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Blackford

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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Blackford, a village and a parish of SE Perthshire. The village stands towards the middle of the parish, at the northern base of the Ochils, and on the right bank of Danny Burn, ½ mile from its confluence with Allan Water, and has a station, with telegraph office, on the Scottish Central section of the Caledonian, 4 miles SW of Auchterarder, 17¾ SW of Perth, 11 SSE of Crieff, 10¼ NE of Dunblane, and 15¼ NE of Stirling. Burned by the Earl of Mar in January 1716, it is a modern place, with a post office having money order and savings' bank departments, a branch of the Bank of Scotland, gasworks, waterworks (1870), an hotel and two inns, the parish church (rebuilt in Norman style, 1850; 632 sittings), a Free church (500 sittings), 3 breweries, a sawmill, and 2 tanneries. Pop. (1861) 881, (1871) 867, (1881) 679.

Irregular in outline, the parish is bounded N by Muthill and Trinity Gask; E by Trinity Gask, Auchterarder, and Glendevon; S by Glendevon, Dollar, and Tillicoultry in Clackmannanshire, and Alva in Stirlingshire (detached); W by Dunblane, Ardoch, and Muthill. From Machany Water to Skythorn Hill, i.e. from N by W to S by E, it has an extreme length of 9½ miles; its breadth varies between 1 furlong and 6½ miles; and its area is 21,491¾ acres, of which 39 are water. The drainage of N and E belongs to the basin of the Tay, Machany Water winding 1 mile on the northern boundary and 3¼ miles through the interior to the Earn, which itself traces for ¾ mile the eastermost portion of that northern boundary; whilst Ruthven Water, another of its tributaries, curves from the SE corner of the parish along Glen Eagles and Kincardine Glen, and so into Auchterarder. The drainage of S and SW, on the other hand, is carried to the Forth by the Devon, whose early eastward course marks 3½ miles of the southern border, and by the Allan, which, rising in the SW with half-a-dozen affluents and sub-affluents, runs first north-eastward towards the village, and then south-westward to Dunblane. The surface has a general southward rise, from less than 100 feet above sea-level by the Earn to 291 on Farmton Muir, 644 at Muirhead, 485 near Tullibardine Cottage, 602 near Drumlochey, 400 near the village, 1562 in Eastbow Hill, 1574 in Wether Hill, 1279 in Tambeth, 1780 in Core Hill, 1685 in Little Corum, 1955 in Mickle Corum, and 2072 in Blairdenon Hill. The last three culminate on the south-western frontier, and, belonging with Eastbow, Wether, Tambeth, and Core Hills to the moorish Ocinls, are steep and craggy to the S, but fall away more gently to the village, beyond which sandy hillocks and the great level Moor (now Wood) of Tullibardine form the 'divide' between Strathallan and Strathearn. A very hard sandstone has been quarried for millstones; except in the N, the soil is poor, being thin for the most part with a coarse gravelly bottom, and variously wet or dry to an extreme. Antiquities are a Roman camp and an outpost connecting it with the more famous one at Ardoch, some cairns and standing stones, St Mungo's Well in Glen Eagles, ruins of the cruciform Second Pointed chapel of Tullibardine (Holy Trinity) and of one or two other pre-Reformation chapels, and remains of the castles of Ogilvie, Tullibardine, and Kincardine. Four great Scotch families have been for centuries connected with this parish-the Murrays, Grahams, Haldanes, and Drummonds; and places in it still give title of Baron, Earl, and Marquess of Tullibardine (cre- 1604, 1606, and 1703) to John Stewart Murray, Duke of Athole; of Earl of Kincardine (1644) to Douglas Graham, Duke of Montrose; of Earl of Gleneagles (1831) to Robert Duncan-Haldane, Earl of Camperdown; and of Baron Madderty (1609) and Viscount Strathallan (1686) to William Drummond- The two last have their seats within its bounds, Gleneagles House in the E, Castle Strathallan in the N, and own respectively 7122 and 7208 acres in the shire, of an annual value of £3479 and £7612. Other mansions are Machany House (Major Hunter) and the modern Kincardine Castle (D- Wilson, Esq.); and the whole parish is shared by 17 landowners, 6 holding each £500 a year and upwards, 1 between £100 and £500,1 between £50 and £100, and 9 between £20 and £50. Blackford is in the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling; its minister's income is £296- The public schools of Blackford village, Gleneagles, and Tullibardine, and the Free Church school at the first, with respective accommodation for 221, 75, 64, and 118 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 80, 35, 59, and 77, and grants of £68, 6s, £24, 2s 5d., £49,12s-, and £65, 9s. Valuation (1881) £17,587, 15s. 1d. Pop- (1811) 1666, (1831) 1918, (1841) 1782, (1861) 2041, (1871) 1836, (1881) 1596--Ord. Sur, shs. 39, 47, 1869.

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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