Parish of Kincardine
A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer
of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and
Historical, edited by
Francis H. Groome
and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works,
Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.
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Kincardine, a large parish of N Ross and Cromarty, containing to the E the village of Ardgay, with a post and telegraph office, and with Bonar-Bridge station on the Highland railway, 13¾ miles WNW of Tain, and 39¼ N by E of Dingwall. It is bounded NE by Creich in Sutherland and by the head of Dornoch Firth, E by Edderton, S by Rosskeen, Alness, Fodderty, and Contin, and SW and W by Lochbroom. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 22¼ miles; its width, contracting to a point at the extremities, elsewhere varies between 3¾ and 21¼ miles; and its area is 239 square miles, or 153, 054 acres. The Oikell, rising at the NW corner and at an altitude of 1500 feet, winds 35¼ miles south-eastward and east-south-eastward along all the Sutherland boundary, through Loch Ailsh (7 x 41/3 furl.; 498 feet) and the Kyle of Sutherland to the head of Dornoch Firth at Bonar-Bridge. Of its twenty tributaries from Kincardine parish, the chief is the Einig, formed by two head-streams, and running 4 miles east-north-eastward to a point ½ mile below Oikell Bridge; whilst the Carron, formed by three head-streams, runs 9 miles east-by-northward to the Kyle at a point ¼ mile above Bonar-Bridge. Of thirty-three lakes, besides Loch Ailsh, the largest are Crom Loch (6 x 31/3 furl.; 1720 feet) on the Fodderty border, and Loch Craggie (51/3 x 1¼ furl.; 507 feet) in the NW interior. The surface is everywhere hilly or mountainous, chief elevations westward and north-westward being Blar Carvary (864 feet), *Cnoc Leathado na Siorramachd (1845), Lamentation Hill (600), Carn Bhren (2080), Breac Bheinn (1516), *Carn Chuinneag (2749), Beinn Ulamhie (1616), Bodach Mor (2689), Carn Loch Sruban Mora (2406), and * Breabag (2338), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the southern and western confines of the parish. Granite and sandstone are the predominant rocks; and precious stones are found upon Carn Chuinneag, exactly similar to those of the Cairngorm Mountains. On the Invercharron estate there is a small tract of very fine arable land, with rich alluvial soil; and in 1847, after the potato disease, the greater part of Upper Gledfield farm, extending to 180 acres, was brought under cultivation, in pursuance of the reclamation scheme of Sir Alex. Matheson of Ardross (Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soe., 1877, pp. 153, 154). Agriculture, however, is practicable over only a small proportion of the land area; and sheep-farming constitutes the staple occupation. There is a pier at the Bridge of Bonar, where ships are moored and discharge their cargoes. A sanguinary contest, called the battle of Tuiteam-Tarbhach, was fought in this parish, about 1397, between the Macleods and the Mackays; and near Culrain station, 4 miles NW of Ardgay, Montrose, with 1200 Cavaliers, Germans, and undrilled Orcadians, was routed by 230 horse and 170 foot under Lieut. -Colonel Strachan, 27 April 1650. The battle-field bears the name of Craigcaoineadhan or Lamentation Hill, but the conflict itself is commonly known as the battle of Invercharron. More than 600 of his men made prisoners, and 396 slain, the great Marquis disguised himself as a common Highlander, and, swimming across the Kyle, fled up Strath Oikell to Assynt, here three days later he was taken captive. Antiquities re remains of several dunes, cairns, and stone circles, and a sculptured stone in the churchyard. The principal residences, with their distance from Ardgay, are Invercharron House (2 miles N by W), Gledfield House (1¼W), Culrain Lodge (3¼ NNW), Braelangwell Lodge (6 W by N), Amat Lodge (9 W), Alladale Lodge (13 W by S), Achnahannet Lodge (9¼ NW), and Inveroikell Lodge (10¾ NW). Sir Charles Ross of Balnagowan holds nearly half of the entire rental, 2 other proprietors hold each an annual value of between £1200 and £1870, 3 of between £600 and £800, and 8 of between £100 and £350. Giving off the quoad sacra parish of Croick, Kincardine is in the presbytery of Tain and synod of Ross; the living is worth £324. The parish church, near the shore of Dornoch Firth, 7 furlongs SSE of Bonar-Bridge station, was built in 1799, and contains 600 sittings. There are Free churches of Kincardine and Croick; and 4 new public schools- Achnahannet, Croick, Culrain, and Gledfield -with respective accommodation for 40, 35, 50, and 110 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 25, 17, 27, and 67, and grants of £53, 6s. 6d., £31, 0s. 6d., £36, 11s. 6d., and £66, 3s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £6860, (1882) £13,754, plus £848 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1865, (1841) 2108, (1861) 1746, (1871) 1685, (1881) 1472, of whom 1116 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1256 belonged to Kincardine ecclesiastical parish.Ord. Sur., shs. 102, 93, 92, 101, 1881-82.
An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is
Kincardine, a parish in Menteith district, S Perthshire, containing the villages of Blair-Drummond and Thornhill, each with a post office under Stirling, and extending southward to Gargunnock station, northward to within 7 furlongs of Doune station. It comprises a main body and the Thornhill or detached section, separated from each other by a strip of Kilmadock parish, 2 miles broad, and both washed by the Forth on the S, on the N by the Teith. The main body, triangular in outline, is bounded NE by Kilmadock and Lecropt, E by St Ninians in Stirlingshire, S by St Ninians and Gargunnock, and W by Kilmadock; and has an utmost length from E to W of 41/8 miles, with an utmost breadth from N to S of 3¾ miles. The detached portion, measuring 5¼ miles from N to S, by from 5½ furlongs to 17/8 mile, is bounded N and E by Kilmadock, S by Kippen in Stirlingshire, and W by Port of Menteith. The area of the entire parish is 10, 659½ acres, of which 3606¼ belong to the detached district, and 155 ¼ are water. The Forth meanders in serpentine folds 7 furlongs eastward along the S border of the detached portion, and, lower down, 115/8 miles along all the Gargunnock and St Ninians boundary of the main body; its affluent, the arrowy Teith, hurries 9 furlongs along the N border of the Thornhill section, and 4 ½ miles south-eastward along all he north-eastern boundary of the main body; whilst Goodie Water, another tributary of the Forth, flows 1¾ mile east-south-eastward across the detached portion. In the extreme E, at the confluence of the Forth and the Teith, the surface declines to 34 feet above sea-level, and the greater part of the main body is low and almost flat, only in the NW, near Loch Watston, attaining an altitude of 205 feet. The northern half of the Thornhill section is somewhat hillier, and rises to 400 feet near the Muir Damon, a ridge which, lying in the widest part of the strath of Menteith, is the centre of a magnificent landscape, screened in the distance by Ben Lomond, Ben Ledi, Ben Vorlich, Stuc a Chroin, the Ochils, and the Lennox Hills. The predominant rocks are Devonian, and sandstone has been quarried. The soil of the carse is a rich blue clay, incumbent on a bed of gravel; that of the dryfield is a light loam, formerly encumbered with boulders, but now entirely cleared. The carse has, at various depths, many thin beds of shells, particularly oysters; and nearly half of it till 1766 was covered with a deep bog, called Blair-Drummond or Kincardine Moss, but by the ingenious removal of the moss piecemeal into the Forth, had in 1839 been converted into highly fertile land. Woods and plantations cover some 400 acres, 650 acres are in permanent pasture, and nearly all the rest of the parish is under the plough. Antiquities are a tumulus, called Wallace's Trench, 63 yards in circumference, near Blair-Drummond East Lodge; two other tumuli, respectively 92 and 150 yards in circumference, within Blair-Drummond garden; an eminence, the Gallow Hill, ¼ mile from Blair-Drummond House; and a standing stone, 5 feet high and 12 in circumference, on the summit of Borland Hill; whilst bronze implements, a considerable reach of Roman road, and a portion of the skeleton of a whale, were found on the carse lands in the course of the removal of the superincumbent moss. Robert Wallace, D. D. (16971771), statistical writer, and the Rev. Alex. Bryce (1713-86), geometrician, were natives. Blair-Drummond and Ochtertyre, both noticed separately, are the chief residences. Giving off since 1877 its Thornhill section to Norriston quoad sacra parish, Kincardine is in the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £335. The parish church, 2 miles S by W of Doune, was built in 1814-16, and is a handsome Perpendicular edifice, with 770 sittings and four stained-glass windows; its ancient predecessor belonged to Cambuskenneth Abbey. Three public schools-Blair-Drummond, Kincardine, and Thornhill-with respective accommodation for 75, 142, and 157 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 22, 60, and 85, and grants of £28, 1s., £57, 19s., and £71, 15s. Valuation (1860) £14, 657, (1883) £15, 938, 5s. 10d. pop. (18o1) 2212, (1831) 2456, (1861) 1778, (1871) 1484, (1881) 1351, of whom 716 were in the ecclesiastical parish.Ord. Sur., sh. 39, 1869.
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