Monday, 10 December 2007
Beath Fife Scotland
Beath, Fife, Scotland. Beath in 1846. Beath, a parish, in the district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 2½ miles (S.) from Blair-Adam Inn; containing, with the villages of Cowden-Beath, Kelty, and Oakfield, 973 inhabitants. This parish, though now destitute of any trees of the kind, is supposed to have originally abounded with birch, and from that circumstance to have derived its name, anciently written Baith, which, in the Gaelic language, signifies a birchtree. It is situated on the great road from Perth to Queensferry, extending for about four miles in length, and three miles in breadth, and comprising 6500 acres, of which about 5300 are arable, 500 meadow and pasture, 500 woodland and plantations, and the remainder water and waste. The surface is very irregular, rising in many places into hills of considerable elevation, some of which afford rich pasture, and one called the Hill of Beath commands interesting views; the scenery has been, in some parts, enriched with thriving plantations, and is enlivened by the loch Fitty, a fine sheet of water, about three miles in circumference, and abounding with pike, perch, and other fish. The soil is generally good, consisting of a clay and loam, interspersed occasionally with moss; the crops are, oats, barley, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips, with wheat occasionally, and a small quantity of flax. The system of agriculture is excellent; a considerable quantity of waste has been reclaimed, and much which, from previous mismanagement, had been unproductive, has been rendered fertile. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4404. The substrata are chiefly whinstone and sandstone; coal is found in abundance, and there are at present three collieries worked in the parish, which afford a plentiful supply of fuel; limestone is also wrought, but on a very limited scale. The parish is in the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the Earl of Moray; the minister's stipend is about £165, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17 per annum. The church is a handsome edifice, erected in 1835, by the heritors, and affords ample accommodation. The parochial school is attended by about 100 pupils; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £30 fees, and a house and garden.