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Parish of Dalgety

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: Dalgety
1834-45: Dalgety

Dalgety, a coast parish of SW Fife, containing the villages of St Davids, Fordel, and Mossgreen, with part of Crossgates, and traversed down to the coast at St Davids by the Fordel mineral railway; whilst its church stands 1 5/8 mile W by S of the post-town Aberdour, and 4½ miles W by S of Burntisland. It is bounded W and N by Dunfermline, NE by Aberdour, and SE by the Firth of Forth, here from 1¾ to 4¾ miles broad. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 4¼ miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between 4½ furlongs and 25/8 miles; and its area is 3710¾ acres, of which 357¾ are foreshore and 12¾ water. The coast-line is fully 5¼ miles long, if one follows the bends of Barnhill, Braefoot, Dalgety, and Donibristle Bays, the largest of which, Dalgety Bay, measures 6½ furlongs across the entrance, and 3¼ thence to its inmost recess. From the shore, which in places is beautifully wooded right down to the water's edge, the surface here and there rises steeply to 100 feet and more above sea-level, thence gently ascending throughout the interior, till close to the northern border, ¼ mile E of Crossgates, it attains 426 feet. A darkly-wooded glen, cleaving the grounds of Fordel, is traversed by a brook which makes a fine waterfall of 50 feet; and a beautiful little loch is at Otterston, which still boasts some magnificent trees. Among them are a beech and an ash, 90 and 80 feet high, and 15¼ in girth at 5 feet from the ground; but a gale of January 1882 laid low two venerable walnut-trees, the largest of which girthed 152/3 feet at 16 from the ground. The rocks are chiefly of the Carboniferous formation, and include great abundance of sandstone, limestone, and coal; the last, of very superior quality, is mined at Fordel. The arable soil is loam, partly light and dry, more generally deep and strong. A village of Dalgety stood at the head of Dalgety Bay, ½ mile SSE of the present church; but the ivy-clad ruins of St Bridget's kirk, dating from the 12th century, are all that now mark its site. First Pointed in style, these retain a piscina and a number of quaint old epitaphs; whilst Chancellor Seton, first Earl of Dunfermline (1555-1622), is buried in a vault to the W. Almost the last to preach within their walls was Edward Irving. Other antiquities are Fordel Castle and a fragment of Couston Castle, at the E end of Otterston Loch, the retreat this of Charles I.'s persecuted chaplain, the Rev. Robert Blair (1583-1666), whose grave is at Aberdour; of Seton's favourite residence, Dalgety House, not so much as a stone remains. The chief mansions are Donibristle House, Fordel House, Cockairnie, and Otterston (1589), the two last both the property of Captain Moubray, R.N. (b. 1818; suc. 1848), whose ancestor, a cadet of the Barnbougle Moubrays, settled here in 1511, and who owns 500 acres in the shire, valued at £794 per annum. In all, 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of from £50 to £100, and 5 of from £20 to £50. Giving off its northern portion to the quoad sacra parish of Mossgreen, Dalgety is in the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife; the living is worth £358. The present church, built in 1830, is a good Gothic structure, containing 500 sittings; and 2 public schools, Hillend and Mossgreen, with respective accommodation for 116 and 220 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 102 and 168, and grants of £80,11s. and £147. Valuation (1882) £7695,15s. 5d. Pop. (1801) 890, (1831) 1300, (1861) 1569, (1871) 1310, (1881) 1321.—Ord. Sur., shs. 32, 40, 1857-67. See pp. 25-54 of J. C. R. Buckner's Rambles Round Aberdour (Edinb. 1881). Dalginross (Gael. dail-ehinn-rois, ` field at the head of the point '), a village in Comrie parish, Perthshire, on the peninsula between the Water of Ruchill and the river Earn, 3 furlongs S of Comrie town. Dalginross Plain, to the S of the village, contained two Roman camps, one of them occupying an area of 16 acres, supposed by some antiquaries to have been the ` Victoria ' of the ninth Legion. See Blairinroar.

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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