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Sunday, 30 December 2007

James Abercrombie of Fife Scotland


James Abercrombie, 1st Baron Dunfermline was born in Scotland on November 7, 1776. He was the third son of General Sir Ralph Abercrombie, the hero of the Aboukir landing at the Battle of the Nile. Abercrombie was Speaker of the British House of Commons from 1835 to 1839. A barrister, he was Whig MP for Midhurst 1807-12, and for Calne 1812-32. After the Reform Act of 1832 he sat for Edinburgh until 1839, when he was created Baron Dunfermline, of Dunfermline in the County of Fife. He was Master of the Mint in the administration of Lord Grey. He died on April 17, 1858.

Largoward Fife Scotland


Largoward, Fife, Scotland. Tour Largoward, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Kirkcaldy Harbour Fife Scotland


Old Kirkcaldy Harbour, Fife, Scotland. Tour Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Fife Scotland Mathematician


Sir John Leslie, 1766 to 1832, was a Fife mathematician and physicist best remembered for his research into heat. Leslie was born of humble parentage at Largo in Fife and received his early education there and at Leven.

Wemyss Fife Scotland


East Wemyss Church, Wemyss, Fife, Scotland. Tour Wemyss, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Wemyss in 1846, Wemyss, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; containing, with the burgh of West Wemyss, and the villages of Buckhaven, East and West Coaltown, Methill, Kirkland, and East Wemyss, 5403 inhabitants, of whom 859 are in the village of East Wemyss, 3 miles (N. E.) from Dysart, and 947 in the burgh of West Wemyss, 2 miles (N. E. by E.) from Dysart, and 4 (N. E.) from Kirkcaldy. This place appears to have derived its name, which in the Gaelic language signifies "a cave," from the number of caverns in the rocks that form its boundary towards the coast. It extends about six miles in length, and about one and a half in average breadth, comprehending an area of nearly nine square miles; it is washed on the southeast by the Firth of Forth, and comprises 5000 acres, of which 3556 are arable, 600 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is irregularly raised; the sea-shore is strongly defended by abrupt rocks stretching boldly into the Frith, and the land rises gradually towards the northern and western portions of the parish. The scenery is richly ornamented with thriving plantations of modern date, and with some natural woods in which are many ancient trees of stately and majestic growth. The soil, also, is generally fertile, and the system of husbandry improved; but the parish is more of a manufacturing than of an agricultural character. The substratum forms part of the great coal formation of the district, and consists also of sandstone, clay-slate, and argillaceous ironstone, with boulders of green or whin stone. Numerous fossils are found in the shale above the seams of coal, including some very fine specimens of forest-trees. The coal is extensively wrought; four pits have been opened, and are still in operation. The Wemyss coal-works are on the principal seam, which is nine feet in thickness, and has been wrought to a depth of 300 feet below the level of the sea; the annual produce is about 40,000 tons, and several powerful steam-engines have been erected for draining the water, and expediting the working of the mines, in which more than 200 persons are employed. Some pits for the parrot or gas coal are worked without the assistance of machinery, and employ twenty men; and the two other coal-works, the produce of which is principally for the supply of the neighbourhood, employ together about eighty persons. The ironstone has also been wrought with success, and affords occupation to about forty persons; and a vein of yellow ochre has recently been discovered, and brought under operation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7802.

The weaving of linen employs a great portion of the population, and works have been established at Kirkland, Buckhaven, and other places, the particulars of which are given under their respective heads in other parts of the work. A very extensive salt-manufacture was once carried on at Methill, and at West Wemyss, which, since the removal of the duty, has been altogether discontinued at the former place, and at the latter very greatly diminished; the whole quantity made at both places was formerly 50,000 bushels annually. The quantity now made at the latter is about 6000 bushels, of the average value of £500; the salt is of excellent quality, and finds a ready sale in the neighbouring markets. A fishery, also, is carried on at Buckhaven, which has long been celebrated as one of the most important fishing-stations on this coast; and at West Wemyss, a very convenient harbour has been constructed for the accommodation of the vessels employed in the coal-trade. The sole proprietor of the parish is Captain James Erskine Wemyss, R.N., whose magnificent mansion, Castle Wemyss, is situated near the burgh of West Wemyss, on the summit of a cliff rising abruptly from the rocky shore of the Frith, and commanding an interesting and extensive view of the sea, and the adjacent country, which abounds with picturesque and romantic scenery. Near it is the residence of the agent for the estate, beautifully situated among the woods and plantations on the demesne surrounding the castle. The village of West Wemyss, which stands pleasantly on the sea-shore, about a mile distant from East Wemyss, is a burgh of barony under the government of two bailies, a treasurer, and council; it is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the coal-trade and the manufacture of salt. A subscription library has been established, which is well supported, and contains a good collection of volumes; and a savings' bank has also been opened. The village of East Wemyss is likewise situated on the coast, and is principally inhabited by persons engaged in the weaving of linen, for which it has been long distinguished. There are four extensive factories established here, which, including one at Buckhaven, consume nearly 250,000 spindles of yarn: the chief articles at present manufactured are, ducks, dowlas, and sheeting. The annual produce on the average is more than 1,200,000 yards, which are partly used for home consumption, and the remainder exported; and the amount of wages paid annually to weavers and winders exceeds £10,000. The church and the parochial school are situated in this village: the former, a venerable and ancient structure, forms an interesting feature in the scenery. A subscription library has been established for more than thirty years; it contains about 300 volumes, and is well supported. A savings' bank has also been long established, in which the deposits amount to above £2000. A post-office has been opened in the parish; and facility of intercourse with the neighbouring towns is afforded by good roads kept in repair by statute labour, and by a turnpike-road from Kirkcaldy by Kennoway to Cupar, which passes through the northern part of the parish.

Wemyss is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy, synod of Fife, and patronage of the Town-council of Edinburgh: the minister's stipend is £253. 11.3., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £25 per annum. The church, a cruciform structure, is in the early English style of architecture, displaying some interesting details, and is adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. A church was recently erected in the village of Methill; it is a handsome edifice of stone, raised at an expense of £1030, and is adapted for 853 persons. There are also places of worship at East and West Wemyss for members of the Free Church, at Buckhaven for the United Associate Synod, and near Methill for the United Christian Congregation. A catechist for the instruction of the colliers and the persons engaged in the salt-works in the parish, is appointed by the family of Wemyss, according to a bequest of the Earl of Cromarty, who, in honour of the memory of Margaret, Countess of Wemyss, and afterwards of Cromarty, appropriated a sum of money from which the catechist derives a salary of £50 per annum. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with £25 fees, a house, and a garden, for the deficiency of which last he has an equivalent of £1. 15. 7. There is also a school in Kirkland, the master of which receives, in addition to the fees, a salary of £30 per annum, paid by Messrs. Neilson and Company, proprietors of the linen manufactory of that place. The late Mr. Archibald Cook, of Kirkcaldy, a native of this parish, bequeathed property to a considerable amount, which, after the decease of his widow, is to be vested in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy, in trust for the education of children of Wemyss. There are also Sabbath schools, the children attending which are supplied with books. A society called the Generous Society was established in 1793, for the relief of sick and indigent members; its funds are ample and well administered, and it has contributed greatly to diminish the number on the poor's list. There are some remains of chapels at Methill and near West Wemyss. To the east of East Wemyss are the ruins of an ancient castle said to have been built by Macduff, created Earl of Fife by Malcolm, King of Scotland, about the year 1061; they consist chiefly of two square towers, and portions of the walls of the fortress, and are situated on an eminence overlooking the Frith. Sir Michael Wemyss, of this place, was sent, in conjunction with Sir Michael Scott, of Balweary, as ambassador, on the decease of Alexander III. in 1290, to Norway, to escort Margaret, his grand-daughter, and heiress to the Scottish crown, on her return to Scotland: the princess died at Orkney, on her passage. In Castle Wemyss is still preserved a silver basin which was presented by the King of Norway to Sir Michael Wemyss on that occasion. The Earl of Wemyss and March takes the former of these titles from this parish.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Thornton Fife Scotland


Pipers at the Thornton Highland Games, Fife, Scotland. Tour Thornton, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Thornton in 1846. Thornton, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parishes of Dysart and Kinglassie, but mostly in the parish of Markinch, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 4 miles (S. by E.) from the village of Markinch; containing 844 inhabitants, of whom 674 are in the parish of Markinch. The village, which contains 545 persons, is chiefly inhabited by those engaged in the neighbouring collieries or employed in the various spinning-mills, bleachfields, and other works in the vicinity; it presents but little claim to description. There are vitriol works established here, in connexion with some works at Glasgow. The church was erected in 1836, at an expense of £450; it is a neat plain structure containing 450 sittings. The minister's stipend is £60 per annum, derived chiefly from seat-rents and collections.

Strathmiglo Fife Scotland


Strathmiglo is a village in Fife, Scotland on the River Eden. The tollbooth of 1734 is a prominent landmark. Tour Strathmiglo, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Strathmiglo in 1846. Strathmiglo, an ancient burgh of barony and a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Auchtermuchty; containing, with the hamlets of Westercash and Edenhead, 2187 inhabitants, of whom 1304 are in the town or village of Strathmiglo. This place derives its name from the river Miglo, which, flowing through the parish, divides it into two nearly equal portions, and afterwards assumes the name of the Eden. The lands anciently formed part of the demesnes of the crown, and were granted by Malcolm IV., in marriage with his niece, to Duncan, Earl of Fife, whose descendants, in 1251, gave them to the family of the Scotts of Balwearie, in whose possession they remained for many years. The estate was erected into a burgh of barony in 1600, and its privileges as such were confirmed by charter of James VI., in 1605. The superiority in 1730 became the property of the Balfours, of Burleigh, whose armorial bearings are placed on the front of the town-house, which was built with the materials of the old castle of Cairney-flappet, granted for that purpose to the burgesses by Margaret Balfour, who was then superior of the barony. After the rebellion in 1745, and the consequent abolition of heritable jurisdictions, the burgh lost its privileges; and the lands are now divided among various proprietors, of whom P. G. Skene, Esq., of Pitlour House, is the principal.

The parish, which is bounded on the south by the Lomond hill, and on the north by a branch of the Ochils, is about six miles in length, and varies from two to four miles in breadth; comprising an area of 5000 acres, of which 350 are woodland and plantations, 600 meadow and pasture, and the remainder arable. The surface is partly level and partly hilly, rising on both sides of the river by gentle acclivities; on the south to the Lomond range, which has an elevation of 1700 feet above the sea; and on the north to a ridge of inconsiderable eminence, forming a continuation of the Ochil range. The Miglo has its source in two small streams, the one at the north-west, and the other at the south-west, angle of the parish: these, uniting in the valley of Strathmiglo, form the river Eden. The soil, on the south side of the river, is light and thin, but on the north side deeper, and of richer quality, chiefly a fertile loam; the crops are, grain of all kinds, turnips, potatoes, and the various grasses. The system of agriculture is improved, and according to the nature of the land, the four or six rotation plan is adopted: the farm-buildings are substantial and commodiously arranged, and on most of the farms are threshing-mills, several of which are driven by water. The substrata are mainly sandstone and whinstone; and on the side of Lomond hill is found white freestone, of very durable texture, and susceptible of a high polish. Pitlour House is a handsome mansion, situated on an eminence overlooking the town in grounds tastefully laid out.

The town is pleasantly seated in a fine plain on the north side of the Miglo, and consists chiefly of one irregularly built street, from which several smaller streets and lanes diverge at right angles: in the centre of the principal street is the town-house, a good building, with a square tower surmounted by a spire. On the opposite side of the river stands the small village of Westercash, and between it and the town is a level meadow called the Town green. The chief business carried on by the inhabitants is the weaving of linen; there is a bleachfield; and the river in its course gives motion to several corn and flour mills, a lint-mill, and a mill for spinning flax. Among the articles made are, diaper, damask, dowlas, checks, and table-linens, in making which from 500 to 600 persons are employed at handlooms, mostly for the manufacturers of Dunfermline, Dundee, and Kirkcaldy; many of the weavers, however, manufacture these articles on their own account. There is a post-office in the town, subordinate to that of Kinross; and facility of communication is afforded by roads kept in excellent repair. Fairs, chiefly for pleasure and general traffic, are held on the last Friday in June and the first Friday in November. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9330. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £217. 11. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum: patron, the Earl of Mansfield. The old church, which was collegiate, belonged to the abbey of Dunkeld; the present church, situated at the east end of the village, is a plain edifice erected about the year 1785, and contains 750 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, Reformed Presbyterians, and the United Associate Synod. The parochial school affords instruction to about eighty children, the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £22 per annum. The schoolroom has recently been enlarged by the heritors, and will now accommodate 150 children; a play-ground also, has been purchased by subscription. A female school has been built by Mr. Skene, who pays the teacher a small salary; and three other schools are supported by subscriptions and donations. The poor have the interest of a bequest of money, yielding £10, and the rent of land, £19 per annum. There are some remains of what are supposed to have been Druidical monuments; also numerous barrows and tumuli in the parish; and human bones, ashes, and various military weapons, have been found at different times.

Springfield Fife Scotland

Springfield, Fife, Scotland. Tour Springfield, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Springfield in 1846. Springfield, a village, in the parish and district of Cupar, county of Fife, ½ a mile (N.) from the town of Cupar; containing 480 inhabitants. It is situated in the western portion of the parish, on the high road from Cupar to Rathillet, and is chiefly inhabited by persons connected with the trade of the town of Cupar and the several manufactures carried on in the parish: the houses are neatly built, and the village is rapidly increasing in extent and population.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Scoonie Fife Scotland


Scoonie, Fife, Scotland. Tour Scoonie, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Scoonie in 1846. Scoonie, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 9 miles (N. E.) from Kirkcaldy; containing, with the town of Leven, 2836 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, and of which the church at a very early period was granted by Malduin, bishop of St. Andrew's, to the Culdees of Lochleven, was formerly in part the property of the family of Gibson, who held the lands of Durie. Of their descendants, Lord Durie was one of the commissioners sent in 1652 to treat with the English parliament on the projected union of the two kingdoms; and another of the family sat in the first Scottish parliament after the restoration of Charles II. to the throne. The parish is situated on the Frith of Forth; it extends for four miles in length from north to south, and two miles in breadth from east to west, and comprises about 4000 acres, of which 3250 are arable, 250 woodland and plantations, and 350 pasture and waste. The surface is gently undulating, rising from the south to the north till it attains an elevation of about 700 feet above the level of the sea: from the higher grounds is an extensive prospect of the Frith and the country on the southern shore, embracing numerous objects of romantic appearance and much beautifully varied scenery. The river Leven, which washes Scoonie on the west, has its source in the loch of that name, and, after flowing through a luxuriant valley, and receiving many streams in its course, falls into the bay of Largo near the town of Leven. The river abounds with trout, pike, and eels; and near its mouth was formerly a lucrative salmon-fishery, which, from some alterations that prevented the fish from ascending the river, and owing to certain deleterious substances from some bleach-works in the town mingling with its waters at this place, has been destroyed, and for many years totally discontinued. There are few good springs in the parish, and only one deserving of notice, "the boiling well." The general scenery is agreeably diversified; the surrounding country is richly cultivated, and the plantations on the demesnes of the principal seats add much to its embellishment. The soil of the parish is fertile; and the system of husbandry, which consists of successive rotations of white and green crops, is in a high state of improvement. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips, of which large quantities are grown; and considerable exports of grain and potatoes are made from Leven for distant markets. Great attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are generally of the black Fifeshire breed; and formerly great numbers were sent in a lean state to London, but at present they are all fattened in the parish, and mostly sent to Edinburgh and Glasgow, with only a few occasionally to London by the Dundee steamers. Several oxen of the Old Fifeshire kind bred in the parish have gained the prizes at the Highland Society's cattle-shows. Few sheep are reared; but many are purchased by the farmers at the neighbouring fairs, and fed on turnips during the winter. The farm-buildings are generally commodious, and some, of recent erection, are very superior; threshing-mills are attached to most of the farms, one of which is driven by steam; and the latest improvements in agricultural implements have been adopted. Much progress has been made in draining; and from the advanced state of agriculture, and the vicinity of the town and port of Leven, which affords a facility of disposing of the produce, the lands have greatly increased in value. The rateable annual value of the parish now amounts to £8988.

The substratum is chiefly whinstone, of inferior quality, and consequently not quarried to any extent; the materials for building are generally brought from the quarries of Inverkeithing and Blair. Strata of coal are found in various parts, especially on the lands of Durie. The mines were formerly wrought on a larger scale, and great quantities were shipped from Leven to Holland and other continental ports; the quality is very superior, and it was once in such high repute that the best description of Scottish coal is still called Durie coal. Upon the death of the proprietor in 1802, the works were for a time discontinued: and coal, even for the supply of the parish, was sometimes brought from the pits of Wemyss and Kilmux. There is a bed of ochre four feet in thickness on the lands of Durie, which has been wrought for many years, and of which great quantities are exported. Several mills are in operation for spinning flax and tow, one for crushing bones for manure, and one for grinding ochre; and about 150 persons are employed in weaving with hand-looms at their own dwellings. The chief seats are, Durie, the property of C. M. Christie, Esq., a handsome mansion erected in 1762, and situated in an extensive demesne embellished with thriving plantations; Kilmux, the residence of J. B. Fernie, Esq., erected in 1832, in grounds tastefully laid out, and sheltered with some fine trees; and Montrave, a handsome mansion erected in 1836, and also pleasantly situated in improved grounds. Scoonie is within the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £257. 19. 5., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £50 per annum. The old church, situated about a quarter of a mile from Leven, has been for some time a ruin, and the only part of it which is still preserved forms the family vault of the proprietor of Durie. The present church, erected in 1776 near the town, and repaired and enlarged in 1823, is a neat and well-arranged edifice adapted for a congregation of 996 persons. There are places of worship for Independents, the Free Church, and Relief Church. The parochial school affords a liberal education, and is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £70 fees, a very good dwelling-house, and an allowance of £2 for deficiency of garden-ground. A society for religious purposes, under the management of a committee of ladies, distributes about £20 per annum in promotion of its object; and there is also a ladies' charitable society, which distributes about £24 per annum. Several friendly societies existed formerly; but from injudicious management few of them were able to become permanent establishments. Numerous stone coffins, supposed to have been deposited after a severe conflict between the Scots and the Danes, have been dug up in various parts of the parish; and within the last thirty years, a cairn on the summit of a hill, about forty yards square at the base, was opened, and found to contain twenty stone coffins, rudely formed of slabs placed on their edges and covered with a superincumbent slab of stone. In two of the coffins were small urns of clay, rudely ornamented, and five of them contained each a larger urn, fourteen inches in diameter and twenty-four inches high; great numbers of human bones were scattered about, and in one of the smallest coffins were found beads of charred wood. The urns were all in an inverted position, with their mouths resting upon a square slab of stone. Mr. Jerome Stone, an eminent linguist, was born in this parish in 1727; he died in 1757, leaving an unfinished work entitled An Enquiry into the Original of the Nation and Language of the Ancient Scots, and a finished manuscript of an allegory entitled The Immortality of Authors.

North Queensferry Fife Scotland


North Queensferry is a village in Fife, Scotland, on the Firth of Forth, between the Forth Railway Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. Tour North Queensferry, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. North Queensferry in 1846. North Queensferry, a village, in a detached part of the parish of Dunfermline, district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 2 miles (S.) from Inverkeithing, and 6 (S. E. by S.) from Dunfermline; containing 461 inhabitants. This place is situated on a promontory on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, and derives its name from an ancient ferry connecting it with the town of Queensferry, on the south side of the Firth. It once belonged to the abbots of Dunfermline, who had a chapel here endowed by Robert I.; and is noticed by the Scottish historian Buchanan under the appellation of Margarit√¶ Portus, from its having been the place where Margaret, queen of Malcolm III., frequently embarked and landed on her passage to and from her palace of Dunfermline. After the Dissolution, the ferry became the property of the Earl of Rosebery and Sir Archibald Dundas, of Dundas, the latter of whom erected a strong castle on the rocky island of Inchgarvie, in the Firth, which subsequently was converted into a place of confinement for prisoners of state. The fortifications were repaired during the last war, and the battery mounted with cannon; but since the peace it has been altogether neglected, and is now in a state of ruin. To the west of the castle, and near the extremity of the rock on which it is built, are the remains of a circular redoubt, and to the east are those of a battery, both of which are said to have been erected by the forces of Cromwell while encamped on the Ferry hills. The Firth is here a mile and a half in breadth. The passage has been greatly facilitated by the erection of a commodious low-water pier, and other improvements, effected partly by means of a grant from government of above £13,000; and the ferry has been vested by act of parliament in trustees. At one period subsequently to these improvements, it produced an annual rental of £2300, which, however, afterwards diminished to £1500. The village, which is beautifully situated, directly opposite to Queensferry, is small but neatly built, and is principally inhabited by boatmen and persons connected with the ferry. It has an excellent inn for the accommodation of passengers from the opposite shore; and from the salubrity of the air, and the numerous objects of interest in the immediate vicinity, it has become a place of great resort for sea-bathing during the summer season. The surrounding scenery is strikingly beautiful and romantic; and the Ferry hills, which stretch into the Frith, command extensive and diversified views. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads; and steam-boats to Leith, Stirling, and all the intermediate ports, sail regularly from the pier; the landing-place is well constructed, and is accessible to vessels of considerable burthen during spring-tides. A signal-house has been built on the rocks on the north shore, containing an apartment, also, for the meetings of the trustees above-mentioned, and the requisite accommodation for the boatmen and superintendant of the ferry.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Pitlessie Fife Scotland

Pitlessie, Fife, Scotland. Tour Pitlessie, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Pitlessie in 1846. Pitlessie, a village, in the parish of Cults, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 3 miles (W. S. W.) from Cupar; containing 490 inhabitants. This is a considerable village, on the great road from Cupar to Kirkcaldy, lying in the north-eastern quarter of the parish, and a short distance south of the river Eden. A large part of the population is employed in linen-weaving, of which the chief article is dowlas, for the manufacturers of the neighbouring towns, who have agents here, and by whom the materials are supplied. Along the brow of Pitlessie hill are extensive limestone quarries. Though this is the principal, and, properly so called, the only village, the parish church is nearly a mile distant from it; but it contains a dissenting place of worship in connexion with the United Associate Synod, and the parish school. The estimable and gifted Wilkie was a native of this parish; his first regular effort, while yet a youth, was "Pitlessie Fair," a fine picture, now in the possession of the Kinnear family, of Kinloch. It contains upwards of one hundred and fifty figures, graphically delineated and admirably grouped, including portraits of himself, his father, who was incumbent of the parish, brothers and sisters, and many other persons well known in the immediate neighbourhood of Pitlessie, during the painter's earlier years.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Newport Fife Scotland


The shoreline at Newport-on-Tay, Fife, Scotland. Located on the South bank of the River Tay with Dundee in the background. Tour Newport on Tay, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Newport on Tay in 1846. Newport on Tay, 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.

Newburgh Fife Scotland


Newburgh, Fife, Scotland. Newburgh Photographs. Newburgh Highland Games. Tour Newburgh, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Newburgh in 1846. Newburgh, a parish, sea-port, burgh, and markettown, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 11 miles (S. E.) from Perth, and 40 (N.) from Edinburgh; containing 2897 inhabitants, of whom 2491 are in the burgh. This parish derives its name from a town built here long before the separation of the district from the parish of Abdie, or Lindores, of which, previously to the year 1622, the lands formed a part. The town appears to have been indebted for its increase to the encouragement of the abbots of the monastery of Lindores, near which it was situated, and which was founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, about the year 1180, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Andrew, for monks of the Benedictine order, who were placed in it from the abbey of Kelso. Soon after its foundation, the earl granted to the abbot of Lindores, and to the church of St. Mary and St. Andrew, the island of Fedinch, supposed to be the present Mugdrum, with the fisheries in the river Tay adjoining, and a right of taking from his quarries at Irneside, stone for the erection of conventual buildings. Additional grants were made by charter of William the Lion, Alexander III., and other kings of Scotland, for its endowment, which was subsequently augmented by James II., who gave to the monastery the lands of Parkhill, in Fife. The monastery continued to flourish under a long succession of abbots till the year 1600, when James VI. erected the abbacy into a temporal lordship; and in 1606 John, the last abbot of whom any notice occurs, is said to have assisted at a general council held at Westminster to deliberate on the expediency of establishing episcopacy in Scotland.

The town is advantageously situated upon the river Tay, which is divided by the island of Mugdrum into two channels, called respectively the North and South Deep, the latter being the principal roadway for ships approaching the port. The greater part of the town has been rebuilt within the last fifty years, and it has also been much increased by the recent erection of suburbs; the streets are paved, and lighted with gas by a company lately established here; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from springs. The houses are large, and uniformly built of greenstone found in the neighbouring quarries; and the public buildings, of the same material, are embellished with freestone of good quality from Cupar-moor and other places. The whole appearance is cheerful and prepossessing; and from its sheltered situation, the salubrity of its air, and the beauty and variety of the surrounding scenery, it is fast growing into favour as a summer residence for families at a distance. The linen manufacture has long been established here, affording employment to several hundreds of persons in hand-loom weaving, and to more than 350 persons, chiefly women, in winding bobbins. The linen made here is chiefly dowlas sheeting, for which a ready market is obtained in London, Leeds, and Manchester, and of which great quantities are also exported to the West Indies and South America: the finest pieces are what are called "fourteen-hundred linens." The number of looms in the town is 560, producing on an average 23,600 webs, 140 yards in length, and from one yard to three yards in width, and in which are contained more than 826,000 spindles of yarn. There is also an extensive bleachfield, supplied with pure water from the spring called the Nine Wells, the waters of which are collected into one copious and powerful stream. A considerable trade is carried on in grain; and a market for stock, opened in 1830, is held on Tuesday, and numerously attended by dealers from all parts of the adjacent country. Fairs are held for horses, cattle, and sheep, on the first Tuesday in April, third Friday in June, and second Tuesday in October; and for hiring servants, on the first Tuesday in December. A post-office has been established, which has a good delivery; and facilities of communication are afforded with the neighbouring towns by excellent turnpike-roads, of which that from Cupar to Perth passes through the town.

The trade of the port consists principally in the exportation of the linens manufactured in the town and parish to the West Indies and South America, and the importation of timber from the Baltic, North America, and Norway, generally brought by vessels belonging to those ports. Ten vessels, varying from sixty to 150 tons, belong to Newburgh, and these are employed chiefly in the coal trade; there is also an inconsiderable coasting trade, and most of the potatoes and other agricultural produce of Strathearn, Kinross, and the surrounding district, are shipped from this port for the London market. Two packets are regularly engaged in bringing the raw materials for the linen manufacture from Dundee; and vessels bound for Perth are frequently obliged to wait here for the flow of the tide, and often are under the necessity of landing part of their cargoes before they can proceed further up the river, even with the tide in their favour. The steam-boats between Perth and Dundee touch at Newburgh; and a passage-boat has been established on the Tay between the Pow of Errol and this place. The port is situated on that channel of the river called the South Deep, and is accessible to ships of 500 tons, which can load and unload their cargoes on the quay; but beyond the confluence of the Earn, the channel will scarcely admit vessels of 150 tons to proceed to Perth. The landing-place consists of four piers, projecting boldly into the channel; warehouses and granaries have been recently built for the accommodation of the merchants, and several handsome dwelling-houses for the residence of persons connected with the shipping. The revenue paid to the customhouse is already considerable, and the trade of the port gradually increasing.

Many persons are occupied in the salmon-fishery of the Tay; the fish are of superior quality, and very much esteemed. The number of boats on the average is thirty, and about sixty seamen are engaged: there are several stations, on one of which, employing only two boats, 250 salmon, 610 grilse, and a proportionate number of trout, were taken in one season. Considerable numbers are still caught, which, after affording an abundant supply for the town and neighbourhood, are shipped to London by the Dundee steamers, which perform the voyage in about thirty-five hours. The sperling, or salmo eperlanus of naturalists, is also found here, though not in any other part of the Frith of Tay. The nets for taking them are fixed by stakes in the rapids of the current, and they are obtained in great quantities, even in the winter months, so long as the river is free from ice; they are much valued by the inhabitants of the place, and find a ready market also at Perth. The people of Newburgh received their earliest charter of incorporation from the abbot of the monastery of Lindores, who erected the town into a burgh of regality, and endowed the burgesses with the lands of Woodriff and the hills adjacent, which now constitute the principal revenue of the corporation; and in 1631, Charles I. confirmed the preceding charter, making the town a royal burgh, and investing the burgesses with various privileges and immunities, and the right of sending a member to the Scottish parliament, which, however, from neglect, soon fell entirely into disuse. Under these charters the government is vested in two magistrates, and a council of fifteen burgesses, assisted by a townclerk and other officers. The magistrates exercise jurisdiction over the royalty of the town, but not over the whole of the harbour and suburbs; they are elected by the council, by whom also all the other officers are appointed. Courts are held weekly, on Wednesday, for the trial of civil actions and of misdemeanors, the townclerk acting as assessor; but little business is done in these courts, and since 1820 not more than seventeen civil and eight criminal causes have been annually adjudicated. The town-house, a neat edifice with a spire, was erected in 1808; and recently, a building of considerable size has been added to it for the use of the stock market.

The parish, after its separation from that of Abdie, under the sanction of the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, in 1622, was enlarged by the addition of a portion of the adjoining parish of Abernethy, annexed to it by the same authority. The present parish is about three miles in length from north to south, and two miles in breadth from east to west, inclosing an irregular area, bounded on the north by the Tay, which washes the coast for about two miles. It comprises 1145 acres, of which 280 are meadow and pasture, ninety woodland and plantations, forty garden and orchard, and the remainder good arable land in a state of profitable cultivation. The surface towards the east is flat, but towards the west rises gently till it terminates in a tract of tableland, from which, in a southern direction, is a gradual ascent till it reaches the Black Cairn, elevated about 800 feet above the level of the sea. To the south-west, also, the land forms a ridge increasing in elevation, and which at Craig-Sparrow is 600 feet in height. The low lands are intersected by a stream that issues from the loch of Lindores, in the parish of Abdie, and falls into the river Tay at the north-eastern extremity of this parish; and also by another streamlet, flowing from Loch Mill, in the same parish, and joining the Eden at Auchtermuchty. The Tay, after receiving the waters of the Earn, expands into a breadth of almost two miles at this place; and its channel, as already observed, is divided nearly into two equal portions by the island of Mugdrum, in the parish of Abernethy. There are also many excellent and copious springs, of which the one called Nine Wells rises in the hilly district towards the south-west. The soil in the higher lands, though of little depth, is very fertile, consisting of a loose black loam; and in the low lands, a remarkably rich clay, which under proper management produces abundant crops. The system of agriculture is in the highest state of improvement; the crops are, barley, of which the chevalier species is fast growing into general use, oats, some wheat, potatoes, and turnips. The orchards in the vicinity of the town are very productive, and abound with fruit of the finest quality, which finds a ready sale at the market, and returns a high profit to the proprietors. The principal woods are those of Mugdrum, comprising about thirty acres on the banks of the Tay, and consisting chiefly of spruce-firs and larch; and Pitcairly, twelve acres in extent, producing some fine specimens of ash, beech, elm, and plane. The plantations on the Town's land comprise more than forty acres of spruce, Scotch fir, and larch, of recent growth, and in a thriving condition. The substratum of the parish is principally of the trap formation: in the lower part a fine-grained porphyritic greenstone, and in the upper a compact felspar, and some beds of trap tuffa, are found. In the small veins of the greenstone are crystals of quartz, carbonate of lime, barytes, and other minerals; and in the felspar occur nodules of claystone, and agates of jasper, approaching in quality to the Mocha stone. In the hills are frequently boulders of primitive rock, granite, gneiss, quartz, mica-slate imbedded with garnets, and primitive greenstone. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4958. Mugdrum House and Pitcairly are the principal mansions.

Newburgh is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife, and patronage of the Earl of Mansfield and the Hay family: the minister's stipend is £225. 14. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £40 per annum. The church, erected in 1833, and situated in the centre of the town, is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, and forms a conspicuous feature in the view; it is adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. There are places of worship for the United Associate Synod, and for very small congregations of Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £22 fees, and a good house and garden, in addition to which he possesses about four acres of land bequeathed to the school many years since. There are also two Sabbath schools, to each of which is attached a juvenile library. The poor are partly supported by the interest of accumulated sums arising from lands purchased for their relief, and now producing £19. 17. 4. per annum; a female charitable society distributes annually about £15 in clothing and fuel to the poor, and there are two friendly societies, which prevent many of their aged members from applying for parochial assistance. Little remains of the ancient monastery of Lindores, which after its dissolution soon sank into a state of dilapidation and decay; but even its inconsiderable ruins, which for some time have been carefully preserved, afford sufficient indications of its former splendour. The porch of the church is in good preservation, and shows the original building to have been of elegant design, and of elaborate workmanship; the walls are massive, and appear to have been very extensive. Among the ruins of the abbey was found a stone coffin, said to have contained the body of the Duke of Rothsay, who was barbarously put to death in the palace of Falkland, and privately buried within the monastery; and it is traditionally recorded that James, the ninth earl of Douglas, who was taken prisoner at Barneswark Hill, was immured in the abbey, in which he continued till his death in the year 1488. In the hills to the south of the ruins, the sites of the monks' and abbots' wells are still pointed out; but no traces whatever remain of the causeway which extended from the abbey to the church of Magirdum, in the parish of Dron, and which was raised by the monks, who went annually to that place to unite with the nuns of Elcho in paying their devotions to the patron saint. Among the woods to the west of the town are the remains of an ancient cross, consisting of the upright shaft, inserted in a pedestal, and ornamented with curious antique devices on the several stages into which its surface is divided. The two upper compartments of the east face have in each the sculptured representation of a man on horseback, much mutilated; and in the two lower compartments are two horses of very unequa1 size, and the representation of a boar-hunt, very rudely sculptured. On another side are some scroll ornaments; but on the two other sides, the figures or devices are entirely obliterated. The transepts appear to have been broken off. The shaft is of sandstone, and about seven feet in height; it is called the cross of Mugdrum, supposed to be a corruption of Magridin, the saint to whom it was dedicated. By some antiquaries it is thought to have been raised to commemorate the defeat of the Danes in the battle of Luncarty, about the close of the 10th century, through the resolute valour of Hay and his sons, who compelled their retreating countrymen to return to the field of battle. About a mile to the south of this monument, on the confines of Strathearn, is another ancient relic of the same materials, called Macduff's Cross. It consists of one large block of stone, deeply indented in several parts, in each of which cavities were formerly an iron staple and a ring, said to have been intended for the securing of certain cattle offered by the Macduff family as an atonement for the crime of murder. The shaft was destroyed by the Reformers, on their route from Perth to the abbey of Lindores, in 1559. Near the site is a cairn of loose stones, called "Sir Robert's Prap," raised over the grave of Sir Robert Balfour, of Denmill, who fell in a duel not far from the spot towards the commencement of the last century. The Earl of Newburgh takes his title from this parish.

Moonzie Fife Scotland


Moonzie Church, Fife, Scotland. Moonzie church is a conspicuous object against the skyline, visible from most parts of the parish and from a wide area beyond. This fact caused the church in Moonzie to be known throughout the ages as the Visible Kirk. Tour Moonzie, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Moonzie in 1846. Moonzie, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 2 miles (N. W.) from Cupar; containing 174 inhabitants. This place, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifies "the Hill of the deer," was anciently the seat of the Crawfurd family, of whom Alexander, the third earl, is said to have built the castle of Lordscairnie, here, in which he occasionally resided, and of which there are still considerable remains. Sir William Ramsay, also, who lived in the reign of David II., and was taken prisoner at the battle of Durham in 1346, when the Scottish army was completely defeated, resided at Colluthie, in the parish. The parish, which is one of the smallest in Scotland, is situated on the south side of the Grampian hills, and is less than two miles in length, and not a mile and a half in breadth; comprising an area of about 1260 acres, of which, with the exception of a few acres of plantations, the whole is arable. The surface is diversified with hills and dales: towards the west are several rising grounds of considerable elevation, which, sloping gradually towards the east, terminate in a valley of considerable extent. The highest grounds are about 300 feet above the level of the sea; the lower grounds are intersected by the Moonzie burn, which has its source in Lordscairnie Myre, and falls into the river Eden.

The soil is generally a black loam of great fertility, resting on a substratum of trap-rock, but in some parts is a strong coarse clay, with a few acres of moss. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, peas, beans, and potatoes; the lands are in excellent cultivation under a highly-improved system of husbandry, and have been well drained and inclosed. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious; and on several of the farms are threshing-mills, of which two are driven by steam. Sheep are reared upon one farm, of a breed between the Cheviot and the Leicestershire; the cattle are principally of the Fifeshire black kind, which has superseded the Teeswater, for some time the favourite breed. Great attention is paid to the improvement of the livestock; and several of the farmers breed a considerable number of horses for agricultural purposes. The plantations, chiefly on the summits of the hills, are mostly Scotch firs. There are some small clusters of houses in several parts, inhabited by agricultural labourers; but none can properly be called a village. Facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road from Cupar to Newburgh, which passes along the boundary of the parish, and by a statute road in good repair. The rateable annual value of Moonzie is £2215. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £187. 17. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, the Earl of Glasgow. The church, situated on rising ground in the south-west portion of the parish, is an ancient plain structure without either tower or spire; it has recently been repaired, and contains 171 sittings, all of which are free. The parochial school is attended by about sixty children; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees average £18 per annum. The remains of Lordscairnie Castle stand on some gently-rising ground nearly in the centre of what is called the Myre, previously to the draining of which, the castle must have been surrounded with water. They consist chiefly of the walls, which are about six feet in thickness and forty feet in height, and comprise four stories: of the wall that inclosed the court, little is left except one of the several towers by which it was defended. There are also some remains of Colluthie House, now repaired, and converted into a private residence; and stone coffins have been found at various times in the parish.

Monimail Fife Scotland


Monimail Parish Church, Fife, Scotland. Monimail lies on the northern edge of the Howe of Fife on a minor road between the villages of Collessie and Letham. Monimail Parish Church has a four-stage Gothic tower. Tour Monimail, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Monimail in 1846. Monimail, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife; including the villages of Easter Fernie and Letham, and containing 1162 inhabitants, of whom 117 are in the village of Monimail, 5½ miles (W.) from Cupar. The name of this place is of uncertain derivation, but most probably of Celtic origin. The archbishops of St. Andrew's had a palace here, which was occasionally their summer residence; and there is still remaining an ancient tower, supposed to have been added to the original building by Cardinal Beaton, who resided at Monimail in 1562. The parish is of elliptical form, extending at its extreme length for about six miles, and in its greatest breadth to about five miles; and comprises 6000 acres, of which 3000 are arable, 2000 meadow and pasture, and 500 woodland and plantations. The surface is varied, rising in the northern part into a continuous range of hills, of which that called Mount Hill is the highest, and in the southern part forming a broad tract of nearly level ground, intersected by numerous streamlets which fall into the river Eden. The soil consists generally of decomposed rock and vegetable earth, interspersed with occasional beds of clay, but in some parts comprises sand and gravel. The system of agriculture is improved, and the rotation plan of husbandry prevails, with due regard to the quality of the soil; the crops are, barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and potatoes, of which last great quantities are raised, and shipped for the London market. The pastures are usually good, and great attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are of the Fifeshire, Ayrshire, and Teeswater breeds; the Fifeshire are preferred for breeding, and the Ayrshire for the dairy. Few sheep are reared; but considerable numbers of the Cheviot and black-faced breeds are bought in the autumn, and fed on turnips during the winter. The lands are well drained and fenced, and the farm houses and offices substantial and commodious. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9463.

The plantations, principally on the lands belonging to the gentlemen's seats, consist of Scotch fir, larch, beech, oak, ash, elm, and plane; they are well managed and generally thriving. The substratum in the north of the parish is mostly whinstone, and in the south, sandstone: there are strata of coal in several parts, but no works have been opened, and the principal fuel is therefore brought from Markinch and Dysart. Melville, the property of the Earl of Leven and Melville, is an elegant modern mansion, beautifully situated in a well-disposed demesne embellished with plantations. Fernie Castle is an ancient structure of great strength, and said to have been one of the castles of Macduff: not far distant is Mount Hill, on the summit of which is a lofty and stately column more than 100 feet in height, erected to the memory of the late Lord Hopetoun, and which forms a conspicuous and interesting object in the landscape. Cunoquhie is finely situated in a richly-planted demesne; and Balgarvie is also a handsome edifice with grounds tastefully embellished. The weaving of linen is carried on extensively at the village of Letham, affording employment to a great number of persons, who work with hand-looms in their own dwellings. Communication with the principal towns in the district is facilitated by good roads, of which three several branches pass through the parish. There are two parochial libraries, one containing a well-chosen collection of volumes on general literature, and the other exclusively appropriated to religious subjects. Monimail is within the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the Earl of Leven: the minister's stipend is £272. 10. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum. The church, which is inconveniently situated near one extremity of the parish, is a handsome building with a tower; it was erected in 1796, and affords accommodation for a congregation of 600 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £24 fees, and a house and garden. There are four other schools, which are supported partly by private subscription, and partly by the fees.

Milton of Balgonie Fife Scotland


Milton of Balgonie Church, Fife, Scotland. Tour Milton of Balgonie, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Milton of Balgonie in 1846. Milton of Balgonie, a considerable village, and also a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Markinch, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; containing, with the villages of Balcurvie, Haugh-Mill, Burns, and Windygates, 1408 inhabitants, of whom 592 are in the village of Milton, 1½ mile (E. S. E.) from Markinch. The village takes its name from the extensive mills around which it has arisen; it is situated on the river Leven, and consists of neat substantial cottages inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the mills. Since 1836 it has greatly increased in extent and population. The mills for the spinning of flax and tow are the property of Messrs. Baxter and Stewart, and form a spacious structure, occupying three sides of a quadrangle 160 feet in length and 140 feet in width. Two sides of the quadrangle comprise the buildings for the machinery, which is propelled by the water of the Leven; and the third side contains three spacious warehouses, above which are heckling rooms. In detached situations are a warehouse capable of holding 200 tons of flax, a smithy, gas-works from which the factory is lighted, and stabling. The total cost of raw materials consumed in a recent year was £25,000; the quantity manufactured was 475 tons of flax, imported from the Baltic, Archangel, Holland, France, and Ireland. The number of persons generally employed is about 270, of whom 120 are women, and fifty children. The finer yarns spun here are sold in the adjoining districts, or exported to France; the heavier are manufactured into canvass, sacking, and other articles, chiefly for the London market. This branch of the establishment is at present carried on at Dundee, but will be soon removed to this place, when the number of persons employed in the concern will be augmented by an addition of one hundred men and fifty women. The Balgonie bleachfield, the property of Messrs. William Russell and Company, was established for the bleaching of linen yarns: the works, which are situated on the banks of the Leven, afford employment to about seventy persons, and the quantity of yarn annually averages 480 tons. The quoad sacra parish is about three miles and a half in length and nearly three miles in breadth, comprising an area of eight square miles. The church was erected in 1836, at an expense of £850, of which £140 were a grant from the funds of the General Assembly, and the remainder raised by subscription; it is a neat building containing 625 sittings. There are schools in the village and likewise in Balcurvie. Balgonie Castle, in the neighbourhood of Milton village, an ancient seat of the earls of Leven, is of considerable strength, and supposed to be an erection of the 12th century; its architecture is still very entire. The courtyard is 108 feet by sixty-five feet, and the tower on the north side is eighty feet in height.

Markinch Fife Scotland


Markinch Parish Church, Fife, Scotland. An energetic Church of Scotland parish church at the centre of old Markinch. Founded in the sixth Century. The current church building dates from 1786. A spire was added to the tower during the period 1807 to 1810 at which time the church was extended. Tour Markinch, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Markinch in 1846. Markinch, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; containing, with the villages of Coaltown of Balgonie, Dubbieside, Balcurvie, Burns, HaughMill, Milton, and Windygates, and part of Star, Thornton, and Woodside, 5965 inhabitants, of whom 1315 are in the village of Markinch, 7 miles (N.) from Kirkcaldy. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Celtic language "the island of the forest," from the site having been at a remote period surrounded by water, of which, notwithstanding the land being drained, and partly covered with buildings, there are still evident traces. The parish is about six miles in length, and varies from two to five miles in breadth, comprising an area of sixteen square miles, or 10,200 acres, of which nearly 8500 are arable, 800 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface is pleasingly diversified, sloping gradually towards the south and east from the Lomond hills, by which the parish is skirted on the north. It is divided into four distinct valleys, inclosed by ranges of low hills, and watered by as many streams, which unite towards the east, and fall into the Frith of Forth; the principal rivers are the Leven and the Orr.

The soil is various. On the north bank of the Leven is a gravelly and clayey loam, dry and fertile; but a wet loam, sand, and clay prevail in the district between the Leven and the Orr, and also in the south and eastern portions of the parish. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with a small portion of peas, beans, and flax. The system of agriculture is in an improved state; the lands are well drained, chiefly by furrow drains; and the farm-buildings are generally substantial and commodiously arranged. Bone-dust has been introduced for manure, and lime is used upon most of the lands. The hills afford good pasture for the cattle, usually of the Fifeshire breed. The plantations, which are chiefly around the seats of the several proprietors, and of the more ornamental character, are in a thriving state, and add greatly to the beauty of the scenery. The substrata are mainly sandstone of every variety, abounding with organic remains; ironstone is found in different parts, but, though containing eighty per cent of ore, the working of it has long been discontinued. Coal is abundant on the lands of Balbirnie and Balgonie, and is extensively wrought at both places. The coal in the former lies at a depth of twenty-five fathoms, and occurs in three seams, of which the uppermost is eighteen inches in thickness, the middle seam fifty-four, and the lowest twenty-four inches; the coal on the lands of Balgonie occurs in two seams, at a depth varying from twenty-five to thirty-five fathoms, the upper seam nine feet six inches, and the lower seven feet, in thickness. The mines at the village of Thornton were discontinued in 1743, but re-commenced in 1785, when powerful steam-engines were erected; they are still in extensive operation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £16,081. The castle of Balfour, once the family-seat of the Balfours, situated near the confluence of the Orr and Leven, has been the property of the Bethunes for nearly five centuries. To the west of it is the ancient castle of Balgonie, one of the seats of the Earl of Leven: the oldest portion is the keep, a square tower eighty feet in height, crowned with battlements, and having circular projecting turrets at the angles; and communicating with it is a house of three stories, erected by the first earl of Leven, to which a wing was added by one of his successors. The estate was purchased in 1823, for the sum of £104,000, by James Balfour, Esq., brother of General Balfour, of Balbirnie; and the family purpose to restore the castle. Balbirnie House, now the property of John Balfour, Esq., about a mile to the west of the church, is a handsome modern structure, erected by General Balfour, ornamented in the principal front with a noble Ionic portico, and situated in a park of 200 acres, richly wooded. Kirkforthar, the seat of George Johnstone Lindsay, Esq., is an ancient mansion. There were formerly numerous other resident proprietors in the parish, of whose houses scarcely any traces are now left.

The village of Markinch is built partly on the southern acclivity of the hill of that name, which has a height of about 100 feet, extending in a ridge from east to west for 300 yards: on the northern side, the precipitous ascent is cut into terraces twenty feet in breadth, rising above each other to an elevation of ten or twelve feet, and supposed to have been formed by the Romans under Agricola. The water-power afforded by the Leven and the Orr, the abundance of coal and freestone in the neighbourhood, and the facilities of communication, have greatly encouraged the establishment of manufactures in the parish, among which are the Rothes papermills, erected in 1806 by Mr. William Keith, and now the property of Messrs. Tullis and Company. The chief articles manufactured here are brown and grey wrappingpapers, in which twenty men and ten women are engaged. The Auchmuty mills, belonging to the same firm, for the making of cartridge, coloured, printing, and writingpapers, afford occupation to 100 persons, of whom onehalf are women, and produce about 500 tons of paper annually. The Balbirnie mills, established in 1816 by Messrs. J. Grieve and Company, for coarse and fine wrapping-papers, give employment to thirty persons, of whom fourteen are women; and the quantity annually produced averages 250 tons. The woollen-manufactory at Balbirnie-Bridge was erected in 1835, by Mr. Drysdale, for the weaving of plaidings, blankets, and shawls, principally for the Glasgow merchants: in this factory are ten power-looms employing twenty-seven persons, and four hand-looms employing ten persons, of whom a considerable proportion are females. The linen-manufacture (of silesias, and holland for window-blinds) was till 1810 confined to about fifty persons, who sold their webs to the merchants of Auchtermuchty and Kettle; but since that time the weaving of dowlas, sheetings, and towellings has been introduced by Mr. Robert Inglis, and the number of persons employed has increased to nearly 900. who work in their own houses, and of whom many live in the adjoining parishes. The spinning of flax and tow is extensively carried on at Milton of Balgonie, and in the village of Haugh, which see. There are also bleachfields at Rothes and Lochty; the former affording occupation to 110 persons, of whom eighty are women and children; and the latter employing about 100 persons. At Cameron-Bridge is a very extensive distillery; and at Thornton are some vitriol-works, connected with a similar establishment at Glasgow.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £267. 17., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, a very ancient structure with a lofty tower and spire, situated on an eminence in the village, was partly rebuilt and enlarged in 1806, and contains 1360 sittings. Churches to which quoad sacra parishes were formally annexed have been built at Milton and Thornton; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Secession. The parochial school is numerously attended; the master has a salary of £34, with a good house and garden, and the fees average about £70 per annum. There are nine other schools, of which two, on the Balgonie estate, have endowments, the one of £10 per annum, with a house and garden, and the other of £5 only; one at Balbirnie has simply a house for the master, and a female school in the village is supported chiefly by a subscription of some ladies of the Balgonie, Balbirnie, and Barnslee families. About two miles from the mouth of the Leven are the remains of some ancient fortresses, of which the origin is not distinctly known; and in the westward portion of the parish have been found, at various times, Roman relics consisting of military weapons and other antiquities. On the highest point of the ridge near the village, at an elevation of eighty feet, are the remains of Maiden Castle, a quadrilateral intrenchment, supposed to have been one of the strongholds of Macduff, Thane of Fife; and to the east of the village is Dalginch, another of his castles, from which there is said to have been a subterraneous communication with the former. The latter, now called Barnslee, is the residence of Mrs. Paston.

Luthrie Fife Scotland


Luthrie, Fife, Scotland. The pesent Creich and Flisk Parish Church is located in an area of rolling countryside just north of the A92, half a mile beyond the of Luthrie. Built in 1832 to replace the earlier ruined church of St Devine or the old Creich Church. Tour Luthrie, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Luthrie in 1846. Luthrie, a village, in the parish of Creich, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 3 miles (N. W. by. N.) from Cupar; containing 163 inhabitants. This village is pleasantly situated within a mile of Brunton. The inhabitants are mostly employed in hand-loom weaving for the manufacturers of Cupar and Newburgh; the articles woven are chiefly Osnaburghs, brown and white sheetings, and dowlas, of which the quantity annually produced here, and at Brunton, averages about 177,200 yards. An agent of one of the principal houses resides in the village, and supplies the main part of the materials; forty persons are employed in weaving, of whom twelve are females, and about twenty females are engaged in winding. There are likewise in the village a brewery, a bakehouse, and mills for meal and barley; several persons, also, are occupied in the various handicraft trades requisite for the supply of the parish; and there is a small inn. The river Motray flows through the village; and on an eminence in the immediate vicinity is the parish church.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Lindores Fife Scotland


Lindores Abbey is situated near the Tay, close to Newburgh, Fife, Scotland. Of the Tironensian, reformed Benedictine, abbey, founded about 1190 by David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of William the Lion, there are only fragmentary remains, although the ground plan of the whole structure can still be traced. Best preserved are the south-west gateway through the precinct wall, various discontinuous fragments of the wall itself, and part of the east cloister range, including the still vaulted slype, passage from the cloister to the east end of the church, all built of local red sandstone. Tour Lindores, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Lindores in 1846. Lindores, a village, in the parish of Abdie, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Newburgh; containing 95 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, most probably arose under the protection of the Macduffs, thanes of Fife, to whom the lands originally belonged, and of whose baronial castle some vestiges remain. The village is of pleasing and rural appearance, and delightfully situated near the lake of the same name. This lake is about one mile in length, and three-quarters of a mile in breadth, its banks abounding in rich scenery; and in the immediate neighbourhood is the handsome mansion of Lindores, the residence of Admiral Maitland, built on a commanding eminence. The high road from Cupar to Newburgh passes close to the village. The Grange of Lindores, of which the population is 166, is also in this parish.

Limekilns Fife Scotland


Limekilns, Fife, Scotland, lies on the shore of the Firth of Forth. Limekilns is an extremely old settlement dating back to the 14th century. Tour Limekilns, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Limekilns in 1846. Limekilns, a village, and sea-port, in the parish and district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 3 miles (S.) from Dunfermline; containing 949 inhabitants. This place, which was formerly considerable for its trade, appears to have been of some note at an early period. Not far from the harbour is an ancient vault called the King's Cellar, in which most probably were stored the various articles imported for the use of the royal household in the palace of Dunfermline, and on which is the date 1551. The village is situated upon the north shore of the Firth of Forth, and is neatly built. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the neighbouring lime-works, and in the exportation of coal, lime, wool, and other produce, in which several vessels belonging to the port are engaged. Ship-building, and the curing of fish, are also carried on to a moderate extent. The harbour, which is accessible to vessels of 300 tons' burthen at spring-tides, is spacious and commodious; and the several shipowners here were incorporated as an Insurance Company, by act of parliament, in 1834. There is a ferry to Blackness; and the steamboats to and from Stirling touch at the port. A merchant-seamen's fund has been established. There is a place of worship for the United Associate Synod; and a school for females is held in a room over the King's Cellar.

Leven Fife Scotland


Leven, Fife, Scotland. Tour Leven, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Leven in 1846. Leven, a sea-port and ancient burgh of barony, and a bathing-place, in the parish of Scoonie, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 3 miles (W. S. W) from Largo, and 9 (N. E.) from Kirkcaldy; containing 1827 inhabitants. This place, which is agreeably situated on the sea-shore at the mouth of the river whence it takes its name, was erected into a burgh of barony by charter of the proprietor of the lands of Durie, now belonging to the Christies, but once in the possession of the family of Gibson, whose descendants, the lords Durie, are distinguished in Scottish history. The town consists chiefly of two parallel streets, connected with each other by several smaller streets crossing them in various directions; the houses are neatly built, and the inhabitants are supplied with water, and the town cleansed and lighted, by a board of police established for some years under act of parliament. A handsome suspension-bridge has been constructed over the river, near its mouth, connecting the town with the village of Dubbieside, on the opposite bank; but it is adapted exclusively for foot-passengers, and there was till lately no bridge for carriages nearer than Cameron bridge, about three miles further up the stream. The want was severely felt; and consequently, in the spring of 1841, a carriage-bridge was opened on the line of the new road to Kirkcaldy. A subscription library, containing a well-chosen collection of nearly 700 volumes, has been for some time established; and there is also a mechanics' institution, to which is attached a library of useful works.

The weaving of linen is one of the chief branches of the trade of Leven, and affords employment to about 170 persons, who work at handlooms in their own dwellings; there are also five mills for the spinning of flax and tow, in which 250 persons are engaged, of whom upwards of 150 are females. An extensive iron-foundry has been for many years in operation, and gives constant occupation to about fifty men; and thirty are employed in a saw-mill. A considerable manufactory of bricks and tiles is carried on; the town also derives a degree of traffic from its proximity to the markettowns of Kirkcaldy and Cupar, and the post-office has two deliveries daily. Fairs are held in the spring annually, and likewise in July and October. The former for linseed, and the latter for white linen, were numerously attended by merchants from distant parts of the country; but they have now become little more than pleasure-fairs. The trade of the port, which appears to have been once chiefly confined to the shipping of the coal procured on the Durie estate, consists at present likewise in the exportation of linen-cloth and yarn, bone-dust for manure, grain, potatoes, whisky, cast and pig iron, ochre, and bricks and tiles; and in the importation of flax, hemp, malt, coal, stone for building, timber, slates, herrings, and bones to grind for manure. There are belonging to the port two brigs, of 374 tons' aggregate burthen, chiefly in the American trade; and five sloops, of 188 tons' aggregate burthen, employed in the coasting trade. In a recent year, fifteen foreign ships, and 222 coasters, entered inwards; and the amount of the exports was £60,483, and of imports, £43,190. The harbour, naturally formed by a creek of the river, is accessible at spring-tides to vessels of 300 tons, which can unload and take in their cargoes at the quay; but from the banks of sand near its mouth, which after storms or floods frequently shift their position, the entrance is rather difficult. The quay, also, is not sufficiently extensive for the increasing trade, which, however, if it should continue to make the same progress it has made for the last few years, will ultimately lead to the improvement of the harbour and the enlargement of the quay. Facility of intercourse with the neighbouring market-towns is afforded by turnpike-roads that pass through the parish; and there is communication with Edinburgh by steam-boats, which leave the port during the summer twice, and in winter once, every day. The parochial church is in the vicinity of the town; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the Relief, and Independents.

Leuchars Fife Scotland


The Church of St. Athernase which dates back to the late 12th century. The Church is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Britain and proudly stands on a grassy knoll overlooking the village of Leuchars, Fife, Scotland. Tour Leuchars, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Leuchars in 1846. Leuchars, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife; containing, with the village of Balmullo, 1901 inhabitants, of whom 592 are in the village of Leuchars, 7½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Cupar. This place appears to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a marshy flat," from some low grounds to the east and west of the village, which, previously to the draining of the lands, were covered with water during the greater part of the year. It seems to have been the joint property of the earls of Southesk and the family of the Bruces, of Earlshall; but nothing of its origin prior to that period is known; nor has it been connected at any time with events of historical importance. From the style of the older portions of the parish church, it would appear that it was originally founded at a very early time; but by whom, or under what particular religious establishment, is not clear. There was also an ancient chapel dedicated to St. Bennet, which subsisted till the Reformation; but not a vestige of it is remaining. The parish is situated on the bay of St. Andrew's, and is about nine miles in length and five miles at its greatest breadth; it is bounded on the south by the river Eden, and comprises 12,350 acres, of which 7900 are arable, 3780 meadow and pasture, and about 500 woodland and plantations. The surface towards the bay on the east is an extensive level, but towards the west rises by a gradual acclivity to the height of nearly 300 feet above the level of the sea, constituting a range of hills which separate the parish from the parish of Logie: the principal of these hills, within the parish, are, the Lucklaw, the Airdit, and the Craigfoodie. The Eden receives the waters of the Moultry, which intersects the parish from north to south, and also of the Monzie burn, which falls into the Moultry before the influx of that stream into the Eden.

The soil near the sea-shore, which is a dead flat measuring about two miles in breadth, is sandy and comparatively barren, but increases in richness towards the inland parts, where it becomes a deep loam, alternated with extensive beds of strong blue clay. The system of husbandry is in a highly-improved state; and, according to the quality of the soil, a five, six, or eight years' rotation is pursued: the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual green crops. The farm houses and offices are substantial and commodious; the lands have been well drained, and inclosed with dykes of stone; and on most of the farms are threshing-mills, of which some are driven by steam. The chief fuel is coal, brought from Newcastle and the Frith of Forth. Great numbers of sheep are fed in the pastures during the summer, and on turnips during the winter; they are of the Leicestershire, Cheviot, and Highland breeds, the last kind generally fattened for the butcher, and the two former kept for breeding. The cattle are of the Teeswater, crossed with the Fifeshire; and the horses mostly of the Clydesdale breed. The plantations are well managed; on the light and sandy soils Scotch fir thrives well, and attains to a stately growth. The substratum is various; to the north-west chiefly whinstone: Lucklaw hill is composed of trap, alternated with greenstone interspersed with veins of calcareous spar and porphyritic felspar; and near the Eden is a stratum of red sandstone, but not sufficiently compact for building purposes. The rateable annual value of the parish is £15,527. The chief mansion-house is Earlshall, a castellated structure of venerable antiquity, part of which is still kept in repair: the walls and roof of the great hall, which is very spacious, are ornamented with heraldic devices, and it displays a fine specimen of baronial grandeur. The grounds are extensive, and embellished with thriving plantations. Pitcullo and Airdit are also castellated mansions, partly fallen into decay. A large number of the working classes are employed in weaving towelling and sheeting for home use, and coarse linens, dowlas, Osnaburghs, and Silesias for the manufacturers of Cupar and Dundee, to be exported to America and the West Indies: 130 looms are constantly in operation. A distillery at Seggie, on the bank of the Eden, for many years previously to 1836 consumed 100 quarters of grain daily, affording employment to about 100 persons. On the Moultry and the Monzie burn are meal and barley mills, driven by those streams; and there are mills in the parish for linseed, oatmeal, and for sawing timber. The village of Leuchars is extensive, and neatly built, and appears to have increased since the conversion of the tract of land called the Tents Moor into farms, and the consequent removal of numerous cottages on it, the occupants of which now reside in the recently-erected houses. It is pleasantly situated, and has a cheerful and healthy appearance; the surrounding scenery, also, is diversified. The inhabitants, who are chiefly employed in weaving, and in the trades requisite for the supply of the parish, have facility of intercourse with the neighbouring market-towns by means of good turnpike-roads, by which the village is intersected. The Eden is navigable for vessels of considerable tonnage to Guardbridge, near the village, where a small harbour has been constructed for the convenience of trade; and at Seggie is a pier for the use of the distillery there. A large number of salmon are taken during the season; and near the mouth of the river are extensive beds of muscles, which are let to tenants who bestow great attention upon the management of them. Two annual fairs for the sale of cattle and pedlery are still held in the village; but they have been for some years declining, and are but thinly attended. Balmullo, consisting chiefly of scattered houses, is pleasantly situated.

The parish is in the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the Crown The minister's stipend is £238. 11. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum, The church, situated in the village, is a highly-interesting structure, and appears to have been erected at different periods, exhibiting beautiful specimens of the ancient and later styles of Norman architecture, with additions of a much more recent character. It consists of three portions, of which that to the east, the most ancient, is of semicircular form, and decorated externally by a range of ten circular arches with zigzag mouldings, supported on double pillars: above is a series of nine similar arches and pillars, surrounding the walls. The interior of this portion of the building is lighted by a tier of three circular-headed windows of corresponding character, inserted in the intervals between the pillars; and above the upper series of arches are corbels grotesquely ornamented, from which spring the ribs of the groined roof. The central portion of the edifice differs from the former chiefly in having a series of pointed arches formed by the intersection of circular arches resting on the alternate columns, and in the higher elevation of the roof, which is not groined; it is lighted by two windows on the south, and one on the north. The western portion is not distinguished by any striking features of architectural embellishment: together with the central part, it has been fitted up as the parish church, and is adapted for a congregation of nearly 900 persons. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church, and in the village of Balmullo is one for a congregation of the Original Secession. The parochial school is under good arrangement: the master has a salary of £34, with £10 fees, and a house and garden; also a glebe of two acres of land, and the interest of 2000 merks Scotch bequeathed by the Rev. A. Henderson. A school for English reading and sewing is supported by the Lindsay family; and a parochial library has been established in the village of Leuchars, which already contains a collection of some hundred volumes of general and religious publications. The poor have the rent of lands in the hands of the Kirk Session amounting to £24. At a short distance from the village is a circular mound once surrounded by a moat, on which the ancient castle of Leuchars was erected, but no vestige of the buildings is remaining; it was a place of great strength, and one of the strongholds of the earls of Fife, but the fortifications were demolished by the English in the fourteenth century. On Craigie hill, an earthen vase containing about a hundred silver coins of Severus, Antoninus, and other Roman emperors, was turned up by the plough in 1808: most of them are now in the possession of the Lindsay family. Pitlethie, in the parish, is believed to have been a royal hunting-seat.