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Parish of Carnock

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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1791-99: Carnock
1834-45: Carnock

Carnock, a village and a parish on the SW border of Fife. The village stands 1¼ mile ENE of Oakley station, and 3½ miles WNW of Dunfermline, under which it has a post office. The parish contains also Cairneyhill village and the greater part of Oakley Iron-works, and is traversed by the Stirling and Dunfermline railway. It is bounded NE and E by Dunfermline parish, S and SW by Torryburn and a detached portion of Saline, W by the Culross district of Perthshire, and NW by Saline. Its greatest length, from N to S, is 31/8 miles, its breadth, from E to W, varies between 7 furlongs and 3¼ miles; and its area is 3502¼ acres, of which 10 are water. From 140 feet above sea-level near Cairneyhill the surface has a general northward rise to 400 on Carneil Hill, and 744 on Craigluscar Hill, which, culminating just outside the NE corner of the parish, commands a view to the Ochils, Ben Lomond, and the Pentlands. Three or four burns run eastward and south-eastward, to fall eventually into the Firth of Forth; and several springs are chalybeate, one, in the neighbourhood of Carnock village, emitting an ink-like liquid- On the NE boundary is the Compensation Reservoir, with extreme length and breadth of ½ mile and 11/3 furlong. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous. Coal has been extensively worked; ironstone abounds in the W; sandstone is quarried in several places; and limestone was formerly quarried on the lands of Luscar. The Forth or Oakley Iron-works, on the western border, were established in 1846, and occasioned a great increase of the population, but are now discontinued. The soils are variously clay, loam, gravel, and moss; and in most places are shallow. About 450 acres are under wood, and about 45 waste. A Roman camp is supposed to have been on Campsbank; and Roman urns have been exhumed on Carneil Hill. John Row, the ecclesiastical historian, was minister from 1592 to 1646, as from 1741 to 1752 was John Gillespie, founder of the Relief Synod, now incorporated in the United Presbyterian Church. Newbigging, now a farmhouse, was the seat of Prof. Jn. Erskine (1695-1768), author of Institutes of the -Laws of Scotland. At present the chief mansions are Blair, Carnock, and Luscar; and 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500,3 of from £50 to £100, and 18 of from £20 to £50. Originally comprising only the estates of Carnock, Blair, and Easter and Wester Camps, this parish was enlarged in 1650 by annexations from Dunfermline. It is in the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife; the living is worth £224. A neat new parish church, cruciform and with a spire, was built in 1840 in the Saxon style, and contains 400 sittings; its predecessor was the little building of 1602, in which Row ministered, and in whose kirkyard he was buried, with a Latin and Hebrew inscription on his tomb. There are also a Free church of Carnock and a U.P. church of Cairneyhill; whilst 3 public schools- Cairneyhill, Carnock. And Oakley-with respective accommodation for 107,126, and 302 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 66,80, and 72, and grants of £48, 2s., £72,5s., and £38,9s. Valuation (1881) £5901,15s. 1d. Pop. (1801) 860, (1831) 1202, (1861) 2925, (1871) 1764, (1881) 1055.—Ord. Sur., sh. 40,1867.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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