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New Statistical Account of Scotland - (Circa 1842)

Forfar, Kincardine: by Scotland, Society for the Benefit of the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy


There are 130 work horses, and 50 young horses.

Rent of Land.—Grazing an ox, L.3,10s.; a cow, L.3; ahorse, L.3, 10s. Since 1800, the progress of agriculture has been so great, that there is at least a third more cultivated land than there was then. Draining, the application of lime and bone-dust, have also increased the capabilities of the land that was previously tilled. The produce of the parish may be said to be triple of what it was at the commencement of the century. The rents of many of the farms have also increased in the same degree. The Earl of Airlie and the other heritors have given every encouragement to their tenants to prosecute agricultural improvements.

The farm-steadings throughout the parish, in general, are inferior to none in the county. The dwelling-houses of the farmers are plain, but substantial.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Village.—The village is situated near the church. There are no public buildings in it. The houses are very ruinous; but it is likely they will soon be rebuilt.

Market-Town.—Kirriemuir is the market-town for part of the produce. Forfar and Dundee are, however, frequently resorted to. These places are respectively seven, twelve, and twenty-one miles distant; but the journey to Dundee is facilitated by the Newtyle Railway.

Means of Communication.—There are no turnpike roads in the parish. The roads are maintained by Statute Labour, and are every year receiving a decided improvement.

Ecclesiastical State.—The parish church is not conveniently situated. It is eight miles and a-half from the northern extremity of the parish, and only one and-a-half from the southern boundary. It was built in 1802, and may accommodate 450 people. The manse was erected much about the same time. It has since received a large addition. In architectural beauty, it is strikingly deficient. There is only one Dissenter in the parish. The attendance at church is very good. The number of communicants is 433. The stipend consists of L.121, 12s. 8d., and 44 bolls of grain.

Education.—There are three schools in the parish; one parochial and two private. The teacher has a salary of L. 29, 18s. 9|d.; the legal accommodations and his school fees may amount to nearly L.30 per annum. The average number of scholars under his charge may be 80. The other teachers have no other source of income than the fees of the scholars.

Poor and Parochial Funds.—L. 330 from collections at church, dues on mortcloths, &c. L.85, 15s. 10id. from heritors, constitute the amount of money distributed amongst the poor during the last ten years. The number of regular paupers is 14.

Inns—There are three public-houses in the parish; and very few instances of disorderly conduct have occurred in any of them.

Fuel.—Peats are the common fuel, but in the course of a few years most of the mosses will be exhausted.

December 1842.




I.—Topography And Natural History.

Extent and Situation.Part of the parish is situated in Perthshire, but the greater part in the western district of Forfarshire, on the south side of the valley of Strathmore, and on the northern declivity of the Sidlaw hills. The length from east to west is 4 miles, the breadth from south to north is 3, exclusive of Bandirran, which is detached.

There are six small villages in the parish, of which Kettins is the largest. It is delightfully situated on a little stream, which, after passing through Cupar-Angus, falls into the Isla. It is generally admired by strangers as a picture of rural simplicity and beauty. The neatly kept cottages and gardens—the village green, situated in the centre, watered by the rivulet, and the magnificent wood in which the whole is embosomed, give it much the appearance of the beautiful hamlets in the southern counties of England. The mansion-houses of Newhall, Beechwood, and Hallyburton are in the immediate vicinity.

Soil.—The soil is various. Part of the low parish, and the greater part of the higher grounds have rather a light thin soil, and the hills are partly covered with heathy pasture. But nearly

* From notes furnished by Mr James Gibb, Parochial Schoolmaster of Kettins.

all the hills, together with the least productive portion of the low grounds, are planted with wood of various kinds, chiefly larch and pine. The late Lord D. G. Hallyburton, by planting and other improvements, very much enhanced the value of his estate, and beautified not the parish only, but the scenery of the surrounding district. In many places, a strong red clay or mortar prevails, and in some it is wet and spongy. The greater part of the parish, however, is tolerably fertile, the soil consisting of a friable black mould or silicious loam, generally resting on a subsoil of loose reddish till or earthy gravel. When this till is close and retentive, the land is wet. The underlying rocks are the old red or grey sandstone, (as is generally the case in Strathmore,) except on the southern part of the parish, towards the ridge of the Sidlaw hills, where the trap rocks shoot up and intermix with the sandstone. There are quarries of this sandstone in several places in the parish. The stone is very durable, and makes excellent building-stone, but in some of the Pitcur quarries it is hard and difficult to cut. No fossils of fishes or other organic remains have been observed in any of these quarries, such as have been found at Clashbinnie and Den of Balruddrie, on the south of the Sidlaws. The coarse conglomerate or base of the red sandstone-formation in Strathmore lies along the southern base of the Grampians, and generally reclines on greywacke, or on the schists and gneiss of these primary mountains, composing some of the smaller hills next the strath. Where this conglomerate is cut by rivers, it generally forms grand and picturesque scenery, from the perpendicularity of its cliffs and chasms, as at Craighall, Airlie Castle, Cortachy, Gannochy Bridge, Fordun, and other places. The finer rock of the formation extends southwards, and is covered by the coal-fields of Fife, with their accompanying yellow and white calciferous sandstone, shale, &c.:—the trap-rock of the Sidlaw and Ochil hills, and others of less eminence interrupting the strata in various places, and giving them different dips.*

Botany.—Besides the more common plants, many of the more rare and less common are to be found in the parish and neighbourhood.

The following may be stated:

• See Hugh Miller's excellent book on the Old Red Sandstone, and Geology of Fife and the Lothians by Charles Maclaren, Esq., F. R. S. E.

Trollios Europaeui Trientalia Europsa Gymnadenia conopsea

Liatera cordata Hippuris vulgaris Vinca minor

Botrychium lunaria Potamogeton lucens Anemone nemorosa

Drosera rotundtfblia gramineua Saxifraga granulata

Pilularia globulifera heterophyllus Geranium pratense

Lobelia Durtmanna Utricularia vulgaris Teucrium Chamaedrys

Isoetes lacustris Parnassia palustris Hypericum bumifusuiru

Geranium sanguineum

II.—Civil History.

The family of Haliburton were very active in bringing about the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, and had an extensive property in this county. The castle of Pitcur, a mile south of the church, and now in ruins, gave title to the ancient and honourable family of Haliburton, the chief of that name.

The church of Kettins prior to the Reformation belonged to the ministry of the Red Friars at Peebles; and it appears, from a charter dated 24th May 1585, confirming one dated 15th November 1558, granted at Holyrood the eighteenth year of the reign of James VI., that the kirk lands of Kettins, now called Newhall, were disponed by Friar Gilbert Brown, minister of the church of the Holy Cross of Peebles, to James Small of Kettins and Elizabeth Bair, his wife. The church of Kettins anciently had six chapels dependent on it, viz. one at a village called Peatie, another at South Corston, a third at Pitcur, a fourth at Muiryfaulds, a fifth at Denhead, and a sixth on the south side of the village of Kettins. Most of these were within small enclosures used as burying places. None of them now remain.

Antiquities.—Some tumuli were found in this parish about fifty years ago. One at Pitcur contained at least 1000 loads of stones. In the centre of this cairn, a few flat unwrought stones, and without date or characters, contained some human bones. A cairn of a very small size was found a mile farther south. In the centre, an urn was found full of bones. At Camp-muir, there are still visible the outlines of a camp, supposed to be Roman. At Baldowrie there is an erect Danish monument, six feet high. It contains some figures, but they are almost entirely defaced.—The Castle of Dores stood on the summit of the hill, south from Pitcur. Tradition reports it to have been for some time the residence of Macbeth.

A cave or weem, about 50 feet in length, was discovered about three years ago on the highest part of a field east of Lintrose. The breadth at the inner end was about seven or eight feet, and the height five feet: it gradually narrowed to three feet at the entrance, which winded half round. The floor was paved, and thewalls built with large rude stones, the upper courses projecting inwards. These caves were used by the ancient inhabitants of the country, either as hiding-holes, as Chalmers thinks, or, as others suppose, as winter quarters.

Parochial Registers.—There are registers of baptisms from 1650; of marriages, from 1685, wanting from 1726 to 1772; of deaths, from 1685, wanting from 1716 to 1750. Kirk-session records commence in 1618.


Lord John Frederick Gordon Hallyburton, M. P., Pitcur, L.2489 8 10 Valued rent. Lord Wharncliffe, Airdler and Keillor, . 120516 8

Mungo Mumty, ** Lintrose, j {« Forfarshire, 442 7 10

J. M. D. Nairne, Esq. of Dunsinnane, Bandirran, . 238 10 0

Alexander Geekie, F.sq. Easter Baldowrie, . 133 6 8

Miss Elizabeth Geekie, Wester Baldowrie, . 133 6 8

William Shaw, Esq. Newhall, . . 128 10 0


1168—males,555; fem.til3.

rths in the course of the last

L.5130 0 0 Mansion-houses.—These are, Hallyburton House, Lintrose, Bandirran, Newhall, and Baldowrie. The lawns around are well laid out, and finely wooded, particularly at Hallyburton, Lintrose, and Bandirran.


Amount of population in 1755, 1475

1801, 1811, 1821, 1831, 1841,

There have been four illegitimate b: three years.

IV.—Industry. Agriculture.

Arable land in the parish, gardens included, 6182 Imp. acres.

Pasture, chiefly hilly, . . 180

Roads, ditches, borders, &c. . . 297


Plantations, . . . 1579

Total in the parish, 8238

Some of the low lands that are under wood might be cultivated with a proper application of capital; but these are not of great extent.

Rent The average rent of land in the parish is about L.1, 5s. per imperial acre, or L.1, 1 Is. 6d. per Scots acre. The real rental of the parish is about L.7800—lands in the occupancy of the proprietors being taken into account. In 1825, the late Lord D. G. Hallyburton valued the lands, and let them to the tenants at a rent ascertained according to Dr Coventry's principle, which seems very equitable.

After ascertaining how many bolls a Scots acre will produce, the proportion to be paid as rent is found by dividing the produce of an acre by 20. Thus four boll land will pay .2 = two-tenths, or .2 = one-fifth of the produce, five boll land, .25, or one-quarter of the produce for rent. A table may be thus formed for the rents of lands:

Produce Prop, of pro- Prod, x prop. Rent per ac. Money rent at

per acre. duce for rent. for rent. in bolls oats. 15s. per boll.

4 bolls. „V = .2 4 X .2 = 0.8 @ 15s. = L.0 12 0

5 do. ,\j = .25 5 x .25 = 1.25 @ do. = 0 18 9

6 do. = .3 6 x .3 = 1.8 @ do. = 17 0

7 do. T's = 35 7 x .35 = 2.45 @ do. = 1 16 9

8 do. X = .4 8 x .4 = 3.2 @ do. = 2 8 0

9 do. A. = .45 9 x .45 - 4.05 @ do. = 3 0 9 10 do. i% = .5 10 x .5 = 5- @ do. = 3 15 0

It is thus seen that the rent increases as the square of the produce; so that land that produces twice the number of bolls per acre that another does, is worth four times he rent: and if eight boll land be worth L.2, 8s. per acre, six boll land is worth L.1, 7s., being as 8;: 62, or as 64 : 36 :: 48s.: 27s. There is as much required for seed and labour of bad land as of good, although there is less loss from the failure of a crop ; therefore the tenant requires a greater proportion of the produce of bad than of good land, to repay him for seed and labour, and consequently leaves a less proportion for rent; and when land produces only what will pay for seed and labour, it is worth nothing as cultivated land, and must be either pastured or planted, or allowed to lie waste.

Agricultural Improvements.—Upwards of 50 acres of good land have been trenched, and brought under cultivation on the hills of Baldowrie by the proprietor. The wet lands on the different estates have been drained.

The different kinds of live-stock have lately been much improved. The kind of cattle consists mostly of the Angus or polled breed, Teeswater or short-horned, with a few of the Ayrshire breed and crosses. The sheep grazed on the cultivated lands are mostly the Leicesters, or the South Downs, with crosses; but the black-faced Highland breed are brought in to assist in eating off the turnips in winter. Hugh Watson, Esq. an extensive farmer in this district, has been long famed as a breeder, particularly of the Angus breed. There are local Associations in the district for encouraging these improvements, by giving premiums for the best stock.

An Association was formed for improving agriculture, so far back as 1757, consisting of most of the landed proprietors in the district, and some at a distance.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Ecclesiastical State.— Number of families in the parish belonging to the Established Church, 214 ; number of Dissenting or Seceding families 40; number of Episcopalian families, 3. Amount of stipend, 16 chalders, half meal and half barley. Glebe, 4 Scots acres in extent; value, about L. 12. The manse was built in 1792, and the church in 1768.

Ministers of Kettins.—James Auchinleik, ordained in 1618; David Paton, ordained in 1650; James Paton, his son, A. S. in 1680. He continued an Episcopalian till 1716, when the following entry occurs in the kirk-session records: " March 11, No sermon, the minister being taken a prisoner, by order of George Duncan, his cousin, one of the lieutenants of the shire, and advised by him not to preach." James Gray, ordained 1718; John Kerr, 1744. translated to Forfar 1745; Robert Trail, 1746, translated to Banff, 1753; Johu Hallyburton, 1754; David Symers, 1801; John Ross Macduff, 1842. Euphan Paton, daughter of Rev. David Paton, was married 1691 to John Hallyburton of Fodderance, whose grand-daughter, Magdalene, was married to George Campbell, D. D., minister of Cupar in Fife, and mother of Lord Campbell, her Majesty's late Attorney-General; and their grandson, Rev. John Hallyburton, was grandfather to Rev. David Symers, who succeeded him as minister of Kettins.

Education.—Besides the parish school, there is one occasionally at Ford. No additional school needed. A few families at a distance from the parish school go to those in the neighbouring parishes. Yearly amount of parochial schoolmaster's salary, L. 30, and L.2, 2s. 9^d. for a garden, no garden being given by the heritors. Probable yearly amount of fees actually paid to parochial schoolmaster, from L. 20 to L.25, including about L. 10 paid from bursaries. Probable amount of the other emoluments of parochial schoolmaster, as session-clerk and kirk-treasurer, about L. 10.

Poor.—Average number of persons receiving parochial aid, 26 sane paupers, and 3 lunatics. Average sum allotted to each sane pauper per week about Is. 6d., and 5s. for each lunatic. Average annual amount of contributions for relief of the poor, about L. 155, whereof from church collections, L.35. A deficiency of funds in the last four years has been made up by a voluntary contribution of the heritors at different times, of about L. 25 per annum. Rent from lands, L.91, exclusive of burdens; mortcloth and penalties, about L.3.

About twenty-eight acres of land at Coupar-Angus belong tothe poor of the parish ofKettins,—Causeyend purchased in 1730, and Butressbank in 1788, by the minister and kirk-session, as trustees for the poor. About three-quarters of an acre at Kettins weredisponed by the Honourable James Hallyburton of Pitcur, to the schoolmaster and heritors, in lieu of 500 merks, given by George Hallyburton of Banchory, a branch of the Pitcur family, for which a feu of 4s. 8d. is paid, and four scholars educated.

Alexander Geekie, a surgeon in London, instituted a bursary in 1713, of L.5 per annum, for educating boys at the school of Kettins; and by his latter will, dated 17th May 1724, and proved at London 15th July 1727, he bequeathed to his brother, William, at Easter Keillor, L.100, the interest of which was to be paid for this end, or to any other charitable use which he shall judge most proper. James Taylor bequeathed to the parish of Kettins, by his will, dated 16th August 178?, and proved at London 28th November, same year, L.100 bank of England stock, for the education of poor children in the parish of Kettins, under the care and charge of George Dempster, Esq. M. P. for Dundee, &c, which Mr Dempster vested in trust of himself, and the proprietor of Dunnichen, minister of Kettins, and proprietor of Newhall for the time being.

John Geekie, farmer at Nether Ballunie, by a trust disposition, dated 1814, and registered in the sheriff-court books of Perth, 9th May 1814, granted L. 100, to be laid out on heritable security, in favour of the minister and elders of the parish of Kettins for the time being, the interest to be applied yearly for educating poor children within the parish of Kettins.

The Rev. James Paton, in name of his daughter, Ann Paton, mortified L.1000 Scots, in trust to the laird of Pitcur, and minister of Kettins for the time being, the interest to be applied for educating girls, or young women at the schools of Dundee. The amount is now L.400 Sterling.