Newburn - Noss

A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.

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Samuel Lewis, 'Newburn - Noss', in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846) pp. 309-324. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

Samuel Lewis. "Newburn - Noss", in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846) 309-324. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

Lewis, Samuel. "Newburn - Noss", A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846). 309-324. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


NEWBURN, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from Largo; containing, with the village of Drumeldrie-Muir, 419 inhabitants. This place, originally called Drumeldrie, obtained its present name from a stream which, deviating from its ancient course, now intersects the greater portion of the parish. According to tradition, the Culdees had an establishment here in the earliest periods of Christianity; and Malcolm I. is said to have given to these brethren the lands of Balchrystie, where they erected a church, the foundations of which are supposed to have been discovered about the close of the last century, when were dug up on these lands the stones of a very ancient building. The parish is about three and a half miles in length and nearly two miles in breadth, and is bounded on the north by the parishes of Kilconquhar and Largo; on the south by the sea; on the east by Kilconquhar; and on the west by Largo. The surface is pleasingly diversified with hills and valleys, and enlivened with the windings of the burn from which the parish derives its modern name; the scenery is generally interesting, and in some parts beautifully picturesque. The soil is fertile, producing abundant crops; and the pasture and meadow lands along the sea-shore, form a level tract of luxuriant verdure. The number of acres is 2880, of which about 2400 are arable, 350 in pasture, and 130 in plantations; the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, peas, and turnips, which last are extremely favourable. The most improved system of husbandry is prevalent, and the farm buildings and offices are substantial and well arranged; the lands are well drained and inclosed, and the fences, chiefly of thorn, are kept in excellent repair. The principal seats are, Lahill, the lands of which have been highly improved; Wester Lathallan, a handsome mansion-house in grounds finely planted; West Coates, a genteel residence; and Balchrystie, a well-situated house surrounded with grounds tastefully embellished. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture; and for some years a salmon-fishery has been carried on, but with no great profit. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4849. Its ecclesiastical concerns are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and the synod of Fife. The stipend of the incumbent is £200, for the augmentation of which a process has been for some years before the court of Teinds; the manse, built in 1819, is a commodious residence, and the glebe comprises about twenty-two acres, valued at £30 per annum. The church, which is well situated, was built in 1815; it is a substantial and neat edifice, affording ample accommodation for the whole of the parishioners. The parochial school appears to have originated in an appropriation of lands in 1659 by John Wood, Esq., of Orkie, for the erection of a free grammarschool in this parish, and the maintenance of several poor scholars, who are instructed and maintained by the parochial schoolmaster, to whom the trustees of Mr. Wood pay a liberal allowance. His salary as parochial schoolmaster is £29. 18. 10. per annum, with a house, and the fees average about £14: he is likewise in possession of a garden.


NEWBYTH, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of King-Edward, district of Turriff, county of Aberdeen; containing 1396 inhabitants, of whom 335 are in the village, 2½ miles (N. N. E.) from Cuminestown. This place, comparatively of recent origin, takes its name from the estate of Byth, of which the proprietor, James Urquhart, Esq., in 1764, granted various allotments of land upon feu for its erection. The village, which is situated on gently-rising ground, in the south-eastern portion of the parish, consists of two regularly formed streets intersecting each other nearly at right angles: the houses are neatly built, and to many of them are attached small pieces of land. A public library is supported by subscription; and there are two good inns, and several shops amply supplied with different kinds of merchandise for the adjacent district. No manufactures are carried on, except the weaving of linen dowlas for a house in Aberdeen, in which fourteen handlooms are employed; the only public work is a distillery on a moderate scale, which has been established for some time. There is a post-office under that of Turriff; and a fair, chiefly for cattle, is regularly held in the village on the Tuesday after the 11th of May. A chapel, now in connexion with the parish church of King-Edward, was purchased by subscription of the inhabitants of the district, about the year 1792, and adapted to a congregation of 400 persons. The minister receives a stipend of £80, one-half paid by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and the other mostly by seatrents; he has also a manse and a glebe of five acres. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. There is a school in the village, of which the master has a salary of £6, with a house and garden, from the heritors, in addition to the fees.


NEWHAVEN, a sea-bathing village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of North Leith, county of Edinburgh, 1 mile (W. by N.) from Leith, and 2 (N.) from Edinburgh; containing 2103 inhabitants. This place derives its name, in contradistinction to the old haven of Leith, from the construction of a port and dockyard here by James IV., in which, in 1511, was built a ship of very large burthen, called the Michael. In the early part of the 15th century the hamlet contained a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, of which there are still some remains, consisting chiefly of part of the outer wall, now inclosing the burial-ground in the centre of the village. The chapel, together with the lands appertaining to it, was annexed to the parish of North Leith in 1630, by the provost and town-council of Edinburgh, who had previously purchased from the king the village, chapel, and harbour, with all the privileges belonging to them. For a long time the place was inhabited almost exclusively by fishermen and their families. The fishermen are a hardy and industrious race, acting also as pilots, and annually engaging in the great herringfisheries in the north of Scotland; and their wives and daughters, in conjunction with the women of Fisherrow, supply the Edinburgh markets with fish and oysters, of which they carry immense loads in baskets.

The houses in the original village are ill built and of mean appearance, having the staircase on the outside; but the more modern portion contains many good houses, and some inns and public-houses, partly for the accommodation of parties from Edinburgh, who resort hither to dine upon fish; besides several pleasant villas, and numerous lodging-houses for families that reside here during the bathing season. The pier, from which steamboats belonging to the Fife ferry regularly take in passengers, is commodiously formed; and to the west of it is the chain-pier constructed in 1821, by Capt. Sir Samuel Brown, R.N., at an expense of £4000: it is nearly 750 feet in length and four feet wide, and is the property of the Trinity Chain-pier Company. In this part of the village are the Trinity villas and bathing-cottages, furnished with every requisite accommodation for visiters; and near them is the terminus of the railway from Edinburgh, of which the course is north-by-east from the city, and the length of the line two and a quarter miles. For the purposes of it, it was found necessary to make a cutting here more than ninety yards in extent, and seventeen feet in depth. The approaches by land are pleasant on all sides except from Leith, where the sea has made very great encroachments, as well as between the stone-pier and the Trinity cottages, which are now defended by a strong embankment. A large tract of land called the Links has almost entirely disappeared. The quoad sacra parish was separated from the parish of North Leith by act of the General Assembly; and the church was erected in 1837, after a design by Mr. Henderson, of Edinburgh, and contains 630 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.


NEWHILLS, a parish, in the district and county of Aberdeen, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from the city of Aberdeen; containing 2865 inhabitants. The name of Newhills was given to this place when it was formed into a separate parish, the name of Keppelhills, by which it had before been called, being changed in order to commemorate the new character it then assumed. Before its erection into a parish, the district formed a part of the extensive parish of Old Machar or St. Machar, whose church was in the town of Old Aberdeen; and it was impossible for the inhabitants, so remotely situated, to attend regularly at the church. This circumstance induced Mr. George Davidson, of Pettens, a burgess of Aberdeen, to assign the lands of Keppelhills, which he had purchased of the town of Aberdeen, as a permanent endowment for a regular clergyman. Upon this ground, consisting of 880 acres, he caused a church to be erected at the distance of about five miles from that of St. Machar, in the year 1663; and in 1666 the trustees, after his death, applied to the Lords Commissioners for planting churches, for the erection of this district into a parish, which application, being supported by the general voice, was successful. Since this period Newhills has enjoyed all the rights and privileges common to parishes in Scotland. The parish is about six miles in length and five in breadth, and contains 16,850 acres. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Dyce and Kinnellar, on the south by the parishes of Peterculter and Banchory, on the south-east by Old Machar, on the east by the river Don, and on the west by the parish of Skene. The surface towards the west is hilly and mountainous, part covered with wood, and part with heath and stones; but in the north-eastern quarter it is tolerably flat, and more adapted to agricultural purposes. The climate is sharp and bleak, and the soil generally light and poor, except in the more level grounds, where a good rich loam is sometimes seen.

About 13,865 acres are under cultivation, 1760 are waste or pasture, 600 in common, and 625 in wood and plantations. Of the waste, 1160 acres are considered capable of profitable tillage. The land is productive; but the efforts of husbandry are greatly obstructed in wet seasons by the hard impervious subsoil, which retains the moisture so as seriously to injure the corn, grasses, and turnips here raised. Dairy-farming is much followed in the parish, on account of its short distance from Aberdeen and the proximity of the suburban village of Woodside, where the produce is disposed of to great advantage. Many improvements have been made in husbandry within the last few years; and these are still going on, being much encouraged by the plentiful supply of manure and the nearness of good markets. The average rent of land is from £1. 10. to £2 per acre; the best land lets for £3. Blue granite is obtained in very large quantities from the quarries here, which are regularly worked, about 260 men being employed, and a yearly rental being derived of £250: many of the blocks are sent to London and other parts. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,221. The chief mansions are those of Springhill and Hazelhead, which are beautiful residences; and in addition to these, the houses of Sheddocksley, Fairley, Craibstone, Cloghill, Gateside, Waterton, and Newhills, the last the property of the minister, are much admired.

There are three paper manufactories in the vicinity of the river Don. One of these, at Waterton, has two large machines, which perform all the various processes of the manufacture in one operation; and about 150 hands are engaged in the concern, which is carried on night and day, and produces immense quantities of paper, some being writing, but the main part fine printing, paper. The other two manufactories are employed in making wrapping papers, and also keep in work a considerable number of hands. There is likewise at Waterton a worsted manufactory, where about sixty-seven persons are occupied; and eight meal-mills are in operation in the parish, and two flour-mills, which prepare large quantities of grain for Aberdeen and the country around; also two snuff-mills, and a public brewery, the produce of which is very considerable. These numerous and extensive manufactories, with the constant working of the quarries, and the operations of the dairy-farms, keep up a lively and bustling activity throughout the parish, and give its general aspect a pleasing and interesting character. The Inverury, Old Meldrum, and Skene turnpike-roads pass through the parish; and the Inverury canal intersects it at its eastern point for about three miles. Three fairs are held at Greenburn in summer for cattle, sheep, and horses. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen. The stipend of the minister is £415, of which £400 are derived from the land assigned by Robert Davidson, subject to the usual rates and charges on landed property; there is a manse, and the glebe is of the annual value of £45. The Earl of Fife is patron. The present church, which is handsome and commodious, and centrally situated, was built in 1830. There is a parochial school, in which the usual branches of education are taught; the master has a salary of £33. 7. 6., with a school-house of two stories, an allowance from the trustees of the Dick bequest, and about £25 fees. In the parish are some mineral springs, which are, however, of little note.


NEWINGTON, lately a quoad sacra district, in the parish of St. Cuthbert, suburbs of the city of Edinburgh; containing 3310 inhabitants. This is an elegant modern suburban part of the metropolis, on the south side, consisting chiefly of villas and handsome streets, and finely sheltered on the east by Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat. The district was divided from St. Cuthbert's by authority of the presbytery, in April, 1835; its greatest length was about three-quarters of a mile, and its greatest breadth about one-quarter, nearly the whole of which extent is covered with buildings. The ecclesiastical affairs were placed under the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; and the patronage was vested in St. Cuthbert's Kirk Session: the stipend of the minister was £350, derived from seat-rents and two-thirds of the ordinary collections, with a site for a manse and garden. The church, erected by the Kirk Session in 1823, at an expense of £6372, contains 1623 sittings, of which seventy-four are free. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. At a school, considered as parochial, from 160 to 200 children are instructed; but no salary is attached to it, nor are there any other emoluments than the fees, which amount to about £55 per annum. Seven other schools are all taught by females.


NEWLANDRIG, a village, in the parish of Borthwick, county of Edinburgh, 1½ mile (S. W.) from Ford; containing 132 inhabitants. It lies in the northwest part of the parish, on the borders of the parish of Cockpen, and on the road from Ford to Carrington; and is a quiet and retired place, of which several of the houses were lately, and perhaps still are, untenanted.


NEWLANDS, a parish, in the county of Peebles, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Linton; containing 1063 inhabitants. This parish, which is unconnected with any historical event of importance, is about eleven miles in length and two miles in average breadth, and comprises 11,337 acres, of which 3341 are arable, 7659 meadow and pasture, and 337 woodland and plantations. The surface is strikingly diversified with hills and valleys; the principal vale is inclosed on the one side by a range of hills called the Kellyheads, and on the other by a ridge of lower elevation, of which the most conspicuous heights are the Dodhead and the Broomyleas. Towards the bottom of this vale is Hallmyre bog, a tract of mossy land about sixty acres in extent, and formerly incapable of cultivation, but which, having been drained by the late Mr. Gordon, has been converted into firm arable ground. The Lyne water crosses the vale nearly at right angles a little below Hallmyre, from which point the vale extends between smaller ridges to the Terth, a stream separating this parish from the parishes of Stobo and Kirkurd. The valley of the Lyne is bounded on one side by the Kellyheads, and on the other by gentle acclivities, and, in addition to the Lyne water, which flows through it, is enlivened by the small streams of Flemington-Mill, Stevenson, and Hagenhope: all these streams abound with trout. The soil in the lower lands is rich and fertile, and in the higher parts light, and sometimes a gravelly loam; the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in a very advanced state; much progress has been made in draining the lands; and on the farm of Boreland, in particular, such beneficial changes have been made by an enterprising and judicious plan of husbandry, as to stimulate to great exertions for the general improvement of the lands. Considerable attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms and to the live-stock, for which the hills afford excellent pasture; the number of milch-cows kept is 350, chiefly of the Ayrshire breed. About 4000 sheep are annually pastured; they are of the Cheviot and black-faced breeds, with a cross of both, and a small number of the Leicestershire. Large quantities of butter are sent to the market of Edinburgh, with which place there is great facility of intercourse. The woods and plantations are well managed, and in a thriving condition. The substrata are mainly limestone, slate, white sandstone, and coal; the Kellyheads range is chiefly of whinstone. None of these, except the coal and limestone, are wrought; and the only lime-works are at Magbiehill and Lamancha, the coal for which was till lately brought from Linton. At Broomyleas a quarry of excellent red sandstone, of compact texture, has been opened, and is extensively worked for the supply of the adjacent districts. Whim, Lamancha, Magbiehill, Hallmyre, Romanno, Boreland, and Callends, are the mansions. There is a post-office at Noblehouse, on the road from Edinburgh to Dumfries, nearly in the centre of the parish. The rateable annual value of Newlands is £8251. It is in the presbytery of Peebles and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and gift of the Earl of Wemyss and March: the minister's stipend is £243. 14. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £26 per annum. The late church, an ancient edifice containing details of the Norman and of the early and later English styles of architecture, having become dilapidated, a new church has been erected, which was opened for divine service in December, 1838; it is a handsome structure in the later English style. There is a place of worship at Mountains-Cross for members of the Relief. The parochial school affords a good education, and is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £15 fees, and a house and garden. In the eastern portion of the parish is another school, of which the master receives a salary of £8 from the heritors, in addition to the fees; and a savings' bank has been established. On several of the hills are remains of circular entrenchments, and near the junction of the Terth and Lyne waters are the ruins of Drochil Castle, supposed to have been erected by the Regent Morton; it is in good preservation, and over one of the windows are the arms of the Douglas family, sculptured in relief. Sir Robert Murray Keith, of Hallmyre, ambassador to the court of Copenhagen, and who saved the life of the queen in the affair of Count Struensee; his brother, Sir Basil, governor of Jamaica, who died in that island; and Lord Chief Baron Montgomery, one of the first sheriffs of royal nomination, and the first, also, of his countrymen that attained the office of chief baron, were natives of this parish.


NEWMILLS, a village, in the parish of Keith, county of Banff, 1¼ mile (N. by E.) from Keith; containing 449 inhabitants. This is a thriving village on the estate of Lord Fife, by whose great-grandfather it was built, about the middle of the last century, and of whom it is held in feu. It is situated on the north side of the Isla, and contains about 100 feus, with five acres of land to each: most of the population are engaged in the cultivation of the ground. A well-frequented market for cattle, horses, and sheep is held annually in the month of October.


NEWMILLS, a hamlet, in the parish of Fordyce, county of Banff, 3 miles (S.) from Portsoy; containing 46 inhabitants. It is a small place, situated on the west side of the Boyne burn, and a short distance east of the high road from Huntly to Portsoy.


NEWMILLS, or Torry, in the county of Fife.—See Torry.


NEWMILNS, a village and a burgh of barony, in the parish of Loudoun, district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 8 miles (E.) from Kilmarnock, and 18 (N. E. by E.) from Ayr; containing 1988 inhabitants. This place was made a burgh of barony under a charter of James IV., dated the 9th January, 1490, and which vested the superiority in the earls of Loudoun. It is a thriving manufacturing village, situated on the river Irvine, and at about the middle of the south boundaryline of the parish: nearly the whole of the population are engaged in handloom and other weaving, of which that of muslin forms the principal branch. A machine called the "jacquard" has been lately introduced here, for the purpose of saving a great part of the labour previously performed by young children, and it has been so successful that upwards of £1300 have been expended in this description of article. There is a post-office for the convenience of the surrounding district, and carriers ply to Glasgow and Kilmarnock. The village is governed by two bailies, a chancellor, treasurer, fiscal, and thirteen councillors: the nomination of the magistrates and council is annual, the burgesses choosing the council, and these, again, appointing the bailies, chancellor, and other officers. Here is an excellent market; and four annual fairs take place in February, May, August, and October. The parish church is situated in the village, as is the school. A bequest of £60 per annum by Mr. John Smith, a native of the place, is appropriated to decayed burgesses, their widows, and children, not receiving parochial relief.


NEWPORT, a village, in the parish of Forgan, district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 10½ miles (N. N. E.) from Cupar; containing 260 inhabitants. This is a small but thriving village, situated on the southern bank of the river Tay, and is the principal ferry station for the opposite town of Dundee. The harbour is capacious, of ample depth of water, and in every respect well adapted to its use. The chief feature of the place is its fine pier, constructed under the superintendence of the late Thomas Telford; it is 350 feet in length and sixty feet in breadth, with a good carriageroad on each side, and is furnished with every requisite for facilitating the business of the ferry, which since the recent improvements has been rapidly increasing. The width of the frith, between Newport and Dundee, is about a mile and a half; and the passage, once dangerous and uncertain, is now performed with perfect safety and with the utmost regularity. In the year 1819 an act was obtained, constituting the justices of the peace and commissioners of supply in the two counties of Fife and Forfar, with other official persons, trustees for the erection of piers, and for otherwise improving and regulating the ferry. By that act, the trustees were authorized to construct piers at Dundee and at Newport; and the works for the purpose were completed at an expense of £40,000. The ferry, which is in the occupation of lessees, pays an annual rent of £2200 to the proprietors; part is appropriated to the payment of the interest of the sum borrowed, and the remainder to the liquidation of the principal. The lessees, who are bound to maintain the harbour in repair, recently introduced a steam-vessel of sixty-horse power, in addition to which a large sailing-packet, a pinnace, and a yawl are kept in readiness, with the requisite number of men, for the accommodation of the public when wanted; and the ferry, now one of the best and most frequented on this part of the coast, yields to the lessees an annual income of £5000. The village is rather straggling, and numbers of neat houses and cottages are interspersed over the beautifully-wooded banks of the Tay. The mansion of Tayfield is a pleasant residence in a romantic glen, surrounded by fine plantations. Upon the road to the hamlet and creek of Woodhead, on the west, is a small Independent chapel: and the members of the Free Church have also a place of worship. On the east, a new road has been opened to Ferry-Port-on-Craig.


NEWSTEAD, a village, in the parish of Melrose, and Melrose district of the county of Roxburgh, 1 mile (E.) from the town of Melrose; containing 250 inhabitants. This place lies on the Edinburgh road, by Drygrange bridge, to Jedburgh, occupying a pleasant spot in the vale of Melrose. The population is chiefly employed in agriculture. The scenery is diversified; and below the village, a small rivulet, emanating from the Tweed above the town, returns into it, insulating in its course a rich tract of level ground called the Ana. There is a school, for which a house has been built at the expense of the heritors.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Great Cumbray, Isle and county of Bute; containing 444 inhabitants. It is seated at the head of a capacious and finelysheltered harbour, called Kames bay, where vessels of considerable burthen may have safe anchorage at the depth of six feet at low water: the bay opens southward into Fairley road. Millport, the chief village in the island, lies at a very short distance on the west.


NEWTON, a hamlet, in the parish of KirkpatrickFleming, county of Dumfries; containing 34 inhabitants.


NEWTON, a parish, in the county of Edinburgh, 2 miles (N. W.) from Dalkeith; containing, with the villages or hamlets of Adamsrow, Claybarns, Edmonstone, New Engine, Old Engine, Easter and Wester Millerhill, Pentecox, Redrow, Sherriffhall-Engine, and Squaretown, and the hamlet of Backdean, 1743 inhabitants. This parish, including the old parish of Woolmet, united with it at the Reformation, is about two miles in length and a mile and a half in breadth; comprising an area of 1256 acres, nearly the whole of which are under profitable cultivation. The surface is generally level, and the soil fertile; the scenery is finely varied, and the tract of country between this place and Edinburgh abounds with interesting features. The substratum is chiefly coal, of which there are several mines in extensive operation; and freestone is found at a great depth below the surface, but no regular quarries have yet been opened. In the strata of coal occur various geological specimens, some of which are very beautiful. The collieries have been worked for more than a century, and afford employment to about 1000 of the population. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9739. Edmonstone House, the seat of John Wauchop, Esq., is a handsome modern mansion, situated in an ample demesne tastefully laid out, and embellished with thriving plantations. Newton House, also of modern erection, is a neat mansion pleasantly seated; and Woolmet House, an ancient mansion, retaining much of its original character, is also a pleasant residence. There are several villages, chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in the coal-mines, of which the principal are Edmonstone, Easter Millerhill, Wester Millerhill, and Adamsrow; and various small hamlets, among which are Little France and Sheriffhall. Some others, from the exhaustion of the mines wherein the inhabitants were employed, have become extinct. The Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway intersects the parish.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dalkeith and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; patron, Mr. Wauchop. The minister's stipend is £148.3., with £4. 8. 10. for communion elements, and a rent-charge of £5.11.2. on lands in Edmonstone, a manse, a glebe valued at £20 per annum, and the interest of capital paid for the purchase of the coal under the glebe, producing £115. 6. 4., and making the whole income equivalent to £293. 9. 4. per annum. The church, rebuilt, with the exception of the ancient tower, in 1742, and repaired and reseated in 1819, is a neat structure, but containing only 430 sittings. Owing to the accommodation being thus limited, and from the great expense of increasing it by enlargement, it was lately in contemplation to raise a new church; but none has been erected. The chapel at Edmonstone is a handsome structure in the later English style, now used, however, only as a mausoleum by the Wauchops. The parochial school, to which a good library is attached, is well conducted, and is attended by about 180 children; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with a house and garden; and the fees, with other perquisites, average £100, part arising from the interest of money paid for the coal discovered under his garden.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Glammis, county of Forfar, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Kirriemuir; containing 105 inhabitants. This village is situated in the north-western part of the parish, and on the high road from Meigle to Forfar. The Dean river flows at a short distance on the north.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Pencaitland, county of Haddington, 1 mile (S.) from Penston; containing 168 inhabitants. It lies in the northern part of the parish, and, as its name implies, is of recent origin, having been built for the accommodation of the numerous persons employed in the collieries of the district. A school for the instruction of the children of the colliers has been for some time established here; the master receives an annual donation from Lady Ruthven and the lessee of the collieries, in addition to the fees, by which he is chiefly supported.


NEWTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Wiston and Roberton, Upper ward of the county of Lanark; containing 48 inhabitants.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Abercorn, county of Linlithgow, 2 miles (W. by S.) from South Queensferry; containing 250 inhabitants. This village is situated in the eastern part of the parish, on the high road from South Queensferry to Linlithgow; and is a small place, in which are a few shops. On the farm of Newton, in its vicinity, is a limestone quarry, the stone is of a dark grey colour, but becomes pure white when calcined, and is extremely friable in the process of burning.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Urquhart and Wester Logie, county of Nairn; containing 118 inhabitants. This place is situated in the detached portion of the county of Nairn surrounded by the county of Ross and Cromarty, and not far distant from the town of Dingwall.


NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Mearns, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Neilston; containing 629 inhabitants. This village, which is a burgh of barony, and has the right of holding a weekly market and two annual fairs, is situated on the road from Glasgow to Kilmarnock, in the north-eastern part of the parish, and consists of two rows of houses, about half a mile distant from the church. The inhabitants are partly employed in agriculture, and in the printing of calico, for which there are some large printfields at Wellmeadow and Netherplace, in the immediate vicinity. The market, if ever held, has been long discontinued; and one fair only, of no importance, takes place. A penny-post has been established under the office at Glasgow, and there is an excellent inn on the high road.


NEWTONMORE, a village, in the parish of Kingussie, county of Inverness; containing 222 inhabitants. This is one of two villages in the parish, both of which are of modern date, having been built within the last fifty years. Newtonmore is a very small place, situated on the north side of the river Spey.

Newton of Belltrees

NEWTON of BELLTREES, a hamlet, in the parish of Lochwinnoch, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 3 miles (N. E. by N.) from Beith; containing 58 inhabitants. It is a small place, situated in the south-east portion of the parish, and on the east of Castle-Semple loch. There is a preaching station at Belltrees, containing 200 sittings; also a school, of which the master is paid £5 per annum by the parochial master.

Newton of Falkland

NEWTON of FALKLAND, a village, in the parish of Falkland, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 1 mile (E.) from Falkland; containing 236 inhabitants. This village is situated in the east part of the parish, and on the high road from Falkland to Cupar. A portion of the population is engaged in hand-loom weaving, and the remainder chiefly in the business of husbandry. A school is supported by the inhabitants.


NEWTON-RALSTON, a village, in that part of the parish of Neilston which formed the late quoad sacra parish of Barrhead, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; containing 893 inhabitants. This place, and Dovecothall, may be considered as parts of the populous and flourishing village of Barrhead, situated on the stream of the Levern, in the north-east portion of the parish. Its population participates in the manufactures of the district, consisting of cotton spinning and weaving, and printing, bleaching, and dyeing, all of which are extensively carried on, principally for the Glasgow and Paisley markets.


NEWTONSHAW, a village, in the parish and county of Clackmannan, 1½ mile (N. by E.) from Alloa; containing 798 inhabitants. This place, also called Newton of Sauchie, was originally built for the accommodation of the work-people employed by the Devon Iron Company; and is situated about a mile south of the river Devon, and on the road from Tillicoultry to Alloa. Considerable mining operations are carried on in the neighbourhood. A school here has been for some years well taught and well attended; the school has a garden, and a few pounds per year are regularly given by the Earl of Mansfield to assist in the maintenance of the teacher.


NEWTON-STEWART, a market-town, in Penninghame parish, county of Wigton, 7¼ miles (N. by W.) from Wigton, and 26 (E. by N.) from Stranraer; containing 2172 inhabitants. This place derives its name from its foundation, in the 18th century, by a younger branch of the Stewarts, earls of Galloway, proprietors of the lands of Castle-Stewart, on which they built the original village. Owing to its advantageous situation on the river Cree, between the Ferrytown of Cree and Glenluce, the village rapidly increased in extent and importance; and on its subsequently becoming the property of Sir William Douglas, of Carlingwark, it was erected into a burgh of barony, of which he became superior. From this circumstance the place assumed the appellation of Newton-Douglas; and for some time it continued to flourish under the auspices of its superior, who introduced various branches of manufacture, which were pursued with much success, and tended greatly to augment the population. These branches were, the cotton manufacture, for which a spacious mill was erected at an expense of about £25,000; a carpet manufactory; and several others; but in a few years they began to decline, and ultimately became extinct; and the place has since resumed its original name of Newton-Stewart, by which it is now generally known. The town is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Cree, over which is an elegant bridge of granite of five arches, connecting Newton-Stewart with the village of Creebridge, in the parish of Minnigaff; it consists chiefly of one spacious street, extending along the shore, and in the centre of which is the town-hall. The houses, generally two stories in height, are neatly built, and roofed with slate. A public library, and a news and reading room, well supplied with journals and periodical publications, are supported by subscription; and a horticultural and an agricultural society, both recently established, hold their annual meetings in the town.

The principal trade is the tanning and currying of leather, and the buying and selling of wool. The weaving of cotton is still carried on by handloom weavers at their own dwellings for the Glasgow manufacturers, though gradually diminishing; and the curing of bacon, which is of recent introduction, is extensive, producing annually a return of £6000. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the usual handicraft trades requisite for the wants of a district; and there are numerous shops well stored with articles of merchandise, and also an extensive brewery. Branches of the British Linen Company's and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Banks, as well as several insurance agencies, have been established. The post-office has a good delivery; and facility of communication is maintained by the military road from Dumfries to Portpatrick, and the road from Wigton to Ayr, and by the river as high as Port-Carty, which is accessible to small vessels. A market is held on Friday; and there are fairs on the second Fridays in January, March, April, May, August, September, and December, for cattle; on the second Fridays in February, June, and November, for horses; and on the second Fridays in July and October, for wool; which last fair is also for hiring servants. The government of the burgh is vested in a constable regularly appointed for preserving the peace; the town-hall is a neat building, and there is a small prison for the temporary confinement of petty offenders. In the town are the parish church, and places of worship for members of the Relief, Cameronians, and Roman Catholics. The parochial school is also situated here, and the master has an excellent dwelling-house attached, with a large garden: there are, besides, several schools, of which one is the Douglas endowed charity school, described under the head of Penninghame.


NEWTON-UPON-AYR, a burgh, market-town, and parish, in the district of Kyle, county of Ayr; containing 4482 inhabitants. This place derives its name from its being of more recent foundation than the county town, and from its position on the opposite bank of the river Ayr. The precise time of its erection is not distinctly known; but it appears to have obtained some importance at a comparatively early period; and an ancient castle of which the last remains have been removed within the present century, was for many ages the residence of the family of the Wallaces, of Craigie, whose descendant, Sir Thomas Wallace, the fifth baronet, built the mansion of Cragie House on the bank of the river. The inhabitants adhered to the fortunes of Robert Bruce, and distinguished themselves at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, for which important service that monarch, after he had secured the crown, granted them their present charter of incorporation. The town may be almost regarded as a suburb to Ayr, with which it is connected by a handsome bridge, and in the trade of which it participates. The more ancient part consists of one street of considerable length, in which the houses are irregularly built and of very indifferent appearance; but the more modern part of it, which has arisen within the last fifty years, comprises several streets regularly disposed, and containing some handsome houses; and a few pleasing villas have been recently erected.

The trade of the place partly consists in ship-building, and rope and sail making; and the chief manufacturing establishments are foundries for iron and brass, and forges for the manufacture of various kinds of smiths' work. Ship-building, which formerly afforded occupation to more than 200 men, had lately very materially declined, but has in some degree revived, and at present gives employment to about ninety men: a patentslip was constructed in the yard of Messrs. Cowan and Sloan in 1831, since which time numerous vessels of different sizes have been repaired, and some ships have been built, registering from fifty to more than 400 tons' burthen, for the ship-owners of Greenock, of which one was destined for the East India trade. The rope and sail making affords employment to ten persons, who are regularly engaged for the supply of the yard. Four foundries on a moderate scale occupy about sixty men and about fifteen boys, and, in connexion with the forges, are regularly employed in the manufacture of machinery of all kinds: five men, also, are engaged in some saltworks, which are carried on upon a limited scale. The Ayrshire needle-work, so well known, was introduced into this place sixty years since, and was long confined to the neighbourhood of Ayr: in this trade, altogether, 700 females are employed in working muslins for the Glasgow manufacturers, and about fifty or sixty of them are resident at Newton. These muslins, prepared in a variety of patterns, are in great demand in England and on the continent; and large quantities are exported by the merchants for the supply of the various markets. The trade of the port is almost limited to the export of coal, the whole produce of the collieries in the parish of St. Quivox being conveyed to this side of the river by a railroad: about 300 vessels annually arrive and depart in this trade, and the quantity shipped averages 40,000 tons. The harbour has been recently improved at a considerable expense; and a lighthouse of stone, which was erected by the Coal Company on the north-east part of the harbour, and destroyed by the encroachment of the sea, was replaced in 1827 by one constructed of wood, and well adapted to its use. The fishery, which formerly was much more extensive than at present, is now confined to the taking of white-fish for the supply of the neighbourhood. Seven boats only, each requiring but four men, are now employed, the greater number of the persons once engaged in the fishery having become permanent residents of stations, which command a more easy and direct communication with Glasgow and other great towns. The market is little more than nominal, the chief business being transacted in the market of Ayr. Facility of communication with the several places in the vicinity is afforded by the bridge over the river, and by good roads which are common to both places; and the railway from Glasgow to Ayr has its terminal station at this place.

The town received its first charter of incorporation from Robert Bruce, who conferred upon forty-eight of the inhabitants the lands of the burgh, and granted them many privileges, in acknowledgment of their services at the battle of Bannockburn: this grant was confirmed by charter of James VI., in 1595 and in 1600. The lands appear to have been divided among the original number of burgesses for certain definite periods, which have been increased by successive arrangements from seven to 999 years; and to have since descended as a patrimonial inheritance to their sons, or, in failure of issue male, to have passed to such as have been elected burgesses when vacancies in the number have occurred. The government is vested in two bailies, a treasurer, and six councillors, elected annually by the burgesses. There are justices of the peace within the burgh and liberties, who possess both civil and criminal jurisdiction, though the exercise of the former is generally confined to the recovery of debts to small amount, and the latter to petty breaches of the peace. The freedom is inherited by birth, or acquired by purchase. By the act of William IV., the burgh is included within the parliamentary boundary of Ayr, with which and other places it unites in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the right of election, originally vested in the burgesses, has by the act been extended to the resident £10 householders, of whom the number is estimated at 100. The council-house is a neat plain building, surmounted with a spire, and is well adapted to the use of the corporation.

The parish is about one mile and a half in length and one mile in breadth; it is bounded on the south by the river Ayr, and on the west by the Frith of Clyde, and comprises 429 acres, of which 350 are arable, and the remainder meadow and pasture. With the exception of a rocky headland projecting into the frith at the north-eastern extremity, the coast is a level sandy beach; the surface of the interior is uniformly flat, and, from the want of wood, possesses little variety of character. The soil is generally sandy, but has been greatly improved by good management; and several tracts, previously unprofitable, have been reclaimed and rendered fertile. The crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is in an advanced state, and the lands are inclosed with stone dykes, and hedges of thorn. The farms are in the possession of the burgesses, and the recent improvement of the lands has added much to the value of the freedom. Coal is found in the parish, and was formerly worked extensively, yielding to the proprietors more than £300 per annum; but since 1832 the mines have been exhausted, and the working of them has been discontinued. Freestone and sandstone are, however, quarried to some extent, producing an income of about £400. The rateable annual value of Newton is £3707. It is in the presbytery of Ayr, and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of thirteen delegates chosen by the burgesses: the minister's stipend is £178, being augmented to that sum by a grant from the government of £90, and subject to increase from seat-rents; there is a manse, and the glebe is valued at £15 per annum. The church, a neat substantial edifice, was erected by the corporation at an expense of £2000, in 1778, and was enlarged in 1832, affording accommodation to a congregation of more than 1000 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34 per annum, with the fees, and a dwelling-house erected in the year 1845. A parochial library, established in 1829, now comprises above 500 volumes; and a savings' bank has been for some years opened, for the parishes of Ayr, Newton, and St. Quivox. There are also two friendly societies, which have contributed to diminish the number of persons receiving parochial relief; and in the adjoining districts are many others, of whose members several live in this parish. Among the ruins of the ancient castle of Newton were found an antique mathematical quadrant, and the barrel of a very ancient gun, about seven feet in length and of massive form: they are both preserved in the library of the Mechanics' Institution established at Ayr.


NEWTOWN, a village, in the parish of Abbotshall, county of Fife; adjacent to Kirkcaldy, and containing 860 inhabitants. This village, which is of comparatively recent origin, consists of one long street of well-built houses, extending at right angles from the eastern extremity of Linktown, and is partly inhabited by persons employed in weaving; it is well lighted with gas, and has a neat and cheerful appearance. There are extensive spinning-mills here belonging to Mr. Aytoun, in which more than 120 of the inhabitants are regularly engaged. The whole of the buildings of the town, which appear to be rapidly increasing in number, are erected on land let for that purpose by Mr. Ferguson, of Raith.


NEWTOWN, a village, in the parish of Aberdour, district of Dunfermline, county of Fife; containing 152 inhabitants.


NEWTOWN, a village, in the parish of Borrowstounness, county of Linlithgow; containing 138 inhabitants.


NEWTOWN, a hamlet, in the parish of Bedrule, district of Jedburgh, county of Roxburgh, 2½ miles (W.) from Jedburgh; containing 56 inhabitants. It is situated in the north-western part of the parish, on the high road from Eckford to Hawick. Anciently, it was the property of a family named Ker, and had a house of great strength, which is now demolished; but the foundations, with the venerable avenue of trees, still evidence the grandeur of the mansion. Newtown is now a farm: distinct vestiges of a camp may be traced upon it.


NEWTOWN, a village, in the parish of Melrose, and Melrose district of the county of Roxburgh, 3 miles (S. E.) from the town of Melrose; containing 164 inhabitants. This village is beautifully situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, in the romantic dell through which the river Bowden flows into the Tweed. There is a place of worship for a congregation of the United Associate Synod; and a school-house has been erected for the instruction of poor children.


NEWTOWN, a village, in the parish of Fintry, county of Stirling, ½ a mile (N. W. by W.) from Fintry church; containing 556 inhabitants. This place is situated in the western part of the parish, on the high road from Kippen to Campsie, and is of modern erection, and now the principal village. It owes its origin to the establishment, about fifty years since, of a considerable cotton-factory, round which houses continued to spring up for the accommodation of the work-people, and of others, until it reached to its present extent and population. The cotton-mill contains 20,000 spindles, and employs 260 hands, the machinery being partly driven by the water of the Endrick, collected in a reservoir of thirty acres. Here is also a large distillery producing annually 70,000 gallons of whisky; and a good intercourse is kept up with Glasgow. Besides the parochial school, a school has been opened lately, for the instruction of the children engaged in the factory. In the village are also a savings' bank, and a small subscription library.

Newtown of Pitcairn

NEWTOWN of PITCAIRN, a village, in the parish of Dunning, county of Perth, 1 mile (S. E.) from the village of Dunning; containing 319 inhabitants. This village has been built within the present century, on the estate of Mr. Graham, of Ochil; it lies in the eastern part of the parish, near the road from Dunning to Arngask. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in weaving. The mansion-house of Pitcairn, erected within the last twenty years, is the seat of the Pitcairn family.


NEWTYLE, a parish, in the county of Forfar; containing 1264 inhabitants, of whom a large part are in the New Village, 2¼ miles (S. by E.) from Meigle. This place is conjectured to have taken its name from the slate, or material for tiles, found in the hills of the parish. It measures above two miles in breadth from north to south, and very nearly four miles from east to west, comprising upwards of 4000 acres, of which 2630 are arable, 1370 pasture, 189 wood, and the remainder roads, &c. The Sidlaw hills stretch along the south, chiefly from east to west, and, being covered with verdure nearly to their summits, have a pleasing appearance, and form fine sheep-walks affording excellent pasture. Between the hills of Hatton and Newtyle, two of the most considerable elevations, is the pass to the beautiful valley of Strathmore, commonly called the Glack of Newtyle, which introduces the spectator, in advancing towards the north, to the rich and picturesque scenery, suddenly expanding before him, of the valley below, to the level of which the surface gradually declines from the northern base of the hilly part of the parish on the south. The soil in the southern division is mostly a black earth, or clay, mixed with sand or gravel, and incumbent on rock, mortar, or clay; that in the north is nearly of the same character, but richer in many places, and resting on a subsoil of sand, gravel, clay, and marl. The grain chiefly raised is oats and barley, which, with the other crops, are cultivated under the most approved system of husbandry; and a large extent of barren and swampy ground has recently been brought under tillage. The rearing and feeding of cattle receive much attention; and several of the farmers purchase sheep for eating off their crops of turnips, and sell them, when fattened, in the following spring. On the farm of Auchtertyre, tenanted by Hugh Watson, Esq., an enterprising agriculturist, who introduced the use of bone-manure into this district, a stock of South Down sheep is regularly kept. The farms vary much in size, ranging from small allotments of an acre or two to the rental of £700: land under tillage lets at the average value of £1. 10. or £1. 15. per acre. The farm houses and offices are generally substantial and convenient; several of a superior description have recently been built; and there are thirteen threshing-mills, one of which is impelled by steam, and the rest by water or horse power. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4521.

Whinstone is abundant, and is used for the repair of roads; and several quarries of freestone are in operation, supplying an excellent material for building. There is also in the hills an inferior kind of slate, which, however, is but little wrought. The plantations, of small extent, consist chiefly of larch and Scotch fir, occasionally intermixed with different kinds of hard-wood: a small copse of natural birch on the northern declivity of the hill of Newtyle, has an interesting and picturesque appearance, and contributes to the improvement of the scenery in that locality. The parish contains the villages of Kirkton, Newbigging, and several hamlets, besides the New Village, separated from Kirkton by the Dundee turnpike-road, and containing nearly 500 persons. The last-named place consists of streets of good width, crossing each other at right angles, and is constructed on a regular plan, upon a site of about fifteen acres, let out in 1832 in lots for building, under leases of ninety-nine years, by Lord Wharncliffe, the proprietor of nearly the whole of the parish: to each house is attached, at the back, a kitchen-garden, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from two excellent wells. Newbigging is the next in size to the New Village, and contains about 230 persons. Numerous hands in the parish are employed in making various articles of manufacture, consisting chiefly of sacking and Hessian sheetings; and the coarse linens called Osnaburghs are also produced, with some shirting and common sheeting. Nearly as many women as men are engaged in the weaving, having applied themselves to it since the spinning-wheel was supplanted by machinery. There are also two meal-mills, and two saw-mills driven by water. A branch of the Dundee National-Security Savings' Bank was instituted in 1839. Peat is obtained from a moss in the south of the parish, now in progress of draining; but coal is chiefly burned, being readily conveyed from Dundee, with which place the general traffic is carried on. The public road from Dundee to Meigle passes through the parish, between Kirkton and the New Village; and several county and statute-labour roads cross each other in different parts. The railway from Dundee to Newtyle was commenced at each end of the line in 1826, and opened in 1832; it is above ten and a half miles long, and was completed at an expense of nearly £100,000. Branches strike off from this line at the northern extremity of the parish, east and west, to Glammis and Cupar-Angus, the latter crossing the turnpike-road.

The parish is in the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of Lord Wharncliffe: the minister's stipend is £164, with a manse, and a glebe of about six acres, valued at £9 per annum. The church accommodates 550 persons with sittings, but is a very plain edifice, erected in 1767. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession. The parochial school, for which new premises have lately been built in a superior style, adapted for 170 scholars, affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees. A library was established about the year 1822. A female school, founded by the late Hon. Mrs. Mackenzie, is maintained by J. A. S. Wortley Mackenzie, Esq., of Belmont; the mistress has a salary of £23. 10., with a free house, a garden, and fuel. Grahame's Knowe and King's Well, in the north-western part of the parish, are traditionally reported to mark the track of Macbeth northward from his fortress on Dunsinnan hill, when fleeing before the Thane of Fife. Not far from the hamlet of Auchtertyre, adjoining a well called the Crew Well, are the remains of a camp of square form, occupied by the army of Montrose for some nights, while the marquess lodged at a castle in the neighbourhood, after having burned the house of Newton of Blairgowrie. Near this place, also, has been discovered an artificial subterraneous cavern of considerable extent and contrivance, supposed to be of Pictish construction. The Castle of Hatton, now in ruins, was built in 1575, by Laurence, Lord Oliphant, and appears to have been originally a strong and spacious structure; it is situated on the north-western declivity of the hill of Hatton, in the pass called the Glack, and commands a beautiful view of the subjacent strath. On the hill of Kilpurnie, the most northern of the Sidlaw hills ranging from the south, and the highest ground in the parish, stands an observatory built in the last century by the proprietor, with a keeper's residence adjoining; the latter, however, has entirely disappeared, and the walls alone of the former remain. This eminence and turret are valuable as a landmark for mariners; and the summit of the hill is supposed to have been formerly used for beacon-fires, commanding, as it does, an extensive range of observation in every direction, and embracing views of the vale of Strathmore, the Grampian mountains, the river Tay with its estuary, the Bell-rock lighthouse in the German Ocean, and the picturesque towers of St. Andrew's.

Nicholas, St.

NICHOLAS, ST., county of Orkney.—See Stronsay.


NIDDRY, a village, in the parish of Kirkliston, county of Linlithgow, 2 miles (W.) from the village of Kirkliston; containing 111 inhabitants. The head of the barony of Niddry was anciently hereditary bailie of the ecclesiastical regality of Kirkliston; and it is mentioned that during the reign of David II., Alexander Seton granted to Ade Forest two ploughs of land in the town of Niddry. The ancient and celebrated castle stands a little to the south of the Edinburgh and Linlithgow road: it was at one time possessed by the earls of Wintoun; and Mary, Queen of Scots, rested, and, it is said, slept, at this castle when on her flight from Lochleven to join her adherents at Hamilton, on the 2nd of May, 1568. It is now the property of the Earl of Hopetoun, and is a fine old ruin. The noble earl derives his title of Baron Niddry from this place.


NIGG, a parish, in the county of Kincardine, 2¼ miles (S. S. E.) from Aberdeen; containing, with the villages of Burnbanks, Cove, and Torry, 1642 inhabitants, of whom 866 are in the rural districts. This place, anciently called St. Fittick's from the name of the saint to whom its church was dedicated, derives its present appellation, signifying in the Gaelic language "a promontory or headland," from the projection of its northeastern extremity, Girdleness, into the German Ocean near the harbour of Aberdeen. Previously to the Reformation the lands were part of the possessions of the abbey of Arbroath; subsequently, one-half became the property of the ancestor of the late proprietor, John Menzies, Esq., of Pitfoddels, and the other half was acquired by the corporation of Aberdeen. In 1786, the parish was by arbitration divided into two parts, of which that extending along the coast and the harbour of Aberdeen was assigned to the town-council, and the remainder, and more inland portion, to the family of Menzies.

The parish occupies the north-eastern extremity of the county, and is about five miles in length and three miles in breadth; comprising an area of 3537 acres, of which 1885 are arable, about 60 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moss, moor, and waste. By the sea on the east, and the river Dee on the north and north-west, the parish is formed into a peninsula. The surface rises gradually from the east by a range of hills covered with heath, which at the western boundary attain an elevation of 200 feet above the level of the sea, and are crowned with two cairns, visible at the distance of several leagues, and on the higher of which, during the late war, a flag-staff was sometimes erected to announce the approach of hostile vessels. These hills form part of the Grampian range, which terminates in this parish, near the coast, in the hill of Tullos, an eminence partly covered with thriving plantations. The coast is bold and elevated, rising in a chain of rugged rocks varying from sixty to eighty feet in height; it is indented with several small bays forming natural harbours for fishing-boats, and in many places perforated with caverns of considerable extent, of which the roofs, by the action of the water, have been worn into arches of graceful form. The chief headlands are, Gregness, on the south of the bay of Nigg, and Girdleness, on which latter a lighthouse was erected in 1833 by the Commissioners of Northern Lights, under the superintendence of their engineer. The tower rises to a height of 131 feet above the basement, and exhibits towards the east two polygonal lanterns; the lower has an elevation of ninety-six feet, and the upper, which is perpendicularly above it, an elevation of 166 feet, above the level of the sea, displaying fixed lights visible at a distance of sixteen miles. The lighthouse is under the management of an inspector and two resident keepers. The lands are watered by numerous excellent springs, some of which, near the centre of the parish, are chalybeate, though not medicinally used; and not far from the south-west boundary is the loch of Loirston, about twenty-seven acres in extent, from which issues a stream giving motion to several mills.

The soil is generally a black loam varying in depth, but in some parts clay; the crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry is improved, and considerable portions of waste ground have been reclaimed by draining; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, the cottages of the labourers mostly built of stone, and the lands inclosed chiefly with stone dykes. Few sheep or cattle are reared; but on the dairy-farms, great numbers of cows are kept for supplying the city of Aberdeen with milk, which is sent there daily in the morning and evening. The plantations consist of oak, beech, elm, plane, elder, pine, larch, and Scotch fir. Granite of excellent quality for paving abounds in the parish, and was formerly wrought to a very great extent, affording employment to more than 600 men in quarrying and dressing paving-stones, which were sent to Aberdeen, whence they were shipped to London; but since the introduction of wood pavement, the demand is greatly diminished, and comparatively few men are now engaged in the quarries. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6419. The village of Charleston, of recent erection on the lands of Mr. Menzies, who portioned out a barren hill in allotments for building, has considerably increased of late, and at present contains nearly 200 inhabitants. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads, and by bridges connecting the parish with the city of Aberdeen, on the opposite bank of the Dee: the elegant suspension-bridge, called the Wellington bridge, was erected in 1833, at the northern extremity of a road constructed at the same time through the centre of the parish, by the heritors. The villages or fishing hamlets of Burnbanks, Cove, and Torry are noticed under their respective heads. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen. The minister's stipend is £160. 2., of which more than one-third is paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £60 per annum: patron, the Crown. The old church, situated at the north-east extremity of the parish, having fallen into decay, the present church was erected in a more central situation, by the heritors, at a cost of £1800, in 1829; it is a handsome structure, with a square tower, and contains 900 sittings. The parochial school is attended by about sixty children; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the school fees average £20. There are also a school in the village of Cove, of which the master has from the heritors of the parish a house and garden, £7 per annum from an endowment, and £15 fees; and a school in the village of Charleston, of which the master has a house and garden, with £12 fees, besides a donation of £5 from the trustees of the late Mr. Donaldson. James Calder, Esq., of Aberdeen, some years since bequeathed £500 to the poor of the parish. There are numerous large cairns, supposed to have been raised over the bodies of persons killed in battle in former times; also some remains of an ancient house, the summer residence of the abbots of Arbroath. In cutting through some low ground, in order to form a drain to the sea, in 1804, the workmen met with the timbers of a vessel of considerable burthen, imbedded in the soil.


NIGG, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 2 miles (N.) from Cromarty; containing, with the village of Shandwick, 1426 inhabitants. The name appears to have been corrupted from the word Wigg, by which the parish is called in some ancient records; and this word is thought to be a derivation of the Saxon Wich, signifying "a bay or harbour." From the relics of antiquity, and the names attached to them, we may conclude that in the 10th or 11th century the Danes effected a settlement here; and in 1179, William, King of Scotland, erected a castle on the top of a rock opposite Cromarty, the site of which still remains, and which is said to have been raised as a security against robbers, and hence to have received the name of Dunskeath Castle. In the 16th century, the bishops of Ross resided during the summer in the vicinity of the present church, and enjoyed, as a glebe, nearly the whole of the parish lands; at the present time, indeed, all the lands of Nigg, with the exception of the estate of Dunskeath, pay bishop's rents to the Crown amounting to £200 or £300 per annum. The parish is nearly six miles long and from two to three broad, and contains 5000 acres: it is bounded on the north by the parishes of Logie Easter and Fearn, on the south and west by the Frith of Cromarty, and on the east by the Moray Frith. The general appearance of the surface is broken and rugged, and the aspect of the shores abrupt and rocky. About one-third of the parish is occupied by the hill of Nigg, formerly called the Bishop's forest, which runs from the north Sutor of Cromarty along the Moray Frith for about five miles; its breadth is about a mile and its height from 300 to 500 feet, and it commands a view of nine counties, easily discernible with the naked eye, viz., Sutherland, Ross, Caithness, Inverness, Nairn, Cromarty, Moray, Banff, and Perth. The remaining portion of the parish consists of an extensive declivity on the western side of the hill, and a plain commencing at its base, and reaching to the parishes of Logie Easter and Fearn. There is a curious rock projecting from the shore, and rising to a perpendicular elevation of 300 feet; it is indented with caves, and covered in many places with ivy of an unusual size. In different parts are many excellent springs, and several wells of some note; but the most conspicuous piece of water is the bay of Cromarty, which resembles an inland lake, and which was called by the Romans Portus Salutis.

The soil varies considerably. In the neighbourhood of the hill of Nigg, which is partly planted with Scotch firs, it is poor and wet; in other parts it is clayey; while in the western quarter is a deep layer of light sand, which appears to have been cast by some marine convulsions over the bed of fine clayey loam that is found beneath it. The largest proportion, however, of the soil is a fine black loam, from one to four feet in depth, and resting on red sandstone. About 2500 acres are in tillage; 100 are under fir wood; 1000 are waste capable of profitable cultivation; and 100 in common. Great quantities of wheat are now grown; and the parish was famous a few years ago for its large supply of excellent barley, very little of which is at present raised, except of the Chevalier kind, which is gaining ground. Angus and potato oats are freely cultivated, and the Hopetoun are making advances. Beans, potatoes, and turnips are also raised in considerable quantities; the last attain a fine size by the use of bone-dust manure. Lime and sea-weed are likewise extensively employed as manure for many of the lands. Much good land has been recovered within the last twenty years by embankments, and great improvements have been made in other parts by draining and trenching; the size of the farms is from thirty to 400 acres, and generally the buildings are in good condition. The few sheep reared are the South-Down and Cheviots; black-cattle are but little attended to. Numerous goats are seen feeding upon the herbage of the rocks of Castle-Craig, at a height beyond the reach of other animals. The strata of the parish are of very different kinds, consisting of granitic gneiss, conglomerate, red and white sandstone, belemnites, shale, and limestone. The only seat of note is the mansion-house of Bayfield, built about fifty years ago, but which, though a good building, is destitute of ornamental grounds and picturesque scenery. There are four threshing-mills, worked by water, and three meal-mills.

The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agricultural pursuits; but there are several families of fishermen, to whom the two small villages of Balnabruach and Balnapaling, in the western extremity of the parish, seem to be appropriated. In the eastern part, at Shandwick, is also a fishing settlement. Both friths are well stocked with almost every kind of fish; the rocks afford crabs and oysters; and in the Moray Frith, during the season, is a regular herring-fishery, in which for the last twenty years about sixteen boats have been employed, but which is now in a declining state. There is no harbour; but in a large bay of the Frith of Cromarty, called the Sands of Nigg, small craft land lime, slate, and coal, and take back cargoes of timber and potatoes. There are about thirty-two boats used for fishing. The roads from Cromarty Ferry to Tain and Tarbat pass through the parish. A fair is held in November for general purposes. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Tain and synod of Ross, and the patronage is vested in the Crown: the stipend of the minister is £234, with a manse, and a glebe of four and a half acres, valued at £10 per annum. The church, built in 1626, underwent extensive repairs in 1725 and 1786, and accommodates 425 persons. The members of the Free Church and United Secession have places of worship. There is also a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £34, and £5 fees, with a house and garden. Another school is partly supported by a society, who allow the teacher a salary of £10 per annum. At the village of Nigg is a monumental stone, in the churchyard; the top is of a triangular form, and on the stone are depicted two figures in the attire of priests, with books in their hands, over whose heads a dove is hovering, ready to take away the sacrifice from an altar below. Crosses and various sacred hieroglyphics appear on the other parts of this monument, which has always strongly excited the curiosity of strangers, and is evidently of great antiquity. There is also a monument at Shandwick, somewhat similar to the former, called the Stone of the Burying-ground. Of the several chalybeate springs in the parish, the most esteemed is the one at Wester Rarichie, called "the Cow's Eye:" it is impregnated with sulphur and magnesia.

Ninian's, St.

NINIAN'S, ST., a parish, in the county of Stirling; containing, with the late quoad sacra parishes of Bannockburn and Plean, and the villages of Cambusbarron, St. Ninian's, Torbrex, and the Whins of Milton, 10,080 inhabitants, of whom 1295 are in the village of St. Ninian's, 1 mile (S.) from Stirling. The original name of this place was Egglis, from a church founded here at a very remote period, and which is thought to have been for many ages the only church between the rivers Forth and Carron. It is supposed to have subsequently derived its present appellation from Ninianus, an eminent disciple of Palladius, and who was sent by Pope Celestine to oppose the Pelagian heresy, which at that time infested the Scottish church. Owing to its situation, bordering upon the confines of Northumbria and Cumbria on the south, and the territories of the Picts and Scots on the north, the district appears to have been exposed to incessant devastation from the hostilities and incursions of contending rivals; and even after the final establishment of the Scottish monarchy under Kenneth II., it seems to have been for many years the seat of turbulence and war. In 1314, the memorable battle of Bannockburn took place in this parish between the English army, consisting of 100,000 men under Edward II., and 30,000 of the Scots, commanded by Robert Bruce; it terminated in the entire defeat of the English, and the permanent establishment of the independence of the Scottish crown. The English, on the night previous to the battle, were encamped at West Plean; the Scottish forces were drawn up in three divisions, in front of an eminence called the Gillies Hills, on the opposite bank of the rivulet or burn which has given name to the encounter. On the following morning of the 24th of June, the English, descending from the heights, crossed the Bannock burn, and, their cavalry falling into numerous pits which the Scots had by order of Bruce dug for their annoyance, and filled with iron caltrops, were thrown into confusion; and a total rout of the English troops ensued, from which Edward, after the loss of nearly half of his men, narrowly escaped. During the engagement, the Scottish standard was placed in the cavity of an upright block of granite, on the summit of an eminence called Caldan Hill, within half a mile of the village of St. Ninian's. This stone is still preserved, under the appellation of the "Bored Stone," as a memorial of the victory; and to secure it from the avidity of numerous visiters to obtain fragments for converting into trinkets, it has lately been inclosed with an iron palisade.

In 1448, a battle took place at Sauchieburn, in the parish, not far from Bannockburn, between James III. and the confederate lords who had rebelled against him; on which occasion the king, retreating unattended from the field, in attempting to cross the burn on his way to the Forth, was cast from his horse at Milton, and carried into the house of a miller near the spot. On the king's recovery from the state of insensibility into which the fall had thrown him, he made himself known, and requested his host to send for a priest; and one of his pursuers, coming up at the time, and personating a confessor, obtained admission to the king, and stabbed him to the heart. In 1511, the Earl of Lennox, who was holding a parliament at Stirling as regent of Scotland, during the minority of James V., was attacked by a party who had marched from Edinburgh during the night, and, in a skirmish on the following day at Newhouse, near the village of St. Ninian's, received a wound of which he afterwards died. During the usurpation of Cromwell, though no battle took place within the limits of the parish, it suffered greatly from the passage of the contending armies, which frequently marched through it, and encamped in the immediate vicinity. In September, 1745, the Pretender with his army passed through the parish, and spent one night at Bannockburn House, upon the invitation of Sir Hugh Paterson, its proprietor; and on his return in 1746, he made it his head-quarters, while his followers were quartered in the surrounding villages. On the morning of the 17th of January, he assembled his army on Plean moor, whence they marched to Falkirk, and obtained a victory over the royalist forces; but on the approach of the Duke of Cumberland, they retreated towards the north, having previously blown up the church of St. Ninian's, which they had converted into a powder-magazine, and which, with the exception of the steeple, was entirely destroyed.

The parish is partly bounded on the north by the river Forth, and on the south by the Carron, and is about thirteen miles in length and seven miles in extreme breadth; comprising 35,000 acres, of which 20,000 are arable and in good cultivation, 2000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, moor, and waste. The surface is pleasingly diversified with hills and gentle undulations. Of the hills the principal are the Dundaff and the Earl's hill, forming part of the Lennox range in the south-west, but the higher has not an elevation of more than 1000 feet above the level of the sea: in one district of the parish the Highlands are mostly covered with heath, affording tolerable pasturage for sheep and cattle. Along the banks of the rivers are some fine tracts of level ground. The principal river is the Forth, which flows along the boundary of the parish in strikingly picturesque windings, and afterwards expanding into a spacious frith in its course toward the east, unites with the German Sea between Crail and Dunbar. The Carron, which has its source in the adjoining parish of Fintry, and for some miles bounds this parish, runs eastward into the Frith of Forth at Grangemouth; and there are numerous smaller streams, which intersect the lands in various directions. The Bannock burn rises in Loch Coulter, in the parish, and, winding to the north, joins the river Forth; the Endrick flows westward, and falls into Loch Lomond, and the Earl's burn and some less important streams run southward into the Carron. Loch Coulter, in the south-west, is about two miles in circumference, and in some parts of great depth. Salmon, whiting, sea-trout, and smelts are found in the Forth, and perch and pike in Loch Coulter; common trout are found also in the smaller streams, and other kinds of fish. The moorlands abound with grouse and other game; partridges are to be seen in great numbers, and wild-ducks frequent the lake.

The soil, though varying greatly in different localities, is generally fertile, and in many parts luxuriantly rich. The carse grounds along the banks of the Forth appear to have been at some remote period an extensive morass, and gradually reclaimed from the encroachment of the river, above the level of which they have now attained a moderate degree of elevation, forming a fine tract of arable land. The central districts, which, as distinguished from the carse and moorlands, are called dry-field, and occupy the most extensive portion of the parish, are usually arable; and the soil, though inferior to that of the carse lands, from which the ground rises abruptly to a considerable height, is fertile and productive. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, beans, peas, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry is in a very improved state; a due regard to the rotation of crops is carefully observed, and the lands generally are in a high state of cultivation: thorough-draining and subsoil-ploughing have been extensively practised; and the lands have been well inclosed, the lower with fences of thorn, and the higher with dykes of stone, both kept in good repair. Several of the farm houses and offices, also, have been recently rebuilt in a substantial and commodious style; but there are still many of a very inferior order. The hills and moorlands afford good pasture for sheep and cattle, of which considerable numbers are reared, the former in the higher, and the latter in the lower of the moorlands, where the heath has been supplanted with grass: the sheep, whereof about 5000 are pastured, are mostly of the native breed; and the cattle, of which there are more than 1000, of the Highland black-breed. The dairy-farms are well managed, and large quantities of butter and cheese of excellent quality are forwarded to Stirling; the sheep and cattle are chiefly sent to Falkirk, and sold to dealers for the supply of the southern markets. The rateable annual value of the parish is £49,082.

There are but few remains of ancient wood: the forests with which this part of the country was overspread are supposed to have been cut down by the Romans, to prevent their affording shelter to the natives, who, concealing themselves, frequently issued thence in numbers, and obstructed their progress. The plantations, mostly of modern growth, consist of firs of all kinds, not surpassed in luxuriance by any in the country, and of the various kinds of forest-trees, for which the soil is well adapted; many of the ash-trees in the park of Carnock are of very stately growth, and on the lands of Touch are some oaks, and a cedar of Libanus said to be the largest of the sort in Britain. The principal substrata are, sandstone, limestone, greenstone, clay-slate, and coal: there are also extensive quarries of freestone at Catscraig, Blackcraig, and Craigbeg, where about seventy persons are employed. The limestone, which is very abundant, is wrought at Craigend and Murray's Hall, affording constant occupation to about forty men; and coal of excellent quality has been long in operation. The principal collieries are at Greenyards, Bannockburn, Plean, and Auchenbowie; the two last are wrought by the proprietors of the lands, and those of Greenyards and Bannockburn by a company holding the mines on lease. The several collieries give employment to more than 400 persons, for whom, in addition to their wages, houses and gardens are provided at a nominal rent: the quantity of coal annually produced averages above 60,000 tons. Clay of good quality for bricks and tiles is also found in the parish; and at Throsk some works have been established, which are in full operation, engaging nearly thirty men: great numbers of tiles for draining are made at these works. There are numerous mansion-houses belonging to the landed-proprietors, of which the tastefully embellished and richly planted demesnes add much to the beauty of the scenery; the principal are, Auchenbowie, Bannockburn, Craigforth, Carnock, Plean, Polmaise, Sauchie, Throsk, and Touch.

The village of St. Ninian's is pleasantly situated at the junction of the roads from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Stirling, and consists principally of one narrow street of ancient houses irregularly built, most of which, being whitewashed, impart to it a cheerful and lively aspect. The steeple of the church destroyed by the Highland forces of the Pretender is still remaining entire, and, being at a considerable distance from the new church, built on a different site, forms a singularly striking feature in the scenery of the village. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the manufacture of carpets, tartans, and plaidings, of which the most extensive establishments are at Bannockburn, and which is also carried on at Cambusbarron and in some of the hamlets, affording occupation to more than 1500 persons, and producing goods to the amount of £130,000 annually. The tanning and currying of leather, for which there are two establishments at St. Ninian's, and one at Bannockburn, are also pursued to a considerable extent: in these works fifty persons are employed, and the value of the hides annually prepared is estimated at £30,000. About 200 persons are engaged in making nails, which form a staple article of trade, and of which the number weekly produced is estimated at nearly 1,350,000; the making of malt is carried on in the village, and also at Bannockburn and Sauchenford, and the quantity annually averages almost 30,000 bushels. There were formerly not less than six distilleries in the parish, but at present there is only one, near the hamlet of Chartreshall; and of numerous breweries, the only one remaining is at St. Ninian's, upon a very moderate scale. The villages of Bannockburn, Cambusbarron, Plean, Torbrex, and the Whins of Milton, are all described under their respective heads. The nearest market-town is Stirling, whence letters are brought daily by a messenger to St. Ninian's and to Bannockburn; at which latter place, fairs for cattle are held on the second Tuesday, O.S., in June and October. Facility of communication is maintained by the high road from Edinburgh to the north by Stirling, which runs for six miles through the parish, by the post-road from Glasgow to Stirling, which intersects it for four miles, and joins the former at the village of St. Ninian's; by the road from Dumbarton to the ferry at Alloa, passing for twelve miles through the parish; and the road from Carron-Bridge, which connects the southern district with the roads to Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is in contemplation to form a branch line from Stirling, to join the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway near Falkirk, which, if carried into effect, will run through the eastern part of the parish, and add materially to the facility of conveyance for its mineral and agricultural produce.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £345. 3. 9., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patrons, the heads of families who are communicants. There is also an assistant minister, who receives a stipend of £50 from the teinds, and contributions from the parishioners amounting to about £80 per annum. The church, situated in the village of St. Ninian's, was built in 1750, and is a plain substantial structure containing 1500 sittings. At Buckieburn is a chapel built about the middle of the last century, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of that moorland district, who are five miles distant from the parish church, and in which divine service is performed by the parochial minister or his assistant. Churches, also, have been erected at Bannockburn and Plean, to each of which a quoad sacra district was till lately assigned, by act of the General Assembly; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Relief, and United Secession. The parochial school affords a very complete course of instruction to about 100 children: the master, who keeps an assistant, has a salary of £34. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £65. There are several other schools; two or three of them have a trifling endowment, and the rest are solely dependent on the fees. The late Francis Simpson, Esq., of East Plean, who died in 1831, had built a large cottage for the reception of aged and poor men, chiefly soldiers and sailors, and bequeathed property in monies and land, producing an income of nearly £1000 per annum, in trust, for their benefit. The trustees have enlarged the building into a spacious asylum, in which are more than thirty aged men, who are lodged, clothed, and fed, and have each a moderate allowance of pocketmoney. The same Mr. Simpson, a few years before his death, gave to the Kirk Session £500, of which he directed the interest to be annually divided among the poor of the parish, but "so as not to relieve the heritors from their bounden duty of supporting them." William Wordie, Esq., of Cambusbarron, towards the close of the last century, bequeathed £1120 to the Kirk Session, appropriating the interest for distribution on the 4th of October among the poorest inhabitants of the parish, not being common beggars. Mr. Greenock, of Whitehouse, left £500 for the payment of £10 annually to the schoolmaster of Cambusbarron, and for the application of the remainder of the proceeds to pious uses; and the late Mr. Mc Gibbon, of Greenyards, bequeathed £200, and Mrs. Brotherstone, of Touch, £50, to the poor, subject to no restriction.

The Roman road from the Forth to Stirling, of which some vestiges may be traced, passed for several miles through the parish; and there are remains of not less than five Roman stations. The ancient castle of Sir John de Graham, the intimate friend and zealous adherent of Sir William Wallace, and who was killed while fighting by the side of that hero in the battle of Falkirk, is still standing, though in ruins; it appears to have been of great strength. In the massive walls of the old house of Sauchie, the loop-holes for the discharge of arrows and other missiles are yet in good preservation. On the lands of Carnock are some remains of Bruce Castle, a circular tower of moderate dimensions; and at no great distance from it, at Plean Mill, are the ruins of a square fortress, of which the greater portion has been removed at various times to furnish materials for buildings on the farm. There are also numerous cairns and tumuli, remains of Druidical monuments, and other ancient fortresses in various parts; and on the removal of a cairn on the lands of Sauchie, some few years since, two coffins of freestone, of unequal size, were discovered. While levelling a field on the lands of Craigengelt, a circular mound twelve feet high, and 300 feet in circumference at the base, which was surrounded by twelve upright stones, was found to contain a stone coffin with the remains of a skeleton of ordinary stature, and various other relics of antiquity, of which a stone battle-axe of fine workmanship, and a ring of chased gold in which had been a gem of some kind, have been preserved. Sir John de Graham; Henry, the historian; and Harvey, a painter, were natives of the parish. The Duke of Montrose takes his title of Viscount Dundaff from lands here.


NISBET, a hamlet, in the parish of Pencaitland, county of Haddington, 2 miles (S. E. by S.) from Penston; containing 43 inhabitants. It lies in the north-east part of the parish, and on the western bank of the Tyne water, and is chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in trades. The weaving of cloth was formerly carried on to some extent.

Nisbet, East and West

NISBET, EAST and WEST, a village, in the parish of Crailing, and Jedburgh district of the county of Roxburgh, 1½ mile (W.) from Eckford; containing 320 inhabitants. Nisbet was anciently a parish, and is famous, by tradition, for being a stronghold of some of the ancient marauders of the border. By the forfeiture of William Soules in the reign of Robert I., the barony of Nisbet became the property of Walter, steward of Scotland; and in 1371 the baronies of Nisbet and Ednam were granted by Robert II. to Sir Robert Erskine and Christian de Keth, his spouse. The church was demolished many years ago, but its cemetery is still used by the old families: for a long time after the union of Nisbet with Crailing, divine service was performed in the church of the former place, on alternate Sabbaths. The village is small, but pleasantly situated on the north side of the river Teviot, and on the road from Roxburgh to Ancrum; and is the property, with the lands around it, of the Marquess of Lothian. There is here a good parish library, the gift of the marquess. At the village are the ruins of two strong towers, where stones of excellent workmanship have been occasionally dug up. The hamlet of Upper Nisbet lies at a short distance northward.


NITSHILL, a village, in the Abbey parish of the town of Paisley, forming part of the late quoad sacra parish of Levern, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 4 miles (S. E.) from Renfrew; containing 821 inhabitants. This place is situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, and on the high road from Paisley to Strathaven. The district around it abounds in coal; and in the village and its neighbourhood, extensive mineral and other considerable works are carried on. In 1807, copperas-works were established here by a company, who subsequently purchased a similar concern at the village of Hurlet, in the vicinity, which latter they converted into an alum manufactory. On the banks of the Levern, a short distance from the village, are several bleaching and print fields, affording constant employment to a part of the population.


NORRIESTOWN, lately a quoad sacra parish, consisting of parts of the three parishes of Kilmadock with Doune, Kincardine, and Port of Monteith, county of Perth; and containing 1284 inhabitants, of whom 105 are in the village of Norriestown, 3 miles (W. by S.) from Doune. This place takes its name from the original founder of the chapel of ease, Mr. Gabriel Norrie, who, in 1674, bequeathed funds for the erection and endowment of a place of worship, in connexion with the Established Church of Scotland. The district is about four miles and a half in length and three and a half in breadth, and is mostly arable land, with small plantations; a portion is good dry-field, and some is part of the beautiful carse which extends from Gartmore, on the west, to Stirling, eastward. The villages of Norriestown and Thornhill, pleasantly situated on the great road from Stirling to Port of Monteith, have been so extended as to form one spacious village. A post-office has been established; and a fair for cattle and for general purposes is annually held in January. The Goodie river flows a short distance south of the villages. The parish was separated by act of the General Assembly in 1834, and placed under the controul of the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling; the patronage being vested in the male communicants. The stipend of the minister is £95, arising from the endowment, consisting of two farms, by Mr. Norrie, and from lands purchased by subscription under authority of the General Assembly; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £24 per annum. The present chapel, the third erected on the same ground, and which serves as the church of the district, was built in 1812, at the cost of £1100, and is a plain but neat and substantial structure, containing 870 sittings; it was repaired in 1833. A bell was presented by Mr. Mc Gregor, and communion plate by Mr. Downie, of Appin. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. There are two schools in the village, one of which is supported by the General Assembly, who, aided by some of the heritors, pay the master a salary of £22 per annum, in addition to the school fees; and he has also a good dwelling-house and garden rent-free, from the proprietor of the Blair-Drummond estate. The other school is solely supported by the fees.

North Berwick.

NORTH BERWICK.—See Berwick, North.— And all places having the same distinguishing prefix, will be found under the proper name.


NORTHCHURCH, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Lesmahago, Upper ward of the county of Lanark; containing 1800 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the western bank of the small river Nethan, and on the road from Glasgow to Carlisle, consists of a portion of Lesmahago until recently annexed to a church erected here within the last few years. The parish is separated from the main part of Lesmahago by the river, and extends thence to the north-western boundary of the old parish, with which, in all its graphic and statistical details, it is identified. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Lanark and synod of Glasgow and Ayr: the church is a neat plain structure. The minister, who is appointed by the male communicants, derives his stipend from the seat-rents and from the contributions of the congregation.—See the article on the parish of Lesmahago.


NORTHESK, lately a quoad sacra parish, comprising the sea-port of Fisherrow, in the parish of Inveresk, county of Edinburgh, 5 miles (E. by S.) from Edinburgh; and containing 3414 inhabitants. The town of Fisherrow is situated on the western bank of the Esk, near its influx into the Frith of Forth, and forms part of the town of Musselburgh, with the rest of which it is connected by three bridges over the river, whereof one, erected after a design by the late eminent Sir John Rennie, is of very handsome appearance. The Highstreet, on a line with the London road, is spacious, and contains many substantial and well-constructed houses; and Bridge-street, leading to Musselburgh proper, is also elegantly built; but the houses in most of the other streets and in the lanes are of a far inferior description, and inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the fishery prosecuted off the coast. The fish taken are, haddock, cod, turbot, ling, skate, flounders, whiting, and occasionally soles and mackerel, in which twentyeight boats, averaging twenty tons' burthen, and having each a crew of five men, are, with nearly an equal number of smaller boats, constantly engaged during the season. The owners of the larger boats proceed to Caithness, Dunbar, and Sunderland, from the middle of July till September, during the herring season: in December, they make voyages to the east of the Isle of May, each boat generally in favourable seasons realizing a profit of £120. The produce of the fisheries is usually carried in baskets by the fishermen's wives and daughters to Edinburgh and other towns in the vicinity.

The trade of the port is identified with that noticed in the article on Musselburgh; and the inhabitants of this place, in addition to their participation in the manufactures of that town, are engaged in the salt-works of the parish, and in the making of bone-dust for manure, in which about 200 persons are employed. In the vicinity are some handsome seats and villas; the principal are Belfield, Campie, and Olivebank. There is a post-office; and facility of communication is afforded by the road from Edinburgh to London, and by the Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway. The late parish was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from Inveresk, by act of the General Assembly, on the erection of the church, which contains 1000 sittings, and was opened for public worship on the 9th of September, 1838; the structure is in the later English style of architecture, and was built by subscription at a cost of £2500, of which £375 were a grant from the Assembly's fund, and £200 from the presbytery of Dalkeith. The minister derives his stipend mainly from rents of seats; and the patronage is vested in trustees chosen by the male communicants, heads of families. There are places of worship for Burghers, Independents, and Wesleyans. One of the burgh schools is here; also a school maintained by Sir Charles Fergusson, Bart.: in connexion with the church is a Sabbath school, to which is attached a library of 500 volumes, and which is attended by nearly 200 scholars; and there is an infant school, supported by subscription.—See the articles on the parish of Inveresk and burgh of Musselburgh.


NORTHMAVINE, a parish, in the Mainland district, county of Shetland, 30 miles (N. W. by N.) from Lerwick; containing, with the hamlet of Hillswick, 2504 inhabitants. This is a peninsula of nearly triangular form, joined to the remaining portion of the Mainland, and to the parish of Delting, by an isthmus called Mavine, only 100 yards wide, and which is almost covered by the sea at spring tides. It is thought to take its name from its situation being northward from the isthmus, though some suppose it has been designated North Main, or Northmavine, from its relative bearing to the rest of the Mainland. The parish is about sixteen miles in length from north to south, and eight in breadth, and is computed to contain 60,000 acres, 6000 of which are under cultivation. The surface of the interior is uneven, rugged, and hilly, and for the most part covered with short coarse grass or heather; while the shores, which are surrounded with islands, holms, and rocks, are lofty and precipitous, and deeply indented with numerous fissures, forming excellent creeks and bays, and frequented at all seasons of the year by wild geese, ducks, and a variety of other waterfowl. The most spacious and celebrated of these harbours is St. Magnus' Bay, on the west, from which several voes run into the land, affording commodious and safe retreats for shipping in stormy weather: that of Hillswick is most resorted to, on account of its greater security. On the south and east of the bay is Sullom voe, eight miles long; and on the north, Ronan's voe, a narrow channel six miles in length, and Hamna voe, especially the latter, are considered superior harbours. At the back of Hillswick Ness is an immense rock called the Drongs, which rises perpendicularly to the height of 100 feet; and not far distant is the rock named Dorholm, rising about seventy-six feet, and distinguished by an arch, whence it takes its name, and the height of which is fifty-four feet. A few miles north-westward is another rock, called Osse-Skerry, forming a conspicuous object from a great distance, and also entered by a very spacious arch; and between the two last-named rocks is a third, Maiden-Skerry, rising from the sea, at a small distance from the shore, and on which, tradition asserts, no person has ever trodden. Near Fetheland, in the north of the parish, is a range of lofty rocks, called the Romna stacks, which, with the adjacent holms and promontories, invest the locality with a picturesque appearance, and have long been well known as landmarks by mariners. The numerous islands and holms around the shore, the chief of which are Eagleshay, Nibon, Stenness, Gluss, Gunister, and Lamba, are all at present uninhabited, but afford excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle, which graze in summer and winter alike, without shelter or fodder, and are remarkable for the fine flavour of their flesh.

None of the hills are of great height, except that of Rona, which is 1500 feet above the level of the sea, and is the most lofty elevation in Shetland, commanding from its summit, on a fine clear day, which however is here very unusual, extensive and beautiful views. Not far from the top are some powerful springs, sending forth, in a short space of time, a large supply of water, and which, with the numerous springs in other parts, are amply sufficient for the use of the district. The parish contains upwards of 100 lochs, and many of them are of considerable size, and well stocked with trout, which are taken in small numbers. The soil is of various kinds, but generally very thin and wet; a circumstance which, in connexion with the tenacious impenetrable subsoil, greatly impedes the operations of agriculture. The rocky parts are mostly covered with peat-moss, affording to the inhabitants an inexhaustible supply of good fuel; while along the shore, in some places the earth is light and sandy, and in others clayey and loamy, producing usually very good crops. Several sorts of grain are cultivated, to the yearly value together of about £3000; meadow hay to the amount of £100; and potatoes, turnips, and cabbages, to the value of £1000. Some of the native sheep yet remain, but the sheep are in general a cross between these and the Cheviot or black-faced; and large numbers of the native cattle and ponies are annually reared. The state of farming, however, is very low. The scarcity of money, and the want of roads, but especially the absence of the men for a large part of the year in fishing, when agricultural pursuits are left to women and boys, and the tenure on which the inhabitants hold their farms, mostly as tenants at will, form great obstacles to any extensive improvements in husbandry. Ploughs are occasionally seen; but this implement has in general yielded to the spade since the distribution of the farms into smaller allotments for the convenience of the tenants, and the selection of many portions from the common ground for cultivation. The draining and recovering of waste land have received some attention, but only to a very limited extent; and the fences, principally of turf, are but little security against the ravages of the sheep, from which the crops sustain much damage every year, as well as from the severity of the storms that frequently visit the locality, and destroy not only the fruits of the ground, but unroof houses, and carry havoc in every direction. The rateable annual value of Northmavine is only £256. The rocks comprise old red sandstone and coarse limestone, and chromate of iron of inferior quality has been found, with Scotch pebbles and garnets; the higher grounds comprise chiefly granite, gneiss, porphyry, sienite, and sienitic greenstone. The only mansions are Ollaberry, a very neat modern structure, and Tangwick.

The parish is entirely destitute of roads; but there is a communication, by post, with Lerwick twice every week. The trade consists partly in the sale of cattle and horses, which are sent by steamers to the southern markets, but principally in curing fish, of which the cod is chiefly sent to Spain, and the ling and tusk to Leith, Liverpool, and Ireland. The former of these fisheries, however, is nearly given up, on account of its almost total failure for several years past. The latter, for which there are three stations, Stennies, Hamna voe, and Fetheland, is carried on from May till August, at the distance of forty or fifty miles from the shore. The herring-fishery has been completely relinquished, both curers and fishermen having sustained great losses of late years by it. Besides the above, the inhabitants take sea-trout, haddock, whiting, codlings, and piltocks, for their own subsistence; and they are tolerably well supplied with muscles, cockles, oysters, lobsters, and other shell-fish. In May, every year, there is a sale or fair for milch-cows, cattle, and horses; in November is one for fat-cattle and horses; and at several others of an inferior kind, many persons attend, and much business is done. The parish is in the presbytery of Burravoe and synod of Shetland, and in the patronage of the Earl of Zetland: the minister's stipend is £150 per annum, with a manse, and a glebe distributed in four different parts of the parish, and valued at £15 per annum. The church is a plain building, situated inconveniently for the population, at no great distance from the sea, and accommodates 583 persons with sittings, of which seventy are appropriated to the poor; it was built in 1733, repaired in 1764, and renovated in the interior in 1822. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans, and another for Independents. The parochial school affords instruction in reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, book-keeping, and navigation; the master has a salary of £25. 3. 4., with about £4 fees. There is also a school supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; the same branches are taught. The principal antiquities are, an immense stone of granite, raised on the top of a hill encircled at the base by smaller stones; the remains of a large Picts' house; a watch-tower on the summit of Rona's hill; and the ruins of a church at Ollaberry, and of one at North Roe; with those of several other religious houses.


NORTHMUIR, a village, in the parish of Kirriemuir, county of Forfar; containing 297 inhabitants.


NOSS, county of Shetland.—See Ness.