A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
BACKDEAN, a hamlet, in the parish of Newton, county of Edinburgh; containing 45 inhabitants. This hamlet lies near the source of a small tributary to the Esk water, and borders upon the parish of Inveresk, which is situated to the north-east of Backdean.
BACKMUIR, a hamlet, in the parish of Life, Benvie, and Invergowrie, county of Forfar; containing 166 inhabitants. It is situated in the north-western extremity of the parish, upon the border of the county of Perth, and close to the Dighty water; and the road from Dundee to this place, here branches off into two roads, one leading to Cupar-Angus, and the other to Meigle.
BAILLIESTON, a village, in the late quoad sacra parish of Crosshill, parish of Old Monkland, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 4¾ miles (E. by S.) from Glasgow; containing 639 inhabitants. This is the principal village of Crosshill parish, and is situated in the western part of the parish of Old Monkland, on the border of that of Barony, and near the roads from Glasgow to Airdrie and to Hamilton. For many years past, the Monkland, Bothwell, Barony, and Cadder Farming Society have held their annual exhibition of live stock in the village, and it is considered in Scotland as being second only to the exhibitions of the Highland Society; the description of stock is of the first class, and prizes are frequently obtained by agriculturists of this neighbourhood, at the latter exhibitions, where the competition is open to England and Scotland. A subscription library is supported here.
BAINSFORD, a village, in the parish of Falkirk, county of Stirling, 1 mile (N.) from Falkirk. This village, which forms part of the suburbs of the town of Falkirk, and is included within the parliamentary boundary, is situated on the north side of the Forth and Clyde canal, over which is a drawbridge, affording access to the village of Grahamston. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the Carron iron-works, of which the proprietors have a basin here, communicating with the canal, and which is connected with the works, in the adjoining parish of Larbert, by a railway. There is also a rope-walk, in which several persons are employed; and in the village, which is neatly built, is a well-conducted school.
BALBEGGIE, a village, in the parish of Kinnoull, county of Perth, 5 miles (N. E.) from Perth; containing 222 inhabitants. This village is situated in the northern extremity of the parish, on the road to Cupar-Angus; and the Associate Synod have a place of worship here, with a residence for the minister, and a garden attached.
BALBROGIE, a village, in the parish of Cupar-Angus, county of Perth, 1½ mile (N. N. E.) from Cupar-Angus; containing 80 inhabitants. A weekly market has been established at this place, which is conveniently situated near the road from Cupar-Angus to Meigle, about midway between it and the river Isla.
BALBUNNO, a village, in the parish of Longforgan, county of Perth; containing 200 inhabitants. This village, which is entirely upon the lands of Mylnefield, is neatly built, and inhabited chiefly by persons employed in a bleachfield in the immediate neighbourhood, though not within the limits of the parish of Longforgan, which has been established within the last few years, and to which the origin of the village may be attributed.
BALDERNOCK, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 7 miles (N.) from Glasgow; containing, with the village of Balmore, 972 inhabitants, of whom 814 are exclusive of the village. The name of this place is corrupted, as is supposed, from the Celtic term Baldruinick, signifying "Druid's town;" and this opinion receives strong support from the numerous remains found here, pertaining to that ancient order. The parish, of which the eastern half was in that of Campsie till 1649, is situated at the southern extremity of the county, where it is bounded by the river Kelvin, which flows towards the west, and by the Allander, running in the opposite direction. It comprehends 3800 acres, of which 3100 are under cultivation, 240 wood, and the remainder roads and water, and about equal parts are appropriated for grain, green crops, &c., and for pasture. The surface is greatly diversified, and consists of three distinct portions, succeeding each other on a gradual rise from south to north, each varying exceedingly from the others, in soil, produce, and scenery, and the whole circumscribed by an outline somewhat irregular, but approaching in form to a square, the sides severally measuring between two and three miles. The northern tract, lying at an elevation of 300 feet above the sea, and embracing fine views in all directions, contains a few insulated spots under tillage, surrounded by moss land, with a light sharp soil incumbent on whinstone. Below this, the surface of the second tract assumes an entirely different appearance, being marked by many beautifully picturesque knolls, and a clayey soil, resting on a tilly retentive subsoil; and to this portion succeeds the lowest land in the parish, and by far the richest, comprising 700 or 800 acres along the bank of the river, formed of a soil of dark loam, supposed to have been washed down gradually from the higher grounds; this division is called the Balmore haughs. Barley and oats are the prevailing sorts of grain, and all the ordinary green crops are raised, potatoes, however, being grown in the largest quantity. Draining is extensively carried on, although much land is still in want of this necessary process; and the inundations from the Kelvin, formerly often destructive to the crops on the lower grounds, are now, to a great extent, prevented by a strong embankment, and by a tunnel at the entrance of a tributary of the river, by which the torrents, before pouring forth, in rainy weather, uncontrolled, are now so checked as to obviate danger. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5713.
The rock consists of trap, in the southern and midland portions; but in the northern district, limestone, ironstone, pyrites, alum, and fire-clay are abundant, several of which have been long wrought to a considerable extent, and lie in strata towards the east, stretching from the extensive coal-beds of Campsie. Iron-ore has lately been discovered in the coal-mines of Barraston, of very superior quality to the common argillaceous kind formerly wrought, and consists of a mixture of iron with carbonaceous substances, similar to that found in the mines near Airdrie. The coal and lime obtained, for 150 years, from this locality, the latter of which is excellent, and sent in large quantities to Glasgow and many other places in the country, lie in beds from three to four feet thick, and from twelve to twenty-four feet under the surface, the superincumbent strata being formed of argillaceous slate, calcareous freestone, and ironstone. Pyrites and alum are plentiful, and fireclay, for a long period, was made into bricks, highly esteemed as fire-proof. Bardowie, a very ancient mansion, once fortified, and a considerable part of which is now modernised, is ornamented, in front, with a beautiful loch a mile long, and is the seat of the chief of the clan Buchanan; towards the north-west, on an eminence, are the remains of a tower once the family-mansion, and near this is the seat of Craigmaddie, and, in another direction, the mansion of Glenorchard. The parish is traversed by a high road, running from west to east, throughout its length; and the Forth and Clyde canal passes within a small distance of the south-eastern boundary. A fair was once held in the summer, for cattle and horses, but has fallen into disuse. Baldernock is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £156. 19. 1., half of which is received from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £19 per annum. The church is a plain edifice, built in 1795, and contains 406 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church. The parochial school affords instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., and the fees. In the vicinity of Blochairn farm, near which a battle is said to have been fought with the Danes, are several cairns, and, not far from these, three stones called "the Auld Wives' Lifts," generally supposed to be Druidical.
BALEDGARNO, a village, in the parish of Inchture and Rossie, county of Perth, 9 miles (W.) from Dundee; containing 110 inhabitants. It is situated in the Carse of Gowrie, and southern portion of the parish, and is a neat and thriving place, the property of Lord Kinnaird. The hill of Baledgarno is finely planted with various kinds of timber.
BALERNO, a village, in the parish of Currie, county of Edinburgh, 7 miles (S. W.) from Edinburgh; containing 303 inhabitants. This place is situated on the Leith water, on which are some mills for the manufacture of paper; a freestone quarry has been worked in the vicinity for a number of years, and many of the buildings of the new town of Edinburgh have been supplied from it.
BALFRON, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Drymen; containing 1970 inhabitants, of whom 1568 are in the village. There is an opinion that this place has been called by its present name, which is said to signify "the town of sorrow" or "mourning," from a dreadful calamity experienced by the original inhabitants, who, having left their children in their tents, and departed to a spot at a short distance, for the performance of religious rites, found, upon returning, that they had been all destroyed by wolves, with which the neighbourhood was infested. Others, however, interpret the name, Balfron, "the town of burns," and imagine that it received this denomination on account of the situation of the old village, now fallen to decay, at the confluence of two small streams. The parish is eleven miles in length, from east to west, and three in breadth, and comprises 14,080 acres, of which 3320 are under cultivation, 105 plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface is diversified with pleasing eminences, on one of which, gently sloping to the south, is the neatly-built and interesting village, enlivened by the stream of the Endrick, winding through a richly-wooded vale at its foot, and supplying, to the lovers of angling, an ample stock of trout, of a peculiarly fine flavour. The lofty hills called the Lennox fells, rising 1500 feet above the level of the sea, form here a singularly striking feature, bounding the scenery in one direction; and the distant view embraces the Grampian range, displaying to great advantage the majestic Ben-Lomond, with many subordinate, yet imposing, elevations. The farms, in general, are of small size, and the soil, which, in some places, is light and sandy, but more frequently wet and tilly, is cultivated with much skill; dairy-farming is a favourite branch of husbandry, and the stock, consisting of the Ayrshire breed, has been very much improved, as well as that of the sheep, in consequence of the liberal patronage of the Strath-Endrick Agricultural Club. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4704. Limestone is abundant; but it has not been wrought to any extent, through the want of coal, which, however, is supposed to exist here, on account of the usual accompanying trap-rocks having been found, though all attempts to discover it have hitherto failed. The ancient mansion of Ballindalloch, in the parish, formerly belonged to the Glencairn family, celebrated in Scottish history, and of whom Alexander, the fifth earl, was the friend, associate, and patron of John Knox.
The population was once entirely rural, and the chief point of interest was the old village, with its spreading oak, where the church and burial-ground are situated; but, about sixty-five years since, manufactures were introduced, and a new village quickly sprang up. In 1780, the manufacture of calicoes commenced; and in 1789, cotton-spinning succeeded, when a mill was erected, known by the name of the Ballindalloch cotton-works, now employing upwards of 250 hands, chiefly females, and driven by a stream supplied by the Endrick, augmented, in case of failure, by the water of a large reservoir in Dundaff moor. In the village are between 300 and 400 hand-looms, employing the larger part of the population in making light jaconets and lawns, and all kinds of fancy dresses and shawl patterns, which branches, however, have been, for some time, greatly depressed. Good roads run to Stirling and Glasgow, from which Balfron is nearly equidistant, and with which latter the chief communication is carried on, there being a daily post, and numerous conveyances; a large cattle-fair is held in the neighbourhood, on the last Tuesday in March, and another in the last week in June. The parish is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the Earl of Kinnoull; the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 4., above half of which is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe of 17 acres, valued at £25 per annum. The church is a very plain structure, rebuilt in 1832, at a cost of £930; it contains 690 sittings, and is conveniently situated in the village, but too remote from the eastern quarter, in consequence of which the minister preaches there, once every six weeks in summer, and once every quarter in winter. The Relief, United Secession, and Burgher denominations, have each a place of worship; the parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches, and the master has a salary of £25, and £10 fees. The parish also contains a library of 400 volumes in miscellaneous literature, for circulation; and one of religious books, with about 150 volumes. This place, with some others, asserts its claim to the honour of being the birthplace of Napier, the inventor of Logarithms.
BALGRAY, a hamlet, in the parish of Tealing, county of Forfar; containing 63 inhabitants. It is situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, near the church, from which it is divided by a small rivulet that rises within the limits of Tealing.
BALINTORE, a village, in the parish of Fearn, county of Ross and Cromarty, 2½ miles (E. by S.) from Fearn; containing 313 inhabitants. This is a fishing village, situated on the coast of the Moray Frith, which has here a flat and generally sandy shore: on the south, is the ferry of Cromarty, distant about four miles.
BALISHEAR, an island, in the parish of North Uist, county of Inverness; containing 157 inhabitants. It is situated in the channel between the islands of North Uist and Benbecula, and has a small village on the east side.
BALLANTRAE, a parish, in the district of Carrick, county of Ayr, 13 miles (S. by W.) from Girvan; containing 1651 inhabitants, of whom 605 are in the village. This place, anciently called Kirkcudbright-Innertig, derived that appellation from the position of its church, at the mouth of the river Tig; and, on the removal of the church from that site to the town of Ballantrae, assumed its present name, which, in the Celtic language, is descriptive of its situation on the seashore. The parish is bounded on the west by the Irish Sea, and comprises nearly 25,000 acres, of which about 7000 are arable, 400 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough moorland, affording scanty pasture. The surface is greatly diversified with hills and dales, and is intersected by a series of four parallel ridges, increasing in elevation as they recede from the shore, and of which the third and highest, is distinguished by a hill 1430 feet above the sea, which was selected as one of the stations for carrying on the late trigonometrical survey of this part of the coast. From this point is obtained an extensive and beautiful prospect, embracing the Isle of Man, the north-east coast of Ireland, Cantyre, the isles of Ailsa and Arran, and the Ayrshire coast, terminated by the West Highland mountains in the back ground; and in another direction appear the Dumfries-shire hills, the Cumberland and Westmorland mountains, and Solway Frith. The coast extends for about ten miles; the shore is bold, and interspersed with rocks, except for about three miles near the village. The principal river is the Stinchar, which rises in the parish of Barr, and, after flowing for nearly three miles through this parish, of which it forms part of the boundary to the north, falls into the sea; the Tig, rising in the high grounds, after a short course, flows into the Stinchar; and the App, a very inconsiderable stream, flows westward, through the picturesque dell of Glen-App, into Loch Ryan. These streams all abound with common and sea trout, par, and occasionally salmon, which is plentiful in the Stinchar.
The soil is chiefly of a light and gravelly quality; near the shore, sandy; and in the level lands, especially near the rivers, a rich and fertile loam. The crops are, oats, wheat, bear, potatoes, turnips, and a few acres of beans and peas; bone-dust has been introduced as manure; the lands have been drained, and considerable improvements were made, under the auspices of the late Stinchar Agricultural Association, which included this parish, in which it originated. There are several dairy-farms, all well managed, and, in the aggregate, producing annually about 5000 stone of sweet-milk cheese, known under the designation of Dunlop cheese. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7265. The natural woods are very inconsiderable, though, from the number of trees found imbedded in the soil, they would appear to have been formerly extensive; they consist mostly of oak, ash, and birch, and on the banks of the Stinchar and the Tig, are some valuable trees. The plantations are of comparatively recent formation, but are in a thriving condition, and some which have been laid down in Glen-App, and on the ridge to the north of it, by the Earl of Orkney, promise to become a great ornament in the scenery of the parish. The village, which was once a burgh of barony, by charter of James V., is pleasantly situated on the north bank of the river Stinchar, about half a mile from its influx into the sea; a public library is supported by subscription, and a post-office has been established. A considerable salmon-fishery is prosecuted at the mouth of the Stinchar; the fish are sent chiefly to the markets of Ayr and Kilmarnock, and the annual produce may be estimated at about £500; the season generally commences in February, and closes in September. The white fishery is carried on extensively, employing twenty boats, to each of which four men are assigned, and from eight to twenty nets are used; the fish are principally cod and turbot, and in some seasons, herrings are also taken in abundance; the produce may be estimated at about £2000, and the season usually commences in January, and ends in April. A court of petty-session was formerly held every alternate month, at which two of the county magistrates presided. The steam-boat from Stranraer to Glasgow calls at this place; a facility of intercourse is also afforded by excellent roads, and the mail from Ireland to Glasgow passes daily.
The parish is in the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway, and in the patronage of the Duchess de Coigny; the minister's stipend is £248. 1. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum. The present church, erected in 1819, is a substantial edifice, adapted for a congregation of 600 persons: the former church of Ballantrae, together with a manse, was erected in 1617, at the sole expense of the laird of Bargany. There are still some remains of the original church at Innertig. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½., with £16 fees, and a house and garden, and he receives the interest of a bequest of £400, for the instruction of an additional number of poor scholars. The late Mrs. Caddall bequeathed £4500, and 15 acres of land, for the endowment and erection of a chapel and school in Glen-App, in connexion with the Established Church; the trustees have established the school, and selected land for the glebe, and intend to build the chapel, when the funds shall have accumulated sufficiently to provide for the endowment of a minister, after defraying the expense of its erection. On a rock near the village, and within the precincts of the glebe, are the remains of the ancient castle of Ardstinchar, formerly belonging to the Bargany family.
BALLATER, a village, in the parish of Glenmuick, Tullich, and Glengairn, district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen; containing 371 inhabitants. This place, situated in a beautiful valley, on the north bank of the Dee, was formed about the beginning of the present century, by the late proprietor, William Farquharson, Esq., of Monaltrie, by whose directions the site was measured for the erection of regular streets and squares, the former of which cross the main street at right angles, and the latter, with allotments of ground, have been let out in perpetual feu tenements. Besides numerous well-constructed private houses, the village contains an excellent inn, some good shops, a circulating library, and a post-office communicating daily with Aberdeen, to which place there is a daily mail-coach, together with several weekly carriers. The salubrity of the air, and the picturesque scenery of the locality, draw many visiters from Aberdeen and other parts, in the summer months; but the chief attraction is the chalybeate waters of Pananich, in the vicinity, which hold in solution carbonate of iron, lime, magnesia, &c., and are considered of much efficacy in scorbutic and nephritic complaints. There are superior hot, cold, and shower baths, and many convenient lodging-houses; and in a square in the village, stands the parish church, and, at a short distance, the parochial school. Over the Dee is a good wooden bridge of four arches, erected in 1834, at a cost of upwards of £2000.
BALLENDEAN, a hamlet, in the parish of Inchture and Rossie, county of Perth; containing 80 inhabitants. This place is situated in the Carse of Gowrie, near Ballendean hill, which is of considerable elevation, and also near the handsome mansion of Ballendean House.
BALLICHULISH, a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kilmalie, partly in the district and county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness, 11 miles (S. by W.) from Fort-William; containing 1235 inhabitants. The village of Ballichulish is situated on the south shore of Loch Leven, a branch of Loch Linnhe, and there is a ferry to the opposite coast, not far from it; the prospect is of the most imposing character, embracing lofty mountains and extensive lakes, relieved by woods and pastures, and other interesting features. The parish consists of two distinct districts, separated from each other by Loch Linnhe, with a church in each district. The district connected with the church at Ballichulish, in Invernesshire, is 17 miles by 7, or 119 square miles, in extent; that connected with the church at Ardgower, in Argyllshire, is 14 miles by 6, or 84 square miles, in extent, making a total of 203 square miles. The churches were built in June 1829, and are about four miles apart; that of Ballichulish has 300 sittings, and the church of Ardgower, 210, and public worship is performed once a fortnight in each. An Episcopalian clergyman officiates every Sunday, in a chapel in the parish of Appin, within three miles of Ballichulish church; and a Roman Catholic priest officiates once in three weeks, at Ballichulish slate quarry, likewise in Appin parish, and where there is also an Establishment chapel. A place of worship in connexion with the Free Church has been erected.
BALLINGRY, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Blair-Adam Inn; containing 436 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name, of Gaelic origin, from its having been, at one time, an occasional residence of the Scottish kings. During the invasion of Britain by the Romans, under Agricola, a battle is said to have occurred between the Caledonians under Galgacus, and the IX. legion, which was stationed here, when the latter were totally defeated; but Agricola, upon receiving intelligence of that event, put the whole of his army in motion, and, falling upon the rear of the Caledonians, compelled them to yield to superior numbers, and retire from the field. The latter, however, retreated in good order, bravely defending the fords of Loch Leven against the invaders, and obstinately disputing every inch of ground. Numerous memorials of this contest have been met with; at the east end of the loch, and also where 'Auchmuir bridge now crosses that ancient ford, Caledonian battle-axes and Roman weapons have been discovered; and a few years since, a Caledonian battle-axe of polished stone, firmly fixed in an oaken handle, twenty-two inches long, was found near the spot.
The parish, which is of very irregular form, comprises about 3700 acres, of which 1394 are arable, 1874 meadow and pasture, 242 woodland and plantations, and the remainder common and waste; the surface is generally a level, broken only by the hill of Binarty, of which the southern acclivity has been richly planted, forming an interesting feature in the scenery. The soil, in the northern portion, is rich, dry, and fertile, but in other parts, of inferior quality; the crops are, oats, and barley, with some wheat, beans, and potatoes. Great improvement has been made by draining, but, in rainy seasons, the drains are insufficient to carry off the water; the loch on the estate of Lochore, has been drained, and now produces excellent crops of grain. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4611. Limestone and coal are found in various parts; the former is of inferior quality, and not worked, but the latter is wrought on two estates in the parish, with success; whinstone and freestone are also found here, and, on the hill of Binarty, basaltic whinstone. The parish is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife, and in the gift of the lady of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.; the minister's stipend is £172. 8. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18 per annum. The church is a substantial and neat structure, erected in 1831. The parochial school is tolerably attended; the master's salary is £34. 4. 4., with fees, and a house. The poor are supported by the rent of land producing £21, by collections at the church, and by the proceeds of a bequest of £100 by William Jobson, Esq., of Lochore.
BALLOCHNEY, a village, in that part of the parish of New Monkland which formed the quoad sacra parish of Clarkston, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing 559 inhabitants. This place, which is situated in the southern part of the parish, in an important coal and ironstone district, gives name to a line of railway extending from it, for about four miles westward, to the southern terminus of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch, and the eastern terminus of the Glasgow and Garnkirk, railroad. The capital of the company, which was incorporated in 1826, was originally £18,000; but power was acquired, in the session of 1835, to increase it to £28,000; and by an act passed July 1, 1839, the capital was further augmented to £70,000, for the purpose of improving the line, which now has several branches. In 1843, the company was empowered to increase its capital to £110,000.
BALMACLELLAN, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 1½ mile (N. E.) from New Galloway; containing 1134 inhabitants, of whom 113 are in the village. This place takes its name from its ancient proprietors, a branch of the family of Maclellan of Bombie, lords of Kirkcudbright, who flourished here for many generations. The parish, which is bounded on the west by the river Ken, and on the east by the river Urr, is of an irregularly oblong figure, comprising about 23,737 acres, of which 4000 are arable, 300 wood and plantations, and the remainder, with the exception of some extensive tracts of moorland and moss, meadow and pasture. The surface is varied with hills, of which some rise to a considerable height, and is interspersed with small valleys, of different degrees of fertility, and great variety of aspect; the lower grounds are watered by the Craig and Crogo rivulets, issuing from a range of hills in opposite directions, and dividing the parish from that of Parton on the south, and from the parishes of Dalry and Glencairn on the north. Along the banks of the Ken, a range of mounts called Drums, extends for two or three miles into the interior of the parish, beyond which the country assumes a more wild and rugged aspect, consisting of large tracts of moor and peat moss, interspersed with a few detached portions of cultivated land. In the upper parts of the parish, are numerous lakes, of which Loch Brach, Loch Barscole, Loch Skac, and Loch Lowes are the principal; but the most extensive and beautiful is Loch Ken, on the western border of the parish, into which the river Ken, which frequently overflows its banks, discharges its waters. The several streams and lakes abound with trout, and more especially Loch Brach, in which are yellow trout, equal in quality to those of Lochinvar; pike are also found in most of them, and in Loch Ken, one was taken which weighed 72lbs. The river, in its course, forms numerous picturesque cascades, of which the most interesting and most romantic is that called the Holy Linn; the prevailing scenery is, in many parts, richly diversified, and, more particularly around the village, is beautifully picturesque.
The soil is extremely various; the lands which are under cultivation have been much improved, and towards the east, considerable tracts, hitherto unprofitable, are gradually becoming of value; but there is still much moor and moss, scarcely susceptible of improvement. The chief crops are, grain of all kinds, with potatoes and turnips; the farm-buildings on some of the lands are substantial and commodious, but, on others, of very inferior order. The cattle are generally of the Galloway breed, except a few cows of the Ayrshire kind, on one of the dairy-farms; and the sheep are of the black-faced breed, except on one farm, which is stocked with a cross between the black and the white faced, and a few of the Cheviot; a very considerable number of pigs are reared, and sent to the Dumfries market. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5115. The substratum is almost wholly whinstone, of which the rocks chiefly consist, and of which great quantities are raised, affording excellent materials for the roads; slate is found, and till lately there were two quarries in operation. The plantations, which are mostly oak, ash, and fir, are distributed throughout the lands, in detached portions of ten or twelve acres each. Holm is a handsome residence in the parish; and there are also the houses of Craig and Craigmuie. The chief village stands at the intersection of the turnpike-roads leading from Edinburgh to Wigton, and from Glasgow to Kirkcudbright; the small village of Crogo is a retired hamlet, in the south of the parish, containing about sixty inhabitants, and takes its name from the rivulet on which it is situated. In 1822, a substantial bridge of granite, of five arches, was built over the river Ken, by the floods of which two several bridges had been previously swept away; the central arch has a span of 100 feet.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway; the minister's stipend is £226. 19. 8., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £35 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church is a plain structure, built in 1772, and enlarged and repaired in 1833, and contains 370 sittings; the churchyard is spacious, and commands a fine view, extending over the whole vale of the Ken. There are two parochial schools, of which the masters have each a salary of £17. 2. 2., with a house and garden, in addition to the fees, which average about £15 per annum. A free school is supported by an endowment of £70 per annum, arising from land purchased with a bequest of £500 by Edward Burdock, Esq., in 1788; the school-house was built in 1790, with a dwelling-house for the master, who has a salary of £17. 2. 2., but, in consideration of the endowment, receives no fees from the pupils. Barscole Castle, anciently a seat of the Maclellans, is little more than a heap of ruins. On Dularran Holm, is an erect stone of great size, without inscription, supposed to mark out the spot where some Danish chief fell in battle; and on a hill near the village, a large ball of oak, and a set of bowling-pins, all of which, except two, were standing erect, were discovered a few years since, by persons cutting peat, at a depth of about twelve feet below the surface of the ground.
BALMAGHIE, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 4 miles (N. W.) from Castle-Douglas; containing 1252 inhabitants, of whom 275 are in the village of Laurieston, and 243 in that of Bridge of Dee. This place takes its name from its ancient proprietors, the Mc Gies, whose ancestor, an Irish chieftain, settled here at a very remote period, and whose descendants retained possession of the chief lands for many generations. A part was the property of the Douglas family, whose baronial residence, Threave Castle, was built upon the site of a more ancient structure belonging to the lords of Galloway, who exercised, for many years, a kind of sovereignty, independent of the crown of Scotland. In 1451, the eighth earl of Douglas, in retaliation of some aggression on his territories, seized Sir Patrick Maclellan, of Bombie, and detained him prisoner in the castle of Threave, intending to bring him to trial, by right of his hereditary jurisdiction; and on the arrival of Sir Patrick Grey, of Foulis, commander of the body-guard of James II., with a warrant from the king, demanding his release, Douglas, suspecting his errand, instantly ordered Maclellan to be beheaded in the court-yard. The castle was soon afterwards besieged by the king in person; but the artillery making no impression upon the walls, which were of extraordinary thickness, a blacksmith, who witnessed the assault, offered to make a cannon of sufficient power for the purpose; and the family of Maclellan providing him with iron for the work, he constructed the enormous cannon afterwards called Mons Meg, which weighed more than six tons and a half. This formidable engine, which was made in the immediate vicinity of the royal camp, being with great difficulty dragged to a commanding position in front of the castle, the first shot spread consternation among the besieged, and the second pierced through the wall of the castle, and, entering the banquet-hall, carried away the right hand of the countess, who, at the moment, was raising a goblet of wine to her mouth. The garrison immediately surrendered, and the king presented to the blacksmith, whose name was Mc Kim, or Mc Min, the lands of Mollance, as a reward for his ingenuity in devising and accomplishing the means of his success.
This castle was the last of the various fortresses that held out for the earls of Douglas, after their rebellion in 1453; and upon the fall of that family, and the consequent annexation of Galloway to the crown of Scotland, in 1455, it was granted by the king to the family of Maxwell, afterwards earls of Nithsdale, hereditary stewards of Kirkcudbright, and "keepers of the king's castle of Threave." During the parliamentary war, in the reign of Charles I., the Earl of Nithsdale, who held the castle for the king, maintained in it a garrison of eighty men, with their officers, at his own expense; and when no longer able to maintain it against its assailants, the king, who was unable to send him any assistance, recommended him to make the best terms he could for the garrison and himself. As hereditary keepers of the castle after the Restoration, the earls received annually, from each parish in the stewartry, a fat cow; and when they sold the estate, in 1704, they reserved the castle and the island, to which they appointed a captain, in order to secure their right to the cattle, which was regularly paid till the attainder of the earl, for rebellion, in 1715. There are still some very conspicuous remains of the ancient castle, situated on an island of about 20 acres in extent, formed by the Dee, at the south-eastern angle of the parish; they consist chiefly of the keep, which was surrounded by an outer wall, with four circular turrets, of which one only is standing. Several stone balls, weighing from one to 3½ pounds, and a gold ring, supposed to be that worn by the countess when her hand was shot off, were found in the castle, in 1843; and in the year preceding, a large ball of granite, 19 inches in diameter, thought to be that discharged from Mons Meg, was found by some labourers who were clearing the ground.
The parish, which is situated nearly in the centre of the county, is bounded on the north by the Blackwater of Dee, and on the east by the river Dee; it is about nine miles in length, and seven in extreme breadth, and comprises 22,000 acres, of which nearly 7000 are arable, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste, with a moderate proportion of woodland and plantations. The surface, towards the south-east, is tolerably level, but, in all other parts, hilly, though not strictly mountainous; the higher grounds command extensive views, including, to the north-west, the Carsphairn and Minnigaff hills, and, to the south-east, those of Cumberland, with the Isle of Man, in clear weather. In the uplands are several lakes, of which Loch Grannoch, or Woodhall, the largest, is about 2½ miles in length, and half a mile in breadth; and, with the exception of Lochinbreck, which abounds with trout, they are all well stored with pike and perch. The Soil in the valley of the Dee is fertile, and there are extensive and productive tracts of meadow in the parish; the principal crops grown are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is improved; the farm-buildings are generally substantial and commodious, and those on the lands of Balmaghie are all of recent erection, and of very superior order. Bonedust is used as manure for turnips; the lands have been well drained, and are mostly inclosed with stone dykes. The moorlands afford tolerable pasture for sheep, of which about 4000, of the black-faced breed, are annually reared; and about 400 of the white-faced, a cross between the Leicestershire and Cheviot, are pastured on the low grounds. The cattle, of which about 1000 are fed on the uplands, are of the Galloway and Highland breeds; and on the lowland farms are numerous cows, principally Galloways, with some of the Ayrshire kind. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6603.
The substrata are chiefly greywacke or whinstone, and in the higher lands, granite is found in abundance; but there is no limestone, and what is required for building, or for agricultural purposes, is brought from Cumberland. The plantations are not extensive, but thrive well; they consist mainly of larch and oak, which appear adapted to the soil. Balmaghie House, an ancient mansion, in which parts of an older building have been incorporated, is pleasantly seated near the river Dee, in grounds beautifully undulated, and embellished with plantations: Duchrae House, a handsome mansion of granite, built in the old English style, about the year 1824, is finley situated near the confluence of the Dee and Ken. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway; the minister's stipend is £203. 8. 8., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17. 10. per annum; patron, Capt. Gordon. The church, built in 1794, is situated near the Dee; it is in good repair, and contains 400 sittings. There are two parochial schools; one at the village of Laurieston, of which the master has a house, and a salary of £30, with fees averaging nearly an equal sum; and the other at Glenlochar, the master of which has a salary of £21. 6. 6., with fees amounting to about £14.
BALMALCOLM, a village, in the parish of Kettle, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 1 mile (S. E.) from Kettle; containing 113 inhabitants. It is a small place, on the road between Cupar and Leslie, and a short distance south of the river Eden.
BALMERINO, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 5 miles (W.) from Newport; containing, with the villages of Kirkton and Galdry, 993 inhabitants, of whom 62 are in the village of Balmerino. This place, of which the name, of Celtic origin, signifies "the town of the sea," or "Sailors' town," most probably derived that appellation from its position on the estuary of the river Tay. It appears to 'have been distinguished, at a very early period, for the mild temperature of its climate, and the salubrity of its atmosphere; and early in the 13th century, it was selected by Queen Ermengard, widow of William the Lion, and mother of Alexander II., as a place of occasional resort, for the benefit of her health; and, subsequently, by Magdalene, queen of James V., for the same purpose. A monastery was founded here by Alexander II., in 1230, for Cistercian monks, at the solicitation of Ermengard, in gratitude for the benefit she received while resident here, which monastery he dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Edward the Confessor, and in which he placed monks of that order, from the abbey of Melrose. This establishment was endowed by Queen Ermengard, with lands in this county, purchased from Adam de Stawell, to which Alexander added the church and lands of Lochmure, in Angus, and those of Petgornoc and Drumdol, in the county of Fife. It continued to increase in wealth, by the liberality of subsequent benefactors, till the Dissolution, when its revenues amounted to £704. 2. 10½. in money, exclusively of a considerable income in grain and other agricultural produce. The abbey was demolished in 1558, by the lords of the congregation, on their route from St. Andrew's; the site, with the lands appertaining to it, was subsequently granted to Sir James Elphinstone, of Barnton; and after the Reformation, the estates were constituted a lordship, in favour of Sir James, who was raised to the Scottish peerage, in 1604, by the title of Lord Balmerino, which became extinct in 1745, by the attainder and execution of his descendant, the then lord.
The parish is bounded on the north by the Frith of Tay, along the shore of which it extends from Birkhill to Wormit bay; and comprises 3400 acres, of which nearly 2700 are arable, and in profitable cultivation, 500 woods and plantations, and the remainder pasture and waste. The surface is greatly varied, and traversed by two nearly parallel ridges, extending from east to west, and inclosing a lovely valley, in which the village is situated; the highest points of these ridges are, the Scurr hill, on the north, which has an elevation of 400 feet, and the Coultry hill, on the south, which rises to the height of 500 feet above the sea. There is also a considerable portion of high table land on the southern ridge, on which the village of Galdry stands. The scenery abounds with romantic features, and is every where enriched with woods and thriving plantations: a little to the east of the church, and nearly in the centre of the valley, is a small elevation, on the brow of which is Naughton House, and on the summit are the ruins of an ancient castle; beneath is a picturesque dell, from which a mass of rock rises abruptly to the height nearly of 100 feet. The shores of the Tay are bold and rocky, having, in some parts, precipitous and lofty cliffs; and on that portion of the shore which rises more gradually, are the picturesque ruins of the abbey, overlooking the river. The Tay affords excellent facilities for bathing, being strongly impregnated with saline particles; there are no other rivers in the parish, but the lands are, notwithstanding, well watered by numerous springs, of which many appear, from their names, to have been formerly of great notoriety, and from which issue various small streams that attain sufficient power to turn several mills.
The soil is generally light; in some parts, a rich black loam; and in others, gravelly; but, under good management, rendered fertile and productive. The crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is improved; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and on all of the farms are threshing-machines, of which some are driven by water. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4962. The substrata are chiefly sandstone and whinstone, of the former of which there are two varieties, one extremely compact, and well adapted for building purposes; the other, more friable, and abounding with nodules of quartz and other substances. The whinstone is of different qualities, comprising amygdaloid, trap tuffa, felspar, and clay-stone porphyry; that which is of coarser grain, contains amethyst, calcareous spar, chalcedony, and agates. The Scurr hill abounds with mineral varieties; the most beautiful agates occur there, and boulders of primitive rock are found along the shore, and on the highest ridges. Naughton House was erected towards the commencement of the present century, and has since been enlarged and improved. Birkhill is an elegant and spacious mansion, on the bank of the river, and embosomed in rich and beautiful plantations.
A salmon-fishery was formerly carried on in the Tay, to a large extent, and proved a source of great gain, but, since the prohibition of the use of stake-nets, in 1816, it has materially declined; the quantity previously taken in the Firth, was, on an average, about 30,000, in the season; at present, the number of fish scarcely amounts to one-tenth part. Since this alteration, several who were once employed in the fishery, are now engaged in weaving at their own houses, for the manufacturers of Dundee; the principal articles woven are dowlas and Osnaburghs, in which about 150 persons are engaged, of whom a large portion are women. Great quantities of grain were formerly shipped from the harbour of this place, which was the chief port, on the south side of the Tay, for that article; but, at present, only small quantities of wheat are sent by the farmers here, to the bakers of Dundee, by a passage-boat which is kept up by subscription of the parishioners. Considerable quantities of potatoes are sent to the London market; and many vessels with coal land their cargoes here. The village of Balmerino is pleasantly situated on the western declivity of the Scurr hill, already mentioned.
The parish is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £239. 9., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £18 per annum. The church, a neat and substantial edifice of stone, erected in 1811, is nearly in the centre of the parish. The parochial school affords instruction to about 130 scholars; the master's salary is £34. 4. 4., with £28 fees, and a house and garden. The ruins of Balmerino Abbey consist chiefly of a small portion of the walls, with some clustered columns, and part of the corbels from which sprang the arches that supported the roof, and which are in the decorated English style; and of one cell, still in tolerable preservation. There are also remains of the ancient castle of Naughton, said to have been built soon after the Conquest, by Robert de Lundon; they comprise only some fragments of the side walls, which derive their chief importance from their situation, on the summit of a lofty crag rising almost perpendicularly from a deep and richly-wooded dell. An establishment of Culdees is said to have existed here, in connexion with those of St. Andrew's; and in a field in the parish, still called the Battle Law, an engagement is reported to have taken place between the Scots and the Danes, of whom the latter were driven to their ships: near the spot, stone coffins, broken armour, and bones have been discovered. Some years since, two pieces of gold were found in a field on the farm of Peashills, which appear to have formed ornaments of some kind, and were of the value of £14 sterling.
BALMORE, a village, in the parish of Baldernock, county of Stirling; containing 158 inhabitants. It lies in the south-eastern portion of the parish, on the road between Torrance and Bardowie, and about half a mile south of the Kelvin water.
BALMULLO, a village, in the parish of Leuchars, district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from St. Andrew's; containing 274 inhabitants. This village is pleasantly situated on the road to Dundee, and consists of an irregular range of houses, chiefly inhabited by persons employed in weaving and in agriculture. There is a place of worship for members of the Original Secession Synod.
BALNA-HUAIGH ISLE, one of the Hebrides, in the parish of Jura, district of Islay, county of Argyll. It is north of the island of Jura, and of Luing Sound, and is about a mile in circumference, and entirely composed of a bluish-coloured slate, of good quality: a number of families, who derive their subsistence from the quarry, reside upon it.
BALQUHIDDER, a parish, in the county of Perth, 9 miles (S. by W.) from Killin; containing, with the villages of Strathyre and Lochearnhead, 871 inhabitants. This parish, of which the name, descriptive of its situation in the county, is derived from the Gaelic, is about eighteen miles in length, and rather more than six miles in breadth. The surface is very irregular, and comprehends a rich variety of valleys and hills, of level lands and deep glens, and of lofty rocks rising abruptly from the plains. The principal hills are, Benvorlich, Benchroin, Benvane, Binean, Benchoin, and Bentallachan: near the hill at Edinample, is an ancient castle, belonging to the Marquess of Breadalbane, embosomed in a wood of lofty plane-trees, near which is a beautiful cascade; and in the hill of Craigruigh, Robert Bruce is said to have concealed himself after the defeat of his forces in the battle of Dalrey. The river Balvag, over which are two bridges in good repair, rises in Lochvoil, winds for several miles through the parish, and falls into Lochlubnaig; and the small river Calair, which issues from Glenbuckie, though generally a peaceful stream, at times overflows its banks, and acquires the rapidity of a torrent. There are numerous lakes in the parish, of which the principal are, Lochvoil, Lochdoine, and parts of Lochlubnaig and Lochearn. The scenery is also richly embellished with woods, consisting mostly of oak, birch, alder, and common and mountain ash; and with thriving plantations, which are chiefly of Scotch and spruce firs, and larch-trees, for all of which the ground is well adapted.
The soil, in the lower lands, is fertile; the hills afford pasture, and there are considerable tracts of good meadow; the system of agriculture is improved, and great attention is paid to the improvement of the breeds of cattle and sheep; the former are chiefly of the West Highland breed, and the latter, which are of the black-faced kind, command a ready sale in the neighbouring markets. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6100. The rocks are mainly of mica and clay slate, with quartz, porphyry, and primitive greenstone. Edinample Castle, the property of the Marquess of Breadalbane, an ancient mansion romantically situated, and Glenbuckie House, a handsome modern residence, are the only houses of distinction. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling; the stipend of the incumbent is £275. 15. 11.; the manse is a comfortable residence, and the glebe is of the annual value of £20. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, is an ancient edifice, adapted for a congregation of 425 persons. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½., with £8 fees, a house, and two bolls of meal in lieu of a garden. In a field near the manse, is an upright stone, about five feet in height, called Puidrac; but nothing of its history is known; and to the east of it, is a spot celebrated as the site of a desperate battle between the families of McLaren and Leney. The late Sir John Mac Gregor Murray, Bart., an eminent Gaelic scholar, and an indefatigable collector of the writings of the ancient Gaelic bards, and who, holding the rank of colonel in the British army, raised at his own expense a regiment of infantry for the service of his country, which was commanded by his brother. Colonel Alexander Mac Gregor Murray, was, together with his brother, buried in the family vault in this parish.
BALTA, a small islet, in the parish of Unst, county of Shetland. This is nearly the northernmost isle of the Shetland range, and is situated in the latitude of 60° 47 north, and on the east side of Unst island, the sea between being called Balta Sound. Here the shore of Unst forms a fine and safe inland harbour, stretching east to west about two miles, protected at its mouth by the isle of Balta.
BANCHORY-DEVENICK, a parish, partly within, and partly without, the city of Aberdeen, district and county of Aberdeen, but mostly in the county of Kincardine; including the villages of Downies, Findon, and Portlethen, and containing 2736 inhabitants. The cognomen of Devenick, or Davenick, applied to this place, is derived from a celebrated saint of the name of Davenicus, who flourished about the year 887, and who, at one time, ministered in the district. The parish is about 5 miles long, and 3 broad, and contains about 10,000 acres. The river Dee forms the northern boundary of the Kincardineshire portion, and the parish is bounded on the east by the parish of Nigg and by the sea; the coast extends about 3 miles, and is bold and rocky, and, in many parts, picturesque. The surface is, in general, rugged and stony, and to a considerable extent covered with heath; the highest land is a part of the Tollow hill, the most easterly of the Grampian range, the elevation of which was used for the trigonometrical survey of the country. The Dee, which is the only river connected with the district, rises among the highest mountains of Aberdeenshire, and, after a course of about 60 miles, passes along the extremity of the parish, forming the line of separation between the counties of Kincardine and Aberdeen; it is here about 250 feet wide, and falls into the bay of Aberdeen a mile and a half below the eastern extremity of the parish. It is subject to great floods, rising sometimes ten or eleven feet above its usual level, in consequence of which, long and expensive embankments have been raised, for the protection of the neighbouring lands.
The soil is diversified, running through all the varieties, from pure alluvial to hard till, and from rich loam to deep moss; agriculture receives much attention, though a large part of the ground is in its natural state, and much remains yet to be done. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6946. There are several plantations, one of which covers 250 acres, but the proximity of the land to the sea-coast is an impediment to the growth of trees, as there is no shelter against the blighting influence of the east wind. The rocks consist chiefly of blue granite, which is abundant in the hilly part of the parish; but its texture is too hard to admit of its being quarried to any extent, and the produce obtained is used either for the roads, or sent for sale to the London market. The parish is entirely rural, and its population has been considerably increased, during the present century, by the allotment of portions of uncultivated land, with encouragement to small tenants, by which means much waste ground has been reclaimed, and a considerable number of persons that worked in the granite quarries and peat-mosses of Aberdeen, brought into this district. There are three harbours for fishing-boats on the coast, named Findon, Portlethen, and Downies, to which belong about eighteen boats, chiefly engaged in white-fishing, except during the herringseason, at which time several of them are employed in the Moray Frith. There are four stations for salmon-fishing in the Dee, but they have been for some years past in a low state, from the great scarcity of fish in the river. The great road from Edinburgh to Aberdeen runs through the parish, and, on the north side of the Dee, the Deeside turnpike-road passes through the Aberdcenshire division; there is also a good commutation road along the south side of the river. A suspension bridge has been recently erected over the Dee, connecting the Aberdeenshire portion of the parish with the church and school, and which cost about £1400, independently of an embankment a quarter of a mile long, on the south side, facilitating the approach to the bridge, and which cost above £50.
The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Aberdeen and synod of Aberdeen; the patronage is possessed by the Crown, and the minister's stipend is £159. 2. 9., partly paid from the exchequer, with a glebe valued at £13. 6. 8. per annum. The church, which contains 900 sitting, was built in 1822, on the site of a former edifice, the bell of which is marked "1597." At Portlethen is a chapel, containing 300 sittings, the minister of which, who has been duly ordained, has a stipend of £80, partly from seat-rents: this building, which is situated about 3½ miles from the church, in a populous district, was a family chapel previously to the Reformation. Two places of worship in connexion with the Free Church have been erected. A parochial school is maintained, in which Latin is taught, with the ordinary branches of education, and of which the master has a salary of £30, a portion of the Dick bequest, £20 fees, and £20 for teaching as many children, the last amount being an endowment by a person in India. There are three other schools, namely, one at Portlethen, the master of which has the interest of a benefaction of £200; a school upon the estate of Cults, in the Aberdeenshire district, the master of which receives £25 per annum from an endowment; and a female school, built by a bequest of £100 from the late Mr. George Hogg, whose father had been for many years schoolmaster at Banchory, and endowed with £200, half of which was allotted by the same benefactor, and half by the minister of the parish. A parochial library has been founded, which has a considerable number of volumes; and a friendly society, and a savings' bank established in 1822, and which is in a very flourishing state, are supported. The antiquities of the parish consist of two Druidical circles, in very fine preservation; and three very large tumuli, occupying an elevated situation, on the north side of the river.
BANCHORY-TERNAN, a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 15 miles (N. W. by W.) from Stonehaven; containing, with the villages of Arbeadie and Banchory, 2241 inhabitants, of whom 66 are in Banchory. This place, of which the name, signifying "a fine choir," has reference to some ancient religious establishment, and its adjunct most probably to its patron saint, is of very remote antiquity. St. Terne, or Ternanus, who is said to have been a native of Mearns, flourished about the middle of the fifth century, and accompanied Palladius, in his mission to the Irish Scots; and by him he was ordained, and commissioned to extirpate the Pelagian heresy, and to establish the true faith among his own countrymen. In this undertaking, his eminent success and sanctity of life obtained for him a high degree of veneration, and many churches were afterwards erected and dedicated to his memory, among which was the church of this parish. In 1562, a battle took place between the army of Mary, Queen of Scots, under the Earl of Moray, and the forces of the Earl of Huntly, at the How of Corrichie, a glen in the hills of Fare, towards the northern boundary of the parish, in which the latter were defeated with great slaughter, and the Earl of Huntly, who was taken prisoner, died before he was removed from the field of battle. In the bottom of the glen are several tumuli, raised over the bodies of the slain; and a recess among the rocks overlooking the glen, in which, it is said, Mary witnessed the engagement, is still called the Queen's chair. There are also numerous tumuli on the north side of Glassel, where the chief carnage took place. In 1644, the Duke of Montrose, having crossed the river Dee, at a ford near the Mills of Drum, in this parish, passed a night at the house of Leys, and next day proceeded to Aberdeen, where he encountered and defeated an army of the Covenanters; and the remains of his encampment on a subsequent occasion, on his route to Strathbogie, not far from the How of Corrichie, are still pointed out, under the appellation of Montrose's Dyke.
The parish is situated on the river Dee, which-intersects the southern portion of it, from west to east, throughout its whole extent; it is nearly ten miles in length, and about nine miles in breadth, of irregular form, comprising an area of 21,600 acres, of which rather more than 6000 are arable, 5230 woodland and plantations, and the remainder, of which a considerable portion might be brought into cultivation, meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface is strikingly diversified with hill and dale, and with wood and water. The hill of Fare, on the north, has an elevation of 1793 feet; that of Kerloak, on the south, forming a part of the Grampian range, and extending eastward to the sea at Aberdeen, is 1890 feet high; and between these, is a lower ridge, of which the greatest elevation is not more than 1000 feet. That portion of the parish which is on the south side of the Dee, is intersected by the river Feugh, and is richly wooded, and interspersed with masses of barren and precipitous rock; the scenery is bold, enlivened with numerous rivulets, and embellished with handsome mansions. At the eastern extremity is Loch Drum, in the adjoining parish of Drumoak, which has been nearly exhausted by draining; and in the central portion is Loch Leys, in which is an artificial island, formed on piles of oak, with remains of ancient houses that appear to have been fortified. The river Dee, which enters the parish near Trustach Hill, flows through a rocky channel; and its stream is divided by two small islands, of which one, about eight acres in extent, is covered with furze and heath, and the other, of about one acre, and of greater elevation above the surface, is planted with trees. The Feugh, after forming various pleasing falls, divides into two channels, which, reuniting, flow into the Dee, almost in the centre of the parish; it passes under a bridge of two arches near its principal fall over a ledge of rock about twenty feet in height.
The soil varies greatly in different parts, but is generally light, and not naturally fertile; towards the river, gravelly; on the higher grounds, a strong loam; and on the lower, a species of moss, intermixed with gravel. The system of agriculture is improved; the chief crops are, oats, barley, and some wheat, with potatoes, turnips, and hay, and the moorlands afford tolerable pasture for sheep and cattle, to the improvement of which much attention has been excited by the Deeside Agricultural Association, which holds its annual meeting here, and awards prizes, to the amount of £70, to the most successful competitors at the show of cattle. The dairy-farms are more carefully attended to than formerly; the buildings are substantial and commodious, and threshing-mills have been erected on most of the farms. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7479. The hills are principally of red granite, traversed by veins of sulphate of barytes; and limestone, in some parts of coarse and inferior quality, and in others compact and highly crystallized, is found in abundance, and is extensively quarried on the lands of Tilwhilly, for agricultural purposes. The plantations, which are of very great extent, consist chiefly of pine and larch, interspersed with birch, oak, beech, ash, and a few other trees; they are of comparatively modern growth, and considerable additions have, within the last few years, been made to the number of forest trees, of which nearly 70,000 oaks have been planted on the lands of Leys. On the road to Aberdeen, is a remarkably fine holly, of more than twenty stems, springing from the crevices of a rock; and in the grounds of Crathes Castle, is a beech-tree, 25 feet in girth, and 60 feet high. Crathes Castle, a handsome baronial mansion, erected about the year 1512, is finely situated on a gentle acclivity, at the extremity of a rocky and richly-wooded ridge, on the north bank of the Dee; it is a spacious structure, with a lofty square tower crowned by embattled turrets, and many modern additions have been made. The ancient hall is still entire, and contains some family portraits, among which is a portrait of Dr. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The Castle of Tilwhilly, on the opposite bank of the river, is an ancient massive building, in the occupation of the tenant of the farm; Banchory Lodge, a few hundred yards from the church, was erected by the late General Burnet; Inchmarlo is a handsome mansion, erected in 1800, and Glassel and Raemoir are also good modern houses. The village of Banchory, or the Kirktown, which was anciently a burgh of barony, and is noticed, in 1324, as a place of considerable importance, and in which was held the baronial court of Leys, has almost disappeared; and only a few houses in the vicinity of the churchyard, called the Town Head, are now remaining, and the shaft of a broken stone cross. A small woollen-factory has been established, and there are likewise two bobbin factories carried on; salmon is taken in the Dee, but there is no regular fishery. Fairs, chiefly for horses, cattle, and sheep, are held on the second Tuesday in February, the last Thursday in March, the third Tuesday in June, the first Tuesday in July, the second Tuesday in August, and the first Wednesday in December.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil and synod of Aberdeen; Sir T. Burnet, Bart., is patron, and the minister's stipend is £287. 10. 9., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. The church, rebuilt in 1824, is a handsome structure in the later English style, and contains 1300 sittings. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church; and in the village of Arbeadie, is a meeting-house for Independents. There are three parochial schools, the masters of which divide among them £51. 6. 6¾., in addition to a house and garden for each, and the fees average respectively £20, £16, and £10 per annum. A school was founded and endowed in 1638, by Sir Thomas Burnet, in conjunction with Dr. Alexander Reid, and is conducted by one of the parochial schoolmasters, who derives an additional salary of £16 from the endowment. A parochial library has also been established, which has a collection of more than 400 volumes, chiefly on religious subjects. At Cairnton, on the hill of Trustach, are some remains of an old intrenchment, now covered with birch, about 150 yards square, defended by two ramparts of earth, 300 yards in length, extending from the inclosure in a converging direction, leaving an opening of about twenty yards in width at their extremities; it is supposed to have been a Roman camp. Near Kerloak, are Druidical remains, consisting of three circles of upright stones, nearly entire, the largest of which is about 25 yards in diameter, and the others about 15 yards; in each of them, are vestiges of an inner circle inclosing a small cairn. Bishops Burnet and Douglas, both of Salisbury, were descended from families connected with this parish.
BANETON, or Baynton, a village, in the parish of Kennoway, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 1 mile (N. N. E.) from Kennoway; containing 204 inhabitants. It is in the north-eastern portion of the parish, and a little north of the road between Kennoway and Cupar.