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Part 3 - History


Recorded history shows that in 1658 AD there was still a chapel in the south side of the village. The lands called Abden of Kettins included the chapel, Over Coston and Greenbarns ( South Corston and Greenburns) were transferred to one Alexander Campbell of Balgersho. There was also a transfer of East Townend of Kettins and Pitdownie in the Parish of Kettins to one George McKenzie in 1691 AD.

The village had expanded, but had not been completely built up, and covered the area to Pitcur, Leys, Corston, Balgersho, Gask, Peattie, Baldinnie and Fauldleys (Foldleys).

We now come to the earliest official map of Kettins - Ordnance Survey 25" County Series, Parish edition Forfarshire (Kettins) - (Appendix 3). It is dated 1860 and could have been prepared up to 20 years previously. The map shows that most of the "old" houses in the village were built at that time and that many buildings shown are not in existence today.

Starting at the west end of the village, the Crossroads, Beechwood Villa (Beechwood House), Beechwood Cottage, Peat's Croft, Joiner's Croft, Daisy Cottage, 2 cottages and a bothy ( Rose Cottage and Verona), house, barns and a stable (Smithy Cottage) we arrive at the road junction with all the buildings on the north side of the road with none on the south side. Staying on the Newtyle Road, the next house on the north side is shown as Kettins Cottage (Hillview). On the South side are the old Newhall Cottages, built between 1756 and 1819 AD. Next comes the School Green (The Common) on the north side of which there are two more Newhall Cottages which are shown on the 1756 map (Appendix 1). Newhall Mansion is shown, as is the wooded drive to the Newtyle Road.

Returning to the road junction and taking the School Road, at the Church Road is the Church Cottage, but the cottages west of it have gone, only the filled in well remains. Could one of these cottages have been the old Church Cottage? Pass on over the bridge and on the east side is the School (Schoolhouse and Cottage). On the west side the map shows the old market place with the Market Cross and the Old Inn. Round the corner we have Millhaugh Cottages (Millhaugh) and further along is the Old Mill (Millhaugh) with outbuildings etc. This has now disappeared with no trace at all.

Facing the Old Inn is a row of cottages, now Sunnybrae and outhouses. These extend down the School Road to show a path beside Ivy Cottage. At the end of this road on the north side is a Smithy (The Retreat) and on the south side, cottages at the bottom of Hallyburton North Drive no longer in existence. The two cottages on the North Side of the Newtyle Road are still there, as is the cottage on the south side further along. Knollhead Farm replaced the Walker Croft of 1756 AD.

Returning to the School Green (The Common) it is shown that Kettins Bridge and the field well were still as they are today, except that the well has now been concreted over and the pump removed. Still on the subject of water, there is only one well shown on the 1860 AD map (Appendix 3), but we have found that the village was well supplied with water earlier this century. A pump was situated at the junction of the Newtyle/School Roads (west end) in the field and had access through the dyke. This pump is still in working order. A well was still in existence opposite Church Cottage, another pump was sited on the base of the school outer wall. Again this has been closed and the pump removed.

A further item of interest on this map is numbered 146 and states Pitcur Mortification, which taken literally means this piece of land was cut off from Pitcur for some reason, possibly as a gift or bequest.

If you refer to the 1926 AD map (Appendix 4) drawn by one "Jas. Findlay, Arch', of Dundee, it will be seen that the Glebe still had a part on the Trenchfield Road Path. This could have been drawn for the purpose of the sale of the land to Hallyburton Estate, as later maps no longer show it as part of the Glebe.

Let us now come nearer to modern times. It is known that mains supply water was brought to the village at the end of the last century, This water was connected to the Coupar Angus mains water supply at the Crossroads. Some of this water came from Baldinnie Dam which is now filled in and the waterhouse derelict.

All the houses in the village were owned by Hallyburton Estate and it is supposed that each occupier had a tap to their house as they could afford it, but by the late 1950's there were still a few houses with no mains water supply. At the time of writing all houses are now connected to the water mains and have access to septic tank drains. The septic tanks in some cases have been replaced by the Bio Disk type of system.

In the early 1950's, electricity came to the village and as with the water each occupier took it on themselves when the supply was brought into their houses. (Many houses are now owned by their occupier, the estate having sold them).

The Parish Committee obtained the first partial installation of street lights, two later schemes were introduced and today the lights extend to the Crossroads.

Let us now consider the housing situation at the end of the 1939 - 45 war. A shortage was felt all over the country and Kettins was no exception. The Angus County Council decided to build temporary houses on the school playing field (No. 151) on the 1860 map (Appendix 3). Four "Tarren" houses were built and agricultural workers were allocated these. They were supposed to last 15 - 20 years, but these have now been upgraded to permanent houses. Further houses were eventually built behind these four and the whole area is now a small housing estate.

Some time in the 1970's the whole village was declared to be a "Conservation Area" under local government control in the hope of preventing massive alterations and preserve the face of the village. However over the last few years there have been several houses built. Fortunately these do not detract from the overall look of the village.


The kind permission was granted to allow reproducing of the above works (The Village of Kettins - A Short History) by copyright owner and author Mr Peter H Marsh

Peter H Marsh


December 1994

Thank you.