strong tower, of which there are scarcely more than some slight vestiges; and in various parts of the parish, are remains of ancient encampments.
ASSYNT, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 30 miles (N. W. by W.) from Dornoch; containing, with the quoad sacra district of Stoer, and the village of Lochinver, 3178 inhabitants. This place, which is supposed to take its name from its irregular boundary line, the Gaelic term, as agus innte, signifying "out and in," was once a forest of the ancient thanes of Sutherland, one of whom gave it in vassalage to Mac-Kry-Cul, who held that part of the coast of Coigach, afterwards called the village of Ullapool, as a reward for his having recovered a great quantity of cattle that had been carried off from the county of Sutherland, by the Scandinavians, who had also burnt the great fir forests on this and the neighbouring coast. Mac-Kry-Cul's family, by the disasters of war, being reduced to one heir female, she was given in marriage to a younger son of McLeod, laird of Lewis, with the consent of the Thane of Sutherland, who made this parish over to the newly-married couple, with its superiority; and after this event, there were fourteen successive lairds of the name of McLeod. About 1660, the parish and its superiority became the property of the Earl of Seaforth, from whom it passed to a younger son of his family, whose successors possessed it for three or four generations; and it was afterwards purchased by Lady Strathnaver, who presented it to her noble grandson, William, Earl of Sutherland, from whom it has descended to the present Duke of Sutherland.
The extreme length of the parish is about 36 miles, and its greatest breadth 18; it contains 97,000 acres. It is in the north-west part of the county, and divided on the north from the parish of Eddrachillis, in the Reay country, by an arm of the sea called the Kyle, and is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The coast, which is about 20 miles in extent, is bold, rocky, and dangerous, and has several extensive and interesting caves; but in some places, is a fine sandy bottom, with safe landing. There are numerous islands attached to the parish, some of which are merely bare rocks, affording neither pasture nor shelter; the most considerable is that of Oldney, which is about a mile long, and a quarter of a mile wide, and is used for the pasturage of sheep; the other islands are, Crona, Soya, and Klett. The appearance of the district is altogether wild and mountainous, and its scenery romantic; the most remarkable heights are, Benmore, Cuniack, Suilvhen, and Cannisb, of which Benmore, the highest mountain, rises about 3230 feet above the level of the sea. The hills, also, are very numerous, and most of them abound with springs of excellent water. There are several fine lakes, among which that of Assynt is pre-eminent; it is above seven miles long, and about a mile broad, with banks in most places covered with brushwood, and is a fresh-water lake, abounding in trout, and distinguished for its striking and singularly picturesque scenery. The principal part of the parish is employed in sheep-farming, to which much attention is paid; and the larger part of the population dwell along the shores, and avail themselves of the advantages offered for fishing, from which, together with their small allotments of land, they draw their subsistence. Game is plentiful. The rateable annual value of the parish is £1212. There is some sandstone rock, but limestone is the prevailing formation, of which an immense ridge, on the Stronchrubie farm, extends about a mile and a half, overhanging the public road, being mantled, in many places, with ivy, and forming a covert for birds of prey.
The village of Lochinver has several good houses and shops, and near it is a manufactory for preserving butcher's meat, fish, and vegetables, fresh, for the purpose of being carried out to sea; there is a post-office here, and another near the church. Excellent roads have been formed, extending forty miles in length, as well as numerous local roads for parochial use; at Lochinver is a small harbour with a pier, and several creeks afford shelter and anchorage. There are two small fisheries, let at a moderate rent, and one or two vessels belong to Assynt, besides which, several come in the herring season, to fish on the coasts, and a few to take the disposable produce of the parish, which consists chiefly of wool. An annual cattle-fair has been recently established at Inchnadaff. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Dornoch and synod of Sutherland and Caithness; the Duke of Sutherland is patron, and the stipend of the minister is £158. 6. 8., with a glebe worth about £35. 10. per annum, and a manse. The church, a small building, seating about 280 persons, is inconveniently situated at a distance of nine miles from the southern boundary of the parish, the great bulk of the population residing at distances varying from 12 to 18 miles; it was built about 60 years since, and has been extensively repaired. There are two preaching stations, the one at Lochinver, fourteen miles from the church, and the other at Kyle side, nearly the same distance, the services of which are performed by the parochial minister; at Stoer, is a government church, built in 1829. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. The parish has a parochial school, of which the master receives a salary of £34; and several other schools are supported by general societies for promoting education. Among the antiquities are, Ardvrack Castle, built by the McLeods, about the year 1590, and now in ruins; Calda House, erected by the Mc Kenzies; and a large Druidical temple.
ATHELSTANEFORD, a parish, in the county of Haddington, 3 miles (N. E. by N.) from Haddington, and 9 (W.) from Dunbar; containing 991 inhabitants, of whom 274 are in the village. This place, which is noticed by Camden, is said to have derived its name from Athelstan, an English warrior, who was killed in battle, together with the greater number of his forces, about the commencement of the ninth century, and was interred here. The parish is about four miles in length, and three in breadth, and bounded on the north by the streamlet called the Peffer; the surface is abruptly irregular, consisting of large tracts of low land, and elevated ridges of rock, in some places sloping gently towards the plain, and in others forming a nearly horizontal level of considerable height. The scenery is greatly diversified, affording, in parts, a striking contrast of richly cultivated fields and barren and rugged rocks; and from the higher grounds are obtained extensive and interesting views of the Frith of Forth, the Bass rock, and the county of Fife. The lands are watered by two streams, of which that called the Peffer rises in a meadow in the lowlands, and joins the sea below Tynninghame bay; and the other, flowing westward, after a course of five miles, falls into the sea at Aberlady bay. The channel of the Peffer was widened, and made deeper, some years since, on which occasion several stags' horns were found, at a depth of nearly three feet below the surface of its bed, and large oaks were discovered imbedded in moss on the banks, which, previously to the practice of draining the lands, were nearly covered with the water that stagnated on the adjoining woodlands. The number of acres in the parish has been estimated at more than 4000, of which nearly 3800 are arable, and the remainder, with the exception of about 50 acres of hilly pasture, are in woods and plantations. The soil has been much improved by draining, and great quantities of marshy and previously unprofitable land have been rendered fertile; the chief crops are, wheat, for which the soil is extremely favourable, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; a considerable number of sheep are reared, and fed principally on turnips. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7996. The substrata are mostly whinstone and porphyry, of which the rocks consist; coal is supposed to exist, but it lies at so great a depth from the surface that none has yet been discovered; some beautiful specimens of rock crystal are found in the quarries, which are wrought for building purposes, and for the roads. Gilmerton is a spacious and splendid seat: the only other residence of note in the parish, is an ancient baronial mansion, formerly belonging to the earls of Winton, a quadrilateral building, of which a small part only is now inhabited, and the remainder is in ruins; the principal room is still preserved, and attached to the house are a large garden and a bowling-green.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; Sir David Kinloch, Bart., is patron, and the stipend of the incumbent is £262. 0. 7.; the manse is a comfortable residence, and the glebe comprises 5 acres, valued at £15 per annum. The old church, which belonged to the monastery founded at Haddington, by Ada, Countess of Northumberland, mother of Malcolm IV., was used till the year 1780, when, falling into a dilapidated state, the present church was erected, in a more convenient situation, for a congregation of 500 persons. The parochial school affords education to about eighty scholars; the master has a salary of £35. 10., with a house and garden, and the fees are £48; the schoolroom is one of the best in the county. On the spot where Athelstan is said to have been buried, a stone coffin was found, by some men who were quarrying stone for mending the roads, a few years since; the coffin, consisting of five stones cemented together, was lodged in the rock, which had been excavated for its reception, about two feet below the surface, and contained a human skeleton, in a state of almost total decomposition. The lands on which the battle of Athelstaneford was fought, were anciently given by the king of Scotland to the Culdee priory of St. Andrew's, in acknowledgment of the victory obtained; and at the Revolution, they were bestowed upon the royal chapel of Holyrood House. On the lands constituting the barony of Drem, are the remains of a Pictish town, consisting of various houses built round the brow of a low hill of conical form, which had been strongly fortified by three tiers of ramparts, with a deep circumvallation below; these works are supposed to have been thrown up as a defence against the Romans, who had a station about half a mile distant, on the alleged site of which, various Roman relics have been found, including an urn of superior workmanship, containing burnt bones. There are some remains of the ancient church, built in the early part of the 12th century, by Ada, and in which service was originally performed by the monks of Haddington. Among the eminent men of the place, has been the Rev. Robert Blair, author of The Grave, who was, for fifteen years, incumbent, and was interred in the churchyard, in which a monument was erected to his memory; his son, the late Robert Blair, lord president of the court of session, was born here, during the incumbency of his father. John Home, author of the tragedy of Douglas, was incumbent after the death of the Rev. Robert Blair; and Archibald Skirving, an eminent portrait painter, who, having perfected himself in the study of his profession at Rome, exercised it here for many years, with great success, was also a native of the parish.
AUCHINBLAE, a village, in the parish of Fordoun, county of Kincardine, 5 miles (N. by E.) from Laurencekirk; containing 643 inhabitants. This place, of which the name signifies "the field of blossoms," is situated on the banks of the Luther water, and on the side of a fine valley, gently sloping to the south. It contains several well-built houses, and has risen into consideration within the last half century, the population finding employment from the increase of the trade and manufactures, the principal of which latter are yarn and brown linen. Fairs are held in the village in April and May, and, during the winter portion of the year, markets on every Friday, for the sale of cattle and grain. A daily post passes through, on its route between Stone-haven and Montrose.
AUCHINCAIRN, a village, in the parish of Rerrick, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 7 miles (E.) from Kirkcudbright, containing 373 inhabitants. It is seated at the north-western extremity of the fine bay of Auchincairn, or Balcarry, which is about two miles in length, and one in breadth. The bay has a beach of smooth and firm sand, and small vessels may load and unload on any part of it; on the west side, is a large natural basin, where ships of burthen find safe anchorage in the most stormy weather, and at every point of the wind. A penny-post is established here, under the Castle-Douglas office. In the village is one of the parochial schools, and children are also taught in a Baptist place of worship.
AUCHINCRAW, a village, in the parish of Coldingham, county of Berwick, 2 miles (N. W.) from Ayton; containing 203 inhabitants. It is situated at the boundary of the parish; and upon the height called Warlaw, to the westward, is a camp of oval form, covering an area of five or six acres of very poor moorland, but respecting which both history and tradition are silent. In the village, is a school connected with the Burgher dissenting synod.
Auchindoir and Kearn
AUCHINDOIR and KEARN, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 36 miles (W. N. W.) from Aberdeen; containing 1188 inhabitants. The name of Auchindoir, which is of Gaelic origin, and signifies "the field of pursuit," is supposed to have been applied, in the present case, from the circumstance of Luthlac, son of Macbeth, having been pursued through the valley of Auchindoir to that of Bogie, where he was overtaken and slain by Malcolm; and the term Kearn is said to be a corruption of Cairn, there being a remarkable cairn or tumulus in that district, of the history of which nothing, however, is known. The two parishes were united in 1811, previously to which Kearn was joined to Forbes. The length of the habitable part is about seven miles, and the breadth nearly the same, and the parishes, together, contain about 15,600 acres under cultivation, and 2100 under plantation and natural wood, besides pasture and waste. The surface is varied and irregular, and consists of numerous hills and pleasing valleys, ridges, and mountains, some of which are covered with wood, and have a considerable elevation; Correen, in the southern quarter, being about 1350, and the Buck of the Cabrach, in the west, 2377 feet above the sea. The climate in the higher parts is cold and bleak, exposed to severe frosts and heavy falls of snow, but in the lower and more sheltered places, it is temperate and salubrious. The river Bogie, which is formed by the junction of the Craig and Corchinan burns, after pursuing a serpentine course of about eleven miles, through a fine valley, joins the Doveran at Huntly; it is plentifully supplied with fine trout. The Don runs, for about two miles, on the south-eastern boundary; and the small stream of Mossat divides the parish from Kildrummy, on the south.
The soil presents a considerable variety, consisting in some parts of a rich alluvial loam, and in other places of clay, with a large proportion of sand and pebbles; in the lower grounds, it is, in general, sharp, dry, and fertile, but towards the hills, mossy and poor. The quantity of arable land is on the increase, much barren land having been reclaimed, and the method of cultivation has recently been considerably improved; the houses and cottages, also, are in a much better condition than they were thirty years since. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3600. The plantations are numerous and extensive, and comprise trees of all the kinds usually reared; sandstone of excellent quality is found, as well as limestone, and whinstone is also in great abundance. There are two gentlemen's seats, Craig and Druminnor, both of which are of considerable antiquity, the former bearing the date 1518, and the latter, which was once the chief seat of the Forbes family, that of the year 1577. Near the castle of Craig, is the "Den," a celebrated spot in this part of the country, and much resorted to by tourists as an object of curiosity, surrounded by scenery of a varied and beautiful description. The only village is Lumsden, which is of recent growth, and contains about 300 persons, chiefly traders and handicraftsmen; but the main population of the parish is agricultural, being employed in the rural districts in cultivating the land, and in rearing cattle, for the sale of which four markets are held during the year. Here is a post-office. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Alford and synod of Aberdeen; the Earl of Fife is patron. The minister's stipend is £158, part of which is received from the exchequer; there is a manse, erected in 1843, and the glebe is valued at £10 a year. The church, which was built in 1811, accommodates 450 persons, but is much too small for the population. At Lumsden, is a place of worship belonging to the United Associate Synod; a place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church, and there is a parochial school, of which the master has a salary of £30, about £20 fees, and a house and garden. The moat or mount on which the ancient Castrum Auchindoria, mentioned by Boethius, seems to have stood, is shown in the parish; and another most interesting relic of antiquity, situated near it, is the old parochial church, which is now a venerable ruin, attracting attention from its ivy-mantled walls, its fine Saxon gateway, and its inscriptions and sculpture.
Auchinearn, Old and New
AUCHINEARN, OLD and NEW, a village, in the parish of Cadder, Lower ward of the county of Lanark; containing 561 inhabitants, chiefly employed in agriculture. A library has been very recently established in the village, in which, also, is situated one of the parochial schools, endowed with 1000 merks, by the late Rev. James Warden. In 1764, Dr. William Leechman, principal of the university of Glasgow, and then proprietor of this estate, gave, in trust to the Kirk Session, a schoolroom and house for a teacher, with a small portion of land, on condition that they should appoint a master. The school-house was handsomely rebuilt in 1826, by the late Charles Stirling, Esq., assisted by Archibald Lamont, Esq., and other heritors.
AUCHINLECK, a parish, in the district of Kyle, county of Ayr, 1½ mile (N. W.) from Old Cumnock; containing 1659 inhabitants, of whom about 600 are in the village. This place, of which the Celtic name is descriptive of its abounding with stone, is supposed to be of considerable antiquity; but little of its history is known, prior to the commencement of the 16th century, when the manor, which belonged to a family of the same name, becoming forfeited to the crown, was granted by James IV. to Thomas Boswell, a branch of an ancient family in the county of Fife, ancestor of the biographer of Dr. Johnson, and who was killed at the battle of Flodden-field. The parish is about sixteen miles in length, from east to west, and not more than two miles in average breadth, and comprises about 19,000 acres, of which 5000 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and 13,000 natural pasture and waste. The surface is generally elevated; and towards the east, the hills rise to a height of upwards of 1000 feet, and are bleak and sterile. A moss several miles in length, called Aird's Moss, nearly in the centre of the parish, gives it a barren appearance; the vale of Glenmore, also, of considerable extent, and in a state of nature, presents features of wild aspect; but the western portion of the parish, being wholly in cultivation, has an air of cheerfulness and fertility. The river Ayr, for a small space, forms a boundary between this parish and that of Muirkirk, and pursues its winding course into the parish of Sorn; and the Lugar, another river, separates Auchinleck, for about five miles, from Cumnock, and, for about two miles, from the parish of Ochiltree, and flows into the river Ayr about a mile below this place, near the town of Mauchline.
The soil is various, generally a stiff retentive clay, but by draining and good management, has, in many parts, been rendered productive; the chief crops are, oats, potatoes, beans, and turnips, and there are a few acres of bear, barley, and wheat. Some progress has been made in furrow-draining; and a portion of the mossy land has been reclaimed, and brought into cultivation. The principal reliance of the farmers is on the dairy, and a large number of milch cows, mostly of the Ayrshire breed, are kept, and a great many young cattle are reared; the milk is chiefly made into cheese of the Dunlop kind, and sent to the markets of Glasgow and other towns. A considerable number of sheep are also fed, of the black-faced breed. The woods contain many fine specimens of stately timber of ancient growth, and the plantations are in general thriving and ornamental. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7497. The substrata are, limestone, coal, ironstone, sandstone, and freestone of various sorts: the limestone and coal have been long extensively wrought, and of the former, there are two quarries, one on the lands of Auchinleck, producing annually about 50,000 bushels of excellent quality, and one at Dalblair, yielding also a fair quantity. There is, near these, an inferior kind of coal, which is used for the burning of lime. Coal-pits have also been opened on the lands of Mr. Alexander, of Ballochmyle, on which, as well as on the Auchinleck property, steam-engines have been erected; the seams of coal vary in thickness, and in the depth at which they are found from the surface, and the average annual produce is about 8500 tons. Freestone is quarried on the banks of the Lugar, and is much esteemed for millstones; and at Wallacetown, is found a stone which is fire-proof. The present house of Auchinleck is a handsome mansion in the Grecian style, erected by Lord Auchinleck, and is situated in a diversified demesne, comprehending much beautiful scenery, richly wooded.
The village is on the road from Glasgow to Carlisle, by Kilmarnock: many of the inhabitants are employed in weaving, for the manufacturers of Paisley and Glasgow; the principal articles are light silks and muslins. Some females are also employed in flowering muslins, in a variety of patterns, for which this neighbourhood is celebrated. The manufacture of snuff-boxes is carried on to a considerable extent; it was introduced into this place from Cumnock, and the workmen here manufacture card and needle cases, and ornamental boxes of various descriptions. The wood used for this purpose is plane-tree, and many of the specimens are painted in devices, tartan plaiding, and other patterns, and, being well varnished, have a very handsome appearance. They are quite equal, in point of workmanship, to those made at Laurencekirk, though sold at an inferior price; about sixty dozens are sometimes finished weekly, and sent off, chiefly to the London market, but the demand for them is very fluctuating. A fair is held on the last Tuesday in August, for lambs, and is numerously attended. The parish is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of Sir James Boswell, Bart.; the minister's stipend is £161. 1. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. The old church is an ancient edifice, to which an aisle was added by Lord Auchinleck, in 1754; and underneath it, is the burying-place of the Auchinleck family, hewn out of the solid rock A new church has been recently erected, near the site of the former; it is a substantial and handsome edifice, adapted for a congregation of 800 persons. There is a place of worship for members of the Associate Synod. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½., with £10 fees, and a house and garden. In the grounds of Auchinleck House, are some remains of the ancient castle, in a greatly dilapidated condition; and in the upper part of the parish, near the junction of the Gelt and Glenmore streams, are slight remains of the castle of Kyle, the history of which is involved in great uncertainty. On the banks of the Ayr, near the confines of the parish of Muirkirk, are the vestiges of some old ironworks, said to have been established by Lord Cathcart; and it is exceedingly probable that new iron-works will shortly be erected in the parish, which abounds with ironstone. William Murdoch, of the firm of Bolton and Watt, of Soho, near Birmingham, and who first applied gas for the illumination of buildings, was a native of this parish.
AUCHINLOCH, a hamlet, in the late quoad sacra parish of Chryston, parish of Cadder, Lower ward of the county of Lanark, 2 miles (S.) from Kirkintilloch; containing 138 inhabitants. This village has its name from a considerable loch now drained, and owes its origin to the mines of coal in its immediate vicinity, which have been worked, on a moderate scale, by its inhabitants, though the quality is scarcely good enough to remunerate the expense of obtaining it. There are also limestone-quarries, from which are raised materials for building and agricultural purposes, and for which works have been established at Garnkirk. In the village is a school endowed by Patrick Baird with £300, the interest whereof is paid annually to the master.
AUCHINMULLY, a village, in the parish of Kilsyth, county of Stirling, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Kilsyth; containing 212 inhabitants. It is also called Lower Banton, and is situated in the east barony division of the parish: on the south, flows the river Kelvin, from which the village is distant about a mile.
AUCHINRAITH, a hamlet, in the parish of Blantyre, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing 77 inhabitants. It lies to the east of, and is a short distance from, the village of Blantyre: the Alston family have a handsome seat here.
AUCHINTIBER, a hamlet, in the parish of Blantyre, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing 73 inhabitants. It is situated in the western part of the parish, on which side the Rotten-Calder water forms the boundary, and separates the parish from that of Kilbride.
AUCHLEVEN, a village, in the parish of Premnay, district of Garioch, county of Aberdeen; containing 107 inhabitants. It is seated in the south of the parish, and on the road from Insch to Keig, which here crosses the river Gaudy, by a light bridge of two arches, built in 1836. In the village, are three or four engines for carding wool; and cloth is manufactured to a small extent.
AUCHMILLAN, a hamlet, in the parish of Mauchline, district of Kyle, county of Ayr, 2 miles (N. by E.) from Mauchline; containing 24 inhabitants. This place is situated, equidistantly, between the roads from Mauchline to Kilmallock and from Sorn Castle to Galston: the number of the population has latterly declined.
AUCHMITHIE, a village, in the parish of St. Vigean's, county of Forfar, 3½ miles (N. E.) from Arbroath; containing 307 inhabitants. It is upon the coast, and on a high rocky bank which rises nearly 120 feet above the sea; and is irregularly built, but contains several good houses, though the dwellings are chiefly those of fishermen, who form a large part of the population. The harbour is a level beach, formed by an opening between the rocks that here surround the coast: near the village, is the Gaylet Pot, a remarkable cavern into which the sea flows. Divine service is performed in a small chapel, by a minister of the Established Church.
AUCHNACRAIG, a village, in the parish of Torosay, island of Mull, county of Argyll, 18 miles (S. E.) from Aros. It is situated on the eastern coast of the island, and has a post-office establishment, and a regular ferry, first to Kerrera, and thence to the main land near Oban, affording facility for the transport of horses and cattle to the several markets, but the number at present ferried over is not so great as formerly.
AUCHTERARDER, a town, the seat of a presbytery, and a parish, in the county of Perth, 54½ miles (N. W.) from Edinburgh; containing, with the villages of Borland-Park and Smithyhaugh, 3434 inhabitants, of whom 2068 are in the town. This place anciently belonged to the abbey of Inchaffray; and in 1328, the lands were granted, by charter of Robert Bruce, to Sir William Montifix, justiciary of Scotland, whose daughter and heiress conveyed them, by marriage, to Sir John Drummond, with whose descendants they remained till their forfeiture, by the participation of that family in the rebellion of 1715. During that period of distraction, the town was laid waste and burnt by the Pretender's army, under the Earl of Mar, in order to check the progress of the royal forces. For this injury, indemnification was promised to the inhabitants, by proclamation issued from the ancient palace of Scone, in 1716; but the only compensation they received was from the reigning family, to such of them as had not been concerned in the rebellion. The commissioners appointed to take charge of the forfeited estates, made a survey of the barony of Auchterarder, in 1778, by which it appears that the inhabitants were in a very distressed condition, on account of the backward state of agriculture and the want of employment, from which, however, they have been gradually rising; and since the purchase of the estate by Captain Hunter, the place has rapidly improved.
The town, which, upon disputed authority, is supposed to have been anciently a royal burgh, is situated on the turnpike-road from Glasgow to Perth, and consists chiefly of one street, more than a mile in length, in which are some well-built houses, and numerous others of inferior appearance, occupied by weavers and manufacturers. The inhabitants are amply supplied with pure water, from a copious spring, conveyed by pipes into their houses, mainly through the exertions of Captain Aytoun, in 1832; and a mechanics' institution, in which lectures were delivered during the winter months, formerly existed in the town. The chief trades are, the weaving of cotton for the manufacturers of Glasgow, in which more than 500 looms are in constant operation; and the making of shawls, blankets, and other articles of the woollen manufacture. There are two breweries for ale and beer in operation; and a branch of the Central Bank of Scotland, and a branch of the National Savings' Bank, have been established. The town is also adequately supplied with gas. A market is held on Saturday, and is well supplied with provisions and with grain, for which it is the principal mart of the district; and fairs are held on the last Tuesday in March, for grain; the Thursday after the last Tuesday in May, for cattle; the Fridays before the Falkirk trysts in August, September, and October, for cattle and horses; and the 6th of December, for cattle and general business. The post-office has a tolerable delivery, and facility of communication with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, and Stirling, is maintained by good roads: a survey has been made by subscription, for the construction of a railway from Perth to Stirling, which, if carried into effect, will pass near the town.
The parish, which includes also the ancient parish of Aberuthven, united to it prior to the Reformation, is bounded on the north by the river Earn, and extends eight miles in length, from north to south, and three miles in breadth, from east to west, comprising 13,747 acres, of which 7176 are arable, about 300 acres woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface is hilly, and rises from the banks of the Earn to the Ochils, of which the highest, Craig Rossie, 2359 feet above the level of the sea, is within the limits of the parish. The principal rivers are, the Earn, which rises in Loch Earn, and falls into the Tay, and the Ruthven, which, after receiving the waters of several rivulets descending from the Ochils, flows through the parish, and falls into the Earn: in the Earn are found salmon and large white and yellow trout, and in the Ruthven, a small species of trout, remarkable for the delicacy of its flavour. The soil, in the eastern part of the parish, is light and sandy; in the lower lands, a clayey loam; and in the neighbourhood of the town, a rich black loam; the chief crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, turnips, and peas, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry has been greatly improved; much waste land has been reclaimed by embankment, from the overflowing of the Earn, and a considerable stimulus is afforded by the premiums awarded at an annual ploughingmatch, by the agricultural society of the parish. Cows of the Ayrshire breed are kept on the dairy-farms; the cattle on the pastures are generally the Teeswater, and on the lower lands, sheep of the Leicestershire breed have been introduced. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8600. The substrata are mostly of the old red sandstone formation, grey slate of good quality for roofing, and limestone, which, from the scarcity of fuel, is not much wrought; a search has been made for coal, but without success. There is little old wood now remaining; the plantations, which are principally of modern date, are chiefly larch and oak. Auchterarder House is a handsome mansion in the Elizabethan style, recently erected, and situated in grounds that have been greatly improved.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling; the minister's stipend is £199. 14. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17 per annum; patron, the Earl of Kinnoull. The church, rebuilt in 1784, and enlarged in 1811, is a plain structure, situated in the town, and containing 930 sittings. At Aberuthven, is the mausoleum of the Graham family, in which are several coffins containing the remains of departed dukes of Montrose, and in the vault beneath, have been interred many of their ancestors. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and of the Relief and United Secession Synods. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house, and an allowance of £2 in lieu of a garden; the fees average about £40 per annum. There is also a school, for which a building was erected in 1811, by John Sheddan, Esq., who endowed it with £1000, the interest of which is paid to the master, on condition of his teaching twelve children gratuitously. To the north of the town, are the ruins of a building supposed to have been a hunting-seat of Malcolm Canmore; the walls, which are of great thickness, have been nearly demolished for building materials. Eastward of these ruins, are the remains of the ancient church of St. Mungo, formerly the parish church, the cemetery of which is still used as a place of sepulture by the parishioners; and in digging the foundation for the present church, a coin of the Emperor Titus Vespasian was found, in a very perfect state.
AUCHTERDERRAN, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Kirkcaldy; containing 1913 inhabitants, of whom 770 are in the village of Lochgelly. This parish is about six miles in length, and three in breadth; the surface is mostly flat, though varying in elevation, the lands near Lochgelly being more than 100 feet above the general level. The river Ore, which has its source in the parish of Ballingry, flows through this parish, in its course to the Leven, and has two bridges, each of one arch; the scenery is greatly varied, in some parts dreary, and in others richly ornamented with plantations, especially near the lake of Lochgelly, a large sheet of water about three miles in circumference, the shores of which, sometimes wooded, have a beautiful appearance. The Soil is chiefly clay, interspersed with sand, but in several places are tracts of black loam, producing abundant crops; about one-third of the land is in pasture, about 500 acres wood, and the remainder arable, in good cultivation. The system of husbandry has been greatly improved, under the auspices of the late Lord Minto and other of the landed proprietors; a considerable tract of waste was converted into rich arable land, by the late proprietor of Raith, and is now one of the most productive farms in the parish. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, beans, and peas; the cattle are of the black Fifeshire breed, and much attention is paid to their improvement; the farm-buildings are commodious, and the lands, which are well drained, are generally inclosed with stone dykes. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5018. There is very little natural wood, and the plantations are mostly of recent growth; about 15 Scotch acres of moss have been lately planted with Scotch firs, which are thriving well. The substratum is mainly whinstone; limestone of excellent quality is quarried in several places, and coal is every where abundant. The coal-mines at Cluny, belonging to Mr. Ferguson, are very productive; about 70,000 loads are annually raised, for the supply of the neighbourhood, and more than 70 persons are employed in the works. The mines on Lord Minto's lands of Lochgelly produce 50,000 loads annually, and afford constant occupation to about fifty persons; and the works at Dundonald, belonging to R. W. Ramsay, Esq., produce about 7000 loads. The parish is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £237. 11. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patrons, the Boswell family, of Balmuto. The church was built in 1789, and is situated near the east side of the parish. There is a place of worship for Seceders, in the village of Lochgelly. The parochial school is attended by nearly 100 scholars; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 5., with £25 fees, and a good house.
AUCHTERGAVEN, a parish, in the county of Perth, 8½ miles (N. by W.) from Perth; containing, with the villages of Bankfoot, Carnie-Hill, and Waterloo, and part of Stanley, 3366 inhabitants. This place was distinguished, in former times, as the scene of some fierce contentions between the Bishop of Dunkeld and Sir James Crichton, of Strathford, in this parish, who had forcibly taken possession of the lands of Little Dunkeld, belonging to that see. In the rebellion of 1745, Lord Nairne, who owned considerable estates here, embarked in the cause of the Pretender, whom he joined at Perth, and on his defeat accompanied him to the continent, where he continued till his death. The title, upon his attainder, became forfeited; and the splendid baronial mansion which he had nearly completed, to replace the former that had been destroyed by fire, was sold, with the estates, and afterwards taken down by the Duke of Atholl, who became the proprietor, by purchase. The parish, which derives its name from a Celtic term descriptive of its situation, is about ten miles in length, and of very irregular form, varying from less than two to six miles in breadth; it is bounded on the east by the river Tay, and on the west by a brook which separates it from Mullion, a detached portion of the parish of Redgorton. It comprehends, within its natural limits, an isolated tract four miles in length, but of very small breadth, called Tullybeagles, belonging to the parish of Methven.
The Surface is agreeably diversified with hills and dales, rising gradually from the banks of the Tay, to a lofty range on the west and north-west, forming a portion of the Grampian heights, of which the highest within the parish is Birnam Hill, 1300 feet above the sea; the other hills are, Craig-Obney, Craig-Gibbon, Tullybelton, and Corrody hills, which are not greatly inferior in elevation. On one of these hills, still called "Court Hill," the sheriff is said to have held his court, for the trial of a lawless set of banditti who committed great depredation on the lands; and some trees on which the men were executed, are styled "Hanged Men's Trees." Numerous streams descend from the mountains, affording an abundant supply of water, and adding to the beauty of the scenery, which is richly embellished with woods and plantations. The principal of these streams is the Corral burn, which issues from a spring at the base of the Obney hills, flows through the village of Bankfoot, and falls into the Garry near the church, receiving, in its course, the waters of the Aldinny, which rises also in the Obney hills. The Garry, issuing from the head of Glen-Garr, flows between the hills above Strathban, and, after receiving the waters of the Corral, falls into the Ordie at Loak. The Ordie has its source in a lake in the hill of Tullybelton, and, after traversing the centre of the parish, and receiving the Wynnie, which rises in the district of Tully-beagles, flows into the Shochie in the parish of Redgorton; the Shochie, which has its source in Glen-Shee, after receiving the above-named tributary streams, falls into the Tay.
The parish comprises 19,200 acres, of which about 6000 are arable, and in a high state of cultivation, 796 woodland, and 1200 pasture. Considerable additions have been recently made to the arable and pasture lands, by improvements in draining and fencing, and an advanced state of agriculture, and comparatively little of the moor and waste will remain long in an unproductive state. The soil is various in the different districts, but, in general, is a loam, intermixed with sand and pebbles, and, in some of the farms, with large boulders of stone; in the upper lands, it is very retentive of moisture, and in the lower grounds comparatively dry and light. The principal crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips; bone-dust has been introduced for manure, on the turnip lands, with very great success. Much attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are mostly the Ayrshire, with a cross of the short-horned breed, and some few of the Angusshire; the sheep are nearly all of the Scotch black-faced kind, which feed in the hills, and a few of the Leicestershire, which are pastured on the low lands. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9896. The woods mainly consist of oak, common and mountain ash, elm, and beech, and the plantations of larch, and spruce and Scotch firs; along the banks of the Tay, are some remarkably fine beech-trees. The substratum, in the lower lands, is chiefly gravel of very great depth, intersected by a seam of whinstone, which is quarried for mending the roads, and alternated with strata of red sandstone; the hills are principally of clay-slate and greywacke, in which masses of quartz are found. At Glen-Shee is a quarry of slate, of good quality for roofing; there are two varieties, blue and grey, the latter of which is the more durable: slate of a similar kind was formerly quarried at Obney and at Tullybeagles. The sandstone is quarried for building purposes, at Stanley, and in other parts of the parish; the finest quarry is at Speedy Hill; the stone found here, is of greenish hue, very compact, and susceptible of a fine polish, and was employed in the erection of the new castle of Dunkeld. Stanley House, an ancient mansion to which repeated additions have been made, and which is greatly modernised, is beautifully situated on the shore of the Tay, embosomed in a richly-wooded demesne, containing many stately trees: Airlywight House is a handsome residence of modern erection, on elevated ground commanding an extensive prospect, and forms an interesting and very prominent feature in the landscape.
A considerable number of the inhabitants are employed in weaving, for the manufactures of Blairgowrie, Dundee, Arbroath, Cupar, and Newburgh; the principal fabrics are white linens and dowlas, and in the weaving of these, and in spinning and winding, about 300 persons are engaged, of whom a large portion are females. More than 1000 persons are employed in the Stanley cotton-works, which are separately described; there are five corn and two lint mills. The high road from Edinburgh to Inverness passes, for five miles, through the parish. A penny-post has been established at Bankfoot, which forwards letters to Perth daily; and a fair is held in the village of Auchtergaven, on the second Friday in November, for the sale of cattle, sheep, and horses, and for agricultural produce. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunkeld and synod of Perth and Stirling; patron, the Crown. The parish comprises the small ancient parish of Logiebride, which was united to it, by act of parliament, in 1618, and subsequently severed from it, by the Bishop of Dunkeld, but again united at the period of the Revolution in the 17th century; the church of Logiebride stood on the bank of the Ordie, but has long since disappeared, though the ancient cemetery is still used as a place of sepulture. The stipend of the incumbent is £179. 6. 4.; the manse is a plain building, erected within the last twenty years, and the glebe lands are valued at £15 per annum. The church, situated on an eminence rising from the road between Dundee and Perth, is a plain substantial edifice, with a western tower, added by the Duke of Atholl, and is adapted for a congregation of 1200 persons. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and of the United Seceders' and Relief Synods. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £15 per annum. On the farm of Middle Blelock, and at Obney, are some large upright stones, concerning which nothing authentic is known. A vitrified fort has been discovered on Obney Hill; and near the ruins of an old chapel, at Tullybeagles, ancient coins have been discovered, which are in the cabinet of the Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth. Human bones have been found near the site of another chapel, on the lands of Berryhill farm, in the same district, on the banks of the Ordie. Near Stanley, are the remains of a round tower called Inverbervie, or Inchbervis, which is said to have been originally a religious house, and a cell to the abbey of Dunfermline; and on the wester-town of Kinglands, is a cairn, which has not been yet explored.
AUCHTERHOUSE, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 7 miles (N. W. by N.) from Dundee; containing, with the villages of Dronley and Kirkton, 769 inhabitants. This parish, the name of which is of uncertain derivation, is nearly of triangular form, and includes the southern range of the hill of Sidlaw, that eminence separating it from Strathmore; and along its southern boundary runs the Dighty water, which falls into the Tay, near the influx of the latter into the German Ocean. It has an undulated surface, covering about 5450 acres, of which 3567 are under cultivation, 1406 wood, and the remainder hill pasture. The ground rises from south to north, and the acclivities are under cultivation to the spot where the church stands, 800 feet above the level of the sea; but, more northerly, the land rises considerably, reaching, at the White-Sheets, one of the Sidlaw hills, and the highest part of the parish, to about 1400 feet above the high-water mark at Dundee, and is there only fit for pasture and plantations. The burn of Dronley, and that of Auchterhouse, turn several mills in their separate courses from the west and north-west, before their junction at the village of Dronley, after which, the united streams take the name of Dighty, for the rest of their passage to the ocean. The climate, in the higher district, is cold and bracing; in the lower division it has been much improved, within these few years, by extensive draining, and is pure and salubrious. The soil of the uncultivated portions, with slight exceptions, consists of a thin moorish earth, lying on a retentive tilly subsoil, supported by a substratum of sandstone; and the land under tillage is mostly a black mould, in some places sandy, resting on till or marl, producing, under skilful management, good average crops of oats and barley, with the usual green crops, and sometimes wheat, though this last has been nearly discontinued, not having in general succeeded. The dairy is much attended to; subsoil-ploughing and furrow-draining are extensively practised, with great advantage; and, by the kindly feeling and steady cooperation between landlords and tenants, among many other improvements, nearly 500 acres of moor, moss, and bog have been reclaimed, within the present century, and now produce fair crops. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5316.
The soil, throughout the parish, is underlaid with sandstone, very near the surface, and the Sidlaw hill consists of the same rock, occasionally intersected with trap dykes, and supplying a useful material for many purposes; a quarry is in operation on the estate of Scotstown, giving employment to five or six hands. Plantations comprising larch, spruce, Scotch fir, elm, ash, plane, and beech, have been formed on the hills, and on the moors of Dronley and Adamstown, by the Earl of Camperdown, to the extent of nearly 300 acres, the spruce and Scotch fir, however, alone being likely to succeed; and the Earl of Airlie has planted above 800 acres of the hill of Sidlaw. The old baronial residence of Auchterhouse, the property of the Earl of Airlie, and the only mansion in the parish, contains, among its other grounds, at a short distance, some very fine orchards. Facility of communication is offered by the Dundee and Newtyle turnpike-road, running through the parish, from the southern to the northern extremity, and by the railway between the same places, which, entering the parish over Dighty water, on the south-east, and leaving it at the north-western limit, has a depôt near the Milltown of Auchterhouse. The parish is in the presbytery of Dundee and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Earl of Airlie; the minister's stipend is about £200, with a manse, and a glebe of 7 acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church was built in 1775, and consists of portions both old and modern; it has, on the west, a steeple with a bell, and on the east a cemetery, very ancient, but in good condition, containing the remains of some members of the Erskine family, and of those of Lyon and Ogilvy. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £20. 12. 4. fees. Near the mansion of Auchterhouse, are the ruins of a square building called Wallace Tower, supposed to have taken its name from a visit paid here to Sir John Ramsay, the proprietor, by the Scottish patriot, Sir William Wallace, after landing at Montrose, with his French auxiliaries. Not far from this spot, as well as in other parts of the parish, is one of those caverns styled "Weems," in which have been found a hand-mill and various relics, indicating its former use as an abode of men; and on the south of the hill of Sidlaw, is a Druidical altar, in good preservation.
AUCHTERLESS, a parish, in the district of Turriff, county of Aberdeen, 7 miles (S. by W.) from Turriff; containing 1685 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from a Gaelic word signifying, "a cultivated field on the side of a hill," which application of the term is favoured by the general appearance of the surface. The parish, which is of an irregular oblong figure, is about 8 miles in length, and 4 in breadth, and contains nearly 16,000 acres, of which two-thirds are cultivated, and nearly 500 acres in plantation. It is bounded on the north-west by the county of Banff, and is watered by the Ythan, the only considerable stream, which, rising about a mile from the boundary of Auchterless, and flowing through the vale in a north-easterly direction, discharges its waters into the German Ocean below Ellon. The soil, in some parts, is clayey, but more frequently consists of gravel, lying upon a bed of clay-slate, and is almost uniformly dry. The cattle are of the Aberdeenshire breed, which sprang from a cross between the native and the old Fife stock, about 60 or 70 years since; the sheep, which are not numerous, are the Cheviots. The husbandry adopted is of the best kind, and the free use of compost, bone, guano, and lime manure has much contributed to the fertility of the soil; almost every farm, too, of any extent, has a threshing-mill on the premises, turned by one of the tributary streams of the Ythan. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6773. The prevailing rock is a clay-stone slate, which runs through the whole of the parish, from north-east to south-west, but lies at too great a depth to be available for the purposes of quarrying. The villages are, Gordonstown, about 2 miles from the church, and the little hamlet of Kirktown, where a market is held on the Wednesday after the second Tuesday in April (O. S.), for the sale of sheep and cattle, and which is called Donan fair, from the ancient tutelary saint of the parish. The Aberdeen and Banff turnpike-road runs, for nearly three miles, along the eastern extremity of the parish, and affords considerable facility. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Turriff and synod of Aberdeen; the patronage belongs to the family of Duff, and the minister's stipend is £191. 6. 5., with a good manse, and a glebe of about 6 acres. The church, a plain edifice, built in 1780, and repaired in 1832, seats 750 persons. In the parochial school, Greek, Latin, and mathematics, with all the usual branches of education, are taught; and the master has a salary of £34, £21 fees, and a house and garden. The antiquities comprise some Druidical circles, a moat, and similar remains. The parish has been famed for the longevity of several of its inhabitants, one of whom, Peter Garden, a farmer, died about the year 1780, at the advanced age of 132, having lived under ten sovereigns, commencing with Charles I.; he was one of the garrison in the old castle of Towie Barclay, when Montrose defended it against Argyll.
AUCHTERMUCHTY, a royal burgh, and a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 9 miles (W. by S.) from Cupar; containing, with the village of Dunshelt, 3356 inhabitants, of whom 1340 are in the burgh. This place, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifies "the cottage of the king," is supposed, from that circumstance, to have been appropriated to the accommodation of part of the royal household, during the king's residence in the palace of Falkland, about three miles distant, and which had been previously one of the strongholds of Macduff, Earl of Fife. The Town, which is situated on the road from Kinross to Cupar, is irregularly built, consisting of several ill-formed streets and lanes of houses of mean appearance, many of them having thatched roofs, though intermixed with some of more modern and handsome character, with neat gardens attached; it is inhabited by an industrious and thriving population, and has a public library, supported by subscription.
The inhabitants are chiefly employed in hand-loom weaving, for the manufacturers of Dunfermline, Newburgh, and Kirkcaldy; the principal articles are linen goods, consisting of checks, drills, dowlas, sheetings, and other fabrics, in making which about 1000 persons are engaged. A considerable number were formerly occupied in these manufactures, on their own account; but there are only one or two establishments of the kind now remaining. On the banks of a rivulet near the extremity of the town, are, a bleachfield, flour-mill, and saw-mill; and there are also a thriving distillery, and an extensive malting concern. A branch of the Union Bank of Scotland has likewise been established. The market, which is on Monday, is well supplied with grain and provisions of every kind; and fairs are held on the 25th of March (O. S.), the 13th of July, and the 21st of August, for horses and cattle; the July fair is also a statute-fair. The inhabitants were first incorporated by charter of James IV., who erected the town into a royal Burgh; and its liberties, as such, were confirmed by James VI.; but the right of sending a member to parliament has been lost, from disuse, though it still retains its corporation, and most of its other privileges. The government is vested in three bailies, a treasurer, and a council of fifteen members, chosen under the authority of the Municipal Reform act. The magistrates have jurisdiction over the whole of the royalty, and hold courts for the determination of civil pleas to any amount; in criminal cases, their jurisdiction is confined to misdemeanours. The post-office has a tolerable delivery; and facility of communication with the neighbouring towns, is afforded by good roads, of which the turnpike-road from Stirling to St. Andrew's passes through the southern extremity of the town.
The parish is about four miles in length, from north-east to south-west, and is from one to two miles in breadth, comprising about 2900 acres, of which 220 are woodland and plantations, 90 undivided common, and the remainder arable land and pasture. The surface is varied; in the south-east, an extensive and richly fertile plain; and in other parts, rising to a considerable elevation. The soil, in the level lands, is a deep loam, producing abundant crops of all kinds; and the system of agriculture has been brought to a state of great perfection, under the auspices of the Auchtermuchty Agricultural Society, which holds an annual meeting in the town, on the first Monday in October, for the distribution of premiums. The lands have been drained and inclosed; the farm-buildings are substantial and wellarranged; the pastures are luxuriantly fertile, and the cattle, which are chiefly of the Fifeshire black breed, bring a good price in the market. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6845. The substratum is mostly whinstone, which forms the basis of the higher grounds; the plantations, mainly of modern growth, are in a thriving state. Myres Castle is the principal mansion in the parish, and was, for many years, the seat of the Moncrieffs, who disposed of the estate a short time ago: the building, to which a considerable addition was made about the year 1830, is finely situated in a park of about thirty acres. Bellevue and Southfield are also pleasant residences. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £253. 11. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, Mrs. Tyndal Bruce, of Falkland. The church, a plain building erected in 1785, was enlarged by Mrs. Bruce, in 1837, at a cost of £500, and now contains 1100 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, and the Relief Synod. The parochial school is attended by a considerable number of children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees.
AUCHTERTOOL, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Kirkcaldy; containing, with the village of Newbigging, 530 inhabitants, of whom 239 are in the village of Auchtertool. This place is supposed to derive its name, signifying, in the Gaelic language, "the high grounds on the river Tiel," from its elevated situation with respect to that stream. The parish is about three miles in length, and one mile in average breadth, and comprises about 2500 acres, of which 1700 are arable, and the remainder pasture, and waste land capable of being brought into cultivation. The surface is varied, and, towards the west, rises into a range of steep acclivities called the Cullalo hills, the highest of which has an elevation of 750 feet above the sea, commanding an extensive prospect over a richly-cultivated tract of country; but the scenery within the parish is almost destitute of beauty, from the want of wood. The river Tiel has its source here; and the parish is also intersected by two streamlets which, though very small, frequently, after continued rain, are greatly increased, and, in their course through a narrow channel, form beautiful cascades, of which one, near the end of a deep and narrow dell, is truly picturesque. Near the ancient mansion of Camilla, formerly the residence of the Countess of Moray, is an extensive loch, bounded on the north side by a precipitous eminence, covered with furze; and near it, are the ruins of the ancient mansion of Hallyards, still retaining traces of baronial grandeur, with some portion of the plantations of the demesne, forming a romantic feature in the scenery of the lake. This sheet of water is about eighteen acres in extent, and abounds with perch, eels, and pike; its greatest depth is 22 feet.
The soil, in the southern parts, is a rich loam, varying from one foot to five feet in depth; and, in the north and western parts, clay, which, by draining and good management, has been rendered nearly as fertile as the loam; and a moss, of which a large portion is of great depth, and apparently incapable of being brought into profitable cultivation. The chief crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is in a very improved state, and draining has lately been carried on with success. Considerable attention has been paid to the rearing and feeding of cattle, which are generally of the black Fifeshire breed, with some few of the Teeswater, lately introduced; there are a few sheep, all of the Cheviot breed. The substratum is mostly whinstone, freestone, and limestone: the whinstone is quarried, chiefly for mending the roads, and occasionally for building; the freestone is of very inferior quality, and is seldom worked; the limestone, which is mainly found on the lands belonging to Lord Moray and Captain Wemyss, is quarried only by the tenants for their own immediate use. The village of Auchtertool is neatly built; the houses are principally of stone and lime, and those of more recent erection are covered with blue slate; a parochial library has been established, and a savings' bank. There was formerly a brewery of porter, ale, and table-beer, in the village, for the supply of the neighbourhood; it was long in very great repute, and a large quantity of the ale was sent to Kirkcaldy, and thence shipped for the London market. The parish is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the Earl of Moray; the minister's stipend is £157. 18. 10., with a manse in the later English style, and the glebe is valued at £20 per annum. The church, which was substantially repaired in 1833, is situated within a mile of the village, and is adapted for a congregation of about 300 persons. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £33. 6. 8., with £28 fees, and a good dwelling-house and garden. At the west end of the loch of Camilla, is a mineral spring.
AULDEARN, a parish, in the county of Nairn, 2¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Nairn; containing 1466 inhabitants, of whom 351 are in the village. This place is said by some to have derived its name, in the Gaelic Alt-Ern, from a brook flowing through it into the river Nairn, and of which the banks are thickly planted with aldertrees; it was originally the head of the deanery of Moray, and of much greater extent till the year 1650, when parts of it were annexed to the parishes of Nairn, Cawdor, and Ardclach. In 1645, a sanguinary battle took place near the village, between the forces under the Marquess of Montrose, and a detachment of the army of the Covenanters, commanded by Hurry, and consisting of about 4000 men, when the former, after an obstinate conflict, obtained a decisive victory. About 800 of the Covenanters fell, and a considerable number of the forces of the marquess; the slain on both sides were interred after the battle, in a field to the south-west of the village, and the spot, which has been since planted, is surrounded with a moat. The parish is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, here about seven miles broad, along the coast of which it extends for four miles; and is, from north to south, 6½ miles in length, and about 5 miles in breadth, from east to west, comprising 13,680 acres, of which 4778 are arable, 5111 meadow and pasture, 3603 woodland and plantations, and 198 under water. The surface for nearly three miles from the shore, though varying in elevation, is low; it thence rises to a considerable height, for nearly two miles, where it is intersected by the valley of the Muckle brook, beyond which it attains a more abrupt and precipitous elevation. About half a mile from the shore, to the west, is an island of sand called the Bar, which is formed at high water, and is constantly changing its position westward; and opposite to it, are two hills of sand, about 100 feet in height, which are continually changing their position towards the east, without any apparent alteration in their form.
The soil, in the south-eastern part of the parish, is luxuriantly rich; in the south-western, of very inferior quality; and in the north-east and north-west, a heavy cold loam. There are two lakes of considerable extent, of which one, called Loch Lithy, covering an area of 40 acres, produces abundance of rich marl, and the other, Loch Loy, in the northern part of the parish, is about a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile broad. There is also a large tract of moss called the Moss of Inshoch, in which vast quantities of roots, and sometimes entire fir-trees, are imbedded. The crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture has been much improved; waste land has been drained, and brought into profitable cultivation, and much of the inferior soil been rendered more fertile, by the use of marl, lime, and bone-dust manure. The cattle are of the Highland breed, and the sheep of the white-faced kind. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6148. The plantations are chiefly Scotch fir, larch, oak, beech, elm, and ash, of which three last there are some fine specimens at Boath and Lethen; and to the east of Inshoch, is a thriving plantation of birch. The substratum is principally sandstone, some of which is of excellent quality; and from a quarry on the lands of Brodie, was raised the stone for the erection of the towers of the suspension bridge over the river Findhorn, near Forres. Near Boath, is found a black stone, which, on the application of fire, emits a flame; and at Clune, on the lands of James C. Brodie, Esq., are nodules of limestone, in which are fossils of various kinds of fishes.
The prevailing scenery is of pleasing character, embellished with plantations; and the views obtained from the higher grounds, are extensive and richly diversified, commanding the wide expanse of the Frith, the rocky coasts and lofty mountains of Ross, in combination with those of Sutherland, and numerous other deeply interesting features. Lethen, the seat of Mr. Brodie, is a spacious and handsome mansion, finely situated in the valley of the Muckle burn, and consisting of a centre and two wings, erected about the commencement of the last century; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and the house is embosomed in a plantation of venerable beech-trees, and crowns the summit of a thickly-wooded acclivity rising from the stream. Boath, the seat of Sir Frederick William Dunbar, Bart., is an elegant mansion of freestone, erected in 1830, and beautifully situated in the valley of the Auldearn, near the junction of the two branches of that stream. The village is neatly built, and is inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in agriculture. Fairs are held for cattle and horses on the first Wednesday after the 19th of June, and the first Tuesday after the Inverness fair at Martinmas, for agricultural produce; the first of these is called St. Colin's market, and the latter St. John's, following which are two other fairs held, respectively, a fortnight and a month after. The turnpike-road from Elgin to Inverness passes, for four miles, through the parish; and further facility of communication is afforded by good roads and bridges, in almost every direction.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Nairn and synod of Moray; the minister's stipend is £241. 5. 4., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum; patron, Mr. Brodie, of Brodie. The church, built in 1751, and improved in 1816, is a neat structure, situated close to the village, and contains 635 sittings. There are places of worship for Free Church and United Secession congregations. The parochial school affords instruction to about 130 scholars; the master has a salary of £36. 7. 2., including an allowance for a garden, and the fees average £10 per annum. On the higher grounds in the parish, are some Druidical remains, of which the most perfect, near the old castle of Moyness, consists of two concentric circles, with a slightly-rocking stone weighing about four tons; and on a small eminence designated the Black Hillock, has been found a kistvaen, containing a human skeleton and several urns filled with ashes. On a farm called Knock-na-Gillan, the Cummings, of Rait, once seized thirteen of the clan of Mackintosh, who were passing through the parish, and put twelve of them to death; and some time after, these hostile clans meeting at the castle of Rait, in the parish of Nairn, the Mackintoshes, in retaliation, put the whole clan of the Cummings to the sword, and burnt their castle. About a mile to the north of the church, are the ruins of the ancient castle of Inshoch, the seat of the Hays, of Loch Loy; and a mile to the east of it, were, till lately, the remains of the house of Penick, the residence of the deans of Moray.
AUSKERRY ISLE, in the parish of Stronsay, county of Orkney. It is situated about two miles to the south of the island of Stronsay, and is small and uninhabited, and appropriated to the pasturage of cattle: there are some remains of a chapel, and the ruins of a dwelling which bears the name of the Monk's House. Kelp is manufactured in considerable quantity.
AVOCH, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 1¾ mile (S. W. by W.) from Fortrose; containing 1931 inhabitants, of whom 936 are in the village. This place apparently derives its name, signifying, in the Gaelic language, "shallow water," from the small river on which it is situated. The parish is bounded on the south and south-east by the Moray Frith, and on the south-west by the bay of Munlochy; and is about four miles and a quarter in length, and three miles in extreme breadth, comprising 6198 acres, of which about 2500 are arable, 1500 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface, though generally level, with a gentle acclivity from the shore of the Frith, contains a portion of the Milbuy hill, which has an elevation of nearly 500 feet; and is also intersected, in the lower parts, by several prominent ridges. The river from which it takes its name, rises within its limits, near a pool called the Littlemilstick, and, after a beautifully winding course, in which it turns several mills, falls into the Frith near the village. The coast extends for about three miles, and is bounded by a high ridge of rocks, projecting slightly in two points, between which is a beach of sand and gravel.
The soil, which comprises almost every variety, has been greatly improved, and the pastures are mostly rich; the crops are, wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. Considerable attention has been, for some time, paid to the rearing of live stock; and the farms have been newly divided, in portions adapted to the ability and resources of the various tenants, by which a much better system of management has been introduced. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3658. The substrata are generally of the red sand-stone formation, interspersed with rocks of granite, and there are indications of limestone, though none has yet been wrought; freestone quarries occur in several places, from one of which, of a deep red colour, it is supposed that the stone was taken for the erection of the cathedral church of Chanonry. Rosehaugh, the seat of Sir James J. R. Mackenzie, of Scatwell, Bart., is an elegant modern mansion, beautifully situated on an eminence about half a mile from the sea, and embellished with woods and thriving plantations. Avoch House, a handsome mansion, embosomed in romantic scenery, was destroyed in 1833, by an accidental fire: Bay Cottage is situated near, and derives its name from, the bay of Munlochy.
The village is on the river Avoch, near its influx into the Frith, which is here about four miles in breadth, and, between the promontory of Fort-George on the east, and the town of Inverness on the west, has the appearance of a beautiful inland lake. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in fisheries, in which nine boats, having each a crew of ten men, are engaged in taking haddock, whiting, cod, and other fish, on the coasts of Sutherland and Caithness; in the Frith are found, also, oysters, flounders, and halibut. During the season, commencing about the middle of July, the fishermen of this place send thirty-five boats to the herring-fishery at Caithness, from which they return with cargoes sometimes highly productive, of which, after supplying the neighbourhood, the remainder is sent to Inverness market. In the intervals of the fishing season, the inhabitants are employed in making nets, not only for their own use, but also for the fishing-stations in the north and west Highlands. The harbour, which is formed near the mouth of the river, affords good anchorage and shelter for the boats, and a substantial pier has been constructed, at which vessels of considerable burthen land cargoes of coal from Newcastle; it is also safely accessible to trading vessels, which, from London, Leith, Aberdeen, and Dundee, regularly touch at the port. There are two salmon-fisheries, one at Rosehaugh, and the other on the estate of Avoch; and in Munlochy bay, mussels are found in profusion. Facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road from Fort-George ferry to the western coast of Ross-shire, which passes through the village and the southern part of the parish, leading to Kessock ferry on the west, and to the town of Dingwall on the north-west.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Chanonry and synod of Ross; the minister's stipend is £249. 9. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £7 per annum; patron, Sir J. J. R. Mackenzie. The church, a neat plain structure, erected in 1670, and repaired in 1833, is situated close to the village, and contains 600 sittings. There is a place of worship for Independents. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees average between £20 and £30 per annum. There are some slight remains of the ancient castle of Avoch, consisting chiefly of the site, on a rocky knoll on the northern promontory of the bay of Munlochy, and distinguished by the rubbish of ruined walls which surrounded the summit of the hill. It was the residence of the lord of Moray, who died in 1338; it subsequently passed to the earls of Ross, on whose forfeiture it was annexed to the crown, and was granted by James III. to his second son, the Marquess of Ormond, from which circumstance the knoll was called Ormond's Mount. The lower story, or dungeon, of the tower of Arkendeith, supposed to have been built by the Bruces, of Kinloss, is also remaining. Chambers, of Ormond, the Scottish historian, was born in the parish; and Sir Alexander Mackenzie, who discovered the river in America which is called by his name, resided for many years at Avoch House, and was interred here.
AVONDALE, a parish, in the Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing, with the market-town of Strathaven, 6180 inhabitants. The proper name of this parish, which, from its including the market-town, has been called sometimes Strathaven, and, by contraction, Straven, is Avondale, an appellation derived from its situation on the river Avon, by which it is divided into two nearly equal parts. The barony of Avondale was anciently the property of the Baird family, and subsequently belonged to the Earl of Douglas, on whose forfeiture, in 1455, it was granted, by James III., to Andrew Stewart, whom he created Lord Avondale, and who exchanged it for the barony of Ochiltree, with Sir James Hamilton, in whose family it has ever since remained. The place has derived some historical celebrity from the defeat of the troops under General Claverhouse, at Drumclog, by a congregation of Covenanters, who had assembled there for public worship, and, anticipating an attack by the former, who were stationed at Strathaven, had provided themselves with arms for their defence. On the approach of Claverhouse, with his dragoons, the armed part of the congregation went forward to meet him, and, taking post on level ground, having before them a rivulet, over which the general had to pass, and of which the bank was, from its softness, impassable to the cavalry, defeated his forces with considerable loss, the general himself escaping with difficulty. In 1820, the place was disturbed by a few rioters, under the command of James Wilson, who, upon false intelligence that a rebellion against the government had broken out in Glasgow, marched thither to join the insurgents; but they were instantly dispersed, and their leader, who was made prisoner, was brought to the scaffold, and suffered the penalty of his rebellion.
The parish comprises about 32,000 acres, of which 15,000 are arable, and the remainder, with the exception of some tracts of moss and marsh land, formerly more extensive, is in pasture. The surface is generally level, rising gently from the banks of the river towards the south and west, and partially intersected with ridges and small hills, of which the highest, towards the borders of Ayrshire, scarcely attain an elevation of more than 900 feet above the sea. Of these, the most prominent are, Kype's rigg, and Hawkwood and Dungivel hills, with the picturesque but smaller eminences of Floors hills and Kirkhill. The Avon, which rises on the confines of Ayrshire, in its course through the parish receives numerous tributary streams, of which the chief are, the Cadder and Pomilion on the north, and the Givel, the Lochan, and the Kype, on the south; the waters of the Kype, about a mile to the south of the town, are precipitated from a height of nearly fifty feet, forming an interesting fall, and in all these streams trout is abundant. Salmon were formerly found in the Avon, even at its source; but latterly, their progress upward has been intercepted. The scenery of the parish, though destitute of ornamental wood, is pleasingly varied, and, in many parts, picturesque.
The soil is generally fertile; the chief crops are, oats and barley, with some wheat; potatoes are also raised in great quantities, and are sold for seed; but, though the soil is extremely favourable for turnips, they are not much cultivated. There are numerous dairy-farms, and the pastures throughout the parish are luxuriant; great numbers of cows, principally of the Ayrshire breed, are pastured here, and there are, at present, not less than 2000 acres of undivided common. Many improvements have been made in draining; and the whole of Strathaven moss, comprising above 200 acres of unprofitable land, has been reclaimed, affording more valuable crops than any other portion of the parish. The rateable annual value of the parish is £24,785. Whinstone abounds, as does also ironstone; and limestone is found in several parts, and burnt for manure; coal is also found in the neighbourhood of the limekilns, in considerable quantity, and of a quality sufficient for burning the lime, but not adapted to household use. The moors abound with grouse and other game, and the Duke of Hamilton has an extensive tract of pasture land for sheep, which is kept for grouse shooting; partridges are also numerous in the lower lands, and plovers and wild ducks are every where abundant. The parish is in the presbytery of Hamilton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Duke of Hamilton; the minister's stipend is £305. 2. 6., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £24 per annum. There is also an assistant minister, appointed by his grace, to whom a stipend of 500 marks is paid, according to the will of a late duchess; he visits the sick, and catechises the parishioners. The church, erected in 1772, is a plain edifice, with an unfinished spire, and much too small for the population, being adapted for a congregation only of 800 persons. Under the auspices of the present minister, an additional church has been erected, at an expense of £1400, for 900 persons, to which a district called East Strathaven has been assigned, and which is supplied by a minister appointed by the congregation. There is a place of worship for members of the Associate Seceding Synod, and there are two for members of the Relief Church. The parochial school affords an efficient education; the master's salary is £34. 4. 4., with £36 from the fees, and a good house and garden. There is also a parochial school for East Strathaven. Some remains of a Roman road may be traced on the south side of the river Avon, passing by the farm of Walesley; and on the lands of Gennerhill, small coins and Roman sandals have been discovered. Roman coins have also been recently found on the lands of Torfoot, near Loudoun hill, supposed to have been the line of the Romans, in their route through the Caledonian forest, towards the western coast.