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Monday, 10 December 2007

Ballingry Fife Scotland

Ballingry, Fife, Scotland. Ballingry in 1846. Ballingry, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Blair-Adam Inn; containing 436 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name, of Gaelic origin, from its having been, at one time, an occasional residence of the Scottish kings. During the invasion of Britain by the Romans, under Agricola, a battle is said to have occurred between the Caledonians under Galgacus, and the IX. legion, which was stationed here, when the latter were totally defeated; but Agricola, upon receiving intelligence of that event, put the whole of his army in motion, and, falling upon the rear of the Caledonians, compelled them to yield to superior numbers, and retire from the field. The latter, however, retreated in good order, bravely defending the fords of Loch Leven against the invaders, and obstinately disputing every inch of ground. Numerous memorials of this contest have been met with; at the east end of the loch, and also where 'Auchmuir bridge now crosses that ancient ford, Caledonian battle-axes and Roman weapons have been discovered; and a few years since, a Caledonian battle-axe of polished stone, firmly fixed in an oaken handle, twenty-two inches long, was found near the spot.

The parish, which is of very irregular form, comprises about 3700 acres, of which 1394 are arable, 1874 meadow and pasture, 242 woodland and plantations, and the remainder common and waste; the surface is generally a level, broken only by the hill of Binarty, of which the southern acclivity has been richly planted, forming an interesting feature in the scenery. The soil, in the northern portion, is rich, dry, and fertile, but in other parts, of inferior quality; the crops are, oats, and barley, with some wheat, beans, and potatoes. Great improvement has been made by draining, but, in rainy seasons, the drains are insufficient to carry off the water; the loch on the estate of Lochore, has been drained, and now produces excellent crops of grain. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4611. Limestone and coal are found in various parts; the former is of inferior quality, and not worked, but the latter is wrought on two estates in the parish, with success; whinstone and freestone are also found here, and, on the hill of Binarty, basaltic whinstone. The parish is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife, and in the gift of the lady of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.; the minister's stipend is £172. 8. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18 per annum. The church is a substantial and neat structure, erected in 1831. The parochial school is tolerably attended; the master's salary is £34. 4. 4., with fees, and a house. The poor are supported by the rent of land producing £21, by collections at the church, and by the proceeds of a bequest of £100 by William Jobson, Esq., of Lochore.

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